Breaking up with a Partner While Travelling : How to Overcome it and Move on
Breakups are never easy. It hurts and it completely changes the direction you were taking and the future you were imagining for yourself and the other person.
It snaps, in half a second, years of a relationship just break in half. Everyone goes through breakups, pretty much everyone knows how it feels.
You go to your friends, your mum, you have a good cry and you just overcome it.
But what happens when you're travelling?
What happens when you're far from home, and you break up with your long-term partner?
Let me tell you my breakup story that happens two weeks ago.
I was with my partner for almost 6 years, which is a long time. We came to Australia together, got an apartment, jobs, and designed a life we both wanted.
But in any relationship, the flame tends to fade away with time. The thing is, our paths also started drifting apart as we had different visions of what we actually desired.
I believe that when you truly love someone, you will accept the person as they are and if you're taking different directions but still want to be together, you don't have to compromise. You can just find a way to connect those two paths with tolerance and respect. But don't try to change the other person.
That was the biggest issue we had and after a certain point, I didn't feel valued and even respected. I didn't feel loved anymore.
So I was thinking that maybe the best thing to do was to break up, but he didn't seem up to it.
We had a Europe trip planned for a month where I would be travelling around with a friend while he would stay with his family in France. I told him that this time away from each other would be a good reflection on whether or not we'd stay together. That was the last chance.
I had the time of my life visiting my friend in Amsterdam and travelling to Copenhagen with her. Everyday was a blast and I'm so grateful for it, it was exactly what I needed.
The last week of my trip, I flew to the South of France to meet him at his parent's house.
When I saw him, I could see he wasn't very excited to see me. Something was obviously off.
I'm not going to get into too much details but I knew he was trying to hide something from me when I realised he changed his phone password.
This is at this point I decided to break up with him. There was no more trust and he was way too shady. I wanted so bad to make things better between us but it was just too late. Our relationship died that day.
As we were staying in a small village with no public transport, I had nowhere to go. So I spent the last three days crying my eyes out to grieve the relationship, while he was pretending that everything was fine. All I wanted was to go home and move out.
We had to spend the very last day in Paris before our flight back to Australia.
Imagine being in the city of love, dragging your broken heart around and an ex-partner in total denial?
Still, I enjoyed that day. Breathing the air, and staring at the Eiffel Tower for minutes, just so I could create memories. Good memories. Not for us but for myself.
He took me for dinner, and when we got back to the hotel I said to myself "I need proof." I needed to know, so I couldn't regret my decision.
He went to the bathroom and I grabbed his phone, and after a few tries, I cracked the password.
I found a conversation.
I never felt my heart pounding that much.
The well educated, fun, loving man I've been with for 6 years cheated on me with a random girl he met on Tinder.
And was planning to do it again the day after we got back to Perth.
Now you're asking, what are you supposed to do? You're in a foreign city, far from home and you find out THIS.
Breathe and keep your head up. At this point, you need to stand out for yourself.
When he came out of the bathroom, I had my best poker face on and literally put him on the spot.
He got as pale as a vampire and showed me who he really was.
I took my stuff and left the room, booked another one... and threw up. I was in shock but that night, I didn't cry.
He doesn't deserve my tears.
The morning after, I went to the airport and changed my seat. He chased me around the airport trying to give me an explanation but there was nothing he could have said that could justify what he did.
Back in Perth, I grabbed my suitcase, hopped in an Uber and drove to my best friend's house.
I blocked him from all social media and refused to see him.
That day in Paris, I saved myself.
I saved myself from someone who was with me for comfort and convenience. I saved myself from a life I didn't want.
I am so grateful I found out that day and not before or after. Because I still enjoyed an incredible time in Europe, and I came back to Perth to start a new life straight away.
Everything happens for a reason.
Now, let me give you some tips about how to overcome a breakup, especially while on holiday whether your now-ex is travelling with you or not.
You need a couple days of tears and screams. By that I mean that the first stage of a breakup is Shock and the second is Denial. People can react in two different ways: some will shove their bodies into their bed and hide themselves in the dark to cry for the rest of their holiday, and some will pretend that nothing happens, thinking "I can't think about it now, I'm on vacation" but will keep their feelings inside.
The truth is, both are right and wrong. You can't deny the fact that your relationship has ended, so you need to let your emotions out. But at the same time, you can't let that ruin your holiday.
