Where Does the Good Go: A Break Up Open Thread

Reader Leah, who recently parted ways with her gf, suggested we have an open thread about break ups. Our number one feeling was, and is: OH GIRL. LET’S. So I began drafting this article to publish on Friday (because Friday is Open Thread Day, you a-holes), but then you guys WOULD NOT DROP IT in the comments, so here we are! Having an open thread on a Thursday, which is just insane. I hope you’re happy.

this girl represents how you probably feel

Breaking up is a rock-hard motherf*cker, and, unless you’ve wielded your big gay hammer and built a fence around your heart, you’ve probably gone through at least one. THEY ARE SAD. I’m sad just thinking about it. And even if you initiated the split, breaking up feels like failing and falling and sighing and screaming and sewing your mouth shut. Time becomes something you just can’t trust anymore, even though time is the only thing that’ll actually help. But you can’t see that right away, because you feel! so! hopeless! IT IS INCREDIBLY SAD!

We think of ourselves as your friends, so in addition to this gorgeously formatted open thread, we have a variety of healing activities for you:

49 Anti-Love Songs to blast at top volume while you journal.
8 Nerdy Ways to Mend Your Broken Heart for when you need an escape.
Top Ten ’90s Movies for sisterly bonding and remembering fonder times.
The L Word Top Ten (Okay 15) Best Sex Scenes because you’ve earned it.
Scrapbook of Memories because KITTENS.


We also have this email which our editor Riese got from her best friend after a break-up in 2003 which made her very upset. She found it very helpful and we agree that this should help you feel better too, so just read it.

To: Riese From: Krista
Subject: Re: depression party of one
Date: Tue, 01 Jul 2003

dearest ris,

even though sometimes the world seems about six sizes too small for our pain, the amazing shit is that no matter how deep purple the bruise is, no matter how dark and overwhelming and miserable and worthless it all seems, the world will get a fraction of an inch bigger every day. really, every fucking day. And you won’t notice it for a long time until suddenly, one day, it’s only five times too small for your pain and then four and then the world will just keep getting larger and larger in comparison to your shattered heart and eventually it will be able to hold it and then it will outgrow it. And your pain will be just a speck in your world.

It is supposed to be feel like the end of the world right now. That my dearest beautiful ris, is how you know that it was worth it. that is why it was one of the relationships that shook your core, and after which you will never be the same. The world is supposed to feel as though it is ending and you are supposed to know only in the most dormant recesses of the backmost corner of your soul that it will not be like this forever. You are supposed to feel acutely and lucidly that everything is over that your purpose in life is worthless and that not even cheesy pasta and molly ringwald movies are going to make you smile, and you are supposed to know opaquely and elusively and abstractly that everything is not over and that your purpose in life is so much huger than you could ever imagine and is still saturated with value and that you will eat pesto and read Stephen Dunn and live in Manhattan and have stacks of waffles at corner diners with girlfriends and you will will will will will will will will love again.

I did not think that I was going to be able to ever breathe without shaking again, let alone successfully love and fuck again. That is what you are supposed to think. I cried hysterically for months. I wept so much I had stewardesses on planes ask me if I needed oxygen, I had waitresses refuse to serve me, I had strangers approach me with offers of help. Then I stopped. Then i started again and stopped again and started again and then stopped for good.

Everybody feels heartbreak ris but people like you who are so completely in tune with the human condition and so acutely aware of the pulse of emotion are going to feel it much worse. It sucks. It’s black and shitty and worse than LA traffic and infomercials and little yippy dogs and bad poetry all combined. It is just truly horrible.

You have to get out. You have to travel Ris as much as you possibly can. You have to not talk to [redacted] for a while. You have to spend time with people you know and love as much as [redacted] does. You have to do shit. Every day. Do something. Anything. Each From Different Heights ris. it will pale and it will heal but it takes time.

I love ris, and between my love and jesus’s love and a world full of trashy magazines and chicken fingers, I promise you will survive, and with more grace than you can now imagine and that you will have more gift and vision because of it.


Moral: sometimes someone can crack open something that feels very safe and make you unreasonably vulnerable: you will live to tell the tale of this shock. dotted-divider2

We brought Mean Girls, Amelie and Goonies, quesadilla supplies, old magazines for collaging and this stuffed monkey from Ohio! Do you feel better yet? Well there’s also wine. How do you feel now? It’s time to share your break up stories!

+ How did you cope?
+ Have any advice for others?
+ What amazing and lovely things did your friends do for you?
+ We’ve just made quesadillas the new break up food, in place of ‘ice cream eaten directly out of the carton.’ How do you feel about that?
+Have you tried reclaiming songs that were ruined by past relationships? It’s fun.

This open thread trumps last week’s because this time, no one gets to bitch about scientific studies SO LIVE IT UP! Hey, have you never commented before? I just want you to know that it’s cool if you do now. No pressure, obvs. You just never know when your story will help someone else. I MEAN I’M JUST SAYIN’. Love you.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


lnj has written 310 articles for us.


  1. It is like the Autostraddle gods looked down from Mount Vaginus and saw that I am in fact going through a breakup and obviously need the moral support that this thread will bring to my emotionally eviscerated heart.

    Anyway. I am going through a breakup without my best friend, tequila. I think that tells the whole story in and of itself.

    • Hurrah for not destroying one’s liver! Tequila is not good, especially when paired with a damaged heart. Focus on one vital organ at a time, honey. I’m proud of you.

      • On this note, chainsmoking is also NOT the solution. Just thinking about chainsmoking an entire pack of (now illegal) Djarum Blacks sitting on a curb sobbing makes me puke-y.

        But, you know, way back when.

        Don’t do it!

          • yeah, you can’t buy them in the states anymore. the FDA banned that shit last september and thus ended my three year love affair with Djarum Blacks. super lame. but my lungs are happier now.

          • It’s a little bit bananas, right? Sometimes I really, really, really crave the act and the taste and the little spitfire crackle and especially when it’s raining, but the rest of the time (which is, hand to God, like 95% of the time) I don’t miss it one bit.

  2. I’m not emotionally ready for this thread even though I haven’t had a gf in two years….TWO FUCKING YEARS.
    I need a moment now.

  3. I wore a So Jealous era t-shirt today, so, good timing. Just wanted to say that. I’m that .01% of humans who have nothing to say on this topic.

    • I, too, belong to that .01%. We can huddle in the corner together and look out upon this thread with combination of sympathy and anxiety.

      By the way, I can wear my The Con era t-shirt, so we can make our corner a really specific .01%/T&S-shirt-wearing group… if you’re into that kind of thing. Or not. Whatever.

      • Oh good, I’m glad I’m not alone in my outsider-looking-in, T&S t-shirt wearing anxiety.

        Now we need a third member to make us quesadillas just because.

        • I’m in the .01% too. I can try and make quesadillas but it’d probably be better if I just bought them, I’m not the best chef, I actually probably just insulted real chefs by calling myself a chef.

  4. my first big breakup, a year and a half of therapy helped a lot! also watching my favourite movies so i could laugh a little, moving away from the apartment where shit went down and OH YES, xanax and whiskey.

    i am going through a breakup right now and it is no fun. i am medicating with friends and whiskey and the sweetest facebook message from a good friend who’s found a wonderful relationship following her previous terrible one – which gives me hope. it read in part: “you can’t let the right one in if you’re down in the mire of the wrong one.” truth <3

    also if any of you guys wanna buy me drinks, that's cool too.

  5. One time we I said I hated her and she wouldn’t stop calling and she told me to man up and be her friend.

    One time she told me she need to focus on work.

    One time she told me I was the only person she could marry and she just needed time.

    One time she told me she never loved me at all. She doesn’t know what love is.

    One time we fell in love all over again and then she went to Germany and fucked the girl she loved all along and they’re married now.

    The hardest part is knowing when it is lost. Then the hardest part is accepting that. Then the hardest part is making it stay lost.

    But I can honestly say getting over her was the best thing that ever happened to me. Now I can do anything I try.

  6. i had something useful to add but i’m still crying over krista’s email so it’ll have to wait. i spent january to may of last year going through a horrific, stupidly drawn-out breakup (of a horrific, stupidly drawn-out relationship, but still), and may until february of this year going I AM FINE, I AM FINE, LA LA LA LA LA. then me and some tequila got way too close for comfort and all the truth of me being really not okay came out in spectacular fashion. i feel like i should be over it by now even though i know that’s ridiculous, so hearing that it’s okay not to be okay even months (year :/) after it all went down is really wonderful.

    when the worst of the actual breakup was going down i was in midterms, a play, and finals (consecutively) so i medicated with stress and rum. since february i’ve mostly been medicating with copious amounts of chris pureka and tequila.

    incidentally, chris pureka is like god’s gift to people with eyes/ears/feelings about their awful breakups.

    • I will second the Chris Pureka recommendation. And the song Cologne by Ben Folds. And I Will by Brandi Carlile. And The Cave by Mumford and Sons.

      • Oh Chris Pureka! She’s also good for the part where you’re still in it but you know it’s terrible, how we’re in love with our sadness sometimes…

        I also like Ani DiFranco’s healthy repository of break up songs, Dilate is definitely the best, and Dar Williams’ “As Cool as I Am” and also, in a pinch, just listen to a lot of Jeff Buckley and Leonard Cohen with wine. Red wine even if you usually drink white. Also Shiny Toy Guns, Don’t Cry Out.

        • Oh yes, Ani Difranco break up songs seem to be the most cathartic/complex/wonderful….

          -listens to “Asking to Much” on repeat-

      • omg high fucking five for “i will” by BC! she is so good for your soul. as a matter of fact, i would like to nominate going to see her live as a sure fire way to get ya’ll on the road to recovery. catching one of her shows is a lot like a breakthrough therapy session. you know, kind of like how it feels after you’ve had a really good cry? that’s what it’s like. do it. do it now.

  7. I had a girlfriend this past school year. She lived with me in a four-person apartment, so I really feel that we probably would have broken up much sooner had we lived in different places. But we broke up for summer and even though I wasn’t in love with her, it hurt a lot more than I expected, it being my longest relationship to date. So to deal, I smoked a lot (and I’m not talking cigarettes or crack), deleted her on facebook when she moved on after a week, cried and cried and got the hell over it, for the most part. By rationalizing our time together and savoring the good but recognizing the bad, I think I’m coping pretty well. My friends had almost no sympathy, they didn’t like her from the get go -.-

    Why are the breakup foods both dairy products? Poor little lactose intolerant me…

    • i can make your quesadillas with either a vegan cheese or smashed sweet potatoes, whichever you’d like.

      also, ftr, i initially suggested tacos as the new break up food, but then riese said quesadillas and i remembered the ones alex made in nyc and i had to agree.

      unfriending on fb seems to be The Thing To Do.

  8. So Idk if were supposed to post our stories here.
    But Oh well here it goes.

    About a month ago I left/broke up with my girlfriend, yes Im young only 18 we only lasted about two months. the breakup process began when I walked in on her and the girl I had suspected she was cheating on me with in bed together on a Wensday morning. She had no idea I was coming to her house that morning. and had o intention of telling me “IT” (the girl.. who i must say is overweight and and unattractive) was going to be there. Once I found them all hell broke loose, Ive never seen anyone hall ass like that before., I began to fight with her and it got physical.. hitting, pushing shoving. I eventually got ahold of her phone and found messages between them. After screaming bloodly hell i left. I spent the rest of the day on the phone with being as emotionally abusive as possible. She screamed insulted my personality, my looks, and eventually my race. As far as I was concerned I was done with her dead beat ass.. I had gone through so much for that girl i had come out to my parents.. risked everything to be with her. But yet I knew it was going to happen. Now I know it sounds weird but that morning I woke up knowing something was wrong, that we were over. I knew that “IT” would be at her house. I felt like I had been saved from drowning myself in her crazy absusive world (Ironically I can’t swim).
    So its been a mointh now since I left her, A month since i’ve started over. She hasn’t tried to contact me and I havnt tried to contact her. The funny/weird thing about this all is she didn’t really break my heart. She actually broke my heart exactly a year ago at the same time. Ive never been that crushed before, but for some reason I went back to her. Knowing what would happen.

    Anyways I don’t know how this may help anyone, I hope in someway it does
    help. Maybe show people can never really change. One way that helped me feel better was to write a letter/list to her about what i didn’t like. Because when we broke up I never got a chance to speak my mind because she was to busy yelling her brains out. I thought about posting it here but it might be to personal. So Thank you all for listening to me :)

  9. i went to grad school. it’s something i probably would have avoided or pushed aside if we were still together. now i have a career rather than a job and i met tons of new people at school and work, which made my world bigger. my heart still hurts from time to time, but i think it’s going to do that until it doesn’t.

    in other news, i firmly support the quesadilla revolution.

