You're sitting across the table from your long-term significant other. You've had a feeling, an impenetrable anxiety tugging at your gut for a few months now.
You could inherently feel your partner losing interest. It's that subtle pull away. It's the slow fade. We all, deep down, know when it's happening to us, but it happens so softly that it's easy to ignore.
Until one evening, you find your ears being beaten by the words: "I think we should break up."
You stare blankly into the cold eyes of your former lover as you feel your heart drop onto the kitchen floor. It's over.
You feel like your heart has shattered into a million tiny shards of glass that pierce the surface of your skin every time you take a breath. You wallow in sorrow and sad songs and late-night sob sessions for several months.
Then one day, you come out of the dark, dismal coma of your heartbreak-related depression. You open the proverbial shades in your dark mind and begin to notice how beautiful the sun's stunning rays penetrate the tops of all the trees.
You can finally feel again without falling apart.
If only it ended there. If only we had our hearts sorely smashed, suffered through six months of sadness, only to heal and step out into the world without ever again glancing back at our lost love.
Herein lies the trouble, my sweet, suffering sisters: More often than not, your ex is still everywhere.
When you decide you're ready to re-enter society post-breakup, when you finally feel strong enough to spiral back out in the dating scene -- you will be reminded of him or her all of the f*cking time.
Maybe you run into your ex on a date. Maybe it's social media related. Maybe you “relationship relapse.” Regardless of the “maybes,” a breakup never seems to end at the point of the first breakup.
Here are 10 examples of the times you had to get over your ex all over again.
1. Getting the text
You've been doing sort of okay as of late. You've accepted that your relationship is nothing short of OVER.
One day, while you're sipping on a cold glass of white wine with a slew of your best girlfriends, your ears are tickled by that oh so familiar "ding" of a text message.
You look down at your phone. Holy f*ck. It's your EX. And your ex has the nerve to send you three simple words that are enough to derail you and shatter your frail heart all over again: I. Miss. You.
Three little words that will set you back at least three little weeks.
2. The first time you hear “your song” again
You're driving in your car, flying a good 10 mph faster than the speed limit. You don't care. You're in one of those intoxicating, gloriously reckless, “nothing can touch me” moods. The windows are down. You're basking in the gorgeous fall breeze.
Just as you turn the radio dial up to full blast, your song comes blasting through the speakers. You know the song: The one that was playing when you had your first kiss with your ex. The one you dreamed of walking down the aisle to.
Within seconds, you’re sobbing into the steering wheel as your heart breaks all over again.
3. When you stalk your ex's Instagram
Everything is FINE. Every day you're feeling a little bit stronger. You've even downloaded Tinder and opened an OKCupid account.
Late one night, you find yourself in the throes of insomnia. Before you know it, you've fallen into the dangerous social media vortex. The ultimate downward spiral.
Before you know it, you've done exactly what all of your girlfriends have vehemently warned you against: stalked your ex's Instagram.
It's impossible to do this without seeing something you don't want to see. You will see your ex looking happy and healthy -- your heart will f*cking drop.
You will see your ex in the company of a sea of pretty girls -- your heart will f*cking drop.
You will see your ex wearing the shirt you gave him or her for Christmas -- your heart will f*cking drop.
When you see a picture of your ex and "new BAE," your heart will once again shatter into a million tiny shards of glass that pierce the surface of your skin every time you take a breath.
4. When you run into your ex's mom
When you have a breakup, you don't just break up with your significant other; you break up with an entire family.
One day while you're shopping for a new pair of fierce winter boots at the annual Bloomingdale’s sale, you run into your ex's sweet, lovely mom.
She hugs you. She says she misses you. You're suddenly flooded with a deep longing for a family you were once a part of.
5. When you go on your first sh*tty date
You are feeling fresh, fierce and fabulous as you dress your lips with a sexy new red lipstick and adorn your cheeks with your favorite Sephora bronzer whilst getting ready for a DATE.
You're being set up with someone who looks hot as f*ck based on his or her Tinder pictures and seems rapidly witty based on his or her sharp-tongued text messages.
Until you find yourself on the worst date of your life with a douchebag so douchey that he makes Scott Disick look like a knight in shining f*cking armor.
The entire date all you can think about is how much fun you would be having with your ex.
6. When you smell your ex's scent
Nothing carries the keys to the depth of your emotional well-being like scent. You're standing in a crowded elevator when BAM, you get a whiff of that oh so familiar scent.
You instantly feel like you've been kicked in the stomach, reeling with longing for your ex.
7. When you have that drunken relapse.
It doesn't matter who initiates the relapse hookup; it usually happens around 2 am. You run into your ex at a bar. You're both so hammered you can hardly see straight.
One thing leads to another, and you find yourself having drunken sex with him or her.
The problem is you can't have casual sex with someone you were once in love with. Once you've been in love and shared intimate love sex, it's impossible to simply have empty one-night-stand sex with him or her.
And now that you've made the horrible mistake of sleeping together, you're emotional wounds have been reopened.
Your ex’s smell lingers on your clothes; his or her taste lingers on your tongue. It's a major setback.
8. When you realize your rebound is a rebound.
Wow! You met someone you actually really f*cking like! You never thought it would happen so quickly.
But then, you’re cuddling with your new lover post sex, and something just doesn't feel right. All you can think about is that you wish you were cuddling with your ex, NOT this faceless new person.
You realize your new lover is just a filler. It's a sock in the gut.
If you're lucky, you don't accidentally shout your ex’s name out during sex.
You're at work. Your day is going beautifully smooth and wonderfully awesome, until TIMEHOP f*cks it up.
TIMEHOP to one year ago today! And you look impossibly fresh-faced, slender, beautiful, beaming as you’re holding hands with your ex-lover on the trip you took last year to the Colorado Rockies.
It's enough to f*ck you up for a good two weeks!
10. When you see your ex get engaged on Facebook.
Years might have gone by. You're living a new life free from the shackles of your ex. Maybe you're even seeing someone new who you're a little bit in love with.
You're lying in bed late one night content as a baby kitten. You're embarking on your usual routine of scrolling through Facebook as you drift off into a deep dream sleep. And it hits you like a fist in your most unexpected moment.
Your ex is engaged.
Yeah, you heard your ex was pretty serious with his or her new girlfriend. But there was always a tiny piece of you that felt it was all just sort of temporary. A piece of you that always assumed your ex would come circling back into your arms.
Now it’s real. And it hurts. And it stings. And you will cry your f*cking heart out. And you will drink your f*cking face off.
But I promise you this is the best thing that could ever happen to you. It's the final blow. It's over for good, and this gives you the glorious opportunity to get over him or her. For real.