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I've had my share of let-downs in life. Off the top of my head, I can think of several: always being picked last during gym class; realizing we couldn’t always afford the Sunny D, and thus having to settle for generic, store brand juice; finding out that Santa Claus wasn't real. Sure, these all seem like insignificant stressors that can be ignored with little effort. Maybe they were; who knows? However, I realize now, as a poor excuse for an adult, that I never really understood true disappointment until I was old enough to experience romantic involvement with men.

If we step away from so-called “romance” while discussing men in general, the disappointment factor (more often than not) still remains. Aside from the fact that human beings altogether are constantly driving me to drink, I have found that men do an exceptional job of destroying what little faith I have left in our species.

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I will take preventative measures now, and assure you that not all men have caused me such strife, but there are a great number of those close to me that do a good job of it — whether it be my dad, my mom's ex-boyfriend (who I swore would be my new dad), my mother’s stubborn father, or my father's unapologetically racist father. No matter how you slice it, men have caused me to lose more hair than Mr. Clean doing front flips into a swimming pool filled with Nair products. If you add romance and intimacy to my already sour milk views of close-quarter male relationships, we have one holy hell of an assfuck recipe for disaster.

When we enter the romantic aspect, I can speak for days about the gruesome heartbreaks I have endured in my short twenty-odd years of existence. We can talk about my high school boyfriend fucking all of my friends; we can talk about the boys who found me too boring for words, or we can talk about the guys who led me on for months only to give me less than mediocre sex and a UTI. We can banter for days about the Anthonys, the Chrises, and the Seans, or we can sit around the fire and tell tales about "what would've been" with the Joes, the Zacks, the Segahs and the Andys. I won’t continue to waste your time on the specifics, though.

What I will address, however, is this: Breakups, no matter the length of the relationship, are fucking miserable. This is coming from a person who seldom partakes in real, lasting relationships of any sort. Sure, I’m always seeing someone; there’s almost always somebody I’m interested in. However, in the rare instance in which I want to play for keeps, they always head for the hills. I’m constantly dating and fucking, texting and courting, and then being dropped like a hot potato fierier than the Devil’s ballhair. I hardly ever reach the part where I get to introduce the guy to my parents, or the part where I don’t have to feel guilty about publicly tagging him in suggestive Instagram posts. Hey, I want these things just as much as any other ruefully single twenty-something—I just don’t know how to make the commitment stick.

The relationships I do get into (we will call them relationships, although this seems like a slightly exaggerative term) are always short-lived and tragic. We will text every day for months, call each other cute names, split Modelos at Washington Square Park, and hold hands on the A-Train, but we both know you’re just going to go crawling back into the DMs of your ex-girlfriend, only to hit me up for lame sex three months later. Let me not be a hater though — I’m sure she’s got a great personality.

I haven’t had a real “boyfriend” in almost two years, and my most passionate relationship happened when I was fifteen, so naturally, I feel very far removed from all seriousness in regards to dating. The absence of seriousness, however, does not mask the tit-piercing pain that I experience every time my romantic interest of choice decides I wasn’t qualified enough for the job.

Breakups, no matter the length of the relationship, are fucking miserable.

Once I decide that I actually like somebody, and the feeling is mutual, the rest plays out in a very cyclical manner, provided that I haven’t driven myself to self-destructive boredom by week two. Things usually appear very promising at first. The butterfly feeling starts brewing, we begin exchanging barf-worthy affectionate text messages, the sex becomes more regular, and my list of backup plan babes begins thinning out. All is well, usually for a maximum of two to three months. Then the water runs dry.

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Dumped. Again. The initial stages of my newly found unwanted singledom are always a hazy shitstorm of uncertainty. How will I ever move on? Will I ever find someone like this again? Maybe he will come back. Maybe he didn’t mean those things. I then cry like an orphaned toddler, lose my appetite, complain to any and every friendly outlet available, and get so nervous that three-quarters of my day is devoted to releasing piping hot ass-lava into the toilet. Do you know how much money I spend on baby wipes? It’s insane.

After my surge of mental unrest, I make sure to mute said male ex on all of my social media. Shortly after, I go on a thorough binge of photo and message deletions and ask that he never speak to me again. This sounds a bit dramatic, but I find it much easier to cope when the whole “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy is put into effect. After I have virtually removed this person from our shared plane of existence, I wallow in my own sadness like a deranged lunatic, allowing myself some time to sulk. After I have shed tears to the point of near dehydration, I go on a slutty rampage from hell—partially as a form of spite, and partially as a distraction. This rampage could last anywhere from two weeks to two months, or even longer. I’m bad at playing the field, however, so it’s often during this phase of my post-romantic cycle that I meet someone new, and thus, the cycle starts all over again.

It’s funny that we always take the plunge again, knowing it’s going to sting just as much as it did before.

I’m sure it seems like an unhealthy way to deal with the end of relationships, now being able to see my terrible habits condensed into one under-descriptive passage. To tell you the truth, it might not be the soundest way to move on; this, I can’t be sure of. I will tell you, however, that it always works—I always get over it. Sure, I’m overemotional and irrational, to say the least, but I’m also resilient. I stay bitter for a while, but I manage to let go. I can’t stay sad for long, and holding a grudge is more tiresome than running a marathon on stilts while carrying a dead water buffalo. Needless to say, I don’t hate my exes forever.

One thing each breakup has taught me is that time really does heal everything. The time in between your release and your recovery will be awful, but you will figure it out. Everyone deals with heartbreak in their own way, whether it be utilizing distractions like the comfort of friends and/or casual sex, sorting through emotions on your own, or pooping so much that you need to replace all of the plumbing in your apartment complex. Regardless of your tactic, nothing will cushion your fall like the solace of knowing “it’s happened before, and it does get better.” So fear not; if you’ve been through it once, you’ll probably go through it again. And you’ll get over it, just like last time.

 

This essay is by Amelia Capaz, a writer and visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York. She will be receiving her Bachelor's in Fashion Business Management from FIT as of December this year, with a minor in Japanese Language. Previously, Capaz has contributed to Huffington Post, created visuals for TheGirlMob.com, and hosted social events in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @th0tcouture.

The collage featured in this essay, called "Why does your love hurt so much?" is by Giulia Bernardi. Bernardi is a collage maker and stylist based in Milan, Italy. Giulia mixes documentary and fashion photography with collected images and heirlooms found on her travels. Her collages represent deeply personal narratives, blurring the lines between intimacy and anonymity. You can find more of her work on her Tumblr and Instagram.

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It's Not Personal is an inclusive dating collective and growing anthology. INP creates opportunities for women/womxn to share their dating experiences in safe spaces, empowers them to find comfort in their relationship statuses, and inspires them to have a healthy relationship with themselves through the tools of art and writing. INP does workshops, events and has a monthly column with BUST Magazine Online, as well as works to raise money for RAINN.  For more information, be sure to follow It's Not Personal on Instagram join the Facebook group, and send art and writing submissions to itsnotpersonalnyc@gmail.com.

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