  10. I like listening to hilariously cheesey but appropriately titled songs, like The Magnetic Fields’ “Epitaph For My Heart.” And I tend to both wallow in the sadness and eradicate reminders of it from my life.

    Really, blocking on Gchat is the most effective way to get over a break-up. (I’m only half kidding.)

  11. It’s feeling a bit premature for open thread disclosures, but the letter to Riese (along with Each From Different Heights) was pretty much exactly what I needed to read tonight — so thank you for Friday’s open thread an evening early.

  12. I think it hurts more to hurt someone else. I have broken two girls hearts now and I feel terrible about it. I would rather have had them break my heart. That is kind of weird to want I guess. Also this is my first post ever. I am TERRIFIED…

    • Don’t worry, we’re mostly harmless. :)

      My exgf still has my Xbox and won’t answer my phonecalls. Like I don’t wanna talk to her, I just want my motherfucking Xbox back so I can play some Guitar Hero ya know?

      • Mine has my pyjamas. MY PYJAMAS. I need those for sleeps.

        I realised the other day I have her little brother’s zelda gameboy game though.

      • i kept her books, burned her shirts and pictures, and donated that fucking bear. and i felt so cleansed afterwards.

        sorry about your xbox. maybe it’s at goodwill?

      • my ex demanded my PS3 back when we broke up. cos she bought it for me in order to stop my insomniac ass from leaving her in the post-fuck-pre-breakfast stages of the night. she doesn’t even like playstation, “its for retards” (direct quote). anywho, i gave it back. but not before i dismantled it and made it into an angry robot. not the most expensive robot ever crafted but still a hell of a lot more spendy than the one i made from macaroni elbows. now all that i can think is that i really want my fucken robot back.

        • I know this is a touchy emotional time for everyone but your post rocked! That is some funny sh*t!

      • Um, withholding the XBox is super douche-y. Cunt-y. Whatever. It’s RUDE. Feel free to email me to act as third party recovery mediator person. This burns me.

        • OMG, I just triggered myself. My psycho ex-GF took like 2/3 of my music collection! I’D FORGOTTEN AND NOW I REMEMBER AGAIN. Thanks, Autostraddle. Thanks a bloody lot.

      • I suspect she still has my favourite cap that I had since I was 14 and that had belonged to my stepmom. I had to talk her into giving me this cap for years, and it’s probably older than me. now I picture it in her drawer right next to those hot hot boy shorts. damn her.

      • my ex owes me money (like $200). UGH. she also decided she couldn’t speak to me anymore, conveniently before she paid me back. very clever.

      • Oh. Guitar Hero. I could use some One, Knights of Cydonia or at least Living On a Prayer right now.

    • Autostraddle is the only site I actually comment on. Serious face. These ladies are all so lovely and have created such a welcoming and friendly space.

      Don’t be scared, save that for foxnews.com

  13. 500 days of summer has to be the best break-up movie. Or movie about a break-up. I haven’t tested it to see if it would cheer me up after an actual break-up, but I have faith in it.

    I managed to fit ‘break-up’ into every sentence in this comment: I WIN.

    • Yes! 500 Days of Summer was like my life. Except I still haven’t met my Autumn (3 years later). But when the movie was over, I left the theatre thinking, man Summer was like A- who crushed my heart, but I’m like Tom and I need to realize she just wasn’t the one and she TOLD me she didn’t want to hurt me…

    • I agree. 500 Days of Summer is the best break up movie. I cried when I saw it in theaters with two of my friends (then quickly tried to cover it up and say nothing was wrong, of course). The scene where Tom goes to Summer’s party (post break up) with the split screen depicting what he wanted to happen and what really happens always gets to me. :(

    • it was while i was watching 500 days of summer, that i realized it was the beginning of the end. oh and zooey deschanel YUM

    • In creepy news, a week before she broke up with me, this was the movie we had gotten from Netflix. We watched 10 minutes of it, then shut it off for unknown reasons, then never got back to it, and she sent it back. Fast forward to breakup, fast forward to post-breakup talk with friend yesterday that said “Have you seen 500 Days of Summer? In your sitch, you need to”. So this will be the next movie I get and watch when I get home.

  14. HM. Let’s take a little trip back, shall we? Back to two years ago, when I had my first girlfriend. My relationship with this gal lasted for about 2.5 years, on and off. And it was with my teacher’s daughter (big mistake for many reasons). The funny thing is – it’s a little bit of a breakup story/coming out story rolled into one. At the time, I was in high school, and this girl was two years older than me. I tried to brush her off as a close friend to my really conservative parents, but they just weren’t buying it. Our relationship went undetected for about 4 months. The tension was mounting, and I just couldn’t tell them that I was DATING this girl because I knew they would take it horribly. Well, I was right. But parents have that way of just knowing. One night, my parents cornered me and demanded that I show them my emails, facebook messages, text messages, etc. I refused. They hit me. I still refused. But after a while, it’s a little hard to keep refusing, especially when you’re faced with physical punishment. Especially when you’re faced with two people who can overpower you, regardless of what you do. Well, of course they found all of our messages and conversations. And it just went downhill from there. They did the thing that they knew would hurt me the most. They went to my school’s administration and accused the girl of sexually harassing me. They threatened legal action. My parents fought with the school administration to keep us apart. We weren’t allowed to talk to each other at school, even though we saw each other everyday. The guidance counselor (who was really liberal) would talk to us separately and tell us that being gay was okay. She was really my only support system during that time, except for my friends. When my parents found out that the counselor was talking to us, they called her and threatened her. They told me never to talk to her again. Meanwhile, I was basically under house arrest because my parents didn’t trust me. I remember coming home every single afternoon, and my parents would just scream at me. And it wouldn’t stop for hours. My parents have always believed in corporal punishment, and they always thought that hitting me/threatening me would straighten me out (PUN INTENDED).

    It never worked.
    To be quite honest, it all kind of blurs together after two years. Deciding to have that relationship was probably the poorest decision I’ve made, thus far. But I’ve never ever ever regretted it because it was such a major part of my development. It made the last two years of high school absolutely awful for me. My parents fought with the school administration to keep us apart. The girl and I snuck around (of course), and sometimes, we would get caught. Most recently, last summer, we were caught by my parents. My mother threatened to shoot me and her if she ever saw us together again. It drove a wedge between me and my parents and it eventually caused me and the girl to break up. Some of things that my parents did would make your blood run cold.

    Anyway, how did I cope with it? I had amazing friends, and I had some kind of will to just make it through all of it. After that relationship/breakup – I’ve been a much stronger person. I’ve been SO much more confident with who I am, and I think that my parents are afraid of that. They hurt me physically, emotionally, but I never let them have complete control over me because I’ve always known that they were wrong. I’m just waiting for them to figure it out.

    Side note: If you’re ever being hurt by someone (whether it be a parent, or a girlfriend, or ANYBODY) that’s sooooo not okay. SERIOUSLY. It’s NOT OKAY. It took me too long to figure that out.

    • wow. Your story Truly touched me I felt as if you were another part of me I went through the same thing almost exacltly. (Without the physical punishment) But the way You viewed the relationship as helping you become who you are today inspired me not to be ashamed of what happened. Thank you so much for sharing your story I feel as if someone out there understands exaclty what I went through.

    • Thanks for sharing your story. And your advice. Parts of it reminded me of my own break up which im still processing (it was back last October)

    • My breakup now is also with my first gf and was also a coming out story all rolled into one. I can’t regret it, and will never regret it, because of that.

      Thank you for your story.

    • Oh honey. I am soooo sorry that happened to you. I cannot fathom how parents can act like that towards their children.

    • That was so so so not ok. Pain in any way it’s something to avoid. Not to mention, inflicting it to your daughter. Hands up for you and your strenght. Now I feel like a spoiled supid brat. Well, I kinda am.

  15. My most recent break-up was in February:

    She decided she’d rather watch The Biggest Loser than come to dinner for my Dad’s birthday*. Granted, she did have a huge crush on Jillian Michaels, but it was just another example of her choosing her friends(or TV) over me, all the time. Jillian Michaels just prompted an overdue conversation.

    No hard feelings, but I figured I deserved better. It really wasn’t too terrible. I coped with it by going out to dinner with my Dad, then drinks with my friends who all said “It’s ok, Minnie – you deserve better anyway.” and I said, “I know.”

    Since then, I’ve gone on many dates with girls who are much nicer to me than she ever was. Hooray!

    *Yes, my parents invited my girlfriend to my Dad’s birthday dinner, they’re frickin amazing.

  16. My ex was the first girl I really dated after coming out last year. It wasn’t the most sustainable relationship. She was 4 years younger and, after nine months of not seeing each other often and her constantly avoiding interfacing with any media I enjoy while constantly talking about one band I don’t care for, she dumped me over facebook because, and I quote, “I love you like a favorite blanket. You’re a comfortable, romantic, sweet love. I want to love you like lightning, quick and exciting all the time and I don’t. I don’t want to work so hard.”

    That hurt a lot. It hurt my pride more than my heart though, as I had, feeling guilty, yearned for a bookish, nerdier, happier girlfriend (she’d never get how awesome the 8 Nerdy Ways list is, for instance). I keep seeing adorable girls around Portland, but I can’t tell if they are gay! There are a lot of straight/bi-curious hipsters (who dress geeky) in Portland, but I’m afraid I’ll end up with polyamorous, bi-curious, ironic, clubbing hipster PDX girl #89,537 who only wants me for sex and cooking for her.

    WHY can’t I find a girl who wants to fuck (with light kink) for a couple hours before curling up on the bed together, in our boyshorts, playing Pokemon SoulSilver or read Ursula K. Le Guin or Neil Gaiman, cuddled up?! Who also wants to be MY girlfriend? Who would totally go to Comic-Con if I asked her? Who would watch Buffy and Angel and Battlestar Galatica and giggle over earnest, happy things? Who could also appreciate art and literature and all sorts of music? I don’t think girls like that exist outside the internet, and I WILL NOT date a girl over the internet–that would hurt too much. SADNESS.

      • I know right. Sounds like the ideal relationship to me. Add Buffy + Angel + BSG to that and whoa.

    • Iphis I am so sad you’re far away because that is 98% of my relationship requirements right there.



    • Well, I found a girl who does all those things with me. :3 There’s gotta be another one out there for you!

      I hate it when people think that love’s going to strong and passionate and epic all the time. It’s not. Sometimes it’s stupid and hard and annoying. And sometimes it’s slow and gentle and comfortable. And that’s okay.

    • YES to Pokemon, Comic Con and anything by Joss Whedon.

      I totally know how you feel. A lot of the girls around my campus are open to being with another girl but never in a monogamous relationship kinda way. While the big group of the gay/bi girls that hang out together is cute (every campus has that kinda group) I know that they’re all sleeping together.

      No worries though. You’ll find the right girl for you. We all will.

    • I have to say, that requirement list coincides quite a bit with my own.

      I wonder

      if there are so many of us that think this

      if we all popped our heads out the window

      maybe we’d see each other?

  17. my first gf cheated on me with a guy–a guy! and i was the bi/questioning/i-think-i-like-girls-but-maybe-i-just-like-you one (at the time), while she was all, “i’ve been out since i was 14 and am a gold star lesbian.” ya, that sucked. particularly bc she was an idiot and had unprotected sex. anyway, how i got over it: i cried for a few days, took some shots, remembered how awful sex with men was, and went out and hooked up w/ a hot lady. best way to get over someone is to get under someone…

    also, i love quesadillas.

  18. I totes built a super awesome, reinforced wall around my heart, probably because I work in construction (not as cliched as that sounds, really I just couldn’t find another job), which means I don’t have to deal with any of this shiz. Jealous? I think you are

  19. Also, I’ve decided to take my breakup woes and put them into assertiveness, meaning I’m about to violate Laneia’s inbox with the most cracked out Autostraddle writer application ever.

