Breakups aren’t all bad. They can be absolutely magical

managing editor

It’s been one year since the breakup of my first long term relationship. And no, I wasn’t keeping track — I just have an exceptional memory.  

There wasn’t anything particularly crazy that led us to breaking up — which oddly felt infinitely worse. In my period of mourning, I wished that they’d cheated, punched an elderly person, screamed at a child. I was grasping at straws to find a reason to hate, and ultimately, get over them. A felony conviction was the key to speeding up the healing process. But this was a largely ineffective tactic because they weren’t prone to crime or elder abuse.  

What actually helped was a quote from my favorite comfort movie “Set It Up.” Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell’s characters are trying to get their bosses together in hopes that it’ll reduce their workload. Their recent attempt ended in disaster, with Powell’s character worried that they hate each other. Deutch’s character then says that “hate isn’t the opposite of love, it’s indifference.” 

I realized my “hate” derived from the love that existed at one point. “Hate” allowed them to stay in my mind — albeit negatively. So, I worked to be indifferent. Now, my memories of the relationship now feel like they’ve been planted there. At one point in my life, this person consumed my thoughts day and night. Now, I largely think about myself and TikTok edits. And my therapist thinks that’s wonderful. 

I’m also extremely lucky in the fact that I have wonderful friends who supported me post-breakup with shopping trips, dinners and confirming my suspicions that it was weird when they did that. It probably would’ve taken me much longer and seven extra pints of Ben and Jerry’s. 

When I told a friend that I was writing about the paper anniversary of my breakup, she turned with her eyes wide and said, “Really? It’s only been one year? It’s felt like ages.”  

Breakups are a magical thing. I feel like I’ve had two years of growth crammed into the past year. I’ve developed different music taste, made lasting friendships across the country, got a new job and am so much better at doing winged eyeliner. I think everyone could use a breakup or two.  

As my therapist constantly reminds me, these are the years to be selfish. Spend the extra money on guac and don’t continue to do things that don’t bring you joy. Job, partner or that new dish at that Thai fusion restaurant that you can’t bring yourself to love. Get your usual Pad Thai and keep it pushing.  

I love love. In all its forms — platonic, familial, romantic or self. There have been minor flirtations from then to now, but being single is fun. I don’t feel compelled to be in a relationship right now, and single Nina is very fun.  

I think I’m going to stick with her a little longer. I’m not ready to get back in the game all-the-way, but if the right person hands me the bat, I’ll swing. I’m talking to you Shohei Ohtani.