The bad news is my boyfriend and I broke up. The good news is now there’s a chance I might end up with Leonardo DiCaprio!
I know what you’re thinking.
Who would ever let you go? That’s why you don’t leave France for a boy! Did you learn NOTHING from The Hills? I know, if Lauren Conrad taught us one thing it’s that you don’t pick a guy over France. But like many twentysomethings before me, I fell in love, quit my job, moved back to Tennessee…got a new job, got a new house, got a puppy, and got dumped.
When you go through a breakup, a lot of questions cross your mind. Should I move? Who gets the dog? Am I going to die alone? And most importantly, Who will explain what’s happening on Game of Thrones?
It’s tempting to turn this whole post into a joke, littered with GIFs and Legally Blonde references. There will probably be some of that.
Okay, maybe a lot of that.
Because at the end of the day, it’s not whether you win or lose. It’s who gets the dog.
I think it’s okay to joke about my breakup at this point, but I want to be honest about what I’m going through. One of my friends told me she felt like she had been hit in the stomach when she and her boyfriend broke up. I’d say it’s more like being clotheslined than sucker punched. But the most similar experience I can compare my breakup to is how you feel when you can’t find something you were just holding. You know when you have your car keys in your hand, and you’re about to walk out the front door, but then you run into the kitchen to turn the lights off, and then when you get back to the door, your car keys are gone? You just had them in your hand, but now suddenly you don’t. And you cannot for the life of you figure out what happened to them. Your friends ask, “Maybe you did something with them?” And you think, “Of course I did something. I had to have done something, but I can’t figure out what.” And someone suggests that you retrace your steps. But obviously you already tried that. You’ve replayed the moments before you lost them over and over again in your head, and you can’t figure out what happened. Part of you thinks, “They’re just car keys. People lose their keys all the time.” But you had plans. Now you have to rethink everything you were doing that involved your car. And part of you thinks, “I can get a new set of car keys.” But that’s not really the issue. You don’t need new car keys right this minute. You want to know what the hell you did with your old ones so you don’t do it again. And THEN someone asks if your car keys could have been stolen. “Did another girl take your car keys without you knowing it?” The possibility hadn’t even crossed your mind, but maybe. Could you be that oblivious?
Okay, okay, I think the whole car keys metaphor is kind of a stretch at this point. My next line would have been, “Could your car keys have been secretly gay this whole time?!” (And no, I don’t think so.)
I’m not the first to make a relationship/car comparison during a breakup. In The Great Gatsby, Jordan Baker asks Nick Carraway, “You said I was only safe until I met another bad driver? Well, I met another bad driver, didn’t I?” And on My So-Called Life, when Jordan Catalano breaks up with Angela Chase, he says, “At least you got in some driving practice. Just don’t take your turns too wide. I’m sure you won’t.”
The hardest part of breakups–and maybe relationships in general–is that another person can make decisions that have a big impact on your life, and you might not have any say in it. Whether or not you mean to, you figure your significant other into the trajectory of your life. I was never any good at calculus, but the equation of a line is y = mx + b. What if the m suddenly changes its mind? Curveball! Your slope-intercept is all messed up.
Plus it really, really hurts. I kind of glossed over that part. Besides feeling blindsided or disappointed or angry, you might feel really sad.
Since my breakup, I’ve done a lot of soul-searching…and by soul-searching I mean drinking wine in bed…and I guess the lesson here is that you don’t make plans around a boy. Unless that boy has blonde hair and four legs and is actually a puppy. Did I mention how cute my puppy is?
**Breakup playlist coming soon!**