  20. It’s always the first one that breaks your heart. I was with M for five years from the time I was 16 to when I was 21. We were best friends, bonded and fell in love during our Junior year of high school on the women’s varsity golf team. We had, from the beginning, a very ‘unhealthy’ relationship. Fast forward through five years later. Through parents disapproval, depression, getting kicked out of both our parent’s houses, losing our college education/scholarships for golf and many other contributing factors, M and I separated. Less than a week after we broke up, she passed away. I was a wreck for so many days, weeks, months and years after that. I mean people say time heals all wounds and I guess in a break up in might be applicable but it didn’t and still doesn’t help me. The person I loved was no longer around to yell at, defriend on FB, or ban from my Skype list permanently. She was just gone. Like she never even existed as more than a figment of my alcoholic memories. Breakups suck. They are hard, painful and make you want to scream but add other factors in and it is unbearable. I sought refuge in the bottom of a Vodka tonic and nachos (jalepenos and ground beef yum). Also with lots and lots of music. Like Bruce Springsteen and Fiona Apple and lots of others.

    • Oh my god, I am so sorry, thank you so much for sharing this story. You are an amazing person for getting through this in one piece, because not everyone could do that. For real.

    • Losing a partner is the worst. My brother lost his fiancee a few years ago and it broke all of our hearts. I can only imagine how much a breakup right beforehand would make it so much more painful… I’m thinking guilt? :(


  21. i think it’s been a year since i broke up with her? and i still haven’t actually dealt with it? but then i heard “lover you should have come over” and i had to get fuuuucked up.

  22. dear ____,

    i would appreciate it if my sweatpants, Garden State dvd, baseball stadium cup, last Halloween, and dignity would be given back. thanks, no hard feelings. enjoy your boy.


  23. My first “proper” break up I got over in about a week by which time I realised she was a douche and I could do better.

    But there was this time before I realised I was gay when I had this best friend whose house I practically lived at and everyone thought we were lesbians. Except we weren’t and she got a boyfriend and stopped spending time with me and my world fell apart. No one, myself included, could understand why I was so torn up by it. Our relationship was never sexual but I loved her so much and my world revolved around her.

    Took me a few years to get over it but we’re friends now which is cool so I guess in a sense that’s my first break up story. I got over it by working on myself and my issues which helped me find out who I really am and meant that when I did realise I was gay I wasn’t as insecure and needy anymore which is obviously a good thing.

    Seriously how did I not realise I was gay.

    • Yeah. One of my biggest signs to myself was how little I cared when I broke up with the guys I used to date, compared with how totally fucking devastated I was when my best friend met her first boyfriend (now husband. I still hate him. It’s super-awkward.)

  24. Little bi girl gets pregnant and married at 19 in Ohio…

    Now I’m 26, getting a divorce, have no clue how to date anyone outside the world of high school (so sad), and trying to raise a 6 year old without hang ups about love. It’s terrifying.

    Mostly Ive been making mixes to deal (Beck, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos) and illustrating little adventures of my son and I to make him laugh.

      • Ah yes, but do you still pass your crush a note in study hall to tell them you like them?

        • Um I feel like you can totally still pass someone an “I like you” note and maybe it’ll be dorky and a little weird but probably totally cute too!

          Also isn’t the internet kind of like that anyhow? When I got out of a long relationship with a guy and was looking for lady-dates I found it really helpful.

          Anyway you sound like a strong brave woman and your drawings about your adventures sound amazing/adorable and I wish you lots of luck and love.

    • Oh my god. Are you me? Like in the future? No wait, I have a little girl. And I got married when I was 18 followed by said little girl at 20. But still OHMYGODyournameiseventhesame. Did you have a “best friend” in high school who broke up with you when you started dating the husband too? Isn’t getting divorced fun? Especially when you throw in a kid, and the whole queer thing. I feel your pain Other Heather.

      • :O WOW !!!

        Divorce is a super blasty blast… especially with all the ‘will my open sexuality be thrown against me in court’ and other fun worries. >.<

        Are you too having "fun" navigating the queer dating world (especially while also being a young mother)? I mean, facebook wasn't even popular when I last dated and now its like the only way ppl communicate here! I think I need to take a class or something…

        Right there with ya,
        Other Heather

        • Actually, there is no queer dating world in Mississippi. Probably going to move somewhere more open when everything gets worked out. If it makes you feel any better, I’m not even on facebook. The only people I can handle interacting with online are Autostraddle people. The future is bright.

  25. I have reclaimed that song that was ‘our’ song because I loved it first, dammit. Ironically enough it was a song about break ups/getting hurt- Fuck Was I by Jenny Owen Youngs.

    • That happened to me too! I don’t listen to it as much now bc I’m in a happy wonderful relationship, but damned if I’ll let my ex keep it

    • Exactly! Her music taste was exactly the same as mine (and was the main reasons we got on so well) and I’ve barely been able to listen to my ipod without tearing up. She may have taken a bit of my heart but she’s not taking Bob Dylan or Van Morrison or Sufjan Stevens or City and Colour (basically my whole itunes library) away from me. No way.

  26. If I was dealing with a break up or just losing a friendship I usually will get in a car and drive around. Possibly find a place where I can lay down and look at the sky write a little bit listen to good music. I like upbeat oldies with a little bit of soul kinda inspirational music. baha example I’m kinda lame but loveshack or just really old silly songs.

    I think the most important thing to remember is that the relationship the feeling you shared with that person was vital and it changed you for the better and you learned from the experience. If they didn’t stay or it just didn’t work the best thing you can do is be thankful for the experience… remember the good… but remember the bad and hopefully with time the next experience will be worth it and mean that much more. :)


    I hate long-distance relationships. I don’t find them romantic. Nor do I think it’s even better when you’re reunited. It’s awkward and you have to ‘catch up’ on your lives, even though you talk everyday but you still feel like you lost them. For months on end. final thoughts=DISTANCE IS THE DEVIL. also I suggest self-medicating with drugs to cure any broken heart. you sleep better.

    • To be honest, that wasn’t my experience with a long-distance relationship – when we were reunited, we pretty much picked up where we left off. Then again, we’d been dating for years before we were apart…

    • i’m in a long-distance relationship that started as a long-distance relationship and i don’t think it’s awkward at all. it’s really fucking hard more than half the time, but it works because it’s worth being together for a week and a half than not being together at all.

  28. I am going to read this through, but I wanted to throw the following reference-less scientific fact out there:

    Some study done someplace on heartbreak sometime showed (yay, neuroscience!) that heartbreak activated the same areas of the brain that light up like the 4th of July when one experiences actual, physical pain.

    So, there’s that. No, you’re not just being a great big lezzie wuss. It’s SCIENCE.

  29. Wow! Everyone has so generously shared themselves, it’s amazingly magical to be part of such annopen accepting. Lovely seriously. I know we’re talking about heart break but can everyone feel the love?

    Like most of you for a me a breakup would be awful without a great support system. And some aorta of comfort food. I write really sad sad poetry and I buy myself new clothes or things. Buuuut in all honesty I appreciate a breakup having my heart broken in its own strange way makes me feel like I’m alive. I say feel every feeling you have to it’s fullest capacity and then pull yourself together throw on your fav outfit and go have fun with your friends and remember that lofe is shotty sometimes but there will always be something that will remind you of how truly lucky you are

  30. Reader Leah here. First off THANK YOU TO AS for making this happen. I damn near had a heart attack/crying fit when I saw this post.

    My wound is still so fresh, (who am I kidding, it’s still gushing and spurting), and you have no idea how this helps.

    Forever grateful. Srsly.

    I will write more on my story soon…

  31. i haven’t broken up with anyone in a long time but reading this thread made me listen to jenny owen youngs too. so there’s that! also i volunteer to make anyone quesadillas who needs them, especially leah

  32. BTW, AbFab + BBC Pride & Prejudice = Tele-balm for the brokenhearted.

    PS. Fuck saying “my ex,” “an ex” is so much more clinical and appropriate.

  33. Well, let’s see…*Deep breath, this is a long one. Note that in between breakups I usually hooked up.* I basically had a big three-year-long breakup with my first girlfriend. First time, she dumped me for my best friend for absolutely no reason. We’d been dating for probably two weeks. I was inconsolable for three months until she decided to cheat on my best friend behind her back with me for a while. Then she told me to go away and leave her alone. A few months later she dumped my best friend and we got back together again (this is approximately two years later from the first breakup, now). One day we were hanging out and my mom saw us… blah blah blah big fight with my parents and I ran away to find her. She yelled at me until I laid down in the middle of a parking lot and cried, and then continued to yell. She broke up with me then and there for “being stupid” and a week later was with a hardcore heroin addict.

    That didn’t work out well, as is usually the case, and she begged me to get back together with her. By this time I was in college, she was still at home. So we started a long-distance relationship. She broke up with me a month later because I never drove the 400+ miles across Texas to come see her. I took this time to get with a really sweet girl, my first real relationship besides Crazy Chick. I also took this time to buy myself a really nice bong. This comes in a little later as an important piece. (hurrhurr).

    So anyways, I’m going along with this awesomely adorable but somewhat shy (translation: not too much in common) girl. So along comes Crazy Chick again and convinces me (I don’t know how) to break up with Adorable Girl for her. I go to talk to Adorable Girl high off my ass and basically say everything wrong. I actually didn’t want to break up, but it came out that way because I told her about Crazy Chick trying to convince me to do so (it was the pot, I swear)… So she starts crying and I’m high as hell, and she breaks up with me after three hours of me trying to convince her I didn’t actually want to break up, but everything kind of coming out as “WHARRGARRBL”.

    Anyways, two days later I’m back with Crazy Chick, but really emotionally messed up about it. I should point out that I was at a horribly low point in my life, with college going to shit and my relationship with my parents at rock bottom… All is “well and good” with me and CC (besides her constant reminder that she can leave me whenever she wants to. She told me that, yeah.) until I join a roller derby team and get my bones jumped in a car by one of my teammates… CC finds out about this somehow (my guilty face, probably. It’s a really easy read). Anyways, we made up after screaming at each other over Skype for a week and I’m thinking “Ok, this might work out after all.” Well, one day we’re talking and she casually mentions she got diagnosed with a serious mental disorder. My reaction? “No shit. I knew that for years. Good for you, I’m here for you.” That didn’t go over well either, for some reason. After two weeks of her endlessly calling and texting me, telling me how she was going to kill herself or run away and couldn’t live without me and I’m a big jerk who ruined her life and she wants to get married (I had given her a ring and everything), I told her once and for all that we were over and done FOREVER. I tried the whole “we can still be friends” for about a week, but she continued to harass me and even threatened to mail every letter and picture that had been sent between us to my family (who I lived in mortal fear of on a daily basis). I finally just completely blocked her out of my life.

    A week later I got a huge bubble-wrap envelope in the mail with everything I ever gave her. I was pretty happy to have all my books and CDs back. She never mailed my shit to my parents.

    Anyways, words of advice: Don’t stay in an abusive relationship just because she was your first. Don’t be a jerk to sweet girls. Don’t have deep, breakup-oriented conversations when you’re high. Don’t get engaged to psycho people.

    All that said, I’m in a beautiful relationship now with an incredible girl who fits me perfectly, and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  34. I am not so much having a break up as a messed up, except it is a break up kind of and the ambiguity is the most fucked up part. My playlist is almost 100% musical theatre and country songs, I’ve been up since 4am, and I keep finding myself in tears. None of these are good signs.

    I keep going to write really long overshary things and then wondering how much I will regret it later. I imagine soon my friend vodka will deal with that.

  35. Hello reader leah. My first girlfriend aka the firl person who broke up with me was named leah. Are you her? I hope you aren’t her because I really like her girlfriend of now.

    The other day my computer broke up with me. I can’t wait to read all your feelings on a real screen when we get back together.

  36. She was my first great love and sometimes I fear that I will never love someone as much as I loved her or be loved by someone as much as she loved me.

    How did I cope? Tears. So many tears. Yelling, anger, sadness, and more tears. I tend to run the gamut of emotions.

    My advice: it’s ok to be a wreck for a month or so, after that, I tried to pull it together. Started seeing friends, applied makeup again (but I’m really feminine, so I always wear makeup).

    As for songs, yes reclaim them, if possible! Some songs I can’t listen to anymore. Some songs I have attached new memories to. And some songs (and bands) were her favorites that I’ve stolen and claimed as my songs and bands now. That’s sweet revenge.

    Best breakup food? Southern comfort food. Friend chicken and mashed potatoes. Chicken and dumplings if you’re feeling glutenous. But baking helped me so much in the beginning. I forgot all my worries and just concentrated on measuring flour and zesting lemons.

    • I have also given myself a month, from the time we actually physically separate, to wallow and not shower or show my face.

    • It’s really hard for me to reclaim songs. I think the only song I’ve successfully reclaimed is “You and I” by Ingrid Michaelson. It’s now associated with my current straight girl crush. I’ve been trying to teach her how to play it on ukulele.

      It’s easier for me to find new and better songs. Listening to the old stuff has the effect of instantly turning on the water works for me.

