Post break-up semester has its advantages

Friends, being single, new relationship hype eases broken hearts


If I’ve noticed one thing in the week that classes have been back in session and those catch-up chats have progressed into heart-to-heart conversations, it’s that a number of people are facing a “suddenly-single” post-break-up semester.

Despite my usual pessimistic outlook, I will put on a genuine smile and tell you truthfully that you are better off. Maybe it’s a little hard to believe, but trust me, underneath that dim outlook that break-ups seem to cast over life, they can be one of the best, most liberating experiences.

Post-break-up, as you struggle with all the internal mess and those ridiculous questions that if you asked yourself any other time would just sound like self-pity, is a time when you no longer pull away from the people you truly love. It is the time when best friends really are best friends.

For the past — however long you wasted with that ex — you know you have neglected friendships. We all do it. We get caught in relationship fun and forget that boyfriends/girlfriends come and go but friendships last forever. Of all those guys I dated and all my crushes, my best friends are my true loves, my soul mates. Getting dumped makes you realize that.

And those best friends will listen to you whine, complain, scream and vent for as long as it takes to get the ex-toxins out of your system. Eventually you will come to see all (from now on I will use the male pronouns as unisex) Mr. Ex’s faults for what they were — annoying quirks that drove you crazy throughout the entire relationship, causing frustration that you held in. You will take off the rose-colored glasses and see his faulted walk and talk, his whiny attitude, tantrums and snobby friends. You will see it all and one day you will wonder, “Why did I ever date him?”

It’s easy to see that you’re better off. Trust me.

Hopefully, by this point, you’ve embraced singledom. For some people “single” is a curse. They spend their time looking for that significant other, but for those young’uns not ready to settle down, being single is the best state to be in.

No worries. No commitments. No strings to hold you down. And best of all, no guilt. Singledom is unrivaled.

You can flirt. You can party. You can hang out with your best friends without explanation. You can spend a Saturday night at home in your room watching “Titanic” and eating all the Pita Pit you want.

Like I said before, you’re better off. On a campus of 3,000-plus, you will find that it is easy to occupy your “lonely” self with plenty of other fish in this college sea.

And then one day the viscous cycle will repeat itself. One day you will find a shoe that fits. A shoe that makes you laugh at its really bad Arnold Schwarzenegger impression, a shoe with a really ticklish stomach and one piece of hair that always seems to stick up.

A shoe that makes you swoon with one look and makes you cry whenever it’s away too long. It makes you feel silly and special.

If there is only one good thing about breaking up, it is that eventually — whether it’s one week, one year or five months — you will find another perfect match that makes your knees weak, your stomach flip and your mind spin and gives you that old-Hollywood ankle-popping kiss.


(originally written 1.18.2006)


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