A Series: Dating at 21 (Pt. 2)

Part 2: Breaking Up Sucks

Have you ever stubbed your toe on the corner of a table? Do you remember that instant pain, a sudden expression of rage on your face, and then you taking the time to soften the blow by rubbing that toe? Well, that pretty much sums up a break up.

No one likes to be broken up with, and don’t think that being the “dumper” makes it any easier. The experience of a break-up is a part of life – if you have not been on either end of this, oh just you wait. It will sting, it might catch you off guard, it will make you feel things you never have – but just remember that like stubbing your toe, this feeling is temporary and does not define you in any way.

Everyone handles a break-up differently and is (or isn’t) able to move on from it in their own way. Some people go into hibernation, binge eat ice-cream and watch re-runs of old episodes on Netflix. Others, go wild and hit up all the clubs and hottest parties seeking empty satisfaction in random hookups. This could last a couple days, weeks, or even months. There is not one thing that you can do to make it any easier or quicker. Sure, you can seek advice and hear about other people’s experiences – but I wouldn’t take any of this to heart. For example, I can preach to you some sob story and how I got over it…but why? No one can articulate your emotion or truly know what you’re going through, so just trust yourself.

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You would think that the transition from going through a break-up in high school, post-secondary, and to adulthood would be different – but in my experience, they are all just variations of each other. There is a huge amount of overlap and one kind of break-up doesn’t make it any more / less significant than the other.

I used to tease my little brother about his high school relationship, saying that this was not a big deal and that it is young love. But how can you reduce or even quantify someone’s relationship like that? First off, it’s not mine – so what do I know? I used to hate when a 3rd party was suddenly super involved in my relationship, and here I am going against everything I don’t agree with.

My point: at any age, any length of a relationship – breaking up sucks. Whether you’re the dumper, dumpee, or just straight up confused, you’re never alone. I think self-healing is critical. Everyone should feel OKAY with being alone or doing things for themselves. We just don’t.

Dating at 21 also means “breaking-up at 21”. I’m at this weird age of being treated and expected the responsibilities of an adult, but still not everyone takes me seriously. Just like how I look at a high school relationship, people older than me tell me I’m young and have time. Sorry – I’m young compared to…? I have time for…? Don’t feed me these generic lines telling me “life will go on” or that “my time will come”. Essentially, a break up is hard because there is now a vacant void in your life that was once filled with something, and suddenly isn’t. Like an empty plot of land just waiting for a new development to take over. These things shouldn’t be rushed or influenced by outsiders. This is YOUR land – you fill it however you want.

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So, I call on YOU to raise your glass with your head held up high – celebrate the fact that you made it out of that relationship you really didn’t need! Cherish the good memories, and tuck away the rest. Once that toe stops throbbing, get on up and keep striving forward! I mean, no one ever uses that pinky toe anyways…

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