Since I graduated college, I’ve been in 3 serious relationships and 3 breakups. Living in NYC, as I got older and all my friends became progressively engaged/married, meeting men became progressively more difficult. In my first relationship, I met him at a NY Cares volunteer event, a somewhat “normal” way to meet. I met my second ex-boyfriend on an online dating app, back when online dating apps were just becoming popular. And I met my most recent ex-boyfriend, Adrian, on the Bumble dating app, which some of you might know if you read this post where I shared how we met. I had a really positive experience with Bumble because unlike other dating apps, Bumble gives the girl the chance to make the first move. I felt empowered by this, and given previous relationships, I thought I knew what I wanted.
But through my most recent relationship from Bumble, I learned that what I thought I wanted was not what I needed. I thought I wanted a guy who made a lot of money (so that I can keep blogging without worry), had a similar background and upbringing to me, and liked the same lifestyle when it comes to eating out and doing fun things around the city. And those things sound totally reasonable, right? But somehow, my ex who I met on Bumble and dated for 9 months was none of those things, but I fell in love with him, and he made me happy in ways that I never knew I needed.
Throughout our relationship, we both learned a lot about ourselves, and came to realize that there was still so much we had to work on individually before we could successfully be in a healthy relationship. I learned that I was at times self-centered, demanding with my expectations, and sort of a “tiger” girlfriend (similar to a “tiger” Mom). I couldn’t learn to love Adrian the way that he needed to be loved, and I realized that I needed to learn how to put someone else’s needs before my own. Apparently this was not something that I had successfully learned in my past relationships, perhaps due to age or inexperience, or just plain stubbornness.
So we broke up, and it was the most difficult break-up I’ve been through. I wasn’t ready for the break-up and still loved him, so it was heartbreaking in a way that I had never experienced before. For the first month after our break-up, I became highly aware of what I needed to work on in myself, and I embraced being alone. The typical things of what to do after a break-up didn’t work for me, such as go out with friends or binge eat ice cream. Instead, I worked out a lot, upping my Classpass to the maximum credits available per month. I started a Youtube channel and threw myself into staying busy. I watched a lot of Netflix and the Bachelorette. Oh, and I even auditioned for the Bachelor (you can see that story on my Instagram IGTV).
I also learned who my true friends were. In my previous breakups, I never felt like I truly needed support because I was already emotionally over the relationships when they ended. But with this one, I was raw. It surprised and touched me when friends would call me or text to check up on me. It also surprised me when certain friends didn’t call or text. This period of time gave me a lot of clarity, in both myself and the people in my life.
I also attended the Her Conference with Bumble as my sponsor. I felt proud to be going to the conference with Bumble, an app that had helped me grow and become (hopefully) a better partner and person. Her Conference is a career and life development event with speakers, fun programming, and interactive activities. It was great to connect with other influencers as well as brands. It kind of felt like I was experiencing Bumble BFF (meeting new friends) and Bumble Bizz (professional networking) all in one place!
It’s been a few months since the breakup, and Adrian and I recently started seeing each other again. I don’t know where things will lead or whether we will rekindle our relationship, but we’ve definitely both grown in the time we were apart. It feels different than last time, like we’ve both matured and learned from our mistakes. Maybe it will work out, maybe it won’t, but I feel more open and ready to be a true partner.
So there isn’t a formula when it comes to what to do after a break-up. My advice is reflect and look inwards at things you can do to better yourself. This will make you feel more productive, more positive, and ultimately a better version of YOU. The rest will follow!
Thanks for reading,