August was an interesting month for those who are into astrology. Not only did we experience a solar eclipse but it also happened during the mercury being in retrograde. If the last few weeks you’ve been experiencing a lot of miscommunication, you are not alone and it’s probably because of the power of the planets. During this planetary alignment is when a lot of relationships fall apart (so they say), and I thought for the first installment of the Girl Talk series, we could discuss breakups. I gathered my girl squad to open up about their toughest breakups, how they handle their own heartbreaks, and the best advice they can offer to Pierre into My Life. The Girl Talk series is where I bring ladies together to discuss an array of topics and share their experiences. One of my favorite college professors told us, “The greatest agency a woman has is to share her story with other women.” I always remembered that quote and wanted to one day create a space where women could share their stories, which became the birth of Girl Talk.
Pour yourself a glass a wine and let's dig into this discussion.
What’s your toughest breakup you have experienced?
“My first break up experience was easily my worst. I'd always feared that I would never be desirable to another and to have those fears 'realized' made the ground under me just crumble. The feeling of inadequacy made me think that I could never measure up to anyone in someone's past. It was just a perfect storm of low self esteem on my end and emotional abuse (that I didn't recognize until later) on his end.” – Suz
"It happened about 2 years ago. It wasn't even my longest relationship by any means but I was completely unprepared and the breakup was a shock. We had been dating for about 5 months and everything was going really well. We had a great emotional connection and physically it was amazing (for him as well as for me), but then he went away for a weekend and something just changed. He didn't respond to texts as quickly and didn't answer the phone. I tried not to worry and tried to just back off figuring he was busy on his boys trip and I didn't want to be "that girl" that was needy and annoying. I also went by the "everything is fine until I am told otherwise" motto, which turned out to be dumb. He got back into town and still there was not a lot of communication and he cancelled plans last minute for a date night. Finally a couple nights after he got back he came over to pick me up for dinner, he walked in the door, kissed me and we went to sit on the couch and have a glass of wine before leaving. I snuggled up to him and told him I missed him and he got quiet. He asked if I was ready to go to dinner and I told him I wanted to talk and make sure we are on same page going forward (meaning I wanted a relationship with him and wanted to hear from him the same).
Him: Well I just think there is something missing and I don't want to force anything. I think you are great but there is just something missing. I don't want to force it.
Me: Ok..... thank you for your honesty and I really liked you and I do wish you well.
Him: I don't want to force anything, and something is just missing.
So he kissed me on the cheek and walked out the door.
A couple months go by and he got a new girlfriend and they got serious quickly. I guess nothing was missing and it wasn't "forced" because they are in love and everything is just amazing for them." - Sarah
“Definitely my first breakup. I was 17, dating this really popular, cool, incredibly smart Senior when I was a Junior. He got accepted into Dartmouth and dumped me on his graduation day. I made this gift for him where I got letters from all his friends and family, and placed them in a box with an Ansel Adams road print image that I placed on it. I got all pretty and waited at my house for him to pick me up and he took hours, then he drove me to this park and broke up with me. My parents loved him, too, because he was in my youth group and basically perfect, so they couldn't believe that he could be an insensitive jerk. As cliche as it is, the first time really is the worst!” – Rachel
“The recent one was the hardest so far but mainly because I felt it had ended hastily and felt very unfinished. I had a lot of anger and resentment towards the other person. I had invested a lot into that relationship and I felt like it had been tossed out the window.’ – Natalia
“The toughest breakup I have ever experienced was with my high school boyfriend. When we went to college we stayed together for a semester and then he decided to take a semester off of school and go live in the woods. Since he didn't have a phone we had to resort to letter writing. We kind of broke up before he left and I stopped writing him because I was trying to move on. His mom then called me and asked me to write because he was so worried about me. I wrote to him and kind of fell back into the relationship and was planning a welcome home party with all of his friends at my house for his return and then the day before he got back I received a letter from him dumping me. He then proceeded to immediately start dating a girl from two grades below me who was the freaking worst and he told her that I had never loved him which then spread through the town and got back to me. This ended up being a blessing in disguise because while he was living the woods life he stopped believing in deodorant and like clocks. The resounding image I have of the breakup in my head is opening a letter on my front porch and reading it and then just lying there crying my eyes out. I found out later that when I wrote him my last few letters, which were extremely personal and intimate, he would sometimes read them aloud to the whole group he was camping with and ask for advice. He really is a nut and I didn't see him for years until my five-year high school reunion and he has a full mountain man beard and long hair and he said we should catch up sometime and have coffee which I would be totally down for because I will always have a soft spot for him. I Facebook messaged him to try to make it happen and he didn't respond which is kind of classic.” – Austin
“After a decade of dealing with fuckbois and dating games it's easy to forget how heartbreaking it is to lose your first love. Due to strict parents and no interest in dating, my first boyfriend came at the ripe old age of 19 (I also discovered vodka around the same time which does not mix well with first love). We had an extremely toxic relationship with me being verbally & mentally abusive and him returning the favor by lying and cheating. Even with our unhealthy dynamic, I was completely caught off guard when he broke up with me. It unlocked some dark abandonment issues and I ended up going on an all-inclusive trip to the psych ward. I had no coping mechanism in place to process the pain I was feeling, no hobbies to retreat to and shut out the world, and no dating history to build up to this monumental heartbreak. But I did have a Lindsay. She marched into the hospital loaded with Taco Bell and immediately began begging the nurses to let her spend the night in the psych ward. They had never gotten that request before. That first night she made me laugh so hard I cried which is quite the feat considering I was surrounded by the scariest cast of characters you can imagine and shaking with fear. Every evening when visiting hours began she was the first one there and the last to leave. She let me stay with her when I got out and devoted every moment to my well-being. She took me on walks and made me talk about difficult subjects when I didn't even want to talk about the weather. She made me dress up and go clubbing when I could barely brush my teeth. She brought me to church at a time I hated God. When she got worn out from my self-pity we would watch serial killer documentaries - it's hard to complain after watching one. I grew stronger and stronger but it wasn't because of medication, exercise, a hobby, or even my own doing. It was Lindsay. Life is so hard and so cruel, everybody needs a Lindsay for the darkest of days.” – Liz
How do you cope when you’re going through a breakup?
