I knew my relationship was over when I caught myself googling “How to tell if your relationship is over."
I hate giving up. Seriously, it drives me nuts!!! I'm a crazy perfectionist, I'm talking control freak to the max, so the idea of failing or not seeing something through makes my blood boil! I will exhaust every possibility before I throw in the towel, and for the longest time, that’s how I handled my relationships too.
A little fun fact, I have been in serious relationships since I was 15... No joke, for the last 9 years I have been in 3 relationships that all lasted around 3 years… Kind of insane right? Now don’t get me wrong, I looooove love! I am a freaking relationship addict! I just love the idea of having someone to share my life with. You know all those cute couple goals? I love that stuff! Heck, I love just having someone who will randomly grab my booty and eat pizza with me ;)
But during this last breakup, everything changed. I went through some serious soul searching shit
So I’m just going to be brutally honest with you... here is my breakup story!
Let me start this by saying, I believe that everyone has the right to privacy so out of respect I will not be sharing the actual personal details of the reason behind the breakup. I don’t want to give someone else the power to turn this blog into something hateful because that’s not what this is. This isn’t about him, this is about me. This is my story.
I knew my relationship was over long before it actually came to a breakup. It was this feeling deep down in my gut, I just didn’t want to accept it. In fact, I pushed against it so hard I think I may have actually made things worse. You see, when I met him, I was so sure that this was it. This was my person. People say that if you can't imagine a future with your partner then you shouldn’t be dating and I completely agree. When we were together, all the parts of our lives became intertwined. We lived together, worked together, partied together, traveled together, I swear at times we even shared a brain together. Our relationship became so imprinted in my mind that it was like breathing. I didn’t have to think about it, it was just there. So when things started going south, the fear kicked in.
That fear, that terrifying “oh my god how am I going to start my day without his good morning” fear is why I stayed for as long as I did. I was terrified of being alone, but most of all I was scared of starting all over again.
The thought of having to meet someone and tell them all about me, all my stories, my hopes and dreams, and my quirks… THE QUIRKS! Do you know how long it takes me to get comfortable enough to dance around in my sweatpants in the kitchen with you? God, I did not want to have to get comfortable again. All of those thoughts just kept swirling in my head and they held me back! Every time I was ready to end things, all this fear and anxiety crushed me. It was like I couldn’t breathe, like the pure thought of not being in a relationship suffocated me.
But then one day it hit me, I had completely lost myself in this relationship. I had nothing that was mine, no personality of my own. I had no confidence, no power, no life. I had given up everything that makes me me in order to fit the relationship that my partner needed. I was holding onto this picture-perfect future that I had in my head when the reality was, that future didn't even exist. I had gotten so wrapped up in making someone else happy that I had made myself miserable. I was a supporting character in someone else’s story.
Of course, it didn’t help that I loved being a cute Instagram couple. I do have to admit that I became obsessed with our online image. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but even my job wasn’t my own anymore. I worked so hard on getting those ultimate travel couple shots because I loved the way we looked together. I loved the idea of being so in love that you just want to share that love and those adventures with the world. But being in love isn’t about how you look in a picture, it needs to be real. And the more pictures I posted of our “happy moments” the more I realized that they weren’t happy at all. It had become a show. And all I was doing was adding more pressure to an already unstable relationship.
I wish I could tell you there was a moment when it all clicked but, to be honest, I woke up one day and just knew. I knew that I needed to do this for myself. I needed to cut myself out of this life that I built and start over. I needed to eat pray love, dance with the wolves, girls gone wild, whatever the hell single life is, I needed to do it. I couldn't spend another day as just someone's girlfriend.
I still remember driving home after the breakup, my head was all over the place. It was the weirdest mix of emotions. To be very blunt, I can be really brutal when it comes to breakups. I've always been that way. Once I make a decision I don’t look back. Typical Virgo I guess. I do think that everyone handles breakups in their own way but this time I gave myself one day. One day to be a wreck, to grieve, to be angry at the world, to be a blubbering idiot, to be every cliche in the book… there were a lot of romantic comedies and even more Ben and Jerry's ice cream involved… But once my day was up, it was time to move on, and let me tell you, it was like a giant weight had been lifted. Like I had just opened my world up. It was like pushing myself past the fear of going through a breakup somehow also pushed me past the sadness. I wasn’t afraid of being alone, I was actually excited about it.
I changed my mindset. Instead of looking at this breakup as a failure, I was going to use it as an opportunity to become better. Fuck sitting around, wallowing in self-pity!! Yes, the relationship didn’t work. Yes, it feels like a lot of wasted time and energy. Boo freaking hoo. I wasn't going to look at this as an end, this was a beginning. I had just given myself the chance to get to know myself. Not the 15-year-old me that needed relationships, but the 24-year-old me who was ready to explore.
The next months were a whirlwind of sparks and butterflies, crazy experiences, a few bad dates, and lots and lots of learning!! I wanted to give myself the chance to just say yes to every opportunity that came my way! But I’ll keep those bad date stories for another day ;)
Here is what I really wanted to say, what I really wanted to talk to you all about!
For anyone who is scared to end things or is having a tough time coming to terms with their breakup…
Your relationship does not define you!!!
I think one of the biggest problems in relationships nowadays is that we look for someone who will make us happy. Someone who will magically complete us. DON'T DO THAT SIS!!! You need to be able to be your own person, make your own happiness. You need time to be selfish and do whatever crazy, spontaneous, impulsive idea pops into your head because one day you will meet the love of your life and you need to be able to say that you love the person that you are alone, not just the person your relationship makes you. You need to be able to say you did all the stupid shit you wanted to do!!!
I wasted so much time trying to make a relationship work because I was convinced that I needed him. I actually, down to my core, believed that I needed someone to spend my days with. But do you know what I have learned in these past months? I freaking love being alone!!! I love being able to focus on myself. I get to be picky with the people I surround myself with now. I get to choose the energy in my life. I get to go for what I want. I get to make myself a priority every day and I love it!! And you know what the biggest change has been? I now look in the mirror and love the person that is looking back! I know people say that you glow up after a bad breakup but I never really understood what they meant until now. Yes, you can physically glow up, but for me personally, I feel like my personality and my energy have just completely changed. Allowing yourself to be alone allows you to create new habits, meet new people, and open yourself up to all kinds of possibilities. Being alone isn’t scary, it's empowering. I wake up every day so grateful that I did what I needed to do to move on because everything about me has changed and I am damn proud of it!
Don’t get me wrong, I still love love! This isn’t some, strong independent woman, you don’t need no man blog. I have my days where there's nothing that I want more than to cuddle up next to someone in our sweatpants, order some pizza, and watch The Office. I do believe in finding that perfect person, the one that makes your heart flutter, but now I know what I want and what I deserve. I'm no longer afraid of being on my own and you shouldn’t be either. Heartache is just part of life, there’s no way around it. But sometimes a little heartache will lead you to the best adventure of your life. You just need to put yourself first.