  37. So here it is, the reason I wanted a thread to share on. I was with my gf when I found AS, and now I am losing her and telling AS. It has come full circle, I guess.

    We have been together 3 years. We were in love with each other for a whole year and didn’t tell each other because we both thought I was straight. We got together, moved to Seattle (she was already going, I told her I’d love to join her) and have made a life here. I came out to my parents, it was messy and awful, and I never had the same relationship with them since. I left everyone and everything behind at 27, but we talked about moving back close to the East Coast so that we could both have what we wanted at some point: her, an adventure to a new city, and not living under her dad’s nose, and me, an adventure, but eventually being back near family.

    Fast forward 2 years, we want kids. We buy sperm that we pick out together, we are inseminated 3 months in a row with no success. I am the one not getting pregnant, and I am devastated every time. Then we decide that it is time to move home at the 3 year mark of being in Seattle, and so as not to complicate things too much, we stop trying for kids (even though this is also devastating to me because I want them so badly and am now 29).

    Now it is 4 months from going home, we are camping, and all of a sudden she says, out of the blue, “I may want kids in 5 years.” My heart drops. She says she wants to travel to far away places, for long periods of time. She says what she wanted has changed. She says it so matter-of-factly that I swear she has forgotten who she is revealing these secrets to. I tell her to spill it all, all the truths and facts that she knows for sure, because now I am in survival mode. What can I fix? What is she unsure of? Where is my opportunity to save this? That opportunity doesn’t come.

    Two weeks later she says that no matter what I do, I can’t fulfill this urge and need of hers to travel. She doesn’t want to go to Disney World, she wants to literally backpack through Southeast Asia, and India, and work in Australia for at least a year. She wants to see the world and become a better person because she is not complete. And you know what, she is right: our goals have changed. She will never be happy with me, tied down as she puts it, until she does this. I know her, I know her heart and her character. This is not an excuse, it’s not a pipe dream. It’s something she has put off many times, and something that cannot be contained. I knew this. I fucking knew this and you know what I thought? I thought if I gave her Seattle, and if I loved her enough, it would go away. I had no idea what I was up against.

    So right now I am pretty calm and rational, which is surprising to me, and I chalk it up to my age and experience. I just know deep down that I love her so much that I need to let her go. I am heartbroken beyond words, but I will not beg someone to be with me, or keep someone knowing they need something else, and I sure as hell can’t give any more and keep sacrificing with nothing in return. I have come to the conclusion that my love for her as a person must be greater than my love for her as my gf, and I only know this because I am accepting this breakup at face value. I don’t even have a fighting chance, and this kills me inside and out.

    I can’t imagine my life without my best friend. I can’t imagine living in world where I can’t kiss her and hug her and laugh every day with her. But this is the world I will be in in 2 months, so I am trying to prepare for what is to come. I will never ever be able to know what it will be like walking away from her to get on a plane and seeing her for the last time, I get sick and stay up at night thinking of it, but it is inevitable. It feels like knowing when you are going to die.

    I will need people more than ever soon, and thank god I have the support at home that I do. And AS, I will need you, too. Connecting with women I do not even know but that may say one thing or another to make me smile.

    We are amicable, as they say, and spending time together just enjoying what we have, what we had, and what we will be walking away from. It is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I will not allow it to erase and ruin the 3 years we had together, and all the dreams we shared. My friend said to me today, “Be happy you grew together, and then grew apart in the right way”. This is a person that I will walk away from while we are still in love. I just don’t know how to turn it off.

    Thank you, AS, for helping me get through one more night. Each and every one seems to be a separate struggle. And srsly, quesadillas are my fav food ever. So funny you chose them.

    Rachel, bbq chicken is my fav…

    • I don’t know anything, and I hate to gice you false hope, but to me this really doesn’t sound like a broken relationship. This sounds like something she needs to do for herself, and I’m kind of in awe at how unselfish and understanding you’re being about it all. You’re amazing.

      She’s going to stop travelling eventually, though. Nothing is guaranteed, and an experience like that changes a person, but is there no way things could continue after? Do you have to have kids right now?

      It seems to me you both had an incredibly unselfish love, which is super rare – you gave up your life and your relationship with your parents to be move with her, and now you’re lettiing her go; she gave up her need to see the world to be with you. And now she needs to do this for herself and that’s okay, it is healthy and necessary and it’s incredible that you are understanding enough to let her go, but could you not start again where you left off when she returns? Or go with her? Idk.

      Sorry if I’m an arsehole for saying this and getting your hopes up and you just want to forget about it and wallow in misery, but I’m not getting that vibe and I’m sad for you and I just want to fix things with heart bandages and hugs.

    • I have never really had a “healthy” relationship so I might be a bit wrong with this but it seems that you just grew apart (which you already mentioned I know). When you are with someone for a significant amount of time you picture this ‘future’ together. Sometimes you even plan on kids or getting married or are even in the process and something happens that alters that plan. The reason, at least in my case, it is so hard to imagine your world without this person is because you never had to think about it before. You were picturing this life together and now it wont’t happen. It sucks, it will hurt maybe for a few weeks maybe a little longer but eventually you have to let it go otherwise as was in my case holding the hurt can really fuck up your life.

      • e-I have never been one to hug, but I am starting to go back on that now. They are NECESSARY in life.

        Alice-Don’t worry about false hope, there is nothing you said that I haven’t thought of. I don’t have to have a kid in the next month, no, but she just cannot give me a timeline on anything. So, there again, I may wait and wait and never get what I wanted in the end. I cannot go with her because it would make me miserable, it is not something I am at all interested in doing. ANd yes, if I love her enough and want to save the relationship, of course I could go. I just feel like it’s not fair to me to have to do that, as it isn’t fair for her to have to settle down now against her will.
        I will see what happens. I cannot keep the possibility of us being together again in the front of my head, but at the back is ok. I can’t sit around and wait for something that may never come. I did tell her that if she hated the traveling, to just come find me and I wouldn’t judge…

        Corey-you are dead on with the growing apart, I guess. I mean, as we progressed, we both veered toward separate things that were going to make us whole. In the beginning I think we just wanted to be together so much that we put everything aside, but eventually that shit catches up with you.

        • i normally don’t like hugging either, i get panicky thinking they might rip out my hair like that guy in charlie’s angels, but some of the best hugs i’ve had are the hugs i got when i was feeling sad. its like you’re falling apart and the other person is there to keep you together literally.

        • Leah I wish you all the happiness in the wordl you are amazing. i’m more than a little drunk right now but i promise it will be okay., i know you’re sick of hearing that and being okay in future doesn’t matter because it sucks now but you have to find something that makes you value you for yourself.

          find something that is just for you that makes you feel okay. more often than not it is work. work hard at something. your value is beyond your relationship, you are beautiful and worth so much on your own, i promise. i love everyone. play crazy cabbie with your best friend and listen to daft punk it made me very happy.

          i apologise for drunknesss. fionn regan is beautiful.

          • you are too cute for words, you make me wanna get wasted and jump on you and start a cuddle pile.

            (I’m addicted to this thread, pleas help?!)

          • okay lets cuddle all night long you should rpobs be wasted though because i am its like 1am i’m sloopy.

            this thread is beautiful even though it hurts. i think all the best things hurt sometimes.

    • Personally, I medicate with music and poetry. And though it might be way too early, I feel like you might appreciate this poem (even if you hate poetry).


      It’s best if you listen to it, which you can do on her site. But in part:

      so wherever you are I hope you’re happy
      I really do
      I hope the stars are kissing your cheeks tonight
      I hope you finally found a way to quit smoking
      I hope your lungs are open and breathing your life
      I hope there’s a kite in your hand
      that’s flying all the way up to orion
      and you still got a thousand yards of string to let out
      I hope you’re smiling
      like god is pulling at the corners of your mouth
      cause I might be naked and lonely
      shaking branches for bones
      but I’m still time zones away
      from who I was the day before we met
      you were the first mile
      where my heart broke a sweat
      and I wish you were here
      I wish you’d never left
      but mostly I wish you well
      I wish you my very very best

      • I’m not even going through a break up, but I cried when I read what you posted here.
        And then I clicked the link and listened to the whole thing and cried double.
        Goddamn, I have a lot of feelings.

      • I also medicate with music and poetry–and whiskey. And the first night after /she/ broke up with me that I didn’t put myself to sleep with the latter, I got out all my poetry books and went through reading comforting pieces. This was one of them.

        I saw Andrea Gibson perform it before I really understood this poem, before this break-up (my first, like /her/). Now I think I do.

    • Six months later, is there any update on this? I just read it today and it ripped my heart out and I want to know how it turned out!

    • I also wish I knew how this turned out. It’s weird reading stories that feel like they’re happening right now but looking at the time/date stamp and realizing it was five and a half years ago.
      I hope you’re okay Leah. I hope you’re more than okay, I hope you’re happy.

  38. My first girlfriend and I broke up about one and a half years ago (my mind was boggled after typing that. So long ago, geez!). We had been dancing around each other for about a year when I asked her if she’d like to go out with me. In that time she had become my best friend. She was the closest person to me in the world. I was ecstatic that she agreed to go out with me.

    The relationship barely lasted for a month before we broke up. It bothered me that she tended to keep things from me and only told me what she thought I wanted to hear. Why couldn’t she just be honest? She decided it would be best to break up so we wouldn’t ruin our friendship. But really, it was botched from the get go.

    Even though we only dated for a short time, I was extremely upset by the whole thing. I had been waiting years to get a girlfriend and I couldn’t even make it last for more than a month. How did I fuck it up so quickly? Do I suck that hard? I invested myself fully into the relationship thinking it would last for a long time and was severely disappointed.

    But here’s where the real bull shit comes in. I was still in high school and we had the same circle of friends so I still saw her often after the break up. I thought maybe if we stayed friends there would be a chance of us getting back together. She started hanging out a lot with a mutual friend of ours. The three of us had always been an inseparable trio. I didn’t mind so much at the beginning. We had just broken up. It was natural for her not to want to hang out with me as often.

    But then she almost exclusively started hanging out with our mutual friend. They started doing all the things we use to do together. I tried to explain to her that I felt left out and maybe we weren’t close friends anymore. She told me I was crazy and that I’d always be one of her best friends.

    Well, they continued to hang out all the time. When all three of us were together, I just felt like a third wheel. I told myself that I shouldn’t feel that way and felt bad that I did. They’re just friends. I chalked it up to me being too sensitive. That was probably the worst summer of my life.

    Then we went off to college and I stopped talking to her for awhile. In what I thought would be our final face off (the conversation that would determine whether or not we stayed friends), I told her what had been bothering me and that she didn’t have to lie to me. She apologized and explained that she had made a lot of bad decisions and had changed a lot since high school. I still didn’t trust her completely but I was satisfied with the apology.

    I spent the months after thinking of how we could get back together. I told myself “I’ll just be as good as a friend as I can and then we’ll move on from there.” I knew I was a good person. Why wouldn’t she want to be with me again? I pumped myself up, believed in myself, tried to call her once a week. The next time we saw each other things felt different, flat. I tried to gauge her interest in me and it wasn’t there.

    This January, we were arguing via text message when she finally dropped the bomb that she liked our mutual friend and that she liked her too. Oh man, I was sooo pissed and heart broken. This was the one scenario I had thought about but never truly considered because our mutual friend had always claimed she was straight and constantly denied that she was gay in any sort of way. Even so, isn’t there some unwritten rule somewhere that you can’t date your bestfriend’s ex? Oh irony of ironies! It was almost laughable. Almost.

    I told my ex that I still liked her at the end of the conversation. She explained that the last thing she ever wanted to do was hurt me. Too late. I had been hurting for months.

    I spent the couple of days after in a depressed haze. Blasting my “Wizard Angst” iTunes playlist, roaming the campus alone at odd hours of the night, learning Hailey Wojcik songs on guitar, crying myself to sleep while trying not to wake my roommate.

    My ex repeatedly called me repeatedly after the fiasco, presumably trying to apologize. I felt bad for not answering but then a friend told me “Don’t do it. If you talk to her it’ll only make you feel a little bit worse and her a little bit better.” He was right. I let that damn phone ring and after months I finally felt like I was the one in control again.

    I went out for pizza with a group of my college friends, watched the sunset on the bay and felt a lot better. After months of agonizing, I was surprised at how quickly I recovered just by deciding not to interact with my ex anymore.

