Life Lessons From Broken Long-Term Relationships in Your 20s
The Only Broken-Hearted Advice You'll Ever Need
The end of a long term relationship is a lot like raising a child; it's frustrating, can often be loud and demeaning, and you're usually left in a puddle of a mess without any rhyme or reason as to how you ever possibly convinced yourself that any of this was a good idea to begin with. But the end of a long term relationship, specifically in your 20s, can be even more frustrating and full of hate; you're young and inexperienced, broken, and with no idea how to be single. There are countless amounts of articles and blog posts online that could give you everything you need to know about working through your breakup: from how to get over your ex, to things you should never do after a break up, to websites that weasel single people straight into them dirty porn advertisements. And while we comb through these patronizing methods of online dating and meet-up sites to try to sort out what feelings we have left, I have found that there isn't really a place that showcases the true terror of what it feels like to have half of your soul torn out of your body, tendrils of your insides spilling out of your eyes, and your nostrils in big, messy globs. One would think that helpful breakup advice could potentially render a person quite wealthy beyond measure...unfortunately, I don't really have any of that. In fact, I'm quite uncertain anyone really has any at all, and it's most likely because it all comes down to being really sad for a while before the countless masturbation sessions just end up boring you and you wander off again in search of your next future soulmate/ex. With all that being said, cleaving off the end of a long term relationship during that moment in your life when serious adulthood is just within finger's reach, all while you're still standing knee-deep in the goop-y, green sludge that is your youth can be a great teaching moment. Therefore, I present to you: the lessons I have learned from surviving single life in my 20s. Enjoy my pain.
The textbook on single life has drastically changed.The very first time I ever met my ex, he talked me up at a supermarket and we ended up at his place playing drunken snakes and ladders, all in the course of an afternoon. He lost (three times!), and promptly proceeded to puke right into my lap. We went on to date for 3.5 years.When we were young, things were different. This was normal; going home with a stranger after just learning their name and/or puking on them at the height of Y2K was the equivalent to losing your glass slipper at the Prince's "find-a-wife" ball: that classy, no-experience-required kinda courtship. Nowadays, this sort of "old school" way of meeting people makes you a part of something very, very nonexistent. If you decide to vomit on your date now, you certainly won't be invited for brunch the next day, but there's probably a good chance you'll win a difficult ride in the back of a cop car at the very least.
'Clubbing' = 'dancing'
Clubbing, to me, sounds like an activity where you and your mates go around beating others with a spiked baseball bat, and the person with the highest number of bloody head shots wins. I think the biggest difference is that you don't talk to anyone when you're "clubbing." I always end up being the one person standing at the edge of the bar with a Corona and a lime still sitting at the top of the bottle while I stare out at the blinding lights, cell phone in my hand, hoping that my off-beat, tapping foot and mustard yellow tank top makes even one person think I'm worthy. No text messages from my exciting friends who are all a part of my exciting life? No problem. I'm a classy bitch. I can wait.
Why are they all. So. YOUNG!?
I used to think I was super cool when my much older, much cooler friends would sneak me through the back door of the venue they were playing at and I'd get a chance to perch at the end of the bar and be a part of the bustling, party-life music scene that was the early 2000s. Now I look at all of them with their bling-y cell phones, hair extensions down to their asses, and crop top hoodies and think... my goodness, you are still CHILDREN. The kind that would tip over trying to get off the curb on three-inch heels and would consider YouTube comedians and break dancers as celebrities to fan-girl over. The universe that I came from doesn't include as many emojis and SnapChat filters. Sorry.
There are always going to be 'those friends.' You know who they are.I still have friends who were all introduced to one another through me, mostly because I had the strange habit of throwing parties and mashing all my weird friend groups together so I could spend equal amounts of time with all of them (social time-management strategy 101) all at once. Some of them even stayed friends with one another in between breakups and hookups scattered throughout the friendship lines that confusingly criss-crossed across the board. All it takes is a few good buds who know how great they are, and still sort of like you. You know who I'm talking about—the ones who can drag you out of your progressively darkening abyss of a hole just by sending you a video of cute fluff-ball puppy, or a voice-clip of a fart and a bunch of man-giggles.
You have no decent, updated photos of yourself.
This point will become obvious when you decide to set up that Tinder account in between surfing through your hungover Saturday morning cartoons and spoonfuls of Raisin Bran. The selfie was at least a decade or two after my existence, and even then it can be easy to fear that it may not be the camera's fault at the end of the day after all. I doubt I even look the way I think I look. Do I even know what I look like? If there should be a reason for the negative on photographs (unintentional pun, thank youuu~) I'm pretty sure it's probably because I used to be a happy, curious little bunny of an Asian girl who successively transformed into a cross-eyed, sci-fi sidekick character who talks about home decor and shit like that. My wardrobe is always going to be 50% comprised of black leggings that match everything. I can't eat pizza UNLESS there are pineapples all over it. The majority of the furniture in my home has a hideaway compartment because I can't afford an apartment big enough to hold all my shit. Sometimes I judge people based on their shoes and if it can withstand the weather we're having (fyi: woolly socks do NOT pair well with sunny weather, or slip-ons. Puh-LEASE.) Anyways. I think I've made my point.
Nobody wants to have sex with you.
When you're in a committed relationship, it will always look greener on the other side. No one ever wants to feel fenced in, but because of the slimy aliens of Hollywood, men think that if they didn't have the weight of their meddling better halves in their lives, they would have a different beautiful woman in their bed with them every night. All the James Bonds of the world are always going to be higher up on the cool factor than the sappy romantic Leonardo DiCaprio's. Except for this one fact: that bird of paradise ain't real, sweet-cheeks. Whether you're well-versed in the language of sex or not, no man in their right mind would go on believing women would simply open their legs just because you said so. And if you do, well, you're probably just a little shithead anyways.
Well, you don't want to have sex anyways!
The funny part is that this has nothing to do with no one wanting to have sex with you simply because you've come out of a long term relationship. Absolutely not! Besides the fact that you may or may not look like you have finally returned from an all-out zombie apocalypse, you may just, not want to have sex with anyone. Cool. Sometimes when you dwell a little bit in your quieter moments, the few and far between ones anyways. It's OK to consider yourself the equivalent to that one sports mascot who got kicked in the groin a whole bunch of times in high school and just doesn't see human reproduction the same way as the rest of us. But life continues, and eventually you're notice that the only people who ever try to reach you nowadays are your pot dealer and your landlord, and neither of them called to find out if you were free for lunch. Remember: you can't hand-fuck your regrets for the rest of your life.
Flirting? What language is that from again?Or...sexy talking, but not really? Someone can show me how this is really supposed to work, right? Anyone...?
No one really cares how much of a mess you've become.
Nobody died. Neither you or your ex are going to die in the next little while. Therefore, no one really cares. Maybe you have supportive friends who might plaster your text message inbox with band-aid emojis and GIFs that pat you on the head in comfort, and perhaps you'll hear from your emotionally distraught mother a little bit more often. But romantic, broken-hearted jargon from a discombobulated associate is as attractive to the average content human being as much as it is thrilling to open a phone bill that belongs to your neighbor two houses down. Think about it: by the time you hit your mid to late 20s, everyone and their dog has already had their heart broken. Who wants to listen to you drunkenly drone on about how your love was greater than Selena and Justin's? How the relationship that you had was the epitome of right decisions in your life and now you're going to live out the rest of your pitiful years wallowing in utter despair? No one. Although you should probably know: in the off-chance that they do, just remember that they are probably considering how best to approach the idea of hitting the sack with your ex. The more you know.