What are breakups made of?
Breaking up changes everything, making life, as you knew it, completely and irrevocably altered.
When the breakup begins, it may seem that this is the best decision the two of you could have made. You were fighting, yelling, being critical, not communicating, so on and so on. Maybe you pushed too hard, and they withdrew too often. Maybe the things you used to adore about them now seem like the most annoying traits since the history of man. Maybe the stress and pain of it all push you into thinking, “There has got to be something (read: someone) better than this.” Maybe you want out, maybe you don’t. All you know is that things are bad and quickly getting worse. And maybe you’re too tired to try anymore. So, the relationship dwindles. And you let it. Then as you give up and part ways, or get left behind, nothing makes sense.
The sound of their voice fades then because it finally hits you: They don’t love you anymore – as if it were something they had an on/off switch for – and they are happier without you.
And now you find yourself on the phone with a complete stranger. You try to ask for an explanation and all you get an uncomfortable silence, or even a sad, guilty “I’m sorry.” Then they hang up and return to the life that brings them more joy than you ever will. Your connection with them is severed, and you are left hanging in despair you can’t see through.
No matter how you look at it, you can’t make sense of this new truth. The person, who once completed what you knew of yourself, is no longer there. When they stopped loving you, they ceased to exist as you knew them. You loved them, and so you gave them everything – even your trust and vulnerability. You gave them the means to destroy you. It’s a gamble that makes fools out of many. If you get it right, the one you love takes what you have given them and guards it with their life. Because in loving you, they discover themselves.
But sometimes that’s not it. Maybe you’ll run into him again. Maybe he’ll call to see how you are, to see if you’ve heard about his new girlfriend. He might say that he misses you. He might say that his new love doesn’t listen as you do, that she doesn’t understand or laugh like you do. Against your better judgment, you let yourself hope that maybe he wants you back. But he says only enough to make you wonder, and then leaves as if he were never there to being with.