by: Kathryn Carlisle
I’m a huge believer in the idea that each of my past relationships has been right for me for the time they were a part of my life. Each of them, for some period of time, made me happy. I wouldn’t have been in them if it hadn’t started out that way.
Sure, breakups happen and they aren’t exactly fun. I always get in that funk, just wanting to bash the ex-boyfriend and not even think about what he’d done right in the relationship. He’s terrible, awful, selfish, immature… but down deep I know that calling him all those names just means I’m hurt. It’s upsetting that something that you’ve put a lot of time and effort into can change so much that it no longer makes you feel all hot and gooey.
But I’m not ready to swear off dating for fear of that discomfort, because being loved and cuddled and kissed are worth it in the end. You learn, you grow, you’re happy and that feeling is worth (almost) any breakup.
The hard part is remembering the good bits, post split. When a relationship withers and fizzles out, it is easy to focus on the crumbling dead parts and the inevitable mess that comes along with it. Go ahead and wallow! Go ahead and get a little too drunk with your best friend and end up crying on their couch. Go on a few revenge dates just because the new one is so much hotter than your ex. Look damn good every day, so in the off chance you run into the ex they’re wildly and uncontrollably attracted to you all over again.
And then move on. At some point, be it a few days, weeks or months later, put the relationship where it belongs—in the past. Remember the fun and the love. Remember that, at some point, that person made you smile. But also remember that the next great love of your life is waiting. They might be just around the corner, or in the next dive bar. I’m hoping that mine appears somewhere between Chinese take-out and grad school. But for now, I’ll remember the exes with fondness in hopes that I’ll be a better future partner for it.
Kathryn Carlisle is a recent graduate of DePaul University. She is currently working in the exciting world of customer service, but is not dismissing the possibility of a one way ticket to somewhere exotic.