In the words of ABBA, breaking up is never easy and that includes when you’re the one to end the relationship. I ended my relationship of a year and a half and I feel shattered.
I feel many of the same feelings I felt after being broken up with in the past: heartache, loss, anger, loneliness. This time, I also got the added bonus of overwhelming guilt and regret. I couldn’t seem to shake the image of my ex’s face when I told him it was over, it circled my mind relentlessly. Looking at him sitting in front of me, feeling so much love and care for him and knowing I’m breaking his heart, I felt like I could be sick.
The regret came a little later. It came silently, like this sinking feeling slowly passing through my body and settling in a pit in my stomach. Then suddenly I was completely aware of everything I had given up, every happy memory and all the love and adoration I had for him flooded me, blinding me momentarily from all my reasons for the break up. I felt like an idiot. How could I have been so careless to throw away a relationship so pure and beautiful? What is so broken inside me that makes it so this isn’t all I want?
I’ve had my fair share of toxic relationships in the past and this one was far from that. My ex was kind and caring and worshiped the ground I walked on. He would of done anything for me and it wasn’t enough for me. I’m not sure when and I certainly don’t know why – but I fell out of love. I used to spend every week counting down until I would get to see him, and the best thing about my day was seeing a message from him. My heart use to feel like I could burst from all the love I felt when I kissed him. I could talk about him for hours and never get bored. I slowly started to realise that all that just wasn’t true anymore. I wanted, more than anything, to feel all those things again but feelings like that aren’t something you can force. I felt the loss of that kind of love intensely but it felt like I wasn’t allowed to. How dare I have the audacity to feel sad and heartbroken when I made the decision? How can I grieve the loss of the relationship I chose to end? Yet, the alternative was to be okay and get on with life as usual which only makes me appear heartless and as though the relationship meant nothing to me.
Most of all, I felt angry. Angry that I felt like I couldn’t just feel the way I felt, but also angry at the world because what a horrific system we navigate our romantic relationships through. All the investment of time, money and love only for it all to feel so utterly wasted when it ends. Then to do it over and over hoping that the next person you fall in the love with will stick.
In the end I had to accept that I was the ‘bad guy’ in this scenario but my feelings aren’t second to his. They are valid and authentic in the same way his are.