The rom-com break-up has a precise formula, presenting itself in two ways. It can serve as an introduction to the main character as lonely and broken hearted or it can be used right before the courting couple realizes they’re meant for each other and whatever plot twist temporarily driving them apart isn’t insurmountable after all. In either of these scenarios, the protagonist is depicted in a montage of depressed activities, eating ice cream and drinking wine. And while I have indulged in both these activities after a beak-up, I’ve found the art of getting over someone entails a lot more.
There comes a moment in every relationship when you just know it’s going to end. I remember falling asleep next to my college boyfriend the night before graduation and silently crying because I knew we weren’t going to make it. I knew that promises of finding jobs in the same city and moving in together were not going to save us. I laid awake that night listening to him breathing, his heart beating on my back, and wondered how many nights we had left together. We lasted into the fall, but broke up the day we planned to sign a lease together.
I met the Canadian about a year and a half ago. He was a tall, handsome man who looked incredible in a suit. After nights of drinking with my friends, I would talk about how attractive of a man he was and giggle at my fortune. He was headstrong and successful and I admired his ambition. The final nail in the coffin came for us about 10 months after we first met when he told me in an email that he didn’t see a future with me. He was moving and that was going to be the end of us. The rejection I felt from reading his words hit me instantly. I couldn’t sleep and my stomach was constantly knotted. I sat with Cranberry and told her that she wasn’t going to be seeing much of the Canadian anymore, but that we would get through it. And I cried A LOT. I cried when I would wake up at night, cried at my desk, cried while grocery shopping, and cried while riding the T. The combination of the rejection and the loss of him from my life was a fierce pain that I couldn’t control.
I wish I could take the rejection of a break-up as gracefully as a rom-com girl. That I could wallow in a tub of ice cream like Bridget Jones but come out the other side more determined to find love than ever. I’ve always been optimistic that I would find someone to settle down with. After the Canadian, I’m struggling to regain that optimism. But I’m hoping I can find my Mr. Darcy and channel Bridget’s blind faith in the process.
Maybe one day I’ll end up like the couple I found sharing a bench in Olmsted Park.