So give yourself a break by spending a day or two in bed, crying. It sounds depressing but trust me, you need it. Also, vent. Vent a lot. Call your family, friends. Get. It. Out.
Stop blaming yourself and accept. It's inevitable, you're going to ask yourself "What's wrong with me?" but snap yourself out of this thought and remember who you really are. The relationship is over and you can't go back in time. Things are the way they are. If you broke up because they cheated on you, that's not your fault. They could have found a way to communicate to either end things before or make things better. There's no excuse when it comes to cheating. Nothing is wrong with you.
If you the one who dumped, tell yourself you made the right decision and stick to it. A good and healthy relationship shouldn't lead to the idea of breaking up.
If you're the one who got dumped, accept it and tell yourself that it is better this way. It's not the end of the world. Of course it hurts, but you won't be hurt forever.
Block them and stay away. This is for your own benefit and your mental health. I needed proof, and when I found out what I found out, that was it, done. Don't try to get an explanation, block them.
Why? To break the circle. They will probably try to talk to you, butter you up, try to justify themselves, and this is not what you need. If you let them do so, you won't be able to stop talking to them and you'll end up suffering even more.
Remember, the relationship is over. So don't stay around them and block them from all social media. It is the best thing to do for your recovery.
Make friends and distract yourself. Here's the second best thing! I'm grateful each day for all the friends who were there when I came back from Europe and took care of me. Also, my social circle went through the roof, meeting new people and became strong friends, meeting their friends and creating a whole new crowd around me. This way, I had something to do and someone to see everyday so I didn't have much time to think about my ex!
Now you're travelling and have just broken up, go out and meet people. Tell them your story. Do what you want. Go get a massage, go do some shopping, stuff your mouth with amazing food: bring positivity and let it push your bad thoughts away.
Just so we're clear, this is not denial. At this point, you've accepted the relationship is over and you're just taking care of yourself and use friends to lift you up.
Although, don't ignore your emotions. This is so important. There's different stages of a breakup and you need to allow yourself to go through each of them. If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel angry, go punch a pillow (please don't punch people), if you feel anxious, talk to someone.
My first week after the breakup was a hell of emotions. I was still in shock, and I felt like crying but couldn't get any tears out. So I had to listen to very sad songs just so I could let it go. I felt very angry and yelled at my friend how much I hated my ex. I felt disgust and angst, sadness and loneliness. Sometimes I missed him.
You've got to acknowledge what you feel and not feel bad about this. It is perfectly normal. But stay strong and don't contact them when you miss them. Tell yourself that greatness will come soon.
Listen to music. Especially empowering songs, with lyrics that speak to you. Listen to it every day and let it pump you up, dance on it and feel a brand new smile on your face.
Tell yourself it could have been so much worse. We are 7 billion people on this planet and there's no way you're having the worst possible experience. People go through horrible things and still find the way to move on. If they can do it, so do you.
Don't regret what happened. Everything that happens in life is a lesson to learn. I will never regret my relationship with my ex. Without him, I wouldn't be in Australia and I wouldn't have met my friends, I wouldn't probably have found what I was actually looking for. He was the right person to be with 5 years ago, but not anymore.
Now that I can look back, I can say that I didn't do anything wrong. He just stopped being a good boyfriend. I realised that he never saw me for who I was : an ambitious strong independent woman who doesn't like being told what to do.
So now I know what I want and what I deserve.
Honestly, it is just another step of your life.
Set goals and achieve them. Guess what? You are single, you can do whatever the f*ck you want! You can get your own place and decorating it the way YOU like. You can go party all night without having to tell anything to anyone. No one to judge you. No one to tell you what to do or what to wear.
It's time now to work towards the things you always wanted.
You want to drop everything to travel the world? DO IT.
You want to shoot for a Ferrari? DO IT.
You just closed a door to open a new one.
You are unstoppable.
Hope. You know there's someone out there for you. Let them come to you. First, be happy living with yourself. Love and respect the person you are.
I honestly thought I wouldn't be able to trust anyone ever after my breakup.
But f*ck it, it's only been two weeks and I already know that the right guy will come at the right moment. Right now, I'm just enjoying making new plans and create a whole new life for myself.
Boss up. You know your worth.
Eileen - Pretty Little Mantras.