Smile because you’re so happy. Smile because you’re thinking about her, and ahh! She’s so cute! Smile because she’s thinking about you. You know this, because she just texted you saying, “Thinking of you!” Fall in love. Be in love. Think that you invented love because surely no one has ever – ever – felt like this before. Your bodies fit together so well. Feel like you finally understand what that Postal Service song is about. Spend a lot of time together, all of your time together. Listen to your friends bitch about how they never see you alone anymore. Calmly explain that they’ll understand…once they invent love for themselves.
Meet a cute girl and notice it. Don’t flirt with her, but think about her for the rest of the day. Have sex with your partner that night, ’cause since you saw that girl, all you’ve wanted to do was fuck. But all this is normal, and you still love your girlfriend, really and truly. Honestly, actually.
Have your first fight, and see yourself hurt her. Or see her hurt you. Probably both — definitely both. Process your feelings and realize it’s all still worth it. Begin to fight more regularly, and notice yourself becoming increasingly passive aggressive. Hate that about yourself. Give it some space. Notice that space is good. Maybe too good. Wonder what it’s like to be single. Stay together anyway because you don’t want to take the easy way out. Open up your relationship, because it means you’re so secure. Realize you’re not as secure as you thought you were; that you’ve really just been skirting the issue, putting band-aids on broken buildings. Feel guilty, and a little sad.
Drink a lot of wine and talk about how you love each other while crying and making out. Only remember part of it in the morning. Go out for coffee to talk about it. Break up — for real this time — and cry in a coffee shop, maybe not for the first time. Smoke a pack of cigarettes in bed and refuse to sleep alone for two weeks. Lure friends over and realize that cuddling with them just isn’t the same.
Get your hair cut, even though no one will notice. She would have noticed. Sigh. Wish you were still together. Wait, no, wish you were still together…but happy. Reminisce about falling in love and that part where you were so excited and you had all the sex all the time and you giggled. Hear Beyonce’s “Love on Top” on the radio one morning and think about it for literally the rest of the day. See a young mother laughing with her child on your walk to work and wish you had someone to hold hands with at that very moment.
Stop talking to her altogether, because it’s too hard, and delete her from Facebook, because you just don’t want to know. Spend a LOT of time with your friends – sober – and realize how important they are. Realize that your friendships are relationships, just not romantic, and they’re important too. Talk to people who have been through breakups and realize you’re not alone. Because just like you thought you invented love, you also thought that you invented heartbreak. Understand that this awful, debilitating sentiment is not limited to only you. But everything still hurts. Realize that they all survived, and that heartbreak is a common experience, crushing though it may be. Know that most everyone else lived through it, and now you’re a part of this big, beautiful thing, this universal feeling, this harrowing experience. You’ll live through it, because everyone else did. You’ll probably live through it again. Write a haiku about this feeling and post it on your Tumblr. Everyone likes it! They’ve been there, too.
Sleep with someone else, and realize that’s something you can do. High five people and go through the day all chipper, ’cause you had sex last night, bitch! Wish it was sex with her, but know that can’t happen. Sleep with other people! Or don’t! Either way, realize your own autonomy, and relish it. Keep missing her, but feel something new: relief. Understand you probably felt it the second you broke things off, but couldn’t admit it, because admitting it would mean you didn’t love her. Don’t worry, you did, you really did. But sometimes it’s just not enough, and sometimes it just doesn’t work. Stop blaming yourself, or stop blaming her. Both. The relief is so honest, and you hope she feels it too, whatever she’s doing these days.
Start talking again, and get your friendship back. Realize how much you’ve missed her! Not her in your arms, or her in your bed, but her as a person. She knows you so well, and vice versa.
Wait, are you still in love with her?
Think about it for a second…nah. But you do love her, just not like that, which, by the way, still doesn’t mean you want to meet her new girlfriend. Realize you might be happy, and not only that, but happy for her.
Date around a little, but don’t get into anything serious. You’re not looking for a relationship, ’cause you know who you’re dating? Yourself. Because if you can’t make it work with yourself, then how are you supposed to make it work with anyone?