“Sometimes it takes a heartbreak for us to see that we are worth so much more than we settled for.”
Break-ups are something everyone experiences at some point in their life. But all the cliche, life advice in the world couldn’t have prepared me for how winded I felt after my three-and-a-half year relationship broke up in February.
It was out of the blue, but in hindsight, I saw it coming. Distance and choosing different paths in life played a little part in what became a big, sticky mess. Dealing with your first break-up is one thing, but dealing with betrayal on top of the pain of a relationship ending is something I never anticipated.
When I wrote When life gives you lemons I was bruised and hurting. It was a culmination of the feelings that had been bubbling inside for so long that I needed to get out there. So I’ve written this as a follow up, seven months on, as a culmination of all the stuff I’ve learnt. Because if it helps one person see clarity in their situation, my post will have done its job.
“It’s not you, it’s me” (No, it really is)
Like I said, in hindsight, I saw it coming. Hidden text messages, never feeling wanted, never hanging out, seeing new friends I’d never heard of or met. I was suspicious. And I was turning paranoid.
Being cheated on does weird things to your head.
You ask yourself why you aren’t good enough, why they’ve chosen someone else. Is something wrong with me? You feel second best. And it sucks. Someone you thought you knew and loved has turned into a stranger in a few words. You cry and cry and cry and cry but the stupid thing is, the only person you want to be comforted by is the person who hurt you.
The first few weeks are shit. No doubt about it. You hurt. All the time. You’re grieving. It is like someone has died, except they haven’t died because they still exist. You’re grieving a relationship. Everything that was to come, you are grieving for. I let myself be sad. I came home from work, got into my dressing gown and mooched about the house. Then I called my best friend and got on a train to London on the Friday evening, where I drank too much wine, danced in the street and rode Boris Bikes around Hyde Park in the spring sunshine on the Saturday. And it was exactly what the doctor ordered.
“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”
Nothing could have prepared me for the angry stage. I was so. Angry. Sad, upset Sophie was very much gone – I was pissed off. However, I thought I was angry… my friends were even angrier. God help him if they ever came across him in the street.
I don’t care what anyone tells you, you have to cut ties. Social media means relationships can be dragged on, and although you shouldn’t look, you most definitely do. I left it a little too long, then saw a Snapchat story that I did not want to see about two months later. After calling my friend in floods of tears, I decided it was high time I got rid. Facebook: unfriend. Snapchat: Delete. Mobile number: Delete. You can’t delete the memories, but you will one hundred per cent cause yourself more pain. Don’t give in to texting him either. A clean break saves heartache going on for longer than it needs to.
You might be angry. But there will come a time when you need to just let it go, to move on. It’s happened, and it’s shitty. But you will soon realise you deserve more than to be unhappy.
What I’m wearing
Dress – ASOS | Shoes – & Other Stories | Bag – Minnie Mouse x Kate Spade
“Alone is good – lonely is not”
Being single was probably the best thing to happen to me this year. For the first time in over three years, I had no one else to worry about other than myself. Learning to be on your own is absolutely key. I took myself to lunch, bought myself flowers, got my hair done… I learned to love my own company and at the same time I learned to love myself.
Don’t cut yourself off from the world. You don’t want to be lonely. Spend time with friends, rekindle old friendships, see family, do things you enjoy. A combination of spending time around people who are positive and spending time alone helps you grow as a person and learn to appreciate yourself so much more. Plus, all your friends are a sounding board for those moments when you feel really shitty. I would not have been able to cope without my friends. The daily calls on the way home from work, the spontaneous panini lunch the day after everything blew up, the always picking up late at night to listen to me in tears… I have never taken my friends for granted but when I was going through stuff, they were always there to listen.
Learn to love yourself
It’s so cliche. But it is the fundamental lesson in overcoming heartbreak. And just a good life lesson in itself. Self-confidence is such a wonderful thing. It’s empowering, and people find it incredibly attractive. It’s one thing thinking you’re a great catch, but you actually have to believe it yourself. Feeling confident in your own skin doesn’t come with someone else telling you that you’re beautiful, and you just nodding in agreement: it comes with you telling yourself that you are beautiful.
If you’re insecure, you cannot be with someone else. Relationships shouldn’t make you complete. You should already be complete when you find someone, so that you bring out the best in each other. Securities cannot be found in other people. They can only be found in yourself.
Eight months ago, I would have never put myself in a red dress. Why? Red wasn’t my colour. Turns out it so is. So I’ll wear this sassy dress and continue to make myself feel amazing.
The way I see it, is everything happens for a reason, to teach you something. And if heartbreak taught me anything, it’s that I always deserve better, that you shouldn’t settle and accept things as they are.
Photos by Gemma Spinks @ Paris House