The Hindsight Notes: The Break-Up

26 Nov

The Hindsight Notes is a recurring section created for all you readers wanting to participate in THL, but lacking time to write a full letter. Each Note is composed of a question. All you need to do is answer it, in the form of a comment (below).

This week’s topic is: Your First Break-Up.

You probably remember it all too well: That punched-in-the-gut, wind-knocked-out-of-you, pain-in-the-solar-plexus feeling that characterized your first real Break-Up. There’s something about that first one that is so much worse than all the others that might follow. Something that makes it seem like you are doomed to feeling heartbroken forever.

We know you’ve been there. We sure have. Let’s talk about it.

As always, I’ll start us out:


If you liked this post, you’ll surely love this one and this one!

12 Responses to “The Hindsight Notes: The Break-Up”

  1. thehindsightletters November 26, 2010 at 6:18 am #

    I dated my first love for three years. That’s an eternity to a teenager. As I mentioned in a previous post, I was the one who broke it off. Sort of.

    You see, at the time of the break-up, I had my mind made up. I had my reasons. I knew deep down inside that this was not the person I was meant to marry, even though I loved him deeply. It all made sense to me. I needed to be a free agent. I needed to move on.

    So I broke it off. He was hurt, and I hurt for him. But I still felt that I had made the right decision.

    Until we saw each other for the first time post-break-up. And then it all changed. I started to regret my decision. What was I thinking? He was my best friend. He was so funny. He was so cute. Was I crazy?

    So I did what any self-respecting 18 year old would do. I called him crying in the middle of the night and begged for him to take me back. Not surprisingly, he declined. I had succeeded in being both the dumper and the dumpee. Excellent.

    The good news is that I did get over it. I met the man of my dreams, fell in love and had a beautiful baby. I’m sure my ex has found someone wonderful as well and is equally happy.

    The interesting thing is that as much as my first Break-Up was by far the most painful, my first love is the only one of my exes for whom I truly wish nothing but the best. I guess that’s the power of young love for you.

  2. unknown November 26, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    My first break up was excrutiatingly painful. Not because i loved him. Not because it broke my heart. But because he broke his own in front of me.

    You see, he may have dumped me but he still hurt more, cared more, and generally made me feel like a terrible person. The awkwardness set in straight away with his first line “I just care about you more than you care about me, and it’s not far on myself to stay with you”.

    Although this was probably true as a 16 year old to have a boy, who up until that point was a cocky jock type who thought he was the big ‘i am’, break down on me was a shock and a half. It also made me ridiculously uncomfortable. All i wanted to say is “i do like you. i really like you but i’m just not good at showing it” but it wasn’t true so i just stood there and said “ok then” and tapped his head as he burst into tears.

    I berated myself for days afterwards for being a mean hearted bitch, and then berated myself for being an idiot when he started to date one of my best mates under a week later. She’d asked me if it was ok, and i’d agreed wholeheartedly as the weight of guilt lifted off my shoulders. Only to be replaced the next day as she fumed at me that he’d admitted it was only to try and make me jealous. No such luck.

    We remained friends for the next few years, and every now and then he’d say he needed some space, that it was too hard to see me. And everytime i’d say “ok then”.

    He was lovely. I was just 16 and i didn’t like him as much as he thought he liked me. It is probably the root of my no relationship unless i REALLY REALLY like them issues. I don’t really like people very often.

    • thehindsightletters November 26, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

      It’s amazing the role that “chemistry” plays in relationships. Sometimes you can really, really, genuinely like someone- care for someone, love someone- but just not feel that ultimate “spark” that you need to be with them. Thanks so much for sharing your story! (and I will also say, keep looking for that spark! Why be in a relationship if you don’t “REALLY, REALLY” like someone anyway?)

