It Took Me Longer To Move On From A Relationship I Ended Than When I Got Dumped

I thought that making the decision to end a relationship would be a faster, easier way to get over a breakup, but the opposite happened. It was harder to move on than if I was the one who got dumped. WTF?

  1. There’s no such thing as an easy breakup. My friend had these wise words to tell me when I told him that I wanted to end my relationship and move on. I took them with a pinch of salt. How could I not move on faster and stronger if I was the one choosing to leave my boyfriend? I could smell the intoxicating freedom already and imagined days of pure bliss.
  2. My ex didn’t make it easy. It was tough to move on from him. Perhaps this was partly due to how traumatic the breakup was for him. He managed to slot in some “remember the time we…?” anecdotes via text that made me feel teary-eyed and second-guess my decision. Ugh, is this why people ghost? I’m not saying it’s the right thing to do, but still. I can’t say I wasn’t tempted to take that route.
  3. The relationship appeared better in the rearview mirror. When something ends, the brain has this really annoying habit of trying to remember all the things that were so great about it. That’s what my brain was doing when I ended things with my boyfriend. Although I knew that it was the right thing for me to move on, I couldn’t help but start feeling like maybe I made the wrong decision. All his wonderful qualities started coming to the surface.
  4. It’s always easier to judge from the outside. I had to remind myself how much easier it is to judge things or admire them from outside of the relationship. I just couldn’t let myself forget that when I was dating that guy, things became unbearable. He was always bringing me down and making me doubt myself. That relationship was bad for my health. If I got back together with him, I’d feel good for about a week before the relationship cracks would start to show. I wasn’t going to allow myself to fall back into them.
  5. I didn’t want to hurt him, obviously. The hardest thing about being the dumper instead of the one who’s dumped is that there’s so much guilt involved! I felt like the bad guy for quite a while after making the decision to end things. The thing is, I really didn’t want to hurt my ex. But wouldn’t I be hurting myself and my partner more if I stayed with him? Definitely.
  6. I felt a huge responsibility on my shoulders. Clearly, I don’t take ending a relationship lightly. I felt stressed about ending things. It was all up to me and I was taking on this giant decision that would affect me and my partner for weeks, months, and perhaps even years to come. Maybe if it was just affecting me, it would’ve been a bit easier to deal with. Ugh.
  7. What if I regretted it? There was also the worry that I’d wake up in a few days’ time and regret the breakup. By then, it might be too late to get back with my ex. These thoughts kept me up at night.
  8. I had to remember why I was doing this. It really helped me to focus on why I was leaving him behind. I was maintaining my standards. I was giving myself self-love. I was looking out for myself and ensuring a happier future. I deserved all those things and he couldn’t give them to me so it made sense to leave.
  9. I had to cut all contact. I knew that receiving texts from my ex was just making the breakup even harder to deal with and to move on, I had to end all communication with him. It was the only way. Although I thought this would make me feel even more stressed, the funny thing was that it made the whole breakup process a lot easier. Without him always sending me tear-jerking texts and making me second-guess myself, I was able to move on without losing my head.
  10. I shouldn’t have let him inside my head. Although it was good to consider my ex’s feelings during the breakup, allowing him to get into my head wasn’t healthy. It inhibited my progress for a while. If I’d had a stronger resolve right from the start of the breakup, it would’ve definitely helped me to move on. Lesson learned.
  11. There’s no breakup recipe. The biggest thing I learned from this experience was that there’s no such thing as a standard breakup. It’s always going to be different based on the person you’re ending things with and how much time it takes to really move on from that specific relationship. It’s impossible to predict how a breakup will pan out, so it’s good to be patient with myself. There’s no way that dumping someone makes things easier than getting dumped. No way in hell!
  12. To be honest, I still prefer getting dumped. It just makes things easier to deal with. I might not get the closure I need from my partner, but at least I don’t feel so much stress and self-doubt about making the decision to say goodbye.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.