“Out of sight, out of mind”
Everyone seems to believe that old saying provides some sort of comfort when you break up with your long-distance or long-term partner. In reality though, ending a relationship over the phone, especially without getting the proper closure of seeing the person one last time, describes the worst kind of ending you can get.
I remember the day my high school boyfriend and I broke up over the phone.
Four weeks into my freshman year and hanging out at a tailgate, I received the text. Rather than seeing his facial expressions that would show his current emotions, the only form of satisfaction came from hearing that final line: “Bye, wish you nothing but the best.” A line I reread over and over again.
Adapting to college life and aching for home made the breakup even harder. I did not expect this much pain, especially because I hadn’t even seen him in over four weeks. Yet, not seeing him made the breakup feel worse. It forced me to come to terms with the fact that I probably won’t ever see the guy I once loved ever again because he lives in a completely different city. The odds of running into him went from slim to none.
Throughout the course of our relationship, I convinced myself and everyone who asked me that long distance proved not to be as hard as people made it out. In fact, I told people all the great stuff about it, like you each had your own space and place where you can thrive individually. When you came back together you appreciated the time you spent together even more so. The tendency to believe that and convince myself that the relationship could be stronger than the distance was definitely a notion conceived in my head as a result of all the stories.
We would create these fantasies of dates and moments we would spend with each other in between each visit and it led up to all these expectations of the relationship. When reality did not reach the expectations it seemed as if one of us did something wrong. The long-distance relationship high slowly came to a fall and it brought out the worst insecurities within each other.
The feeling of absence and the relationship slipping away began to grow stronger. I tried to hold onto the memories and stretch them out for as long as possible, but the memories began to vary from the truth. And then the day came, and a long-term, long-distance relationship came to an end.
The fantasy ended and I realized that this was the time for me to figure out who I wanted to be. As heartbroken as I felt, I knew I still had so much to experience in college. I joined a sorority, began to read more and got involved in clubs and publications. The breakup fueled me to develop and pursue goals that would benefit me in the future. It also pushed me to put myself out there more and find friends so uniquely different from me.
When in the relationship, I never truly noticed how much it consumed me and how much I missed out on exploring other things. In the last few months, I have stepped out of my comfort zone and grown as a person more than ever before.
As you grow and face more obstacles, you realize that life never looks like a fairy tale and timing sometimes really does just suck. It is not easy to move on and stop missing them, but the breakup does teach what you want or don’t want out of life and a partner. The relationship ended because it proved not to be right and nothing I could ever do would change that. However, I now more than ever know that there is so much ahead of me.
I don’t think half of my accomplishments and best memories of my freshman year would have been possible if I still over-analyzed the aspects of my long-distance relationship. I never thought I would say this, I‘m so grateful to have been dumped in time to enjoy my freshman year without the complications of a long-distance relationship.