    >>If You Don’t Read Anything Else At Least Read This<<
    – I've always thought I was an unlucky. Nothing ever works out the way I want it to despite me being a good person. I was some sort of cosmic plaything the universe liked to mess around with.
    – But then I thought "Fuck luck. What has luck ever done for me?" I don't need it.
    – After the break up, I learned a tremendous amount about myself. I know exactly who I am and that's the person I want to be.
    – I came out of this mess a lot more confident in myself than I was before and I am now determined to get my revenge.

    The best revenge, of course, being becoming smokin' hot.

    I've taken up enough of your time,
    – Jayce

  39. haven’t had to deal with a breakup in a while but today felt like one of those kind of days anyway so thank you v. much autostraddle

    would like to submit kid a to the list of breakup albums
    much love to the aforementioned, oh the slump the songs can bring

  40. It’s been a while since I was broken up with, and that’s good cause everything is happy now. But I had ~one of those nights. You know the kind.

    And this post was so completely perfect and wonderful that it sincerely made my heart feel a little less sad for the night.

    Riese: thank you for sharing that email cause it was so true and so amazing.
    Laneia: thank you for writing wonderful things.

  41. Okay so I’ve had a fair few relationships and the majority of them were pretty easy breakups where we had mistakenly took friendship to the next level when it really wasn’t meant to be… The most heartbreaking of all my breakups was my first.

    Okay, so I’ve kind of said all of this before, so I’ll keep it short and (bitter)sweet.

    My first girlfriend was AMAZING, I loved her more than I ever thought I had the capacity for.

    After 2 (and a bit) years, she dumped me whilst in holiday with her parents and forbode me from telling them. So I got home after a week of hiding my hemorrhaging heart and burst in to tears on the front door step and came out to my mom. I’m so lucky and I realise this, to have great parents who were totally cool with it. (My dad lived in denial for a long time but he never shouted at me or asked me why or anything. My mom likes to bring it up when she gets drunk now, and uses it as a ‘Q&A’ session.) Even though I had all this support and everything, it still destroyed me, to the core.

    I got depressed, big time. I was on every kind of drug (prescribed!) you can imagine and I went to councelling and therpay for ages. This was the part my parents didn’t like… this was the bit I did on my own. I ended up leaving college, becoming a stoner and losing jobs.

    Yeah, the councelling helped and the drugs stopped me from hopping under the next bus but the pain was still there. My heart was broken and I was convinced it was beyond repair.

    It took me a good number of years to finally get over it and it was almost like a eureka moment when it hit me, I didn’t need to cry over her any more. That part of my life was over, it was done.

    (Okay, this part of me is WELL and truly behind me now, just so you know) I looked down at the scars on my arms and I figured that if my heart had been physically broken, then that’s what those scars must be like, inside there on my heart. So there will always be traces of her on the outside and on the inside but this ‘scar tissue’ that now surrounds my heart had only strengthened it, sort of like a little forcefield.

    So now although I look back and still appreciate why I spent all that time crying and wallowing in my broken heart, it’s actually made me stonger, and to think of it as a physical thing just helps that little bit more.

    Breakups do make you stronger, it has to be said, but at the time when the world is ending, no matter how many times you hear this it never rings true. Each and every breakup will inevitably change you as a person but every time it makes you a little more ‘you’. Every breakup is putting a new layer of scar tissue on my heart, making every subsiquent break up that little bit easier to deal with for me and giving me emotional and physical reassurance that someday that’s all it will be, a scar.

    You girls are srsly some of the strongest people I’ve ever met, the stories I’ve read above are like something you can only imagine in films or something. I can make some little cardboard medals or something and maybe mail them out, God knows you girls deserve them.

    Dot x

  42. hmm so many posts! everyone breaks up.

    pft, well i am going through one right now. we still see eachother and we still sleep together. we still say i love you. but we both know that we shouldn’t be together. i think we’ll actually break up when she goes travelling to bc. i think when she comes back i’m going to toronto. there won’t be any way to talk to one another.

    i also feel like in june it was really hard for me. we decided not to be together when i went home for the summer. i cried a lot , and of course, thought i was going to die. it’s nice to know that it meant a lot if i feel like this.
    humm… i think we’re being pretty mutual. or mature. i don’t know which.
    we have the same group of friends. i don’t think we couldn’t be friends. i guess it will be hard when ever each other finds a new whatever. blah.

  43. My first break up happened before I came out, about a month ago. She is younger than me and we started out as friends,so when “the ice started to get thinner” and we both could tell it was ending she became critical and I just had another glass of wine to kill the tension. Then one day she invites me to her Mother’s and in the car on the way over we have what I assumed was the break up talk, but instead it was the ‘I’m not as gay as you, I’ve been cheating on you with a guy,maybe we could still spoon?’Talk. Anyway I stayed in bed for a day, reading my mother’s self help books and listening to Justin Timberlake (What Goes Around). The next day I bought a new dress, got some thai food, and made a list of gay things to accomplish. Having been closeted at the time I used the pain as energy to take the next step in my own personal growth. I changed my diet, work out more, quit smoking and drink socially instead of all the time. I even discovered Autostraddle. So even though I’m lonely pants, I think my mood and my heart is healing because at 2% of the population, I have hope that there is a woman to love out there for me.

  44. this thread is exploding. awesome.

    my last break-up hit me out of the blue, though I should have known. I should have known.
    Warning: If you ever come across a woman in her late twenties who’s only been in short-term relationships (3-6 months) and the reason for this according to her is because all of her exes were “weird” or “dumb”, have a real in-depth talk about this. otherwise you might have a surprise break-up after, yeah you probably guessed right, 3-6 months.

    we had a beautiful relationship, she even said so after the break-up. a couple of weeks before she broke up with me, a bunch of stressful things happened, she was working full time and starting to study for her master’s degree and I was studying because I had a huge exam coming up.

    instead of supporting each other, we grew apart. she accused me of not supporting her, but didn’t really support me either. because I was responsible for myself when I was feeling bad because of all the stress.

    after my exam I texted her, and the text I got back was “I have to talk to you about something important”. we had that talk in the late evening. she came over, said “I’m not in love anymore”, wanted to hug me, hugged me hard, me and my hand, started crying, said she would want for this to be different, hugged me again, suddenly froze up again, said she had to leave, left. I never saw her again. we talked on the phone one time.

    so… getting through this.

    1. tequila. white wine. red wine.

    2. having to go to university, because it was the first week of the new term and if you don’t attend class you miss your place.

    3. friends, and processing, loooots of it. I analyzed her, I analyzed what happened, sometimes, when I realized something new I had to cry because it was so dumb. SO DUMB. such a dumb break-up. but today I can say that I understand her and know where she was coming from, but that my opinion still is that it was the dumbest break-up ever and I would not do this, because I am a fighter and I would at least TRY to save my relationship and I’m not into short-term relationships. not at all.

    4. make a list of all the things you wanted to do together and then do them by yourself. a month after our break-up, me and three friends went to see La Traviata, because of said list. my roommate drove, we were in her old vw bus, and halfway to the opera it broke down. I already had had a cold, and then we were sitting in that cold bus for an hour, waiting for a mechanic. we only got to see the second half and I had a fever and was coughing like nobody’s business. but it was therapy.

    5. bad food. eat whatever you like. I eat pasta with ketchup for a week, just saying.

    6. ace of base. eurodance. seriously, though, enjoying bad music helped. enjoying cheesy music helped – travis, for the most part.

    7.I didn’t cut my hair but tried to be a brunette with a colouring shampoo. my hair turned dark blonde and then redish. didn’t work so well for me.

    This is epic, I’m sorry, I just have a lot of feelings about this topic, even though I’m much better now. Much much better.

  45. Oh and one song I still cannot listen to is, “Always Be My Baby”…we were in the car after a fight and it came on the radio, and Mariah Carey made us kiss and make up. Now I want to vomit when I hear it anywhere.

    The Strokes-Whatever Happened, Is what has gotten me through the summer especially when she drunk dials me to come spoon! I just turn the volume waaaay up on the ipod and scream/sing while jumping on my bed.

  46. Generally after a break up I spend a lot of time with vodka, mj, and have lots of casual sex for about a month. This is probably not a healthy way to go about things. I also eat a lot of quesadillas, breadsticks, and drink coca cola. No jokes. Those are my comfort foods.

    First time commenting, but I’ve been reading AS for about a month and a half now and I think you guys are pretty awesome.

  47. I was never really in love (had many GF’s though) (and thats changed recently) so I was usually the breakeruper. One of my saddest stories (for the other girl) was the time she cheated on me about two months into the relationship, and then started crying when I told her I didn’t mind, since I was obviously not satisfied. So she threw out random insults, then left. I called her on her phone and she came back really fucking pissed, so We talked about it (I talked, she shouted/screamed) and then it ended in angry make-up sex. Then a month later I broke up with her.
    It was awkward, it went like this:
    Me: I need to talk to you.
    Her: Great, I need to talk to you too! Lets do dinner?
    Me: Sure thing.
    We arrive and mock fight over who goes first, so I decide to go first.
    Me: I think we should break up.
    She starts tearing up and chokes out: I was going to tell you I’m in love with you
    Me, in my brain: Oh fucking shitty hell.

    We were young, and I’m sure she got over it.

    • Aaaand, yes, I do realize what a douche I was. And that I’m replying to my own post, which is pathetic. And though I don’t want to mess up with my perfect girl, the one who actually did manage to make me fall in love, karma dictates I’ma have my heart torn and stomped on. *sigh*

      • no, no, no bad karma. do good stuff to random strangers. be a hella good girlfriend. keep that girl for christ’s sake, don’t jinx it!

  48. It’s been a LONG time since my most painful break-up…like 18 years (yes, I’m a tiny bit older than most of you). I still remember it well though because I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with her. We broke up, lived together for another few months, had occasional sex which made me hopeful that we’d get back together and then she eventually started dating another woman. She broke my heart into pieces and then? We moved on. My ex introduced me to my partner and my partner and I have been together for 17 years and have two kids. My ex was present at the birth of my first child. She and her partner traveled with me and my partner to Portugal for a month. I am going to a cabin with her this weekend. Yes, we are such lesbians. I say this not because this is how it happens for everyone but because it shows the possibility. Break-ups are horrible and you think that you can’t survive or that you’ll never be the same or be able to love again but the problem is that we can’t see into the future. There is a future!

    Now, I would like to invite you all over to my house for hugs and quesadillas. Also, I have a fully loaded liquor cabinet, numerous bottles of Portuguese wine and two cases of amazing microbrew in my basement. Age has its benefits.

    • yeah! it’s so good when you can maintain friends. i feel, if you loved eachother as much as you expressed you did, then you can of course still be friends. i feel, like we should be happy for the other person, and want them to have everything they can. and if you’re not in their idea of that, then that’s okay! but of course, i’m speaking in theory, and it will be so hard to see the person you had this beautiful connection have that same connection with someone else. but time heals, and an open mind, and good feelings…!

      i feel like i’m posting so much today. ahh oh well, i am a bored sailor and have so much to say!

      i want a liqour cabinet.

  49. 1. At first I smoked a bunch of cigarettes. I had quit, but when something traumatic happens, I go back to it for a little while. I like to drink and I drank pretty much everyday for a week. I don’t recommend either of those, but for me it helped. Also I learned a bunch of recipes, so now I can seduce a woman fairly well with cooking. Oh, and I can’t forget tumblr and Autostraddle. These helped distract me in wonderful ways from my most recent breakup.
    2. Let it be and do something everyday. It doesn’t have to be big or important, but it helps keep your mind off of the reality of what happened.
    3. My friends let me cry (which I never do). They let me be. They didn’t make me do anything. They just let me be and were there when I needed them. It was the best thing I could have asked for.
    4a. How about instead of ‘ice cream eaten directly out of the carton,’ ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery? After I was laid of from my job with benefits (it was in a bakery), my sister got me a job at Cold Stone. I can make ice cream, anyway you want it.
    4b. If you live in Bucks County, PA or have a way of getting to Bucks County, there’s a farm that makes and sells their own ice cream, made from milk from their cows. It is by far the best ice cream I have ever had.
    5. My most recent ex and I shared music all the time, so there are still parts of my iPod that I still have trouble listening to.

    • I love your idea of do something every day. As I said, I may need a month, but after that I would like to try this. Do something for ME every day.

      • Yes. And don’t be afraid to try something new. I joined an adult soccer league and I had a great time. I met a bunch of new people. My team went 0-8, but we celebrated our losses with a drink at the bar. Keep your head up and you got it :).

  50. this is such a great article! breakups suck, and autostraddle, thanks for helping so many of us pick up the pieces. i think the essential key to getting over a break up is doing something! it’s so true like k’s letter. hope everyone is having a good friday!

