Thoughts on breaking up


A little over a month ago I split from my partner of six years.

We’ve shared a bed, a bank account, a mortgage. We’ve shared trips to faraway places. We’ve supported each other through good and bad, we’ve laughed until we cried, we’ve shouted until I cried. We’ve put up with each other’s annoying habits, talked about our days, exchanged absurd and pointless texts when we were bored.  We’ve window-shopped for a ring he’s never going to buy me and we’ve planned a future together that isn’t going to happen.

Because we’re giving up on us… and that’s hard.

I’m not trying to make this out to be a woe-is-me post. Of course there are a lot worse things in life than splitting up with someone. I mean, people are breaking up all the time so there must be something to it, right? I also know there are people who have been together way longer and gotten divorced who would look at this post and go “Just six years? No kids? Pffffft.”

But to me, six years is a very long time. He was my first serious relationship, my first love, my confidante, and above everything— my best friend.

These are just some thoughts on breaking up…

It’s utterly bewildering how someone can go from being everything to you one day, to absolutely nothing the next. 

I mean, really. Breaking up is just plain weird. It’s the strangest thing when you have to morph this person who has been so important to you for so long into just somebody that you used to know (as Gotye would say). The sheer force of will it takes to overpower the instinct to call/text him when something funny or peculiar happens is, in and of itself, a massive feat. Who do I share all the developments of my day with? Who will help me get in and out of particularly challenging yoga poses when I practice at home?  Who do I call when I need a pick-me-up? Not him. I can’t call him anymore just to say hi. I can’t call him to ask how his day is going or what we should have for dinner. I can’t call him to ask him to pick something up from the store on his way home from work. I have to, like, get everything myself now… every time. Man, life is so hard.

For so long he has been the person that I shared everything with, and now he’s not. And that’s bizarre.

My brain is now a war zone for endless, senseless, hyper-active and totally irreconcilable emotions. 

It’s like all these sensations are vying for power in my head Game-of-Thrones-style, and I’m the lowly peasant caught in the cross fire. Everyday somebody new is on the throne and dictating my mindset. It’s a laughable roll of the dice. Will I wake up full of pep and optimism? Will I wake up a miserable, lonely, sobbing mess? A pillar of strength, starry-eyed with dreams and determination? A jaded bitch without trust in anyone? Who knows! But you have to play to win, so keep rolling those dice!

And I do. Every single night.

Letting go of “us” and becoming just “me” is the most devastating, gut-wrenching part.

I’ve expended so much effort trying to make something work that wasn’t going to work. I dedicated so much of my energy and all of my heart to this person because when I committed to forever, I meant it. Realising that forever could end so easily is a possibility that I never allowed myself to consider, and every day has been a struggle to cope with that. To accept it. But I have to let it go. I have to let go of the hope, I have to let go of the dreams, I have to let go of the possibility of a future with the person I intended to grow old with.  Somewhere inside me is this heaping sigh of relief brimming with anticipation to be released. I don’t know that I’m ready to release it just yet, but… hopefully soon.

We are over. We were something once, but we’re not now, and we won’t be later. That’s enough watering dead flowers. Enough wasted tears. I’m covered head to toe in battle wounds that I earned fighting for love. I’ll never regret that, but I guess sometimes love just isn’t enough… and maybe that’s okay.

Not everything works out as we expect. Life’s all about moving forward. We should never regret loving someone. Even if they ended up not being “the one”. You can give a lot of love to someone, and get a lot of love from someone, and the fact that it didn’t last forever doesn’t mean that it wasn’t real, or worth it.

Change is just an opportunity to become a better person, and because of all this I’ve decided to take a leap of faith: I’m moving to Toronto. Actually, I’ve moved to Toronto. As of two days ago. I’m starting a new life, in a new city. And while it’s scary to be on the other side of the country from all my friends and family and everyone I’ve ever known, I’m excited.

It’s time for me to create a new home for myself.

Wish me luck. I think I’ll need it.

67 thoughts on “Thoughts on breaking up

      1. a lifetime ago ( at least one of yours ) I lived with a young woman. A friend used to say the house was filled with laughter. The breakup was bitter and full of anger where laughter had once danced – and now I’ve been married over 30 years. Life surprises us if we let it. I’ve always felt that we can have more than one great love in our lives if we dare to love greatly. – good luck kiddo.

  1. Luck, dear one!
    You’re right – nothing feels more alien that to glance down and see a hole where your heart once beat.

