Let’s talk relationships. You know, after they fall apart.
So breaking up is hard, whether you’re on the giving or receiving end (though I have to say the latter is much more painful), but an even harder part is the months that follow. Those desperate, torturous months that all you want is the happiness you had again. The sleepless nights, the countless Facebook stalks, the “accidental” text messages. Tear/burn/explode the pictures, eat chocolates, swear to friends that you’re over him, and cry into your pillow at night. No matter how many promises you make to family, friends, and yourself, it’s hard to turn a switch and simply say, “I’m over you.” Ignorance truly does become bliss; the less you know what that person is up to, the easier you sleep at night.
After a couple of months, things start to get less strained. Glances are no longer ignored, but tolerated. Bodies don’t tense when you pass in the halls. Things (though only slightly) seem to go back to normal. Then, it gets even more complicated.
So you were a little bit possessive in the relationship. So he didn’t actually like you in the amount you had in mind. So you over-thought pretty much everything. WHY AREN’T YOU LEARNING FROM YOUR MISTAKES?!? Now, when he smiles (somewhat of a small, shy grin) at you in the hall, what do you do? You take a millisecond for it to register, and then think about all the possible motives.
“Does he like me again? Is he being serious? Is he being funny? Are we at the stage to be funny? Are we at the stage to be serious? What stage are we at? Maybe he just wants votes for Student Council president. Maybe he just wants to be friends. No, that’s not it… or maybe it is. I could do friends! Right like we were before… yeah. Friends. That sounds good. Talking, laughing, maybe even hanging out! Just like best friends. We could be best friends, right? Or maybe more…”
Seriously, stop. You’re digging yourself into a huge pit that you’ll need a ten story flight of stairs to climb out of. All of these thoughts will just hurt you, sooner or later. Believe it or not, guys are probably more scared of you than mad or indifferent. The wrath of a woman is fierce, and I don’t know one guy that would like to bring that down upon himself. And, in their eyes, the only way a girl will react when breaking up with them, or talking after a breakup, is either anger or tears. And if anger doesn’t scare your ex, tears probably will. No one likes to watch another person cry, especially if they’re the one that made it happen. And who wants to be the mayor of Uncomfortable-ville?
So you’ve stopped the delusions of grandeur that follow a simple gesture, but a question still lingers in your mind. “What are we? And what do I really think of him?” I can hardly offer advice to help you deal with this question; no one can answer this the same way. Would you be ready to jump back into a relationship with him? Do you just want to be friends?
Personally, I find that working towards a friendship is probably the best bet. Nothing can ever be the same after it’s been broken, like a paper ripped in two. You can tape it, glue it, staple it… there’s still going to be a tear right down the middle. It’s not fixable, either. For a few lucky ones, something can be salvaged. Maybe a stronger friendship than relationship can be built. Maybe you both just sucked at relationships the first time, and this time is going to be serious; you’re both ready for the real thing. Maybe you stay distant from each other, never talking again. Whatever happens post-relationship, it’s probably for the best. Things happen for a reason, and if it’s not in your cards, you’re probably not going to be dating him for long, no matter how much you work to fix your relationship. And, as always, stay strong throughout the ordeal. You’re tougher than you think.
To sum up, the post-relationship period is awkward, painful, and just weird. Honestly, though, if you can try to just forget to care, it makes life a lot easier. You’ll be ready to become friends in those following months, and you’ll definitely feel better about yourself.