  51. You know that scene in “Closer” when Clive Owen comes home and Julia Roberts just cheated on him, and the awkward tension, and uncomfortable truths and the masochistic questions that you know you don’t want to know the answers to, but you ask anyway? This was my break-up scenario about 3 months ago. My coming home to the uncomfortable feeling that things were not the way I left them. That someone else had been in my space. Fortunately not physically in my bed or apt (yet), but emotionally in the place where I should have been. For 2 months, apparently.

    5 years, an apartment, furniture, and 2 dogs together, overnight turned into my sleeping on the couch in my own apt, feeling like an intruder in my own home, losing the ring (well selling it actually) that felt safe on my finger, and eventually my dogs too. Manhattan suddenly felt so small and too few people to separate us, so here I am in transit right now re-starting my life in LA.

    Steps to feeling better #1: the next day a very good friend brought me subway cookies. These are also a very good break-up food.
    Steps to feeling better #2: vodka-lots
    Steps to feeling better #3: casual sex
    That’s actually all I have for now, waiting for the next phase of feeling better.

    Still in slight denial of my feelings, still haven’t really cried like I want to, and don’t know when I will be able to. I find distraction to be my best remedy.

    I just hope that I can have my dogs back soon-I miss them.

  52. this thread is making me weep/LOL/ache for people i do not know, simultaneously. (and is also convincing me that maybe yall should restart your advice vlog because clearly we’re all in need of some comfort and guidance, and because it’d be like pot psychology! but kinder and funnier even, plus also gay. please?)

    that noted, my story:

    after 3 years of a lovely relationship, 1.5 of them long-distance, my gf and I decided to date other people until we could be in the same time zone. i started figuring out to make the move happen- quit my job, got a month-to-month-lease- but still maintaining this open phase. (in retrospect, probs terrible idea, but, ain’t that the way.)

    and then, as one does in these circumstances, i fell wildly insanely crazily not-eating-or-sleeping pop-song-on-the-radio in love with this Other Girl. we dated for barely any time at all; she knew about my girlfriend, and every moment was based on the premise that it would end. it all felt heartbreaking and death-defying and delirious, and i should have stopped it but it was too deep, kept rationalizing how it could be okay, was a big loveblind jerk, etc. (because these feelings were obviously not cool, not part of the arrangement. they’re like the Nightmare Cautionary Tale Version of that arrangement.)

    So, as planned, I moved to my girlfriend, and it’s been more than a year. for a while, i still talked to the Other Girl, ostensibly as friends. She was dating a new person, and it seemed somehow precariously okay.

    and now? it feels like that ruthless gertrude stein quote, “it does not matter really in the end who ends up with whom”, it’s mostly fine, my girlfriend and i have the sort of affectionate respectful shared life that i cannot help but be grateful for. how could i ask for something more or different, than a generous hot person who will pet my hair and go dancing and be charming and patient with parents and old friends?

    yet some days i wake up saying this Other Girl’s name and crying. sometimes i feel permanently haunted and don’t know when it will go away. and i don’t want it to because it feels so big and important and part of me. and this Other Girl loves me still, i know. we do not talk, but every few months she sends me these epic love notes and i have to muscle all my willpower in the world to not read them over and over until they’re memorized.

    is that normal? to feel different hopeless sorts of love for different people? when will it go away? when must we be honest and when is that honesty cruel? why is it so easy to be a big terrible baby? i love this Other Girl, but i can’t tell her that without betraying someone else i love. what if i mess up something stable and good just to feel a fleeting childlike thing?

    maybe i didn’t understand the assignment. but it feels like i’m breaking up with three people, one of them being my own fatuous self.

  53. Guys. I am trapped in this drunken fucked up birthday night situation with both the girls who have semi-dumped me (i.e. no sex but still touching and snuggling and we are going to live together, what even?) and all our friends and I am wasted off my face and I keep tearing up and people keep hugging me because I am 100% obviously not all right.

    I keep saying (KEEP SAYING) in answer to questions “I have a lot of feelings, but my number 1 feeling is vodka.”

    Thank you Autostraddle, for equipping me with the tools I need at this time.

      • In honour of this comment I gave serious consideration to drinking some water before I went to bed. But then I didn’t.

        However, I did kiss pretty girls who aren’t fucking with my head, and drink 3/4 of a litre of vodka.

        I’m calling this a win.

  54. I dated my first girlfriend (really the only gf) on and off for 6 years. It was a long distance relationship (we spent summers together). We had our ups and downs, a lot of passion. We broke up in ’06 (cos I couldn’t take the fighting) and got back together in ’08. She broke up with me in early ’09.

    I was shattered, all my dreams of finally being together and me going to college were gone. I felt so stupid for holding off going to a university in my country instead of waiting til we get enough money so I can move to her country. I couldn’t sleep until I was too drunk/sick to care about anything but going to sleep. About a week later she hooked up with her best friend and had a relationship with her for a while.

    A few months later she called me asking if we can try again. I was hesitant as I didn’t want to get hurt again, new promises were made and I started to let my wall down a bit. She broke up with me because “there’s no way we can be together” which translates to “oops I changed my mind again”.

    A year and a half after the initial break up I’m still not over it. She has a girlfriend and they’ve recently moved in together. Still that didn’t stop her from flirting with me until I put a stop to it. She said she flirts with everybody. It hurts to know that after 6 years I am “everybody”.

  55. damn, Autostraddle, I love you. This is perfect timing. Not perfect that my lover suddenly broke things off between us very suddenly and kind of harshly (I’ve been *jilted*. Like, legit jilted. WTF?), but perfect that this thread is here and the quesadilla and nerdy coping suggestions are here and that I see all these strong women learning to heal from heartbreak.

    I’ve been eating a lot of homemade french toast fried in a shit ton of butter lately. It makes me feel a lot less weepy. Oh and watching Buffy marathon-style on Netflix.

    Waiting for the semester to start- I think once I am busy with classes and my friends are back at school too, I will try to be very kick-ass and just march up to cute girls and flirt. I need snuggles and hot lady makeouts!

  56. i broke up with her, but she really sucked and drove me to it. i left and cried on the subway for maybe half an hour until i got where i was going. i was meeting a friend who i then had sex with immediately. we’re still together, and this time it’s much better. GAY.

    my point is that hopping into bed with someone else works for me, every time.

  57. I feel like it’s important to mention that lesbians are very much capable of abuse or domestic violence or what have you. It’s not often discussed but it sure should be, because it certainly happens.

    • There’s a documentary about that too, “She stole my voice” youtube says. I haven’t seen it though, only heard about it.

      Important topic to discuss indeed.

  58. Tonight will be the first night of no communication.
    Complete isolation.
    I am waiting for the withdrawals to start.
    Technically, it started weeks ago, like when you are a quitting heroin and you sign up for that program where they shoot you up with some other bullshit for so many days and at the end you are done and no longer a junky.
    Except when they replaced my drug no one told me. So for weeks the high had been fake, and worthless, and I could feel it but lacked understanding as to why, and now they tell me “Surprise! We have entered you into this program without your knowledge or consent, and as of tonight you are done and no longer addicted to your substance of choice.”
    But it doesn’t really work that way. The craving is still there, It is even stronger because you know that, for weeks now, something has been off. And now that you have this knowledge, you would do anything to get the experience of that first high. You want to be shot like a rocket up into space, to loose yourself, to forget self control and give in to desire. You want more then anything to relive that first kiss, that first intimate moment when you realize that another living, breathing, complicated human being wants you to be theirs.
    I had always told her that she was the apple of my eye, the sun in my sky, the song in my heart, and the goddess at who’s altar I worshipped. I don’t think she ever believed me.
    And so it ended, on a cold, impersonal note. No one screamed, and no one was upset. The worst part about that sort of break up is the finality of it. There is no passion, because no passion is left. There is no reconciliation after a conversation like that.
    “I dont know how to say this”
    “I know… I know, and its a good idea…”
    “You deserve someone who is totally into you”
    “Yeah, I know that too..”
    So here we go into our first night of no communication.
    Of complete isolation.
    At least no matter how bad it treats you, heroin will always want you back.

    I know its a novel, and sooooo gay, but i wrote it a while back and didnt know where to put it.

  59. Here I am. Making it quick after all you amazing stories.

    Love at first sight. Lots lots of love.
    I told her since day one: “I’m bipolar, things *might* get weird but don’t take it personally, it’ll pass, I’ve got a great therapist and 7 years of treatment, I’ll be fine! I love you!”.
    Well, this has a coming out story on her part. Didn’t went ok; her sister almost got phisical on her. The we lived together for a year and guess what? I had a major crisis. Major crisis.
    And she took it personally.

    We yelled, fought, and in two days, she moved out completely. I got worse. I was in the hospital for 3 days, staring at the ceiling, not being able to talk, sleep or eat. Doctors drugged my ass off. I was in soul pain. My friends took turns not to leave me alone and cuddle me for almost a month. I had a “vacation leave” at work.

    It broke HER heart when my soul broke. My heart broke about a year later.
    I feel guilty, totally in love with her (I never stopped doing so) but I know I put her thru hell.
    Two years have passed.
    She just asks me “why?” and I can’t even answer.

    She moved to Canada. I moved to Chile. They say “stay apart”, don’t they? Well, it hasn’t worked. She is with somebody right now. When I knew, I got suicidal. I’m better now but still, I wake up at 4 am totally in tears.

    This is a story of two hearts getting broken. This is a “pills are not the answer” one as well.

    • i am your proverbial gf in this story. i know people say that a lot, “omg, this is me. this is my story.” but yours is so specific and, well, so is mine. i mean, there are differences, but jesus h, the similarities.

      love at first site for both of us. she told me very early on that she was bipolar. her major crisis was really rough. the only part i took personally was the part where she cheated on me. i swear to g-d, i would’ve stayed through a lifetime of one crisis after another but i couldn’t deal with the broken trust.

      it’s also been two years for us and i don’t know… i had a chance to take her back a year ago and i just couldn’t do it. sometimes i wish that i could’ve forgiven her, but i know in my bones that by going our separate ways, we did the right thing. our love, and maybe yours, was just too fucking intense. sometimes i felt like i couldn’t breath, i loved her so much.

      i don’t know where i’m going with this. i guess… i just wanted to tell you that i get it. i’ve been there. it sucks and sometimes i wish i could pull an eternal sunshine of the spotless mind and erase that shit. but i don’t think i ever really could. for as fucked up as it was and would be if we tried again, i’m grateful. and i’m gonna try like hell to be ok with the grateful part and nothing more. at least from her.


      • maybe this is coming from a side where i have always had a problem being truthful (i think i got it down now though)

        but why can’t you forgive the person?

        i feel for me, i could definitely forgive, but i don’t know. i just really want to know why some people can’t.

        • i guess what i should’ve said was that i couldn’t forgive her then. i have now. the thing is, i’m usually pretty quick to forgive in most situations, but i had a hard time with that one. i just felt so used and it took me about a year and a half to let go of that anger and resentment.

          it wasn’t just that she cheated on me, and several times (high five!). it was that she thought it was hilarious when recounting each tale behind my back. to my face she was “I AM SO SORRY, PLEASE FORGIVE ME” and behind my back she was lol-ing and halfheartedly wishing that she were a better person.

          but yeah, i’ve forgiven now. and i would totally hug it out with her, but i really don’t think i’ll ever see her again for the rest of my life.

          • ah i see

            i guess it would take time to forgive someone for that. i also guess maybe i shouldn’t expect people to just forgive right away, so unrealistic.

            ho hum, well, i’m glad you forgave her. : )
            even if she acted really poorly, it’s feels good to not have negative feelings towards somone.

      • Well, proverbials girlfriends, I never had the chance to fully explain what happens on my mind when it blows up and shatters. I do really stupid things, really really stupid.

        Cheating is one of many; not in this case, thanks god. Trowing things at you while I shout about how awful this dish you lovely cooked for me is might seem harmless in comparison.

        That aside, I then feel very guilty and take on self hate and physical pain to explain other flavors of pain that I very much can’t control and obvioulsy affected you.
        That sucks.

        I wish with all my heart you could be able to forgive me but I think I could not even forgive myself. I understand. That’s ok. I am a grown up that can cope, can’t I?

        Also, a note: my friends that have cuddle with me many many times before, would like to know WHY you weren’t able to manage the FIRST major crisis.

        Elida, as my proverbial girlfriend, said that she would have handle a lot more of them.
        I would love to know as well.