  2. So hard to click “Like” even though you like the courage and determination in the post that will override the sorrow and overcome the loss. Never are you really alone when you share your life in this community.

  3. Wishing you the best of luck for your fresh start in Toronto! ❤️ I admire your strength, and I love the way you look at your past as something positive & necessary for your personal growth. May your days ahead be filled with many more amazing & enriching experiences to come! This may be the end of a relationship, but it is not the end of you! 😊❤️

  4. That’s rough. Sorry to hear it. But as with any wound, give it time to heal. When the ankle sprain is fresh, it’s hard to believe you’ll ever walk right again, let alone play Frisbee or dance. But one day you’ll find yourself dancing and think, oh, man, what was I so worried about? Good luck with your fresh start.

  5. Lost hopes, lost dreams, lost innocence. A lost vision of the future once shared. It is deeply sad. It won’t feel as if it will ever truly heal. And in truth there will always be scar. Sometimes it will itch, sometimes burn, sometimes just make you cry.
    But it is only a chapter. A small part of your story. Pages that were sometimes happy, sometimes good, sometimes lonely, sometimes dull. They have been turned and in their turning have added to you, to your experience, to who you are.
    There are many many more pages for you to write, thousands of brave new tomorrows. And the past will haunt you less. Slowly but absolutely certainly.
    You are young, intelligent and beautiful.
    It does not feel like it right now, but your time is still beginning. This was just a phase.
    Good luck. Be well. Be you.

    1. Your comment really touched me. Thank you so much. You’re absolutely right that there is a scar, but one day maybe it won’t be so obvious. ❤ Hope you have an absolutely wonderful weekend!

  6. What it is or isn’t to anyone else is irrelevant – to you it is a shattered world and you are perfectly entitled to feel as you do without a need to compare it to bigger things/worse things, etc.

    You’ve expressed the rawness of your pain so eloquently but it still feels kind of wrong to click ‘like’. I admire your courage, your strength and your ability to put this heartbreak into words and clear thoughts.

    Best of luck as you step onto the new path opening before you – go forth boldly, confident in yourself. Hugs from Australia.

  7. Lost love is like a hangover. It just takes time. But, I promise you kiddo, it does get better. You’re a writer so you are already hip to the best remedy there is. Write about it. Poetry can save your life. It saved mine.

  8. Like everyone else here, I wish you nothing but wellness.

    It is heartrending to lose an ‘other-half’ but sometimes, it is absolutely necessary for personal growth – on both sides – to happen.

    Good luck.

  9. I wish you luck and having been through the same thing understand well how you are feeling. Relationships that have been real don’t just end because the other person says so. You get to keep all the parts of the history that you want, all the best moments, and everything that you shared. You will need to grieve for a while (and perhaps be angry as well) , but the feelings from a relationship don’t just end because somebody says goodbye. Many people act as if; when it’s over they don’t feel anything anymore. They may not let themselves feel anything or they may just not share what they feel, but they do still have the feelings. If you’re fortunate, perhaps at some point after time for healing you can retain your relationship is in the form of friendship. I have a friendship with an EX from a number of years ago and have enjoyed being in touch, hearing about her new relationship, marriage and birth of her son. I have enjoyed being close enough to share these things.
    It will be at least a year or two before this is likely to be possible and you still have to go through your round of birthdays and holidays without you ex, but this will pass; if not easily, then faster than you think. I hope you find comfort and peace in the meantime.
    With caring,

    1. Absolutely and I do hope that in the future we can have some kind of friendship and still care for one another. It doesn’t seem right to not be in his life in some way when he has meant so much.. but like you say it will take time. All things for a reason, and an opportunity to grow. Thank you for your wonderful comment, as always. ❤

  10. It is a death.

    All those nerves once connected now dangle, firing for their lost connection. It takes time to cauterize and then heal a thousand connections.

  11. Cliché as it may sound, but yeah, God has the best plans for you. Moving on surely isn’t easy, but you’ll get there. For now, feel the pain and cry your heart out. Let it all out. Time will eventually come when you’ll look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I’m okay.” When that time comes, you know that you really are okay. 😊

  12. First off, I’m sorry for your loss. It’s never easy. But TORONTO??? Are you kidding me? Just my favorite city in your beautiful country! Growing up in Western New York (Buffalo), I was there as often as possible. I mean, come on…You have the Hockey Hall Of Fame! I don’t mean to make light of your situation, but it sounds like a great place to start., if you ever need it, or just wanna shoot this shit. Best wishes and all the luck which you deserve! 🙂

  13. I am so sorry for your pain. You describe the human condition so eloquently. Knowing that you made the right decision, that you won’t live a life of regret gives a little solace to that heartache. I can already hear the strength in your voice and the knowledge that you can survive anything is very powerful tool you will carry for the rest of your life.

