Dealing with a long-term relationship breakup

Sara Varela


For the past few weeks my iPod has registered an increase of breakup songs playing over and over again. Somehow, music has been my number one way of dealing with the breakup of my six-year relationship.

When it first happened, my immediate reaction was to google how to deal with it. I thought that I couldn’t possibly be the only person that has gone through such a thing and, of course, there were a million other people who have gone through a similar situation.

But somehow, I found this one girl whose situation was, to put an estimate to it, 95 percent similar to mine. We both had a six-year relationship, we were the same age when it happened, the breakup happened totally out of the blue, she had the same problems with the same family member, among many other things. However, she was only offering advice on a long-term post-breakup situation and that wasn’t what I needed in that moment.

So, I decided I had to suddenly learn to deal with it in my own way, and fast. I didn’t want to be the girl calling all my friends for help or a hug. And at least, for the first few days, I wasn’t.

Even though I wanted to cry so bad, because this time it felt that it was the last and definitive breakup, I couldn’t because I didn’t want to cry in front of my mom. To be honest, she would drive wherever he was and kick his behind.

I couldn’t even cry at night, until a few days later when I sent an SOS to my best friends back home. Sure enough, they were right there to hear and console me as much as they could through a telephone screen.

That night, I did cry myself to sleep and there was no way I could stop. I’m still not sure how they understood me between my sobs and inconsolable crying. So, I guess the first thing you should do for yourself is let all your emotions flow. After that night, I began to feel better somehow. I had kept it all inside for the first three days and I just felt I was walking around eggshells all day long and in a very bad mood.

Then, delete him from your social media and your phone. In my case, this was the first thing I did after googling. I know it may seem immature but that’s not the reason many people dealing with this agree that it helps to do so. In the time we live in, social media is a big part of our lives. And having a constant reminder of the person every time you log on is not healthy.

Particularly for me, the reason we broke up had to do with something I saw on his page. Cliché, I know. So, of course I had to delete that reminder if I wanted to start moving on. I deleted him off all my social media and deleted our photos together as well.

I don’t know if it was by luck or premonition, I had already taken down all of our photos from my room because I had been painting my room over the winter break. Because of the remodeling, I had also given away some teddy bears he had given me over the years. I won’t lie but when I gave them away I somehow felt good, even though the breakup had not happened yet.

Next, understand that you will be in shock at the beginning and, after the shock passes, you’ll be traumatized. My shock lasted about a week. I would still reach for my phone and wait for his morning text. I would even begin a text only to remember that we were done.

I would say that I was even waiting for his knock on the door but for the past couple months we had been dealing with a long-distance relationship. The trauma settled in as soon as the shock passed. I can’t seem to be able to watch a happy couple without shaking out of fear. Everything reminds me of him. The moment my mind starts wandering it goes back to the last conversation I had with him.

Being back at work does not help, even though it’s been busy. But I guess the trauma shall pass too. Lastly, do not waste your breath or your time trying to get back at him. Believe, you’ll want to do so but at the same time you’ll see that it’s not worth it. I could have texted the other girl and tell her that the same thing he did to me would happen to her.

But, what would I get with that? Nothing, other than look like a desperate ex. And she may have not even cared, she may even know what he did to me and not care at all. Luckily, even though the situation was as bad as it can get, I had a lot of things lined up that would take my mind off it.

Work is busy and I’m sure that once I get caught up, my mind won’t wander anymore. I’m on my last semester at school and I’m so excited to graduate that I would focus on school for sure. Also, I have a lot of books I have not been able to read yet and now I have the time to do so. So, it seems that brighter times are on the horizon.

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