Healthy lives for young people
Relationships

My first break up: Adam’s story

Adam, 21, shares how he approached his first break up and the key lessons he learned from that experience.

We had been together around six months at that point, and I think I could tell that something was off, and he wasn’t really being like he normally was with me. He wasn’t talking to me as much and was about to go away on holiday to New York. We had an open relationship and he was talking about how he was going to begin doing loads of squats and go to the gym to get ready for New York, with other guys. He had never spoken about that in the relationship with me before.

There were signs that made me feel like something wasn’t right and it just built up. When he went away, he completely ignored all of my messages and didn’t speak to me for a week. I just asked him ‘look, what’s going on, have I done something?’ and he would respond ‘no, I’m just busy’. I knew it wasn’t that and it was something different.

I kept texting him and he kept ignoring my messages.

It got to the end of the week and I asked him when I was meeting him. We agreed on a day, and I told him to bring all my stuff and that I would bring his and that was it. I went into the situation thinking the worst thing for me to be, even though I have a right to, is be angry and approach the situation from a place of anger and negativity.

I didn’t want to say things I would regret, and I didn’t want to leave feeling like there wasn’t a resolution. I didn’t want to treat it as a place for me to vent. I can vent to my friends.

I actually looked online, at resources surrounding how to navigate a certain situations and the best ways to approach those difficult sorts of interactions.

It told me about acknowledging other peoples’ feelings, so when it comes to that you should know that there is always two sides to one story. You should acknowledge that you may feel a certain way, but was that other person aware of it? You can’t assume what the other person has thought. So, it was a super cathartic conversation where we both spoke about situations that had come up in the relationship and how it made us both feel – concentrating on both perspectives.

We just ended up getting everything out that we needed to, and it was a complete release and a sigh of relief. We then just parted ways.

It was hard being away from my sister and my friends back home because they would’ve been the first people that I would have spoken to. And being away from home was quite hard, too. But I had a good support network in London and with my university friends. I spoke to my close friends about it and almost asked for reassurance that it wasn’t just my anxiety that was making it really hard for me or making me think it was just me. I think talking about it gave me the confidence to put my foot down and be like ‘I won’t take this anymore’.

Any advice I’d give someone going through a breakup, or if there’s a conversation coming up that might be quite difficult with another person, it to just make sure you acknowledge both sides.

Although you have every right to feel how you feel, try and approach it from more of a neutral standing point and then I think you’ll find that you get more out of it than you want. You’ll leave the situation feeling a lot more fulfilled and a lot more positive. Try and make the conversation constructive and focus on being constructive yourself.

Looking back, I am quite proud with how I dealt with it. Considering it was my first proper break up, I think I dealt with it the best way I could have. I wouldn’t have done anything differently. I would recommend the same advice to anyone. If you’re unsure with how to approach a situation, there is loads of great resources online.

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