We’ve all been there—at the end of the rope. We all know when it’s time to have “the talk”. We’ve all either ended things, or have had someone else end things for us. It’s basically, one of those emotional places that no one ever wants to be in. And it’s awkward as hell, I know! But you know what’s even more awkward? When you bump into your ex just after you’ve broken up and you don’t know what to say, do, or how to behave. It’s like suddenly, you forget what it’s like to be human; you’ve frozen!
Unlike what most people say, it’s not the breakup itself that’s awkward as hell; it’s the period post the breakup. It’s when you realize that the person you once loved is now, nothing more than a stranger. They’re a different person now and sometimes, it’s like you dated an entirely different individual. But, is it their fault? And even if it isn’t, can you still blame them? Remember the Gotye track, ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’, that topped charts back in 2011? That pretty much summed it up for us well enough.
Somewhere between getting over your ex and swearing not to get into anything serious ever again because “it’s just not worth the pain”, you’re secretly hoping that someone will save you from yourself. That someone will find you, keep you and tell you that they’re not like the others and actually prove that. But, time and again, we hope and time and again, we’re proved wrong; tripping up on our own faith. Then again, somewhere between getting over your ex and not wanting anyone else, you desperately want so badly, you fall for the next person who holds your hand. Why? Not because you never really cared for your ex; but because you cared too much. So much, that now, you don’t know how to go back to being carefree. You need an outlet to show your love; you need to feel—something, anything. So, you rebound. You either rebound right into someone else’s arms, or you rebound the ugly way. You get drunk every day, drunk text, or drunk call your ex, telling them how much you miss them and wishing you could be back together, randomly sleeping with the next person that walks up to you because you just want to know that you still feel something and half hoping that you’ll find someone who will make you forget what it felt like with your ex. You make a mess of yourself, of your situation and everyone around you. But is it your fault? Or is your ex? Was it really not you, but them? Or was it really just who you are as a person? Then, why did they date you in the first place?
Truth is people change and most times, there doesn’t really have to be much of a reason to it, no matter how unfair it seems. They change just when—no, especially when—you expect them not to. Just when they’ve sworn to the stars and the moon for you. They’ll change all the time and that’s just something we have to come to terms with, no matter how we hate it. Coping with emotional loss is never easy. But, we’re all doing it anyway, even when we think we’re not doing it. You getting piss drunk and passing out on the footpath is coping. You crying your eyes out in the dark of the night is coping. You smoking 20 cigarettes to 10 packs of them a day is coping.
What I’m getting at is simple. There is no set way to behave after a breakup—not with yourself, not with the people around you and definitely not with the one you’ve broken up with. You simply can’t. It’s like breaking a mirror and trying to piece it back together while trying to avoid looking into it because the cracks distort the image. It’s unavoidable and most times, impossible. You do what you got to do and how you’ve got to do it to ensure that you get out of it. How much time you take to get out of it is relative and no one has the right to judge you for that. Maybe you were in love and were to get married, or maybe you just started dating… it doesn’t matter. A connection is a connection and breaking away from that is always hard to do.
There is no set rulebook or guideline on how to behave with oneself, or with others after a breakup. So, you have rebound sex with someone, drink your sorrows away, cry yourself to sleep or just date the f*ck out of people. The important thing is that you get over it when you do. Everything else is secondary. And let no one tell you otherwise.