Valentine’s Day is over and gone and now we must return to facing the realities that define intimate relationships. Amorous couples once again must determine how intensely they would like to express their love and commitment without an entire day dedicated to such purpose. Within every relationship, no matter how brawny or feeble, is the underlying fear of distance, whether it be physical or emotional, gradual or sudden, mutual or one-sided. The ultimate result of such detachment is one of the two possible fates in a relationship  — a breakup  — which, as our fellow Highlanders have expressed below, can be just as, if not even more, impactful than the relationship itself. Those grueling crying spells, vehement mood swings, constant checking of social media, bursts of anger and feelings of betrayal, hours of questioning and contemplating (“What if?” “Why?” “Am I not good enough? Am I adequate?”)  — all of these turbulent behaviors characterize perhaps one of the hardest experiences we will at some point in our lives encounter but nonetheless learn from and possibly even use to become better versions of ourselves. Let’s see how exactly these two Highlander writers reflect on their most difficult breakups in terms of growing stronger and moving on.

Erika Rico, CW Evan Ismail, SSW
What’s the one thing that has helped you move on from someone the most? Talking to other people always helped. Humor and having people make me laugh makes me happy instantly. I try to focus on the good. I know it seems nice to be alone for a little bit but after you have some time to think, go out with a few friends. It can really help you decompress and forget about what happened. Go do something fun, read a book, play some chess, go to the beach: Anything that can help you get your mind off things. For me personally, my faith in God and knowing that He has a plan helps a lot.
Fave breakup song? “Gives You Hell” by The All-American Rejects, “Over You” by We The Kings and “I Don’t Love You” by My Chemical Romance. Every country music song ever (I still love country, though).
Do you recommend keeping in contact with an ex after a breakup? Not at first. I was still friends with one of my exes because we genuinely like each other as friends. I think it depends. I’m still friends (Read: Cordial) with some of my exes but if you can’t see yourself getting past the past, then it’s OK to move on and not be friends anymore.
Second chances: Yes or no? Nope. Unless if you have a damn good reason, sorry. There’s a reason why you broke up with them in the first place. That’s a signal to move on, bros.
If you genuinely love someone, do you think you will always love them somehow? Maybe not in the romantic sense. I still care about the people I’ve dated in the past. I do wish them the best. I think a piece of them sticks with you but eventually you’ll meet someone better and they’ll become a nice but distant memory.
When do you know that it’s a good choice to break things off with someone? If you are ever in an abusive relationship or don’t feel like you and the other aren’t on the same page of the relationship. It all depends on the couple, though. If you never see them for whatever reason, it’s probably time to break it off. Also, if it comes to a point where you’re just not feeling things anymore, that’s another sign. Trust your gut; if you don’t feel right about things and if talking about it doesn’t yield any results, it’s time to move on.
Does moving on get easier with the more people you date? From my first breakup, I guess it does. Breakups still suck, but you’ll always get through it despite how doubtful you may feel at first. That’s a tough one. If they continuously don’t work out, then probably. But I think it all hurts the same, whether you want to admit it or not.
You’re having a girl’s night out/bro-sesh with the sole intent of getting your ex out of your mind. How do you do this? Do everything that makes you happy. Like movies? Go to a movie. Like books? Go to a bookstore. Your friends know you best and will know what makes you happy. Video games, YouTube, tennis, a party.
Breakups taste like ___. Sandpaper at first, then it starts to taste plain after a while. Black licorice.
What have you learned from your most recent breakup? Mine was in high school, so it was probably not to date jerks anymore. It’s good to have someone you’re compatible with and whom you can see on a regular basis. If you both are so busy that you can’t find time, that’s not a good thing. Make time for each other and be honest.