A normal part a break-up scenario is the realization that the other person will eventually move on and there will be a day when you have to look that reality in the face and deal with it. But after dating someone for two years and being "in love" and even seriously talking about marriage, two months hardly seems like an acceptable time frame to wake up to Facebook screen shots from your BFF indicating your ex is "in a relationship" with someone new.
The first year of our relationship was incredible; it was that cry-when-he-leaves, tunnel vision, all-in type of relationship — until it wasn't. Things happened that made me start to lose trust, our lives started moving in different directions, we started screaming and crying more than we laughed and played, and eventually we stopped being emotionally and physically present in each other's lives.
The hour of distance between us felt like an ocean and as I prioritized my goals and dreams, commuting to other cities to work and intern. He got pushed by the wayside completely, and we finally fell apart the day he decided not to show up to my college graduation — arguably the most important day of my life thus far. For months, we struggled to hold onto something that quickly fizzled out and died.
Our break-up wasn't exactly "messy" like some, but it was a long time coming, and we both cut off all ties via social media and any other forms of communication.
Which brings me back to this — two months. Two months and he was FBO — Facebook Official.
Initially, I gave myself a good 20 minutes to cry, vent, and feel absolutely sorry for myself. I felt low and truly lonely for the first time since our break-up, and I felt like, maybe, I was that easily replaceable. I instantly went through this girl's social media profiles and picked her apart, looking for every reason to believe that she could never stack up.
But, let me fill you in on a little something: immersing yourself in self-pity and bitterness doesn't take the feeling away. (Shocking, right?)
I looked back on my two months since we broke up and realized what a perfect mess they had been. And I do mean perfect. While he hopped out of our relationship and spent his two months refocusing on another human being and their needs and being everything for them, I drank cheap beer out of brown bags while watching $2 old movies at a crummy theater in Chinatown; I spent time bonding with my roommates and my girlfriends and made them my soulmates; I graduated college and struggled through the first part of post-grad life while rediscovering my passions and deciding what I want my life to look like; I became reconnected to my faith, a part of me I had let slip away for a while; I de-stressed on long runs to gorgeous places; I dropped way too much money at strange bars with stranger crowds; I spent afternoons on solo dates around the city and finding the joy in simple things; I swiped right on some gems and some not-so-gems (shout-out to the cute soccer guy who begged me to go out with him, ghosted to get back with his ex, begged to see me again when they broke up, then ghosted yet again to get back with his ex — hope she knows she found a winner); and learned a hell of a lot about myself along the way.
So, this isn't a revenge piece or an "I hate men" piece. This is my call to you to find life on your own after a break-up with someone you loved, even if they move on before you even have time to fully process it.
In the time that it took someone I had poured my heart into to pour his heart into someone else, I lived life as a 23-year-old post-grad thriving with her best friends in her favorite city. I stayed out way too late, had some failures and some successes, and moved a giant step closer to who I really am without the presence of somebody else. Do I still make a lot of mistakes? Absolutely. Do I still go on dates with guys who turn out to be total disappointments? Check. Have I had moments of pure loneliness and thoughts of being an old cat lady forever? Uh-huh. But in the end, I wouldn't trade it all for anything.
So, she can have him. I'll take my girlfriends, dreams for the future, and $2 beer at a $2 movie, please.