by the autostraddle breakup buds collective
Dear friends, within the past year, a large number of Autostraddle writers and friends have experienced breakups of various intensities and complications — so much so that we have an entire Slack channel devoted to the topic. There is no shortage of emotions to process, including so many dark, disturbing questions about the future. Here are some of the things one might ask oneself about your breakup, as brainstormed by various thriving souls who are totally okay at various points over the past month or so. If you are anybody’s ex and you are reading this, whichever question you think is about you is not about you, it’s about somebody else’s ex or actually about a breakup that happened way before we even met you. Okay cool.
1. Which unexpected gender presentation shift should I do first
2. What if they were right about [thing they accused me of being during a really bad fight]
3. Where does “learning what you like in a relationship” begin and “being conditioned to like a thing by your first relationship” end?
4. Do I get a robe and a cigar when my divorce paperwork goes through or do I have to self-supply?
5. Will I ever have sex that good again?
6. Will I ever have sex again?
7. What if I forgot how to do [specific sex act she didn’t like]
8. What if I forgot how to do [sex]
9. Wow, how could I have been so wrong about [the type of sex it turns out I like to have after all]?
10. How many years until The One Who Got Away gets divorced and comes back to me, do you think
11. Would I always feel this empty after a breakup if I had a better relationship with my Mom
12. When’s the cheapest time of year to fly to Portland
13. How do I know when somebody is flirting with me?
14. Is every relationship just a reaction to the relationship before that
15. Am I just stuck in a cycle where each relationship I attempt to overcompensate for mistakes made in the prior relationship, therefore creating new problems I then feel unequipped to deal with due to them being caused by an intentional rather than innate personality shift?
16. What if I was just a single mom and never had to consult with ANYONE about ANYTHING and just raised my kid around a bunch of other queers and relied heavily on my mother for free child care?
17. [After looking at face in mirror] AH WHERE HAS MY WANTON MAIDENHOOD GONE AND WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME, AGING, YOU CRUEL MISTRESS
18. [After looking at face in old photograph] WHY DID SHE ROB ME OF MY HOTTEST YEARS
19. At what point is it inappropriate to still be on a post-breakup casual-sex, drugs and alcohol bender?
20. What if I’m the crazy one?
21. What if we’re all the crazy ones!
22. What if she’s totally sane and it was just me who made her crazy and I’ve been doing everything wrong this whole time (I mean probably not, but)
23. Is this the part where I freeze my eggs?
24. Is everyone else settling or has everyone else somehow found their soulmate while I’ve been dating these fools
25. Will I ever stop talking about this?
26. Will topping more people make up for not being over her?
27. If arranged marriages have the same success rate as love marriages then really what are we all doing here, if you really think about it
28. If we went through everything we went through to be together and it didn’t work out, will anything?
29. Will I ever be out of therapy?
30. Do they miss me
31. When will I stop missing her so much
32. Why am I so much more okay than I thought I would be?
33. Do I want to date someone else because she’s dating someone else or because I genuinely want to be dating someone else?
34. How do I stop from swinging hard in the opposite direction and avoiding those patterns so hard or trying to emotionally correct so much that I stay in situations I shouldn’t?
35. Why am I still in love with this person who left!?
36. How long were we dead before I noticed the silence?
37. Am I truly a non-monogamous person… or did I just not like monogamy with her?
38. Am I truly a monogamous person… or did I just not like non-monogamy with her?
39. How do you know what /is/ real?
40. Can I actually afford to live here?
41. Can I actually afford to move?
42. What if I did actually move here for her even though I said I wasn’t moving here for her…
43. If I end every relationship with a fresh list of everything that’s wrong with me, how long until there’s nothing left to like about me?
44. Should I text her before Pride just to like, talk about what we’re going to do if we run into each other or whatever
45. How do I see what’s happening in any new relationship for what it is without bringing all my baggage along the way?
46. Does anybody have baggage that goes with mine
47. When is it okay to try to be friends with her friends again
48. Do her friends already hate / miss me
49. Is she lying to her friends about me
50. How much Fiona Apple is too much
51. Is it appropriate or childish to say “I’m never dating [ex’s sun sign] ever again”
52. Will I lose all the cool things I’ve re-discovered about myself as a single person if I get into another relationship? How do I not do that?
53. Is she really as happy as she looks on social media or does she feel exactly like I do (bad) despite how happy I am pretending to look on social media
54. Anybody know a good place for a dramatic haircut around here
55. What if I just buy a chunk of land on a south-facing hill and dig a cave and live in that and grow succulents to be my friends and never talk to anyone else ever again? That’s okay right? I think that’s okay. I think that’s the best thing to do, considering.