I remember when my friends and I all went through our first breakups, and how much it sucked. When we were experiencing our first ever heartbreaks, my grandmother gave us some key advice. She said, “Half of the hardship with breakups, whether you did it or not, is realizing that now there is someone out there who doesn't want you. And rejection stings.”
My grandmother is a wise lady. I completely agree with this advice, but I venture to add to it. I think the next concern is what really made or broke our confidence and security in our breakups. This concern is “winning” the breakup.
Usually, the "winner" of a breakup would be the one to move on first. Basically, the winner would seem much happier than their loser counterpart post-breakup. Don't get me wrong, I am sure, in some instances, one person is much less happy post-breakup than the other. However, I don't necessarily think we should say there are definitive winners and losers. In fact, I don't really think there are winners or losers in breakups at all. Hear me out.
I hate this winning and losing game for a few reasons. One of them is because moving on does not mean you are over it, or are happier. There is such a thing as a rebound for a reason. Rebounds don't necessarily make the person who moves on first happier (sometimes, perhaps, but let's be honest, not that often).
For some people, the best thing to do in life is to take a breather and focus on themselves for a bit. There is nothing wrong with that, and it almost makes you the bigger person for not falling into the rebound game.
Focusing on a winner and loser is also ridiculously short-term. Has anyone ever watched "Legally Blonde?" Elle Woods was heartbroken after Warner dumped her. She followed him across the country in an attempt to win him back, only to find out he had already gotten engaged to someone else. From the outside, he won the relationship. However, Woods came back and slayed Harvard, her first big case and met a better guy.
Moving on takes time, and just because someone is better off in the short-term, does not mean they are going to be the winner in the long run. By declaring winners and losers, we don't put into consideration that, in the long run, everything could equal out.
With this short-term perspective and emphasis on rebounds, people going through a breakup do not move on. They are too busy focusing on winning or losing their current breakup to go out and meet a new significant other. This dampers their chance of meeting someone else and “winning" certainly does not apply. It's a waste of time to focus on winning a breakup. And those who do focus on that fact lose by default since they obviously still care.
Breakups are hard. They are an end to a friendship, in the simplest definition. By focusing on immature goals post-breakup, it only lengthens the process of moving on and meeting someone who is a better fit for you.
My grandmother hit the nail on the head when she said half of the struggle with breakups is our fear of rejection. We also do not like seeing someone doing better off without us. As selfish as it is, it's human nature. The next time you're going through a breakup, remember, although it may suck, it will be even worse if you are still dwelling on it a month from now because you want to be more successful than your ex.