By Emily Larkin, Managing and Online Editor
“Everything happens for a reason.” If I had a dollar for every time someone said this to me after my last breakup, I could afford to fly on a private jet far away from Newman to a weekend getaway in Cabo.
No matter how many pleasantries people can throw at your shattered glass heart, that doesn’t push away the fact that breakups, for a lack of a powerful enough word, suck.
The most painful breakup I have ever experienced came from my longest lasting relationship, which ended in the fall. My boyfriend and I had dated for three years. We had the ups and the downs, but we always made it work. We survived the oh-so-common breakup-causer of moving away to college. We started dating as seniors in high school, so by the time we made it to our junior year of college, we were seemingly fused together. We experienced three of our most formative years of life together without a second thought. After I got asked to be in my cousin’s wedding party last semester, the not-so-subtle hints from both sides of our family of “So, did you get her a ring yet?” were endless.
And then we broke.
We realized that we weren’t the same people that we were when we were a full three years earlier back in high school. Not only were we not those people but also the new people we had become had not been growing together.
After we finally admitted to each other that we weren’t working anymore and needed to breakup, I sat in my car not only crying but questioning who I was as a person. So much of what I associated with my life was being his girlfriend. I had an entire group of friends because of him.
So much of the music I listened to and the movies I watched were influenced by someone who was seemingly never going to be an active part of my life again.
From that day forward, I became dedicated to finding out who I really was, breakup aside.
From this experience, I’ve come up with three main tips to shake off the breakup and find the real you.
The first piece of advice I can say is to stop talking to your ex. I learned this the hard way. My ex and I were best friends in high school, so I figured that it wouldn’t take too long before we could just go back to being friends. Boy was I wrong.
It is so important to separate yourself from the life that you had before because that is no longer how you are living. This includes detaching yourself from their social media. There is nothing quite like the second round of heartbreak caused by seeing a picture of their new girlfriend whiz past you as you’re looking at your Instagram feed.
The second thing I can tell you from my experience is that Tinder is not the answer. We live in a world full of instant gratification. With just the swipe of a smartphone, Tinder can allow you hundreds of single people waiting to give you the attention you are craving, which if you are feeling low from being alone, can seem intoxicating.
For a while, you’ll question why you were ever in a long term relationship in the first place. But, if you’re like me, you’re just using Tinder as a crutch for dealing with the real problems that you have been pushing down.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not ragging on people who actively use Tinder, and do I still use it from time to time? Sure. But make sure you work on being a whole person before you take a chance on finding someone new.
The greatest lesson that I’ve learned in all of this is that healing takes time. I heard somewhere that sometimes it can take up to the amount of time that you had been with that person to feel whole again. Well, I’m six months out, and I’m still trying to figure out life after him.
Though I tend to internally roll my eyes at all of the stereotypical post-breakup pleasantries that people have thrown my way over the past few months, I’ve actually found one that has great truth it.
Ultimately, time really does heal all things