Ending a longterm relationship in your mid-twenties is just plain awful.
It feels reckless. Brash. Entitled.
You think: Oh, I found someone decent when I was 23, I can totally find someone better when I’m 27, right? Right?
If you’re a dude maybe.
So, what if you don’t? Find someone better, I mean.
What if you ended something perfectly good because you didn’t think it was perfect enough? What if that whole committed relationship “situation” was as good as it gets but you didn’t realize it until you saw just how ugly it really is out there in the big bad world of singleness?
Maybe you slip up? Maybe you fall back into old routines? Maybe you make out with your ex in a closet at a party because you’re hammered and he’s nice and the party is kind of boring?
Ok, so we all make mistakes.
But then maybe you agree to that awkward “lets catch up” dinner with your ex. You play it cool. You’re soooo casual. You try to convince yourself – this isn’t a date. This is friends. Getting dinner. Drinking wine. Keeping each other company on a pretty summer evening… UGH. No. Definitely a date. And what the fuck are you doing? What are you thinking? Don’t fall back into comfortable. Don’t settle for what’s merely “fine”.
Yes, he loves you, but that doesn’t mean you are suddenly destined to be one of those forever couples.
Breakups are good. Healthy even. They help you figure out who you are without another person contributing to your personality. Now is the time for you to do you.
And what’s so significant about our mid-to-late-twenties anyway?
Why does a breakup now feel so, so different from breakups past? Is it because we’ve got those biological clocks tik tik ticking? Or, is it just the fact that so much growing up happens in those years right after college that you emerge on the other side of a serious relationship in your twenties as a completely different person?
Some days I feel like a baby deer, sticky with afterbirth and wobbly on my feet and completely unsure of who I am and where I’m going. It’s like – I know I existed as a person before I was ever with this guy, but I forget who that was and I’m not sure I like the current version of me.
Was I better before? (I’m pretty sure my hair was worse, actually, to be honest) but maybe I was wittier, skinnier, more resilient then? Or, was that just naiveté?
So where do these realizations leave me today? How do you re-figure out who you are? You can fill up your life with girls nights and painting parties; work events and fitness classes; Tinder dates and casual hookups – and see where those take you – but truthfully, it starts to get old.
I want to find my next real relationship. I’m ready to care for someone with all my heart and be loved deeply in return.