My boyfriend and I met in college while he was an exchange student.
He had to return to England, and my heart broke. I planned to visit for winter break.
As soon as I arrived in London he broke up with me.
At first, I fell for his British accent; then, I fell for him.
He was an exchange student from England when we met in our junior year of college, where we also spent the summer together. I took him to meet my parents; after all, I had fallen in love. I was his first serious girlfriend. When we discussed getting married after graduation, he described a quiet life hanging out at the pub after work. Perhaps it was something I could get used to but didn't know firsthand.
My heart broke once it was time for him to return to England for our senior year. I missed him terribly and foolishly overextended myself with activities and extra studies to avoid the heartbreak. We talked regularly about seeing each other during the holidays. He also sent me a special gift nearly every week. Despite the distance, we seemed strong. Finally, it was time to see him in London; winter break had arrived.
As soon as I arrived, I felt as if something was off
When I got there, something was off. I had flown eight hours to see him, and not only were we driving on the wrong side of the road, but he seemed strange. He wasn't talking either. Was it the jet lag, or was it something else? I thought. Jokingly, I asked, "So, are you seeing anyone?" There was a very long pause. I immediately knew the answer.
Once we got to his house, he left me alone to cry. Then he said he didn't want to hurt my feelings over the phone; he wanted to tell me in person. She was an exchange student from America he'd recently spent time with whose boyfriend was on his way overseas, just like me; maybe that's when he found out it was over, too.
Somehow, he convinced me to stay. I'm unsure why, but I wanted to see the country since I had never been to England. Maybe a tiny part of me wanted to try to get him back.
My fairytale fantasy was not to be. As we traveled all over, meeting up with his friends and family, they would tell me how upset they were with him and ask how he could do this to me. It was awkward. At one point, I thought we would get back together from the sheer will of those in my camp. But he had already moved on.
I decided I was going to be OK
I had to decide. Stay heartbroken? Or pick up the pieces and move on? The first step was to admit it was over. He wasn't the type to handle the next step in a relationship if he couldn't tell me he met someone else because he feared hurting my feelings. Then, I decided it was going to be OK. I knew I could move on from such an awful situation if I could handle being blindsided without losing my sanity.
Sometimes, people are in our lives for a season, and we take what we can to use in other relationships. Knowing what I needed in a relationship was key: open communication with someone willing to express themselves. I learned I needed balance in my life, not to overextend myself to avoid heartbreak. I also decided that in future relationships, I'd be brave enough to ask the tough questions, even if I didn't want to hear the answers. At least I wouldn't be traveling anywhere to find out.
Mischa Bergeron is a freelance writer and breast-cancer survivor in South Florida who writes about health, wellness, and lifestyle. You can find her at mischabergeron.com or on LinkedIn.
Read the original article on Business Insider