The Only Way I Could Find Happiness Was By Breaking My Own Heart First

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Once again, I found myself hidden under my big fluffy comforter, unable to stop the tears from falling. To anyone who didn't know better, it would seem as though my heart was broken, and I was grieving. In a way, this was the case, but it was not your typical heartbreak. This heartbreak was different entirely, and I was mourning something I (technically) had not lost yet.

The past three years of my life had been spent adventuring with someone I considered to be my best friend. It was someone I turned to with every new development in my life, good and bad. It was someone who knew me almost better than I knew myself. It was someone who loved me in all my glory and all my shame.

But, I didn't love him. Well, I didn't love him the way I was supposed to, the way he deserved to be loved. My heart was breaking. With each passing day, his love grew, and mine diminished. Eventually, I stopped loving him altogether.

We had done everything by the book. He was the perfect boyfriend, and I was the perfect girlfriend. It was a perfectly healthy relationship of give-and-take. But one day, I could no longer give.

He wanted a house and kids. He wanted to build a life together and begin making memories.

At first, I had wanted all of those things just as much as he did. But, I also wanted to finish my education, start my career, see the world, meet new people and experience new things. Ultimately, I realized I wanted to do the latter before I began to think about the former.

Of course, many people may think this makes me a heartless and selfish partner. They're probably right. For three years, I had given him my everything, my whole entire life. Every thought was of him. Everything I did, I did with him in mind. I had completely neglected myself, my needs, my wants, and it had all comeback to bite me in the ass.

By nature, I am not a selfish person, but it was painfully clear that at that moment, I needed to be selfish. I needed to do it for my sake and for his.

I used to always wondered how it would feel to be the person in a relationship who falls out of love. Well, let me tell you, it sucks.

I stopped loving him because I only cared for him in the platonic, friendly way. He loved me that way as well, but he also loved me in the way where he wanted to spend eternity with me.

I will never stop appreciating what an amazing person he is, and I still have a deep respect for him. If I didn't, falling out of love with him would not have shattered my heart the way it did.

For a long time, I hated myself for being so heartless. I blamed myself. I was too stuck-up, too selfish and too caught up in what I wanted. Slowly, I realized that sometimes it's OK to be selfish. It's OK to know what you want and go after it. It's also OK to be brutally honest with people about how you're feeling. You can't let the fear of hurting someone allow you to continuously hurt yourself.

I loved him in a way that I wanted him to be completely, blissfully happy, and I knew deep down that I could not give him that. It took time, but he knows that now, too. We have to find our own happiness without each other.

Our society is so caught up with love stories and fairytales that focus on falling in love and living happily ever after. Well, newsflash: People fall out of love, too. They fall out of love every day. It sucks and hurts, but it happens.

And as shocking as this might sound, it's not the end of the world.