Picture yourself heartbroken. What do you see?
I see myself makeup-free, cuddled up in a blanket, with copious amounts of pizza and ice cream surrounding me, watching romantic comedies (usually "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days") with my friends.
I see myself belting out Taylor Swift break-up anthems, shamelessly, while driving home from the liquor store.
Yes, I see myself wishing for a phone call and having that sinking feeling in my heart, but overall, this heartbreak thing doesn’t seem so bad. It kind of just gives me an excuse to be a complete bum and not feel bad about it.
This usually lasts me a few days until I’ve come to terms with and rationalized the situation, and then, I forget I was ever upset.
I remember these times, but I never really remember about whom I was upset.
I’ve been in my fair share of relationships — a couple of them were serious enough to talk about marriage. But, these post-breakup eat-a-thon cry-fests were never brought upon by a man with whom I was in a relationship.
No matter how much I “loved” a person, how infatuated with him I was or how many years we were together, I was always able to walk away from a relationship with ease and without regret.
That being said, I may be biased. I’ve never been dumped; I’ve always been the dumper or decided on a mutual breakup.
I’ve had time to rationalize my feelings. I’ve been able to remove myself from the situation emotionally and see clearly why things didn’t work out.
I’ve weighed the pros and cons, used my head to decide what was best and my heart always followed suit soon after. There is never an opportune moment to break up with someone.
When I do, though, I explain to him thoroughly why I’ve made my decision, highlighting what I’ve learned and gained from the relationship, but expressing why I believe it can’t work (without attacking him).
Of course, I miss the person and feel heartache about hurting him. I can see how a significant other would be heartbroken if he or she did not understand why the other person wanted to move on.
But, if the relationship has run its course and the explanation is clear, about what is there to be heartbroken?
Missing an ex doesn’t have to consume you if you look at it as a learning experience for ways to improve yourself and don’t dwell on the negatives.
Though I’ve never felt heartbreak at the end of a relationship, I’ve been heartbroken before relationships began by guys with whom I’ve never been in relationships at all.
The reason is simple: Heartbreak comes from a place of confusion. It’s not knowing what you did or said wrong, what you could’ve changed or if the person was ever into you at all. It's not knowing what the person didn't like about you and not being able to rationalize the situation.
The confusion makes you uneasy; it gives you that knot in the pit of your stomach and causes you to overanalyze your words and actions.
When walking away from a relationship, I never felt heartbreak because the reasons were clear. I knew exactly what was going on; I made the decision with my head and my heart would be able to move on.
The times I felt that sinking feeling, the times I checked my phone, hoping to receive a text from that certain someone constantly and the times I saw the same person’s face in my dreams every night were the times I was in relationship limbo with someone, and he moved on without explanation.
It’s hook-up heartbreak when the person cuts you out randomly but doesn’t owe you an explanation because you were never committed to each other.
You went on a couple dates, had some great conversations, but weren't looking for a relationship, so simply resorted to “hooking up” with the person.
You had a great connection; the chemistry was there and you enjoyed each other's company. Suddenly the person stopped calling, with no indication of why.
He went from liking every single one of your Instagram pictures, texting you at least every couple days and asking you to hang out weekly to seemingly falling off the face of the planet.
His social media shows he is alive as ever, but increasingly fading out of your life. Now, sometimes, this happens completely naturally.
Sometimes, you’ve been seeing a person but he is only there to fill a void. He fades out without either of you really noticing and life goes on without a second glance at what’s-his-face.
This hookup was different, though. You probably didn’t realize in the moment because you did not expect him to disappear. You had no idea you liked this person until he ignored your last two texts and you drive yourself crazy wondering what went wrong.
You think you’re silly for being upset because, when you think about it, it was technically just another hookup. But, how come you didn’t care about the others and you care about this one?
It’s because the others didn’t bring much to the table. They didn’t repulse you, but they didn’t give you butterflies, either.
The late-night conversations you had with this person were real ones; the smiles over coffee weren’t forced and the way you held hands before you kissed led you to believe there was a connection that went past lust.
But, because you didn’t want anything more in the moment and were completely fine just hooking up, that’s where it stayed.
A relationship never crossed your mind… but eventually, maybe something could’ve worked out. However, now you’ll never know.
You could’ve even ended up loathing the person, but you were never given the opportunity to find out and that drives you nuts, especially because you didn’t call the shots.
The questions begin to rush through your head: Is he seeing someone else? Did he get back together with his ex and not tell me? Did I do something? Did he never really like me? Was it all in my head? I think I'm a pretty great catch -- why doesn't he see that?
We will literally drive ourselves insane with our own thoughts at risk of speaking our minds and sounding “crazy.”
Knowing you weren’t in a relationship with this person and he technically doesn’t owe you anything, you bottle your questions inside and let them eat away at you instead of picking up the phone and asking.
You know these things are bothering you, but they are not bothering the other person at all. You have taken the hint that this person doesn't want to talk to you anymore, and you won't try to push that envelope.
That is hook-up heartbreak.
It would be easier if you saw this person making out with someone else at the bar and could write him off as an assh*le, but you can't think of a single reason to be mad at him.
It's much easier to move on when you're given a reason to do so, but you have no reason. You can only be angry at him for not respecting your feelings.
There was no commitment, but you thought your continuous contact for the past couple months would have led to a mutual respect for each other.
It didn't. That is hook-up heartbreak.
You may go on new dates with new people, and those people may seem to like you, but you can’t get the last person off your mind.
Part of it is because you enjoyed laughing with him on dates much more, and part of it is because you want what you can’t have, but mostly, it’s because you want to know why he didn’t see something in you and why he changed his mind.
That is hook-up heartbreak.
When someone stops contacting us cold turkey, we are led to believe we are the issue. It’s a shot to the ego of even the most confident person.
Yet, we are supposed to appear as if we don’t care. We can’t show weakness; we have to pretend the other person's actions don't affect us at all.
I’ve been told that if you miss someone, you’re supposed to tell him; if you have a connection with someone, you shouldn’t let it go, and if you have questions, you should ask.
Yet, I stare at my phone a month after not hearing from someone, afraid I’ll never know why he decided to move on, but more afraid of calling and being ignored. I have too much pride to put myself out there for someone who neglected to acknowledge that I have feelings.
Soon, I’ll have moved on and will happily enjoy my sushi in solitude because sushi never broke my heart (only my wallet).
It’ll be another one of those times where I remember being upset, but not really over him because he never got a chance to mean anything real to me.
But, for now, I’m left wondering why someone who I thought was really cool stopped thinking I was cool, too.
That’s hook-up heartbreak.