On Breaking Up and Moving On
To my dear son,
I know you are hurting right now after your breakup. It probably feels like the world is crashing around you, and life isn’t worth living. Believe me, I’ve been there, and I know it all too well.
I don’t know the details of your girlfriend breaking up with you other than she ended the relationship, but I can’t emphasize enough that your life is not over. It really isn’t. You probably feel lower than dirt and worthless, but you aren’t on the losing side. You’re my son, and if you’re anything like your mother, I know that you’re ten times the man that I am.
It may surprise you, but before your mother, I had quite a few girlfriends (but not as many as your uncle). I thought each of them were “the one,” and I treated each like they were. It was disastrous, and I found myself down really dark roads. I tried to drink, eat and sleep away my problems, but nothing seemed to help. Your mother doesn’t know this, but my lowest point was when I was standing over the quarry in the next town over, preparing to jump over a girl who dumped me after a two-year relationship.
But I didn’t. I didn’t because a friend called me at that moment telling me to come home. I don’t know how he knew where I was, but he claims that it was God reaching out to him. When I arrived, we sat in front of my apartment talking for hours. What he said was something along the lines of this:
It’s going to take time for this pain to go away, and you’re probably at a point where you don’t want to move on at all. You want to be miserable. You want to be angry. You want her back and for things to go back to the way things were. But you need to move on. Life is meant to be lived, to progress and discover. To share.
Obviously, this girl didn’t want to share her life with you. Is that selfish of her? Maybe, but you have to think that she may be someone else’s “one.” Are you going to deprive her or him of that connection because you are angry? Then you’re no better than she is. In fact, you’d be the selfish one.
Is that what you want? I don’t think so. I think you’re better than that. I think any girl would be lucky, privileged to know you on any level. You know why? You give everything. I’ve seen you play sports, I’ve seen you volunteer and I’ve seen you around your friends. You’re probably one of the most giving men I’ve ever seen in my life, and you don’t request anything in return. You bring out the best in people, and most of them don’t realize that you’re the catalyst for why things are going so well.
But I do. Your true friends do. And I’m telling you right now that you’re going to find someone better than her, someone so much better that your ex will not even compare on the same level. In the same test. Hell, it’ll look like she’s not there, or she ever was. That next girl, the right girl, is going to turn you into a better man, and you’re going to turn her into a better woman, and together, you’ll be the brightest shining stars this side of the planet. I can guarantee that.
I took his advice to heart, and sure enough, he was right. He was there to see it happen, too, on your mother’s and my wedding day. He was my best man, and he’s now your godfather.
You’re young, and you have so much potential, son. You have the ability to travel, explore and go make your dreams come true. Now is your time. I know that it seems like I’m saying to forget her, and in a sense, I am. Forget who she is to you for now, but remember who you are. You’re a man, and you’re my son.
Maybe someday, you’ll meet your ex-girlfriend again, and maybe you two can reunite and start over. But don’t let that be your only hope. It could be that you don’t get back together, in which case your godfather’s advice should hold even truer for you. She might be with someone else, or perhaps you’ll be someone else. The point is to not dwell too much on it. Tuck that hope away for some other time, which may not come at all. That’s a part of life, and all of us have to live it.
You’re going to be fine, son, and judging by how you take after your mother so much, girls will flock after you like mad geese for bread crumbs. Above all else, your mother and I will always be there for you. We love you.
I love you, son.