Love is one of the most cliched topics in the our world. Most of the music, movies, books, and tv have some sort of romantic relationships in them. Even media designed for little kids have a romantic relationship hidden somewhere in the plot. This material brainwashes many people into thinking that romantic love is the number one most important thing to acquire. You can easily see this in the many women talking about crying into half full wine glasses on valentine’s day, or the countless scripted dating shows featuring a nearly all-white cast.
With the buzz of romance constantly floating in the air around you, it’s easy to want to be in one of these relationships. And once you’re in the right one, things can feel magical. You already have plans Saturday night, someone to sit with at lunch, and an unspoken set time in your schedules every night to talk on the phone. Incorporating this person into your daily schedule feels great. Even if you have an extremely average day, that two hours of talking still makes your day feel a little bit special. Feeling safe in your routines with someone is easily one of the best parts of a relationship.
But suddenly, your automatic Saturday plans are gone and there is an empty 2 hours in your schedule every night. Now you have more time to do the homework you were doing on the morning bus, but having schoolwork done on time is never as fun as staying up late talking on the phone in quiet voices. When you spend every day for months or even years with the same person, you may feel like you need this person. Like you can’t remember your life before you knew them, or you don’t want to. Dealing with the fact that things don’t last forever may feel easy when you don’t necessarily have to think about it, but after the hand that used to fit perfectly in yours is gone, things could get a little rough.
This period of “rough” looks different for everyone. It could look like eating pints on pints of ice cream, isolating yourself from your friends, or wearing their archaic Panic! At the Disco tee shirt from the 7th grade for days on end without washing it.
While spending months attaching yourself to someone, you begin to mold yourself to that person. You may like movies or songs that you hated before, or even conformed to a totally different style than you used to. If you’re anything like me, you may have lost yourself in being someone’s significant other. Realizing this is the easy part. What’s hard is trying to find out who you were before you convinced yourself your favorite movie was dumb and obscure indie rock was the only acceptable genre of music. For me, remembering that I actually, in fact, can’t stand jazz music was a pretty amazing revelation.
Searching for the person you were before knowing that person is really really hard. This results in hours of watching tv shows you think you might have used to like, making plans with people you stopped talking to, and looking at lots and lots of old pictures. Remembering times when I didn’t know my ex always seemed to help me remember that there was life before them, and there will be life after them.
From personal experience, it took a while for me to remember who I used to be, and to realize that whether I liked it or not, the person I was with changed me. I would never be exactly the person I was. I learned a lot, but the most important thing I learned from the whole first love thing was that a broken heart can be a really great opportunity. An opportunity to grow, learn, and become a more grounded and well-rounded person.
I have gone through alot in my life, and without going into anything I think I’ve learned a great deal from every experience. Some bad things helped me learn when not to trust someone, how to take care of myself, and that people don’t always tell the truth. What I learned from the breakup that seemed to last forever was how to be in a healthy relationship, and that life definitely goes on. And, that Saturday nights are sometimes spent best with your best friends.