It’s been three weeks since we broke up … 24 days to be precise. Every one who has been through a break up knows – it’s hard! But believe me: It’s even harder when you are still in love. It’s a situation no one ever prepared me for. And it’s a situation I never expected to go through … and even though I loved him so much, I was the one who chose to walk away.
We had met on a typical Saturnight in a Bar in Hongdae. After pre-gaming with a guy I had met the night before, I ended up hopping on the last subway to meet my friends, who later on introduced me to the boy I now call my ex-boyfriend. He looked like a typical fuckboy: Tattoos all over his arms, hands and even his neck, perfectly parted dark hair and an arrogant smile on his face. We all got drunk together and shortly after I found myself in his arms, exchanging steamy kisses on the dance floor. I went home that night. Alone. And I remember falling into my bed just labeling it as one of the usual hook ups we all have, right? But this time was different.
He started texting me. Everyday. Shortly after the texts turned into daily phone calls (it’s the Korean dating style, my friends said). I ended up seeing him every weekend. We would go out with our friends, drink all night, lose at Beer Pong and have breakfast together in the morning. It was a time filled with laughter and light-heartedness. I still kept my guards up though, thinking that he was only trying to get in my pants anyway. But after weeks and weeks of him respecting my boundaries like no one ever before, we finally made it official: We were boyfriend and girlfriend now.
Things were kinda tough from the beginning. Because he was in the entertainment industry we were not able to see each other more than once or twice a week. We were, what some of my friends called, the Anti-couple. But it worked out for us and for the first time in twenty-one years I knew what it felt like floading on Cloud 9.
But his job situation got more difficult and even though we were living in the same city of Seoul, we weren’t able to see each other for weeks. I was cool about it at first and saw it as an opportunity to keep on doing my own thing. I saw it as a way to secure my independency. But I soon had to realize that with every week that went by, the phone calls got shorter and the text messages fewer. We slowly started to drive apart and the crazy connection we had at first, that little spark of fire that hit us the second our eyes met, was gone … lost in the width of time.
I ended up calling it quits after five weeks of not seeing each other. I was sitting on the rooftop of a coffeeshop somewhere in Itaewon on a warm springday in April, telling him that I couldn’t do a relationship like this anymore. And I remember sitting there, having the cold wind blow through my hair and thinking:
I have to do this to protect myself
Something all the women in my family always taught me. I remember getting off the phone. What the fuck had I done? I still loved him. It felt like I was ripping my own heart out of my chest. I started making excuses. It was not our fault, it was the fucking universe playing fucking games with us. It was not his fault, he was just a victim of Korea’s society that always seems to put your boss’ demands as a priority above everything else. It felt like it was either the best decision ever made or the worst one. I had either dodged a major bullet or let go of someone special I would never find again. And me breaking up with him was the ticket for a longass rollercoster ride of emotions. The next days were filled with moments of doubt (was it the right decision?), unbelieveable sadness, anger at everything and absolutely everyone and ironically moments of strength (which I mainly have to thank my two amazing girlfriends for. I love you guys to the moon and back!).
And even though the timing back then was horrible and his job situation was tough, I now know that walking away was the right decision. It was a decision I had made for myself. A decision that I had made for the sake of my own happiness. I always knew that I’d rather be single than stay in a relationship that makes me unhappy and even though we had moments filled with laugther and joy that would last a lifetime of rainy days, the weeks of barely talking and not seeing each other were something I just couldn’t do.
Saiyng goodbye with a I love you in the end is never easy. But everything just takes a little bit of time right? Looking back now we are also to blame that things ended the way they did. But I will always be thankful for the amazing time we had and for him being the first guy ever showing me what feeling loved that way by someone else feels like.
I might have walked away as a girl whose broken heart still belonged to someone else. But I also emerged as someone who realized what she is worth – as a human being, as a woman and as a girlfriend.
xoxo Laura Belle