There’s an old Japanese proverb that says humans have three faces — the one you show to the world, the one you show to your friends and family and the one that’s for you alone. Is it any wonder then that it’s pretty much impossible to truly know someone, especially the person you’re dating? Until you break up with them, that is…
When the relationship ends, so do our facades. If you thought you two had experienced the good and the bad, just wait until you see the ugly. Seeing someone at their worst, right after they’ve ended a relationship, tells you a lot about how they cope with life when sh*t hits the fan. Think about it. Chances are during your last break-up, you saw some nasty parts of your ex that made you swear never to be so blind in love again. When sex isn’t complicating things, reality becomes a lot clearer. When someone is responsible for giving you multiple orgasms, it’s pretty easy to dismiss the dumb stuff that comes out of their mouth.
You suddenly realize that you overlooked SO MANY flaws. You tell your friends that he doesn’t tip well because he’s actually like, really good with money. He’s really “grounded” and “down-to-earth” because he doesn’t watch the news or keep up with current events. He flies off the handle every time you fight because he’s just so passionate about your relationship, right? Couldn’t have anything to do with those deep-seated adolescent anger issues…. You spin these character flaws into reasons why you were with them. Once you break up, that sarcastic sense of humor you swore gave him a sexy edge is really just a cynical coping mechanism that drives you completely insane.
Your friends are finally free to let their real feelings loose. If you have good friends, and I mean solid ride-or-dies, they probably made their opinions on your ex known from the start. But even friends who pride themselves on giving the realest talk have to hold back when the relationship is still going strong. There’s nothing worse than having a good old fashioned man-hating fest with your BFF over a glass of Pinot. They just had a fight with their sig. other and nothing’s off limits. But it’s awkward as hell when you spent three hours talking sh*t about him, only to hear the next day that they’re back together like nothing happened. After a while, your girls learn to hold their tongue and it’s only when the relationship is officially six feet under that they’re able to reveal every last scathing criticism of your ex they’ve been holding back.
You gain a better sense of who you are too. Everyone’s been there — you meet a guy and you vibe super hard and the next thing you know, it’s six months in and your friends have thrown you a funeral because you abandoned them all for some d*ck. IT HAPPENS. We’ve all been guilty. I honestly believe that we do our best personal growth when we’re single. Yes, having a partner is wonderful and rewarding, but if it isn’t the right person, your sense of self wilts like a flower without sun. I’ve seen so many vibrant women dim their own shine to cater to someone who just wasn’t right for them. Once they cut that person loose, I saw their sparks come back and they learned things about themselves that they never would have learned on the path they were previously following.
The only person you can really ever be sure of is yourself. You and your partner may have the same taste in superhero movies, career choices, coffee fixings and dog breeds, but at the end of the day, the only person you ever really know is yourself — and even that is being super optimistic. I’m not saying your boyfriend isn’t your soulmate, or he’s keeping some sort of huge secret from you. There’s just no denying that the emotional rollercoaster of a breakup is the real key to revealing all those wild facets of our personalities we can usually keep under wraps until AFTER the wedding…
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