12 Reasons Breaking Up In A Small Town Is The Absolute Worst

Having your heart broken is never fun and breakups are hard no matter where you’re from. However, ending a relationship when you live in a small town adds an extra level of suckage that makes things even worse. Here’s why:

  1. You never know when you’re going to run into each other… But you definitely will. Out at the bar, a restaurant with the fam, the gas station, the grocery store—everywhere you go at some point he’ll be there too. You can try to run from him but in a small town, you just can’t hide. You can’t let him control your life so you go on living your life as usual, but there’s always that fear in the back of your mind that whenever you leave the house, he could be there.
  2. The odds of you not having mutual friends are slim to none. Even if you ran in different circles to begin with, those circles intertwined the second you got serious, which means you’re going to continue to see each other at social gatherings. You’re also going to feel the itch to ask those mutual friends about how and what he’s doing now that you’re broken up. You’ll try to resist the urge but it’s hard when checking up on him is so damn easy.
  3. You’ll probably know the person they date next. In small towns, everyone knows everyone, so if he dates someone from your town, you’ll actually know the girl. You might have even been friends with her at one point or another. It’s so much easier to have your ex date a stranger because when you know her, you can compare yourself to her on a much deeper level. No one should ever have to go down that rabbit hole.
  4. Everyone is going to know the details of your breakup. Rumor mills in small towns run faster than the tabloids in Hollywood. Not only will everyone know you broke up, but they’ll all want to know why and they’ll all draw different conclusions or get different answers because very few people will hear it straight from the source. It’s even worse when your ex sees the reasons you broke up completely differently than you do.
  5. The only way to get away from him is to move. Say you both manage to move on and find people better suited for you. You each have families and then your kids start school and guess what? Your ex’s kids are there, which means your ex is there too. If it’s a bad breakup and you never want to see him again, you have to either suck it up or move.
  6. Your families likely know each other. Not only do you have to worry about running into your ex but you have to worry about any family or non-mutual friends of his as well. It’s even worse when your parents are on friendly terms and then they have to distance themselves or make things even more awkward for you. There’s nothing worse than having your mom’s text each other about your breakup…
  7. People always take sides. Despite the fact that it’s no one else’s business why you broke up, people feel like they’re entitled to an opinion on the relationship. This means a lot of friends and family are going to take sides. The good ones will be Switzerland, but in the end, you’re bound to lose a few people along with the loss of your ex.
  8. It’s awkward AF. Since you’re bound to run into your ex, you have to handle being around your ex. Should you avoid them like the black plague? Pretend you don’t know each other? Or act like everything is cool when really you’re dying inside? There’s no real good way to be around them, but unfortunately, you can’t trust you won’t be around them either. Sometimes it’s going to feel like that awkwardness follows you wherever you go.
  9. Everything in town reminds you of them. The memories follow you everywhere. You can get rid of their stuff sure, but you can’t forget all of your favorite spots all over town where you spent your time together. You’ll be driving down the road just trying to live your life and bam! He’s in your head because everywhere you go holds a memory you shared with him.
  10. You’ve probably known each other your whole lives. That means that you share more memories together than just your relationship and now they all seem to be tarnished. Looking back through the years you probably spent as friends or even just classmates can be heart-wrenching. You didn’t just share a relationship—you shared your whole childhood, adolescence, and adult life. How are you ever going to wipe away a lifetime of memories?
  11. You can feel the need to “win” your breakup. Since everyone in town knows your business you want them to know (or at least think) that you’re doing A-OK without your ex. So it becomes a sort of competition. Who cares less? Who will move on first? Who’s bitter? And who was the reason for the breakup? Neither of you wants to feel like you’re at fault because neither of you wants people to think there’s something wrong with you. You want to come out on top and for your ex to be crying at the bottom.
  12. Deleting him on social media is never enough. You can try your hardest to keep your lives separate but they’ll always intertwine. Just because you don’t have him on social media anymore doesn’t mean he won’t pop up in your feed in another friend’s posts and photos. At the end of the day, no matter what you do, small town breakups can make you feel like your ex is haunting you.
Kelsey Dykstra is a freelance writer based in Huntington Beach, CA. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Grand Valley State University and been writing professionally since graduating in 2013. In addition to writing about love and relationships for Bolde and lifestyle topics for Love to Know, she also writes about payment security and small business solutions for PaymentCloud.

Originally from Michigan, this warm weather seeker relocated to the OC just last summer. Kelsey enjoys writing her own fictional pieces, reading a variety of young adult novels, binging on Netflix, and of course soaking up the sun.

You can find more about Kelsey on her LinkedIn profile or on Twitter @dykstrakelsey.