Breakups: Life’s roundabout way of making you happy


Almost everyone has received that one text message. The text that makes your hand start trembling. The text that immediately puts a lump in your throat. The text that slowly brings tears to your eyes. The dreaded, horrible, pain-inducing “We need to talk” text. 

This text is almost always the precursor to a breakup. Chances are a majority of us in college have had at least one relationship that ended in a breakup. Now, some breakups are not as dramatic or painful as others, but the underlying truth about breakups is that they suck. They suck a whole lot and can have a huge mental and physical toll on an individual.

A 2010 study from the Journal of Neurophysiology found that individuals actually felt physical pain when they were shown a picture of an ex, which can be credited to the fact that emotional and physical pain share neural pathways in the brain. 

On top of that, Medical Daily went on to say how a breakup will cause the brain to release the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn causes one going through a breakup to experience sleeplessness, decreased critical thinking and weight gain.

Personally, I have experienced everything these two examples talk about. I have been through breakups that have absolutely shattered me. It may be because I am more sensitive than the typical guy, but breakups cause me to lose sleep, lose weight and just kind of mess up my entire routine for awhile. 

Essentially, for me, and perhaps for some of you reading this, a breakup causes me to shut down. When everyone wants to know what happened and if I’m okay, all I really want is to not talk to anyone and just listen to Four Tet’s song “She Just Likes to Fight” on repeat. Seriously, look that song up–great breakup song.

But even though that is all I want to do, I do not do that. That is how the old me handled a breakup. Sure, breakups still devastate me, but I have learned to actually sort of appreciate them. 

When a breakup happens, people still long for their ex at some degree, even if they broke it up. People long for familiarity and consistency, so when that is disrupted it is incredibly hard to deal with. I will have this longing for an ex after a breakup, but it never lasts long because I know that life goes on.

I have started to think about it like this: when dating someone, it will either end in a breakup or marriage. So if a breakup occurs, that just means that person was not the right one, and someone better for me is coming. When I think about it like this, I do not get distraught over a breakup for long anymore because I know that I will find someone else. I know I will not die alone, and something great will come into my life.

And I believe breakups make me stronger. I am always able to learn from a breakup. I can reflect what was good about the relationship and what was bad about it, and then I can try to improve the next time around. And a breakup forces one to pick themselves back up. Rising from a breakup is incredibly hard, but once an individual does so, it shows that he or she can persevere through despair.

Honestly, I think that breakups are a blessing. They give an individual the chance to learn about themselves, to reflect on what they really want in a significant other and, in some cases, can get a person out of a bad or doomed relationship. 

And after reading this, if you are still thinking that a breakup is the end of the world, and that your ex was your forever, think about how “forever” may just be your “freshman year of college forever.” Forever is a long time, and there is plenty of it to throw around. Someone else will come along and hopefully will be the forever you are looking for. 

Breakups suck and will always suck. Breakups will always bring you on an emotional rollercoaster, much like an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, and there is no changing that fact, but what helps me through them is thinking how happy I have made the wrong person, and then relating that to how happy I will make the right person. And I know whoever I settle down with, I am going to make them the happiest person in the world (personal life goal right there).

The right person is out there for everyone, we just need to endure all the heartbreak along the way until the right person can help us repair it.


Jordan Bierbrauer is the Opinion Editor for The Collegian and can be reached at [email protected].