        Weren’t you the right one for me?
        We might never know :(

        • i was able to manage b/c i knew it wasn’t about me. so, i didn’t take it personally. it was just this thing that had a hold of her. you know? like, i’d look into her eyes and know that she wasn’t there. i was terrified, but for her and not for me. she’d break things and say really shitty things and yell and scream and cry and then she’d crash and the self hatred would kick in and she’d hurt herself instead of me.

          they say that really devastating events in life bring out our true colors. and on that one night, when i saw her eyes glaze over for the first time, i knew instantly that i loved her too much to run. so i dug my heels in and weathered many more episodes like that until i found out what she’d been doing behind my back.

  60. my most painful breakup is yet to come. We’ve been together 8+ years but I don’t think any of them have been real for her. I’ve loved her every moment and probably will for many days ahead but I know the love she returns isn’t the same as mine.It’s just been easier to live together and pretend because after all, I’m a realist and life is easier when it’s shared. I told myself I was lucky enough just finding someone to pretend but every day it seems less enough. I have a plan now and I can feel that person I once was waking up, ready for the challenge. I just need the resolve.

  61. Think the worst breakups are those you didn’t know happened. And I thought she was my girlfriend, we sure acted like it. And 2 weeks before we both had to leave college for a year, she told me she didn’t know what ‘this’ is. And then, we both just left, no talks no nothing. She had issues, I’ll give her that. And I wanted to help her, make her happy. But all she did was push me away. I thought she didn’t care about me, but truth was, I was too frustrated with her to see all the little things.

    Now I’m filled with guilt and regret. I could’ve helped her get better, make her happy. I know she’s hurting because of her issues, and I want to hurt for her. I love her and if only I know she still feels anything remotely for me, I’ll do anything to make her happy.

  62. Long time listener, first time caller. :)

    I recently (2 weeks ago) was broken up with by my girlfriend of 2 years. We moved in together right away and she’s been parenting my 9 year old daughter like her own. She decided a few weeks ago that she needs to go be “25” for awhile before becoming a parent. Now I find out she’s “exploring” things with a 21 year old. I can’t eat, can’t sleep. I feel like I’m losing my mind. She tells me that she’s confused, that she doesn’t know what she wants or who she is, but I seriously want to throw up thinking about her with anyone else. :/

    I don’t know how to move forward! Help. :/

    • oh geeze, i’m right there with you. today would have been the 2 year anniversary for myself and the girl i love. We had a whirlwind romance; getting to know her was the most amazing experience of my life. Learning her loves, her fears, what made her smile, how to touch her… it was magical. I was 34, I’d been married; but never had i experienced falling in love. Like a fucking drug. We had a beautiful relationship for a long time, until last september when she left me and broke my heart into a million tiny pieces on the floor. She found someone new, and i felt like i was crumbling, for months. Finally I started to heal. I even had a new crush. Things were looking up. And then she told me she was still in love with me.

      Just like that, I was back in her arms, safe and warm, where I felt like I belonged my whole life. It was better than winning the goddamn lottery. And for a long time, we were happy again. And then… in september… she left me again. (i’m learning to despise september, yes).

      The catch was that we decided to stay friends. And we live together (yes, still). I was learning to be okay. I was learning to be okay without the sex, the cuddling, holding hands as we fell asleep. I still had this girl in my life, every day. I could still share so much with her, and I was honestly working on getting to a point where I was okay with the idea that we wouldn’t be together again as lovers.

      Then November happened. She met someone new. I am now watching, with a front row seat, as she falls in love. It’s so obvious, it’s written all over her face. She’s happy. She’s in love. And I am motherfucking devastated. Especially since she told me we were breaking up because she needed space, because she needed to deal with her issues alone, because she was conflicted about her sexuality. Five weeks later, she’s falling in love with another girl.

      Last year I handled things horribly. I went crazy. I drank, I cried and cried and cried… I sent awful texts while drunk and heartbroken. I drove my poor friends crazy, having to listen to me lamenting, day after day.
      This year, I am fighting the urges. I’m not drinking, because that only leads to terrible behavior on my part. I’m biting my tongue, I’m putting away the phone. I’m letting her live her life and be happy. Because I LOVE her, I really do. And I want her to be happy. It kills me that it won’t be with me. Like Melle, it makes me want to vomit every time i think of them together. Every night that she spends at her girlfriend’s house and isn’t home in the morning. Everytime I see something on facebook that I wish I hadn’t read. I feel like I’ve lost everything.

      Reading that email from Krista was the best thing ever; I needed it so effing hard. Thanks guys. (don’t worry; i’m moving out in january. i do want to stay friends with her, somehow, someday. She means too much to me to throw away that close friendship we grew together. yeah, i’m a sucker).

  63. reading over that, the dates were kind of confusing. The first break up was in september of 2009, then we got back together and spent nearly another year together… then she left me again september of THIS year, and met the new girl last month. yeah.

  64. I should have read all these first girlfriend posts before I became an idiot.

    My ex was my first girlfriend ever Kimberly, we dated for a year and a half. I was so head over heels in love with her, when she left me for someone else. It took me months to get over her, so I did the only thing I knew to do. I got with another girl right away. In time things got better with someone else to fill the hole. We eventually broke up too.

    Kimberly dated julie for 3 years. They had the perfect relationship I was so envious. They finally broke up, and I became friends with Kimberly again. I remembered all the things I loved about her. Julie stayed friends with her, which had bothered me from the start. When is it okay to get drunk with your ex’s all the time?. But i ignored it to get the girl back. Well ten months down the line.. It drove me fucking crazy. So we broke up. Although Im the reason, I’m still so madly in love with her. I told her i would confess my love to her for 100 days before moving on. Who does that? But I gave her my word. I would take her back if she still wanted me :( It’s sad, because after all this mess, I still love her so much.
    But today was the day I started to feel some kind of closure. Yeah YOU, I’m keeping your Jason Reeves CD. I’m may be crying every night while you go out and party and suppress your emotions cause your too freaking drunk. You will be the one to get a girlfriend next month because I know there’s always a “side” plate with you. When it comes down to it, I will cry less and less, there will be a day I Don’t cry anymore; Because I’m living for me. Learning how to do things on my own for once. I don’t need anyone else right now. I’m 20 years old. And when your tied down to some girl arguing and calling her a psychotic bitch..

    I will be alone in my own bed happily asleep, at peace with the situation because I did it on my own time.


  65. I am not sure if anyone still reads this blog, but I could really use some advice or coping measures from anyone who has gone through this. Side note: I usually also love quesadillas, but my appetite has recently been eradicated.

    My girlfriend broke my heart last Monday; thus, ending my first relationship of either gender. I am 22 years old, but I feel 15 with the flood of emotions sweeping through me. I envy the rest of you, with your 2+ year relationships as she and I only made it 9 months.

    The break up caught me completely by surprise as we seldom fought and I spent every waking moment trying to be the best girlfriend that I could. When she ended it she promised me that there was nothing wrong with me nor was the break up a reflection of anything wrong I had done. Feeling powerless, I combated her saying “I don’t understand, you said I was smart enough, pretty enough, fun enough.” She said that I was all of those things. I responded back saying “well I don’t think I’ve changed in those departments in the last 9 months.” She said that I hadn’t changed, that I was a great person, and should have somebody who would treat me the way I deserved.

    So 4 days, 22 hours, and 11 minutes later I still do not understand. My friends have tried to help me comprehend. They say that she and I grew apart. Well, in my opinion, she grew apart; I did not. I am still here, stuck, and longing for the girl who once brought in all the sunshine of my world.

    I wish I could hate her, but – even in the wake up this break up – there’s not a single thing about her that I don’t like. I don’t even know if I can date another girl without trying to measure her to the standard that I am so accustomed to. About a week before we confessed our feelings for each other and started dating, she told me that my life was empty without love. Well, if I did not realize it then, I certainly do now. :[

    • I know I’m, what, six months too late but I hope you’ve managed to see there’ll always be someone else. It totally sucks. I know how you feel, but if it hasn’t already, one day it’ll just click and it will feel like someone has just slapped you around the face and told you, ‘look, she didn’t realise how great you are, if she did she’d have wanted you, she doesn’t even deserve you!’ and you’ll move on. It will still hurt sometimes, but most of the time you’ll be fine. Turn you life around. Do the things you love. Be who you are. Someone will appreciate you. Good luck.

  66. My only girl-breakup was the most soul-crushing experience in my tender 19 years.

    My superbly efficient coping technique was sitting on the back steps of my house chainsmoking and drinking gin straight from the bottle for seven days. Solid. My housemates would come and hold me as I wept and try to convince me to try to eat/sleep/leave the house/shower, but I would just wail and glare.

    On the seventh day, one of my housemates carried my into the shower, laid out clean slothes for me, and cooked me soup. He led me gently out of the house so I could remember there was a world out there and invited me to sleep in his bed for as long as it took for me to be okay sleeping alone.

    I wish everyone had such an amazing friend in their life.

    So after the first few months of teary drunken starved heartache, I turned to wild promiscuity to try to disract myself from the gaping hole in my heart/life/mind; not the wisest of choices.

    Then I got tattooed, cut my hair, and started s strong, brave new year in which I will rid her from my bones.

  67. My only girl-breakup was the most soul-crushing experience in my tender 19 years.

    My superbly efficient coping technique was sitting on the back steps of my house chainsmoking and drinking gin straight from the bottle for seven days. Solid. (I would move only to fetch another bottle from my bedroom) My housemates would come and hold me as I wept and try to convince me to try to eat/sleep/leave the house/shower, but I would just wail and glare.

    On the seventh day, one of my housemates carried me into the shower, laid out clean clothes for me, and cooked me soup. He led me gently out of the house by the hand so I could remember there was a world out there and invited me to sleep in his bed for as long as it took for me to be okay sleeping alone.

    I wish everyone had such an amazing friend in their life.

    So after the first few months of teary drunken starved heartache, I turned to wild promiscuity to try to disrtact myself from the gaping hole in my heart/life/mind; not the wisest of choices.

    Then I got tattooed, cut my hair, and started a strong, brave new year in which I will rid her from my bones.

  68. I stopped looking at the places we used to go and have fun and kiss as sad places where that could never happen again. Because even though I knew that those things would never happen there again and never with her again, I nonetheless realized that good things could happen in those places in the future, too. Like maybe that park that we went to after we saw that play and made out in doesn’t have to always be “that park.” Maybe it can be a park where I can have fun and play frisbee with my friends and it doesn’t have to be sad.

    And maybe all that jewelry you bought for me and made for me doesn’t have to be a constant reminder of you but instead something cute that will match this dress that I can wear to some party. Maybe I don’t have to destroy all this evidence of you in my life and instead I can appreciate it and move past it, in time. Probably someday I can be ok again.

  69. Does it make a difference whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee?

    I’ve never been dumped, only ever been the dumpee. And even though I always knew it was time to move on, for various reasons, I always hurt so much knowing that I hurt someone that I’d held close to in the night and had told told her that I’d never hurt her. I always feel like such a liar and now I won’t say that I won’t hurt someone, because I might.

  70. I recently completely broke away from a high school love triangle. I thought it would never end. I never dared think what would happen if the triangle broke. But it did, and after thinking it was so bad, it isn’t anymore.

    Here’s the story.

    First year in high school, I fell in love with the first girl I ever liked. I never felt romantically towards the same sex before. It was a miracle. We quickly became close and felt the same way. That’s when I became aware of the same-sex relationship world and started seeing things I never saw before. And that’s when I noticed that I had took her from her former best friend, who had feelings for her. I desperately hated myself for not noticing(she didn’t know either then), so I tried to make it up by inviting her friend to everything and being extremely nice. The borders of friendship and love were extremely blurry, and I didn’t have a clue which was which. My girlfriend mistaken it for me two-timing, and started hanging around 20 guys a day. We broke up. Her friend confessed and told me she had started liking me. I was dumbfounded. The triangle appeared.

    Her friend and I started being there for each other, but I firmly rejected the idea of an relationship, and even though, as much as I hate myself for it, I knew she never stopped loving me. At that time, everybody was giving me a hard time, including my verbally and physically abusive parents, and I needed a shoulder to rest on. She was always there for me. My (ex)girlfriend and I kept criss-crossing along the blurry line of love and friendship. She never told me she loved me. She never dared to say that she didn’t anymore either. And I stood firmly, helping her whenever she needed an extra hand. Always there when she fell. I always stood loving her, and she knew. Similarly, her friend did too, and I knew.

    about two weeks ago. I finally broke the glass. I couldn’t stand the guy that kept chasing her anymore. I couldn’t handle it without wanting to hit him. After graduation, he bent down on one knee crying his ass out, and begged her to take him. I ran all the way home, bawling my eyes out to the street all the while, trying to keep myself away from them. I thought, maybe I was wrong to want to keep her away from a safer future. But I loved her. Maybe I should wish they would fall for each other so she would have a safer future. But I loved her so much.

