Lesson 31: You May Not Be Better Off Without Him…But You Will Be.
No girl is “better off” heartbroken. And yet when you find yourself newly single attending your first mostly-couples party disappointingly sober, the frenemy you wish was just your enemy drops her not-so-consoling version of a consolation for your breakup – “You’re better off without him,” she says and you cant help but want to punch her.
Too often women tell other women they are better off without the man who they’ve recently split from and every time, I can’t help but wonder if they’d still say that if the man who’d just left me had cured cancer or spent his free time saving baby animals from oil spills. Out of habit we tell our girlfriends that they’re better off without their exes not really considering what a statement like that means.
Good intentions aside, something about hearing “you’re better off without him” never really makes you believe it. Unless your ex was a drug-dealing, lying-and-cheating, animal-hating hoodlum, chances are there were parts of your relationship with him that made you happy. Give yourself some credit by giving him some credit. Hearing the words “you’re better off” feels anything but warm when the guy you’re no longer with is actually an amazing person. Maybe your relationship made you a better person and it seems unfitting that you would take away from all that you cherished in the relationship to give in to this whole “better off without him” theory. Not to mention, you’ve got to wonder if there’s someone out there telling your ex that he’s better off without you.
It’s hard to believe you truly are better off without a guy when you’re spending your first few days post-breakup wearing one of his button-down shirts you refuse to give back, unable to leave the comfort of your bed’s comforter. You don’t have to be “better off” to get over a breakup.
There’s nothing eloquent about a breakup so naturally there’s no eloquent way to describe them – breakups suck, period. We’ll tell ourselves anything and everything to get over them but how much of what we try to believe really makes a difference? Why not instead just accept that you won’t feel better off and that you’ll just have to mourn what used to be for a while? Since not all great relationships have great endings, make your own.
Instead of telling you “you’re better off without him,” your friends (or frenemies) should be telling you “it’ll get better in time.” Focus your post-breakup days on healing as opposed to being “better off.” Don’t burden yourself with the daunting task of trying to ignore that you were ever part of a relationship, that you ever shared your life with a guy who decided he didn’t want to be a part of it anymore. Somehow trying to forget something reminds you of it more so if you miss him, accept it and understand that missing someone, while bothersome, is not enough to put your life on hold.
As flattering as it is to believe the women in our lives when they take our sides, saying we’re better off without the men who left us, that they were no good anyway, is simply illogical. Our exes can be our exes and still be good people and more importantly, we can, in time, learn to live without them. Take the parts you love and miss of the relationship, whether it’s fairly life-changing like a sunnier disposition or something as small as remembering to turn the lights off when you leave a room, and each day make an effort to incorporate them in your newly single life.
Got it? Feel empowered? Good. Now get the first 30 rules of the Single Girl Society