The first time I dumped a boy, I cried for thirty-six hours afterward. Nonstop. Yes ,really.
My next breakup didn’t have nearly that kind of emotional effect on me.
We had been dating for two months after having been set up by a mutual friend, who has recently told me that he didn’t think it would even culminate in a first date on account of the differences in our personalities. In short, the whole relationship was an oversight: too much, too fast, too soon without creating a basis of understanding upon which to build a meaningful relationship.
He came into my life, treated me well, and went out of his way to spend time with me. If a boy likes you, he will make it obvious. He made it obvious.
After two months, he stopped going out of his way to make time for me. I didn’t see him, even when I made plans to. He had told me he would be busy, that he puts an immense amount of pressure on himself to do well. If a boy thinks that you are important to his life, he will make time for you. He didn’t make time.
We broke up in a Starbucks on campus. I met him there while he was biding time between two classes and told him to have a nice life. Immediately, a weight was lifted from my chest: gone were the days of anxiety over whether or not he would text me back, the worry that I had misread the situation. I was able to stop worrying, a change which echoed profoundly in my productivity. If something is wrong, you will feel it in your gut. I felt it in my gut: loudly and profoundly.
The breakup was amicable. Adult. I cut him out of my life with surgical precision: after deciding that he didn’t care about me, I decided that it wasn’t worth my time to care about him. Not because, as my friend noted, I am “objectively out of his league.” Because I know how I want to be treated. I know how I deserve to be treated, and I will accept nothing less than that.
Leana Reich is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania studying Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology. She loves to explore cities, particularly by way of coffee shops and museums, and doesn’t properly understand how lucky she is to have lived at the beach her entire life. She does understand how lucky she is to have such an amazing mom as a role model and appreciates her every day.