    I formally and completely broke clean with them. I was an asshole to her friend, to my best buddy, who I hurt so badly. My advice, never ever use somebody like that. It will grind into your heart, and turn you into a bitch. She will never want to see you ever again. You will cry your little ass off. My ex-girlfriend and I are a different issue. Thought it was a misunderstanding, it dragged too long, and dragged us too far apart. I know it’ll never be again. She had already gone through the forgetting about me part. I want her to have a better future away from me. It’s done. My advice, ALWAYS talk things through, especially when you’re new it this.

    I have moved on too. The trick is, to keep your mind off it. Because, what’s done is done. It’s REALLY NOT going to come back, and you know it right? So what’s the point of wasting sleep and tears on WHY? and HAPPY MEMORIES (which are for you to keep and smile at, not for you to bawl over and not make any progress). What’s the point of self-pity? Except to learn morals from, of course. Nobody really lives a fairytale, and you’re no exception. You won’t die. She wasn’t meant for you forever. Somebody new will pick you up, I promise. It may seem impossible, but everybody who has been through this will tell you it isn’t. Look forward, not backwards. Take a deep breath and keep on moving! All the best.

    • PS. figure out the where the line goes, don’t blur it and think that’s ok. Dude, love is love, you really only should love one. Always make it clear, don’t end up hurting someone.

  71. oh hey, late to the party. Even though this is an old thread, I’m hijacking it for cathartic purposes, so y’allfags better be ready. here goes.

    I am currently killing time until my soon-to-be-ex gets off work at 5. She and I were amazingly good for each other in the beginning, each helping the other out of our respective sad places. I tend to get a “Last Unicorn” complex, feeling like the last unpaired lesbian of my kind, and after having gone through a series of abusive, awful girls she was under the impression that all girls were terrible.

    fast forward to now. She gets CRAZY JEALOUS of my friends, and has such social anxiety (my words) that she can’t even begin to enjoy being in a group of people with me. Her anxiety stresses me out, and the whole thing is in a shambles. So my choices now are either to keep my social life in quarantine from her, or to end a relationship that is pretty visibly doing each of us more harm than good, so we can both move on. That bitch of it is that when we are alone (but only then), she is the sweetest person I have ever met. so, this is going to be an incredibly hard, painful thing to do.

    thanks for listening.

  72. Text messages. I know they are easier………… BUT WHY? D= I vote for a phone-calls. *still deliberating whether or not to delete the message* It’s been like two month…*stares at phone*

  73. This thread hasn’t been used in a while but I’m coming on here anyways.

    I have been in s a relationship for a year and a half. We would fight randomly and big. I would beg her to change and not be so cold at times and she would beg me to change. Neither of us ever did. However, we were always madly in love. Skip ahead to 10 days ago. We were in class and certain things arouse and she ended things.

    These past 10 days have been the hardest of my entire life. We always told each other no matter what we would always be friends.

    So this past week, we hung out. As friends. I had my moments when I would accidentally act couple-y and i could tell it made her uncomfortable. But to be fair she would yank my chain. She would play me hot and cold and I was trying to be her friend. I just needed time to understand the new dynamic to our relationship.

    Well I haven’t talked to her since class on Thursday (it is now Sunday). I figured a weekend without talking would help her remember me and us and how we were. It didn’t.

    This morning she hung out with a mutual friend and he called me afterwards because he thought we should remain friends if anything. He said “Right now, she doesn’t know if she can be friends with you because you act coupley with her”

    That hurt. Soon after I got off the phone with him, she called and asked if she could come over and get some stuff she had left at my house. She came over and I apologized for making her uncomfortable and for acting coupley. She said she was glad I saw it but she still doesn’t know if she can be my friend at this point in time. However, she did say “We switched our friendship into a long relationship. So if we’re going to try a friendship we’re going to have to basically start over” Which I am more than okay with. Basically, we’re going to start hanging out in a group setting to help take the awkward out of the first few hang outs then go from there to solo hang outs.

    Honestly, I’d rather just jump into a friendship but it would probably do both of us a disservice. I’m absolutely in love with this girl. Absolutely.

    As of right now, we’re in no mans land. Until we hang out in a group setting. Then, after I don’t act coupley and just stay friends I think she will open up to the idea of being a friend and a friendship can blossom. I think we both need space as of right now. To focus on ourselves and revisit it later.

    She is a great friend and I miss having her in my life more than anything. And if I have to keep her in my life by being her friend then so be it. However, do I want to be her friend more than anything, you bet your gay ass I do.

    I’m coming to terms with, if it’s meant to be then it will be. I need to learn not to rush things and to let time heal all wounds.

    Guess we will have to see what happens.

  74. Updating in this thread because I feel like the loneliest person alive.

    I dumped him because after nine months, I realize I’m meant to be with women. But I did love him. I loved him so much it stopped making sense. But I couldn’t deny the truth. I know I did the right thing in ending it, but I feel terrible.

    Not sure how to readjust to life without him. I’m hoping he’ll change his mind about us not being friends. He helped me through so much, and we were each others’ support systems.

    Red wine and Fiona Apple, here I am.

  75. I’m so grateful for old threads like this. Reading the letter sent to Riese made me cry, but after moving into that stage where I can’t feel anything, it made me feel again. And feel a little less alone.

    Love you AS!

  76. So…. I’m still in a relationship, but really thinking about breaking up. we’ve been together 10 years, we had a big almost-wedding 6 years ago. She was my first love. She’s saved my life when I had crippling depression, and Ive saved hers and stayed with her thru detox. Has anyone else broken up with their wife or love of their life? If I do this I’m prettu sure I’ll loose my mind again, and she may drink again. We’re so co-dependent, she’s so critical and I’m so lonely and hurt by the years of arguing that its basically beyond fixing. we’ve tried, we’ve been trying for years. This isn’t going to be simple. its going to be moving out, separating our 3 dogs, moving cities… god, will I survive?

    • Hi Rach,
      I’m in a very similar position now. I really need a kindred spirit to talk to about these feelings….it’s scary I feel like I’m throwing your whole life over board of i go through with this. Anyway thank you for this comment. I hope whatever path you chose has been the one that has guided you back to happiness <3

    • I know you posted this years ago but I’m facing something eerily similar right now and I just gotta know….did you survive? someone please tell me its going to be ok.

  77. First read, so emotionally draining i took a 3 hour nap. Second read, i got up and had some chicken broth. Third read, i finished unpacking my car even though i left 12 days ago (pretend for my sake I’m not counting). Fourth read, i might just do something outside of my blankets for thanksgiving…and might even comment on the age old thread. A few more reads and maybe, just maybe I’ll start feeling human again. Thanks for this, EVERYONE.

  78. I first read Riese’s friends email three years ago after my first break up and it massively comforted me then. Three years later i’m going through another horrible break up and I remembered that email and came back to find it -such a reassuring, wonderful read <3

  79. I wish this was an active open thread right now – because I’m experiencing my first real an true break up, of my first love, and simply put: it’s horrible! I’ve binged through the break up post on the archive, an I’m about to browse these comments and see what they offer.
    It’s worth saying though that friends and wonderful, and, so is time – even if I go frm Fine to Worse to Fine again with time, it seems, haha.
    Here’s to everyone whose heart has ever been broken. Heres to all our hearts mending, and realistically, breaking again – but that’s okay. These things happen. He’s to falling for the cute straight coworker, for your wonderful gay friend unfortunately in the UK, to the cute girl at the coffee shop, to not falling in love, or rather falling in love with yourself and having a damn good time with that
    life’s got multitudes. Time to explore every one of them.

  80. I don’t know if this thread is still going or not but I wanted to write just in case! Maybe just writing will help.

    I am going through my first real heartbreak right now, and it’s so, so hard. I had been with my girlfriend for two and a half years. For the last few months, she was a senior in college and I was in my first year of post-grad life. It wasn’t working — we clearly had different priorities and needs, and it seemed that it just wasn’t the right time to be together, even though we loved each other so much. It was real love and it was so good. We thought we’d be together forever. We’d talked about it. It felt like we should break up for now but would likely still come back together later.

    We had been doing an open relationship mostly because she wanted to. (I now know myself well enough to realize that doesn’t work for me, but I didn’t know then.) During those few months where it wasn’t really working, she hooked up with another girl. Someone she had been telling me she was so excited about becoming friends with. Someone who just realized she liked girls. And then they hooked up. It hurt a lot. I thought I had agreed to an open relationship where we both prioritized each other far and away above whoever we might be physically interested in. When there were people I wanted to hook up with, I would literally laugh at the prospect of actually dating them. So of course it hurt that she chose to hook up with a girl who she had literally told me she thought was so cool, was so happy to get to know, etc.

    We broke up shortly after they hooked up, because that pushed me over the edge. As I said, things hadn’t been working, so I thought of that as a sort of tipping point, rather than the whole reason we were breaking up. The break up was almost bizarrely amicable, because I could chalk it all up to basically being two people that loved each other dearly, that were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Less than three weeks after the end of our 2.5 year relationship, I hear that she is dating this other girl. My ex doesn’t tell me herself (though I had asked her to) — I hear about it through my friends that are still at school. It’s now been two weeks since I learned they’re dating.

    This has made me look back on the last few months of our relationship so differently, and just at who my ex really is. I realized she was emotionally cheating on me and that deep down, I knew. That’s why it hurt so much to hear about this girl. That’s why it pushed me over the edge. That explains why she couldn’t or wouldn’t prioritize our relationship — she wanted to leave herself open to physically and emotionally fuck someone else.

    I have cut off all communication with my ex, because every time she tried to reach out to me it made me feel physically ill, light-headed and just so scared. I just feel like the rug was pulled out from beneath my feet. Like the person I loved disappeared. Because the person I loved wouldn’t have let herself fall for someone else while she was with me. But she did. She did just that.

    More than anything, I want closure. She wants to talk to me and says she wants to apologize, but I feel pretty sure I won’t get closure from her, especially because I no longer trust her at all.

    I am doing all that I can to not feel bad all the time, and I’m so lucky to have really, really supportive friends, family and roommates, but I just hate feeling so sad when it feels like I didn’t even choose this kind of hell. We had an amicable break-up. She chose to emotionally cheat. She chose not to tell me. She chose this, and yet I have to deal with the consequences of her actions.

    How can I find closure? I would really love to hear any advice anyone might have. Thanks ladies. Also I love Autostraddle; thank you Autostraddle.

  81. This hasnt been posted in to for a while…but I figure I’d drop in anyway.

    My ex broke up with 7.5 weeks ago. It was real, hard, honest love. She wasnt too good with words and wouldnt communicate, she once wrote me a letter saying how safe she felt with me and how if there was such thing as soul mates then this was it.

    6 weeks before the breakup, we were involved in a traumatic event, this resulted in her pushing me away, throwing herself into work whilst also saying how much she hated work. Going through a series of potential job options, and taking on some serious debt. I became upset, rejected and felt abandoned. I wanted to help and support and compromise but it just turned into an argument. Eventually she ran off to an old city she had spent some time in and stayed with old friends. While there, I worried. I worried so much about her. That week she broke up with me over text. I did all the wrong things following that – I begged, I cried, I continued to support through difficult times she was having. She continuously said she would always be there for me, couldnt be in a relationship, needed to be alone, I was too much. She took time off work, she went back to the other city, things got more difficult between us. I can honestly say her back and forth behaviour (not talking, suddenly sharing good news, not talking, wanting to pick me up from nights out, not talking wanting me to support her course), has made me feel crazy. She told me I was to blame for her being unwell, she resigned from her job and left the city with no other job – said it was my fault she had to do those things.

    She now has a new girlfriend (who is an old friend that she met up with whilst out of the city the first time…she initially told me it was just someone to make her feel good and she would hate it had I done the same thing). They are now an official couple. She arived at my house to collect some last bits from me and bought her along for the ride. That didnt go well…I wanted a conversation, she refused, she told me she would call the police – it was freaking dramatic!

    I have realised I was fully idolised, devalued and replaced. It fully feels like shit and has really made me question who I am. I was lined up to replace the ex (who I was told was a bully and emotionally abusive and crazy), and the new girlfriend appears to have been lined up to replace me.

    Thanks for reading of anyone got to this! Just a bit of air time often helps!

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