I think of breakups as one of the most natural parts of the dating process (I'm single). When I meet someone, I almost always start imagining the breakup (I'm an optimist, of course). I've had some breakups that were totally fine and amicable, and I've had others that haunt me to this day. To remind myself (and others) that breakups like these happen to many people, I asked some people about the most haunting breakups they've ever had. Their stories are terrifying, sad, and can even be a bit funny, but they remind me that I'm not alone, and neither are you.
Someone breaking up with you doesn't mean you've done anything wrong — sometimes two people just aren't compatible. Even if they break up with you in an extremely cruel or unusual way and you're still hurt by it years later, it in no way means it was your fault. In fact, ending a relationship unkindly might be more of their issue, not yours. In the thick of these breakups, though, it can be tough to remember that you don't deserve to be treated badly, so understanding that haunting breakups happen to others can be a helpful practice.
Read on to find seven haunting stories of breakups that just might give you the chills.
1. Literally So Literary
It was haunting because my ex is a 'poet' who, after our breakup, went on to publish inaccurate dramatizations of our relationship — books.
— Laura, 39
2. The Non-Thing Breakup
How about two mental breakups with two different people that didn’t even know I thought we were a thing? Does that count? Because those haunt me to this day. Was I an idiot to think candlelight dinners and a movie where the guy paid meant we were more than friends?'
— Maggie, 27
3. The Car Dash
I had an ex try to run me over with her car.
— Carly, 24
4. Complicating Factors
She was married, they were poly. I thought I could handle it, but after spending extended days where it felt like we lived together, she always had to go back. My jealousy and insecurity destroyed us.
— Steven, 39
5. Movie Anxiety
The night we were exchanging our things after the breakup, we got the jitters and pulled an all-nighter. We watched Agnieszka Holland's World War II epic, In Darkness. Needless to say, I gave back her socks crying and covered in sweat.
— Jason, 28
6. Death Day Notices
This guy used the anniversary of his dad’s death to end things with me instead of just telling me that he was getting back together with his ex-girlfriend. Pretty haunting, TBH.
— Mary, 30
7. The Triple-Whammy
I dated a guy when I was in high school who broke up with me by cheating on me and then ghosting me. On the night of my graduation, we hadn't talked in a couple of weeks, so I asked him what was up. He told me he had slept with his ex, lived with a sex addiction, and didn't want to be with me anymore. This was also one week before my dad was scheduled for an extended stay in the hospital. I actually saw him out at a bar a few months ago and he asked me why I hated him. I just kept walking.
— Hannah, 22
Haunting breakups happen to so many of us, so if you relate to any of these stories, you're not alone. Sometimes, you can laugh about the past, but other times, there's no humor to be found. All you can do is move past them and know there's someone better out there for you — I promise.