It’s been about 6 to 9 months since a break-up I handled in about every cliched bad way possible, looking back it was almost funny.
Last night I left work feeling rather empty. I got home, proceeded to smoke too much and stand in the cold with my thoughts. When I did finally go to bed, I decided (in a completely illogical train of thought) to read over my messages with my ex. NOT ADVISED. But strangely, in this case, it helped. Instead of the stereotypical wallowing you might expect, I found myself chuckling away at the absurd and ridiculous nature of it all.
When going through a break-up it is not uncommon for us to glamourise what we once had. I never really considered the ‘rose-tinted glasses’ idea because in my own mind that downplayed the reality of our ‘connection’. Even during the relationship I had convinced myself I was as happy as I could be, but it doesn’t take much analysis to find the faults in this. Whilst I might have been telling this to myself and my ex – my behaviour and troubles with certain habits show a very different headspace. This idea that I was happy also didn’t explain the relief I felt when I realised we were about to break up, which is kind of telling as to the relationship we had.
Why do people do this? Throughout the break-up, I convinced myself that sad songs and isolating myself was the way to go. And the sad retrospectives on the relationship that painted it so nicely didn’t help. Only when I confronted myself with the reality of the relationship did I realise quite how warped those retrospectives were. The ‘rose-tinted glasses’ ignore the insecurities, the sleepless nights, the anger, the crushing sadness when you first start to grow apart, and the fact that you were growing apart means there was seriously something wrong.
It wouldn’t be far-fetched to suggest that this break-up has hung over me until very recently. But I’m glad this confirmed the final stage, laughter. This happened with my other ex as well. We were on the same flight back to university, and when my mother dropped me off at the airport we saw my first ex saying goodbye to her tall, athletic-looking and handsome boyfriend. I was sure he’d heard about me and it probably wouldn’t have been nice things, but all I could do was laugh. Not outright, I had to stifle it to stop it being even more awkward. My mother sharply elbowing me in the side saying “Stop smiling”. But I chuckled to myself because the situation seemed kind of comical. We’d broken up months and months previously, she’d moved on to a new boyfriend, and yet we couldn’t even say two words to each other. That, to me, seemed absurd and funny just because of how ridiculous it was.
And that was very much the feeling I got reading through my old texts, it wouldn’t have taken a genius to realise we weren’t working out and there was no future with us. But looking back at how ridiculously we tried only seemed to be comical. I’m not sure what this is about me, or people in general, but it really did help.
Eventually, I just dozed off to some true crime documentaries…. it was a good night.