When Relationships End: Expectations vs. Reality

Feel free to share more about your own expectations vs. reality experiences!
by Nicole Chiang   |  Feb 21, 2016
ART Trixie Ison
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Before you start reading this list, be warned that this totally does not apply to all. Each of us is different. We all go through different experiences in a relationship, and that is what determines the aftereffects that succeed a breakup. Be it messy or peaceful, the events that follow will depend entirely on how you handle the situation and who you basically are as an individual. You might be one of those strong, independent women who picks up after themselves, or you might belong to the more sentimental and emotional circle of girls. Either way, some of the points in this list might not necessarily call out to you, and that's normal. Feel free to share more about your own expectations vs. reality experiences!

  1. Expectation: Throwing, returning or burning (hopefully not) all the stuff he gave you in the past

    Reality: Come on, what if that teddy bear really looks cute on your bedside table? Would you really let this one guy ruin the aesthetic of your room just because you broke up? He gave that to you, and it's yours to keep. You don't really remember him telling you that your custody to that stuffed toy expires once the relationship ends, right? More often than not, he won't go out of his way to get those items back—unless it's of great value to him Because any form of conversation is now downright awkward and he'd rather avoid it.
  1. Expectation: Deleting all your pictures together from your hard drive

    Reality: Since most of your memories together have been documented and stored somewhere, there's no reason to delete them. Because let's face it, once upon a time, you were happy. Let's not forget the fact that deleting all those pictures requires effort you'd rather not waste on him. Especially immediately after a break up, because you'd really rather not see his face at the moment. But who knows? Maybe years from now, you'll pull out those pictures, and instead of seething inside, you'll remember all those happy moments with a lighter heart. Or not.
  1. Expectation: Untagging yourself or deleting your pictures online

    Reality: Again, this requires so much effort that could have been spent doing other more productive things, such as studying (or sleeping, whichever suits your fancy). Seriously, would you waste your time digging up pictures that may have been posted months ago? You never know, he might do the work for you. And when that happens, who will people think is still bitter over the relationship? Certainly not you, what with your nonchalant attitude—which was in fact just sheer laziness, but whatever.
  1. Expectation: Writing poems or songs a la Taylor Swift

    Reality: If this kind of outlet was never your thing, don't expect that a breakup will be the key to awakening your inner Taylor Swift. You'll just suffer from a headache trying to look up rhyming words and become more frustrated than you already are. Go look for other forms of expression that come naturally to you, maybe listening to Taylor Swift is much more therapeutic for you than attempting to be her.
  1. Expectation: Unfriending or unfollowing him on social media

    Reality: Rather than blocking him on social media, you might be one of those people who are guilty of stalking their ex's profile online. You're there watching his every move, checking if he's feeling as miserable as you want him to be. You're also making sure you'll be the first to see if he finally posts a picture of himself and that new girl he's dating now. Is she prettier than you? Ugh. Maybe it's time to go get that salon treatment you've been waiting for and face your new life with a new hairdo.
  1. Expectation: Desperately trying to get back together

    Reality: Get away from that bedroom window ledge right now because even if you wait up all night, no one's going to be throwing pebbles at your window. Better get that beauty sleep you’ve been depriving yourself off for days now. The fact that you both ended the relationship means that you really shouldn't expect him to be outside ringing the doorbell and crying for you to come out and talk. You may or may not have watched too many movies. Unfortunately, what happens in movies, stays in movies.
  1. Expectation: Crying every time your song plays

    Reality: First of all, this can only apply if you had a song in the first place. Contrary to other couples out there, not every couple has a special theme song. If you happen to have one, oh well. You won't go bawling every time it starts playing on the radio, but there will be a high chance of you either a. switching radio stations, or b. switching the radio off. It might happen so often that you'll think that fate is trying to raise your blood pressure, but you'll eventually come to a point where it will just sound like a regular song on the station. Nothing more, nothing less.
  1. Expectation: Getting revenge on your ex

    Reality: Hold up. Let me guess what your revenge plot is. Is it Operation: Show Ex What He's Missing? It includes hitting the gym regularly until you get that beach body, getting straight As and becoming active in all your orgs, and of course promising to order a lot of flowers on Valentine's Day and sending them all to yourself anonymously. Let's be real, ok? If you were previously a homebody and a couch potato, and your ex wasn't able to change that about you while you were still in a relationship, what makes you think your operation will be successful this time around? Better to just forget about him and be happy.
  1. Expectation: Staying friends

    Reality: Unfortunately, no matter how much you try, this will be one of the hardest things to achieve after a break up. Even if you mutually end a relationship with the parting words of, "Let's stay friends," there's too much awkward air going on between the two of you that will hinder it from working out. You've been so used to doing things that any normal couple would do that any attempt at being friends just won’t work out as well as you thought it would be. It's true that old habits are hard to break. Instead of having to suffer from that, it might be better to simply not force the friendship too much, and let time tell you what to do.
  1. Expectation: Never dating ever again

    Reality: You will never, ever know what can happen in the future. If you swear on chocolates and all things good that you will never commit yourself to another relationship ever again, it's highly guaranteed that you'll never get to have another bite of any chocolate, bitter or sweet, after a little over a few years. A girl as strong as you deserves someone who will appreciate and take care of that heart. It's great to give yourself some space. Regroup. Re-assess your life. But be sure to open up your doors to opportunities of love. You'll never be able to live life fully if you become close-minded and constantly think of the what-ifs in your life.

What other expectations did you have about breakups that were quickly shattered by reality?

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About the author
Nicole Chiang
Candymag.com Correspondent
A fan of music, theatre, movies, books and food, Nicole is an all-around over-achiever who won’t stop pushing for the best, and nothing but the best.
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