Like snowflakes, children, and locally-sourced fair trade coffee cups, every breakup is unique.
The first girl I ever dated broke up with me a few weeks after we started. She summoned me to her locker after school and told me that she no longer had feelings for me. I went home, made myself a cup of tea, sat in my bed, and sobbed. I’m a thrash-y crier, apparently, because I managed to spill the scalding liquid on my chest. It left a little fingerprint-shaped shadow of a scar on my left boob, vaguely above my heart. Poetic and pathetic.
Despite my self-inflicted third-degree burn, I had to go to work 30 minutes later. As I numbly scanned groceries, my eyes prickled with tears and my insides twisted with nausea. In the more Spock-like, less wretched part of my brain, I coolly observed my sadness. I marveled at how effectively and completely this had eviscerated me. It was a lethal kick to the emotional testicles.
Since then, there have been more breakups. There are myriad reasons – you’re creepy, I’m too emotionally detached for this, you are cute but someone else is cuter. And each one has a different feel. During one slow, painful, circuitous breakup, I felt like I was pulling out rotten molars with no anesthesia. I just wanted it to be over, but the roots of our relationship were deep and it took a lot to finally pull free. This sort of breakup leaves you feeling completely drained, just a shitty shell of a person deserving of no pity.
Another time, after putting up with a lot of bullshit for an extended period of time, I more or less snapped. I felt coldly triumphant during that breakup, like some sort of Feelings Terminator. This, I am pretty sure, is not healthy. Learn from me, children. If you stew until you hate your friend/partner so much that you lose all ability for pity and tact, you should have said something sooner.
Parting ways always feels a little weird to me. After all, it’s the human instinct to connect and stay together, and being thrust from someone’s life or removing someone from yours requires willful contradiction of this rule. There’s almost always a bouquet of unpleasant emotions that accompany the breakup: guilt, pining, jealousy, the total loss of dignity that accompanies begging someone to take you back.
But if your connection with someone has totally curdled, it’s better to break it off than let the negativity and weirdness creep into the rest of your life. There are literally billions of other people out there, so don’t romanticize someone or something that’s just not doing it for you. Cut that relationship off like its a finger with gangrene.