How to Pretend It Doesn’t Hurt

“When he says he doesn’t love you anymore, roll your shoulders back and look him in the eye even when it feels like your ribs are breaking inward; like spider legs. When he digs up old aches that he swore he forgave you for, smile and ask him why he didn’t leave you sooner. Ignore the way the words feel like sandpaper running all the way up your throat to your mouth. When he blames you for mistakes that wear his face, do not scream. Do not cry. Tell him that there are boys who would be proud to say they’d love you. Tell him that in two years you won’t even remember his name and don’t let him see the way you can taste your own lie. When he leaves, ignore the howling in your blood and do not get up after him. Not even to lock the door. Do not, do not, DO NOT. Smell his shirts when you box them up to give them back. Not one. Swear off dating when you realize you’re chasing ghosts that wear his smile. It’s okay to cry over him. It’s even okay to forgive him. But do not go back to him if he did not know how to love you the first time. He won’t know how to do it the next.”

No matter 

“You don’t realize how much he ruined you until you start talking to someone new. You do not realize how much you miss the way he talked to you, the way he took care of you, until someone else tries to do those same things.You will think about the fact that you miss the way he was always there. You will think of the way his presence always calmed you and the way his touch lingered on your skin whenever he was gone.

You don’t realize how much you fucking ache for that familiarity, for the way you were comfortable and how normal it felt to love him. You don’t realize it but you look for it in everyone, and it keeps you up at night that you haven’t found anyone that can make you feel like he used to.

You don’t realize any of it till you meet someone new and think, oh god, maybe he could be someone that stays. The worst part is that you hardly recovered from the way the last guy tore you apart. The worst part is that it terrifies you to think that you could get attached to someone like that again, because it felt like you pinned your heart to your sleeve only for the needle to break through the skin. The idea of loving someone the way you loved him makes you sick because you never thought you’d ever have to find someone else to begin with.”