>  Blog   >  What a breakup feels like
My tears started trickling down my chin as my ex tried to explain.


I really love you, but we’re still in our 20s. And I want to be 100% sure that once we’re married, we won’t divorce. Because what happens if one day we argue and end up hating each other to the bones?

I suggest we date other people for a year, so we can see if there’s someone else more compatible for us. And if we both don’t find anyone, we’ll get married — straight away. Because by then, I’ll know that you’re the “one”.

I scrunched my swollen eyes at his face, as if he suddenly turned into a stranger.

But why? We’re always happy being in each other’s presence. We rarely argue. We worked through life’s twists and turns for 9 1/2 years. Why do we have to see other people?!

Regardless of how much I pleaded and cried, he didn’t budge. The decision stood firm.

At that point, a flood of loneliness filled my heart.

What if I don’t find anyone, but you do?

Photo Credit: Milada Vigerova

It hurt.

And traumatized me for over 2 years — to the point where I’d cry in my sleep every night and feel pain in my body that never existed. And while everyone told me “time will heal,” I didn’t want to bear through another day feeling like I’m nothing.

Now that I look back, I feel lucky, relieved actually, to know that I’ve made the right choice. To finally free myself from this toxic relationship, so I could start rebuilding my life.

While I’ve gotten off to a good start — working at a startup, growing my voice on Medium, traveling around Southeast Asia — I sometimes can’t help but think about how much better my life would be if I had a man to share my experiences with.

Is it because I’m needy? Because I’ve been brainwashed by all the Disney movies I’ve watched? Or maybe I’m still not over my breakup, in the sense that I need a companion for security?

Whatever it is, it still nags at me occasionally.

But it’s helped me realize one thing:

There’s only one person guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with — and that’s yourself. So whether or not you’re single, make yourself a priority because at the end of the day, you are your longest commitment.

That’s why I’m dedicating every moment of my day to learn, to create and to inspire. Because when I do, I stop worrying about finding a partner.

After all, it’s not up to someone else to fulfill your life for you — it’s yours.

I’m rebuilding my life by discovering who I am, learning what I’m capable of after a 9 year heartbreak that left me stranded in China.


  • Iann

    October 30, 2017

    Well said Tiffany. I was in a very similar situation back in May. Looking back, it was really sad but was also an invaluable gift to focus on myself and my growth. Without the lows you won’t be able to get the highs.

    Keep it up!

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