    • meeplemur December 13, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

      I am currently 17 and have/had been going through the same thing. I met him as a freshmen and he seemed like the best thing ever to happen to me at a time when my folks were getting divorced. The truth was that he was. That boy was my rock through everything but I always knew he cared about me more than I could for him, even if I had deluded myself otherwise. Then we started getting older and I didn’t need him to define myself as much. I was tired of only spending my time with him and constantly being told I could do better. The moment that should have sent me running and screaming was the first big moment he came to school high. (He got high with a “loose” girl.) We did the teenage thing and took a “break”. We both cried for a change, before it had alawys been solely him, and I eventually forgave him and took him back on the condition that he never do it again. Biggest mistake of my high school career thus far. I met wonderful people when I moved in with my mom’s boyfriend and it went downhill. He couldn’t handle me being around other guys constantly and I couldn’t handle being in a relationship where I wasn’t having fun. I did the biggest bitch thing I could have. I cheated with another boy, who turned out to be using me, for a full month and still haven’t told my exboyfriend. Fast forward to our break up and five months of stringing him along, even though I thought I wanted to get back together, he’s with another girl and not happy. I realized that I don’t deserve someone who loves me that much when I can’t love them and who I can’t be. I can’t be that girl who parties and gets trashed, like his new girlfriend, because I have to much invested in myself. I know it’s hard for him but occasionally I wish he could know I am not actually that heartless, I do miss you but we aren’t right for one another.

      Someday I hope I can feel that kind of love for someone and forgive myself.

      • thehindsightletters December 13, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

        Thank you so much for sharing your story! Break-ups are such a complicated thing… Largely because relationships are so complicated. You sound like someone who knows herself well- which is a special quality in someone your age. It sounds like although the break-up may have caused some heartache, ultimately you spared your ex some heartache by ending something you felt wasn’t right. Keep following your gut, my friend. Thanks so much for reading!

  3. magnolia November 26, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    i broke up with him between first and second period on a tuesday. it was a really thoughtless thing to do, but in that radically cavalier way that fifteen-year-olds have, i’d just met a “better” crop of boys, and i didn’t want to be tied down.

    heh. turns out. he was the last serious relationship i’d have for a year-plus. and he cared about me way, way more than i realized. at his wedding this past spring, we finally made our peace with each other.

    • thehindsightletters November 26, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

      Ah, yes- the “between periods” break-up… Perfect for when you’re not willing to commit to a discussion that could last a whole lunch hour 🙂 Glad you two were able to finally make peace!

  4. Shades of Bright November 27, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    I was 17, almost 18. It was over the phone. At the Oakland airport.

    He had told me a few days previously that he “wanted some space”, but seeing as we had been together for two years, I was not okay with that. Actually, I believe what I said was, “What the hell does that even mean?” So even when my mom swept me off to Dallas for the weekend, I kept texting him, wanting to work it out.

    Finally, he called me during my one hour layover on my way home, and ended things “for good”. I got on the flight and spent two hours sobbing in between two strangers, one of whom kept offering me tissues and the other who spent the flight pretending he didn’t notice me.

    We did the “kind of sort of get back together” thing, until I realized that he needed time to grow up, and so did I. I secretly hoped he would get it together so we could get married… but two months later, he knocked up a random girl, and they had a shotgun wedding.

    Now, I thank God for protecting me. I would have happily married him, and lived in his small town for the rest of my life, never realizing my own dreams or trying to change the world.

    I’m just waiting for the guy who will help me change it. 🙂

    • thehindsightletters November 27, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

      It’s amazing how, at the time, it seems like the world is falling apart and you’ll never be happy again. And then things pan out in a totally different direction and you see what a blessing it all was.

      …There’s really nothing better than a knocked-up/shotgun-wedding scenario to make you realize you dodged a bullet, though 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your story!

  5. classbookworm January 30, 2011 at 5:07 am #

    My first break up that I didn’t do was done in a note… after I wrote him a note saying “I love you.” He gave it to me before I was supposed to go on stage for the closing song of a play(ironically, “Happiness” from “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”). Ah, seventh grade.
    I’ll admit, I usually broke up with boys in notes, but I was a bit wimpy, a bit passive aggressive, and I didn’t know better. But I at least had the decency to wait until after the cast party was over.

    • thehindsightletters January 30, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

      Totally! Pretty thoughtless to give you “the note” right before your big number. Maybe it added some depth to your performance? 😉


  1. The Hindsight Notes: Clubbin’ It « The Hindsight Letters - March 4, 2011

    […] If you liked this post, you’ll surely love this one and this one! […]

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