    1. I surely hope so! It can’t have all been for nothing. I have to be a stronger person at the end of it all or I’ll have squandered the opportunity. Thank you so much for your comment 🙂

  14. Thanks for sharing your story with us all. Sorry for your relationship loss. Yes the pain and questioning hurts. But I know you are gonna be alright. I feel it in your words. You will discover a new you, or maybe an old you, in this new self space. Just look after yourself an thrive!

  15. Live, love, cry, feel, exist!!! Fire burns, but it also purifies. Thank you for sharing your life. You have good thoughts from many that wish you happiness and strength, now go out and open your self to the possibilities. Wish you the best.

  16. Love will always hurt even if the relationship lasts forever. What a brave person you are for taking things by the horn and forging forward with a new life!

  17. Hope you’re doing okay in Toronto and in being you.
    This is a very well written post, considering your heartache.
    Losing the love of your first love is never easy. Most of us have been there and lived to fight another day, but more importantly, lived to love again. Not just another, but yourself.
    Your words alone show your beauty. You’ll do great in your new start.
    Enjoy it.
    Enjoy you x

  18. <smile> You don’t need luck. Just time. Time and an adventurous spirit.

    When I look back at that breakup — that first one, the one that was almost, but not quite, I see again much of what you’re seeing in this post.

    But I see ahead as well, for what you see is long behind me now, and so much more is yet to happen for you.

    Time will fill the void in your life that was being given to someone else. Someone very special, and that person always will be, in some way, very special. How could they not? Still, you have some space now. And you’ll make more, in time.

    You can put more of yourself in there.
    You get to go back to defining yourself,
    being yourself,
    rather than being a couple,
    defining yourself as a half.

    You can look in the mirror and see yourself
    Rather than see a reflection of yourself
    In someone else’s eyes.

    You can re-ignite your intimate friendships
    Dole out what you were sharing with one
    To a few others
    See where your friendships go
    How deep their roots are
    You might lose some friends
    But other friendships will be revealed
    As deeper than you ever knew

    You can do the things you like to do
    Listen to your favourite music
    Full blast
    And sing to your heart’s content
    Without worrying whether someone else
    Is digging your groove

    Looking back, many of the best times of my life
    And nearly all the best times of my growth
    Came during the transitions from two to one
    And one to two

    You have one transition on the go
    In time, you’ll get to enjoy that other
    The one in which you get to discover
    Another soul
    And discover your own, anew
    Through the eyes of another.

    Hmmmm…. I hadn’t realized when reading your post that it would prompt such a lengthy comment.

    I hope you don’t mind that I let this stream of consciousness flow out onto your page. (If you do, no worries, just discard it.)

    1. I don’t mind at all, in fact, I feel very empowered by your words. It is a time of self discovery for sure and the more time goes by, the more excited I am by it just like you say. I’m doing my best to find myself again after being a half for so long… thank you so much. I’m glad you stopped by and left your thoughts here, they have been taken to heart. xo

  19. I left a 29 year marriage & career. You write beautifully and I relate to your feelings and as you said no matter length or circumstances-breaking up is heart wrenching and takes courage. I too wanted to move to a new town and start over. I hope it goes well for you. I am
    unable to move as I had planed so I patiently clean up the aftermath of an ugly divorce and job loss. I am grateful I am in sorrow- all over just as you said in your writing. I think
    you are a very strong, brave person. I think you will find amazing stuff in this next chapter of life. You don’t need luck- you are making your own way -and that will yield beautiful times ahead. Sierra

    1. Wow, 29 years, I can’t even imagine what you must be going through. As you say it takes courage and we both will get through it. I hope this next year brings us both amazing new experiences and happiness! xo

  20. Breaking up sucks. Coincidentally, my last relationship was six years. i’d like to say I saw it coming, but it still hit me like a ton of bricks when it happened. And trying to retrain the brain to getting used to the absence of that person is the worst part of all.

    I like the fact that you know you need to move on. Accepting that is tough. Implementing it is tough. But it will feel like you accomplished something great when you are over it.

    Best of luck to you, and keep writing; it’s good for the soul! =)

    1. Writing is certainly therapeutic, and getting insight from so many people has definitely helped me so much. Some days I’m still struck by the oddity of it all, but those days are less and less! Thanks for the comment 🙂

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