OPINION: How breaking up with my boyfriend made me realize he’s actually the love of my life

Grace Clarke, Opinion Writer

I’m sure you’re here because of the title… and rightfully so. It sounds crazy, and maybe it is!

At the ripe age of twenty, I often find myself getting into quite a few regretful situations, which have all been by my own doing. Your twenties are for making mistakes, but is it too bold for me to say I’ve made enough in the past year to last me the next decade? 

One of my biggest regrets happened just a few short months ago. Now, I know I’m not special when I say I’m scared of commitment and the future that lies ahead of me. However, I let my fear get the best of me. 

In September, I was going on 11 months with my boyfriend. He was my first serious relationship, and he was everything I pictured and more. I had never experienced this type of love before, and it scared me. Boohoo, I know, I know.

How silly was I to be scared of someone who had so much love to give to me? 

After all, I had spent so many years begging, manifesting and talking to rocks in hopes of finding love. So now that I found it – in typical Grace fashion –  I ruined it. 

My boyfriend always talked about the future with me. He told me he was going to marry me. That scared me. Am I going to marry my very first boyfriend? It was a valid question.

We are so young. How am I supposed to know if he is “the one?” 

I was so scared and overwhelmed that I became unsure of our relationship. In the heat of the moment, I broke up with him. I knew just a mere 10 minutes later that this was a mistake. A big one. I’ll spare you the details, but the next two months went something like this: 

Sobbing uncontrollably. Not eating. Not sleeping. Begging for him back. Being cradled in my mom’s arms. I’m sure you can picture the classic breakup rom-com montage. 

“Why are you so heartbroken? You’re the one who broke up with him.” 

If I had a dime for every time someone asked that, I would have a lot of dimes.

It was a good question, though. I did this to myself. I decided to end things with him, so why did it feel so wrong? Was it the guilt for breaking his heart? Was I just being the crazy ex-girlfriend? Definitely both of these things, (especially the crazy part) but I knew there was more to it. 

I tried moving on and experiencing new things with different guys. Can you guess that this totally backfired on me? No matter how hard I tried, no one compared to him, and I knew deep down I couldn’t love anyone as much as him– and I didn’t want to. 

I felt so stupid and, to be honest, a little insane. If I’m the one who ended things, why am I needing comfort from my friends and family? 

In the moment, I had invalidated all my feelings since I was the one who caused all this pain. However, no matter how you swing it – breakups are hard for all sides. 

Everyone in my life just assumed I was so heartbroken over this because it was my first-ever relationship, and I suppose that was a factor, but I knew something bigger was going on. 

I’ve experienced loss in my life before. My dad suddenly passed away in 2018. Although I was the one digging the grave in this situation, the pain felt unbearable. Another man I loved in my life I had lost. The difference was I could try to get my ex back. He wasn’t gone forever like my dad; it’s something I could change. I know I sound insanely melodramatic, but love makes you feel such an intense variety of emotions, and that’s just a part of the human experience. 

I began to miss everything about him. If I was in bed alone, I’d picture us laughing in bed and watching some brain-rotting reality television show together. If I was driving to the store by myself, I’d remember him being goofy in the passenger seat beside me. Little things like these I quickly realize I had missed more than anything.

He was my person. He is my person. 

Ultimately, I asked myself a question. Which is scarier, accepting how much I love him or living without him?

Living without him is way scarier. 

I know I’m lucky because I got a second chance with him, and not everyone gets one of those. Our relationship isn’t quite back to normal yet, as there is healing that needs to be done between us, but it’s work that I am more than willing to put in. Love only goes so far. I realized you have to choose each other, through the good and bad – it’s a choice to be with your significant other, and it’s up to you to decide if fighting for your love is worth it.

It’s unfortunate how events had to play out for me to realize what I had and what I was missing. I hurt myself and my partner in the process, but I cannot complain too much — I know what and who I want, and I’ve got him.

This time I won’t let go. 

Grace Clarke is an opinion writer. Contact her at [email protected]