“I try and spend time with myself and really become in tune with my mind and my body. I give myself time to go through all the emotions one goes through during a breakup, the tears, the anger, the sadness, the loneliness…all of these emotions are important and you should allow yourself to go through them. After I feel I am getting back to my old self, I begin to go out with my friends, treat myself to massages, manicure and pedicures, see a movie alone etc. It’s important for me to try and keep my mental health on track, which means I try to attend as many therapy sessions I can afford, also talk with God and attend church. Exercise was a great way to get my frustration out and to feel better about myself.” – Brittny
“Try to keep as busy as possible (even wanting to work more), lean on my friends for support. Exercise more. Sometimes obsess about the things said or done in the relationship, ruminate, get angry. Talk to myself in my head about it (I become my own therapist 😩)" -Natalia
“Go on a Netflix binge. Get a haircut, get your nails done, talk to your friends. Talk to someone on a therapy app (like 7 cups of tea). I always think about the activities I WANTED to do with him and just found some girlfriends or family members to do it with instead. You own your life, he doesn't (obviously my answers are going to be based on a heterosexual pov).” – Suz
“I actually isolate myself quite a bit because I don't want to cry in front of people and I don't want to be "that girl" who can't get over someone. I watch movies and TV, I eat whatever I want and I don't make plans because I can't control my emotions and if someone asks me about the breakup I fall apart. I have gotten better about not worrying that I am "that girl" because maybe I am and it's okay. Once I find the right guy I won't be so terrified to be "that girl" because he will respond and want to spend time with me as much as I want to spend time with him. I don't want to play games and pretend I don't care when I actually care quite a bit.” –Sarah
"I take time to grieve but after a few mopey weekends watching Netflix, eating some bad food and going to boozy brunches with friends, I reestablish what I want. In my last breakup, I did all these things for about a month and then I got back on dating sites. I got my hair done, new clothes, worked out, read empowering non fiction memoirs (I love Julie Klausner's I Don't Care About Your Band), listened to new music, whatever made myself feel like my best self and then just threw myself into dating again. I've been with my boyfriend for almost 3 years now and he meets all the qualities I wrote down on my list of what I wanted in a partner.” – Rachel
What’s the best advice to give to readers of Pierre into My Life who might be going through a breakup?
“Treat it like a death. Allow yourself to grieve and go through the steps. Don't bottle up your feelings but allow yourself to feel entirely. If this means crumbling into a ball and crying yourself into a frenzy do it. This doesn't mean to wallow but you have to give yourself time to heal. All I wanted to do was skip to the end of this and "feel better" but I couldn't do that without letting my feelings out.” – Suz
“My advice is focus on yourself and self care. What do you want out of your next relationship? What did you not like about the previous partner? Make a list of qualities you want in a new partner. I think that writing those qualities down and also the ones you do not want is very helpful. My mom is recently remarried and she did this. Her new husband is basically all of the things she wanted.” – Rachel
“Going through a breakup reminds me a lot of the process of grieving (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance). You mourn the life of a relationship as opposed to the life of a person. You have to go through the process and not skip steps or you'll be held back from fully moving forward.” – Natalia
“You don't want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn't want to be in a relationship with you. You deserve someone who wants you and now you have learned more about what you want and what you don't want.” – Sarah
“First off, delete them from all social media. Delete their number, their text threads--delete, delete, delete. I call it spring cleaning. Get all the junk out of your life. Everything takes time. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s taking longer than you had intended. Remember to treat yourself well and find the best way to stay afloat. This is also a great time to renew yourself, try new hobbies, check out a new restaurant, travel etc. Most importantly make sure to find the best partner for you in the next relationship.” – Brittny
“Try to remember who you are at your core and stand strong in that. Listen to your gut.”- Erika
What are your thoughts on breakups? What's the best way to get over someone? Drop a line in the comments