When I broke up with my ex, my sister came over and brought poutine and ice cream and I cried on the couch in my living room. We drank red wine and wore pj’s and had a sleepover. The next morning, I was a wreck. I was hollowed out and destroyed. It was a true and tried breakup.
Which makes sense. That relationship had been a big part of my life, so untangling the strings associated with it was a lot to deal with. However, not every relationship ends the same. And if you’ve been around a while, you know that I can use the word “relationship” in very broad terms. For the newbies, I’ll explain it: relationships aren’t just “boyfriend-girlfriend” situations, but any interaction between two people. They cover the long expanse from causal dating to marriage and all that’s in between.
Although, acknowledging that there are different types of relationships, you must acknowledge some relationships are bigger than others. Similar to friends, some of my friendships are deeper and longer lasting than others, but they are all friendships. Some relationships are long and involve anniversaries and meeting people’s parents, and some are informal and brief.
You can watch makeups and breakups until your eyes dry up and Netflix asks, “are you still watching?”.
But less formal relationships, baby relationships, come with less guidelines. There is more grey area to play in. During the relationship, it’s easier to formulate your own ideas about what can or cannot happen. Titles and interactions and “rules” are easier to play with because you don’t have as many preconceived notions about what should be going on. And that freedom can be exhilarating, without the seriousness of a big relationship, baby relationships can be a lot of fun.
However, the end of a baby relationship. When a big relationship ends, you know what to do. I described it earlier. You drink and eat ice cream and cry about what you’ve lost. But a baby relationship isn’t serious, so you shouldn’t have a serious breakup, right?
I’m going to argue no.
Whether you ended a crush or a friends with benefits or anything in between, you ended something. Something you once had you no longer do. And it’s okay to feel sad about that loss. It’s okay to be upset that something you enjoyed is done. That person lent an ear when you wanted to talk about your day, they cuddled you when you fell asleep, they made you laugh, they were company (especially in a time where company is a hot commodity), or maybe they were just killer in bed. That is also a loss you can be upset about.
I’m not encouraging that you get swallowed by your emotions. Don’t let them eat you up, because that isn’t healthy. But supressing emotions isn’t healthy either. You’re allowed to shed a tear or have a glass of wine or watch a movie to make yourself feel better. You’re allowed to mourn the end of a baby relationship with a baby breakup. Your emotions are going to be there either way, you might as well deal with them and move on.
And because these relationships are less formal, there will be less to tell you what to do. There is no movie about a girl getting ghosted. Nothing tells us what to do when your friends with benefits decides to catch feelings for someone else. Or when a global pandemic ends something that was just starting (sorry if that hit close to home for some of you…I understand). So, you’re going to have to find your own way out.
Maybe you chug an entire bottle of wine like a damn champion and have drunk karaoke in your living room. Maybe you go for a run. Maybe you Marie-Kondo your kitchen and finally sort the junk drawer that everyone inevitably has. Just don’t cut bangs, please for the love of all that is good. But find your baby-breakup. And it might change over time. But allow yourself that moment to let it out.
Allow yourself baby heartbreaks. Be kind to yourself, you deserve it. You also deserve someone who doesn’t cause your baby heartbreaks, but that seems like a new can of worms. So, for tonight pour a glass for me, because I’m in your corner.
From me, with love, to you,