After a Breakup: We Aren’t the People We Were Back Then

· December 4, 2016

What would a sudden encounter be like between two people years after their breakup? We are going to imagine a story. Any old story…

We see each other again suddenly. It may seem poetic, but we turn the corner and we run head-on into each other. No way out.

It had been three years since we had seen each other and our lives were passing by in parallel routines. Each one on its tracks or maybe in different train cars and with different luggage. It hurt. For everything to end after four years together…

In the last few months, the problems between us made us go through life looking at the ground due to the unbearable weight of sadness and anger, or maybe contemplating the sky, thinking about was and what you wish would be again.

“I kept going and destroyed every concrete memory because I no longer want to find you in my corners, even less in my dreams, and this is why you are where I no longer seek you and where I now look for happiness.”

-Julio Cortázar-

Couple in a Stormy Park

Ceasing to be

Ceasing to be is accepting, in part, a breakup with yourself. A part of you keeps wanting that hope to come back, which is why letting it go is a fracture, though sometimes a very necessary one.

It seems that in many cases, we remain in love with that past time that we experienced. That reflection that can no longer be seen in our reality but which, to avoid confronting that dissonance, we accept to experience as a memory, a shadow.


Of course relationships change and they can be a rollercoaster, loops included. And of course infatuation fades away and love can keep two people together who accept that these changes are only that: changes.

And of course that path not only does not hurt relationships, but instead makes them even greater more mature, stronger, almost immortal.

When it ends

But this is not a story of a struggle, it is a story of escape, which is also a battle. This is the story of a defeat, of problems that go beyond the emotional or a temporary stage.

It was difficult to accept that, no matter how much we tried, we could not make each other happy. To the contrary, our unhappiness increased after each failed attempt.

That initial state of being infatuated was a thing of the past and love could no longer keep on growing, at least not in a natural and sincere way. So we decided to keep loving each other at a distance, in another way.

We cried over our goodbye, our “ceasing to be,” and we wanted each other more than ever. Far away. Such cowards and at the same time so brave.

Of course there were hints of resentment, questions that will forever go unanswered. Wounds that in the end became scars as we looked at each other on that corner where we saw each other once again and where we bumped into each other, head-on and without warning, with our reflections.

Couple Looking At Each Other

We are no longer the people we were back then. We are the people we were, but we do not recognize each other in that way.

I just hope that you smiled and that you also felt less weight in your backpack upon saying goodbye again that day. As if reaffirming that we are no longer that reflection and that it simply does not hurt anymore.

And also, I hope with all my heart that time has put each one of us in our right place: happy, just like we were when we met.

“I gathered the flaws that I had abandoned
to be by your side.
I called together the vengeance,
the resentment,
the pride.

I gave the daggers back to my hands
the cruelty to my mouth
and the selfishness to my heart.

To take away the arms
with which you were killing me
I fled from purity
and from sincerity.

And I drowned in my own blood
the innocent man who did not know
that giving you everything
would change him into a man with nothing.
I hollow myself for you.

I missed you,
just the time when I still remembered
the taste of your lips.
Or the way the sea of your nudity
breaks against your skin.

But today I am safe
from your eyes
The bodies of other women
have already forgotten yours.

And in all that I hope
I no longer miss you.

I gathered the selfishness
the resentment
the pride.
How can he be wrong who gains
in exchange for what he most loved
the recompense of his freedom.”

-Benjamín Prado-