Thank You, Next

Some may find Ariana Grande’s hit single “thank u, next” as a nuisance while others may find it as a catchy pop song. I vividly remember the first time I heard the track; I immediately related to many of its lines.

Last year, I was writing an article next to my then-boyfriend, Hans Westergaard*, asking him for his input on why marriages are unnecessary. As I am coming up with this piece, I am happily living my life without him. Like many couples, my ex and I were initially friends, and I did not see him as a potential partner. Steadily, we built a bond, and romantic interests eventually sparked. Throughout the duration of the relationship, I fell in love with him as our connection was strong and he was a caring and kind person not only toward me, but also to others. Although it was a long distance relationship, I did not mind and was willing to travel to Los Angeles to meet him every so often. Everything was alright until Spring Quarter when my health deteriorated horribly. I wanted him to comfort me, but due to his hectic work schedule, he was unavailable when I needed him, leaving him feeling guilty. One day during spring break, he decided to end our relationship in one of the worst possible ways — via text message.

Hans left me a total of five incomplete phrases that are forever imprinted in me as a break-up message before he proceeded to block my number and social media accounts. He permanently damaged me in a way that I have never experienced, leaving me feeling confused, betrayed, and scarred. I was obsessed and wanted closure, constantly seeking different ways to reach out to him. Life during the first week of the breakup felt like living in hell. I spent days crying in bed, questioning myself, and hoping that I could sleep for just a little longer so I did not consciously have to think about him. I was grieving, and I was simultaneously hoping he will apologize and return everything the way it was. Needless to say, my ex has yet given me my well-deserved personal explanation.

I originally blamed myself for the downfall of the relationship. I always asked, “What did I ever do to him that made me deserve what he has done to me?” For a long period of time, I thought I was being a needy partner for wanting his support when I was sick. I thought I was not worthy enough for him due to our different career trajectories. I thought I was not being as affectionate as he wanted me to be. I do not believe that words can accurately describe the mixed emotions I experienced: emptiness, denial, anger, pain, sadness, loneliness. I would have rather felt physical instead of emotional pain; I felt worthless knowing that someone whom I loved and trusted could do this to me and had the power to affect me in such a way.

The road to recovery was timely and difficult; however, I made it out okay. One of the most valuable lessons I learned through the breakup is acknowledging my feelings and self-care. I tried holding back my tears on multiple occasions but soon realized that it was doing me more harm than good. Continually sobbing for over an hour, I finally broke down when one of my close friends harshly told me to face the reality and let go — it was my life’s most dramatic cry that left my eyes swollen for days. I allowed myself to relax by spending more time hanging out with my friends and Netflix. I firmly believe that time will essentially heal a heartache. As the memories with my ex slowly fade, they hold less meaning to me. A friend once told me that you can’t let go of someone, but you can move on. It was not until half a year later when I finally found myself moving on from him which allowed me to reflect. When I was not the clingy, obsessed ex-girlfriend, I can rationally see from my ex’s perspective. Yes, he valued his career over our relationship, but it is understandable considering we were a young couple. Yes, he could have chosen a more ethical and gentle way to end the relationship, but I can imagine the emotions he went through the moment he sent me the text. Yes, I have forgiven him because not only do I still believe he is a decent person, but more importantly, I choose to focus on the happy memories we made.

My story may just be another sad breakup anecdote, nevertheless, I consider this breakup as an important life lesson that helped me grow as a person. I do not regret meeting and dating my ex as he has taught me how to love, how to be patient with myself, and how to deal with emotional pain. I am grateful for Hans, but it is time to say, “thank u, next.”

*Name has been changed

One thought on “Thank You, Next

  1. Wow what an inspiring piece! Your story is definitely relatable to many individuals going through the same relatiknship struggles. Thank you for sharing.

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