Happy sadness: the feeling that remains after a break up

November 05, 2016

Do you ever know of someone who must always do better than the rest? I recall a time when a former close friend bumped into his ex and he told me something along the lines of, "Omg I must quickly pretend to be happy so she'll think I'm happier without her."

Ok, then?

I find no shame in mourning after a break up. I don't wish to trivialise death because I've lost people dear to me too, but a break up is the death of a relationship, the loss of something special and perhaps — usually the case — you lose your friendship as well. There's no wrong in feeling sad about that. Really, you SHOULD feel at least a little despair if that person meant something to you.

In fact, I believe even after a break up, bumping into that person again will bring a surge of feelings. Man, I remember this smell. Ha, his mom is still using the same detergent from years ago! Wow, his hair is still styled the way I liked it. Eh, he still dresses the same. Funny how you can separate from someone for months and even years, but you'll still remember the little weird, quirky habits that make someone that person you know.

Waves of nostalgia, I'd call it. You don't love him anymore but you know of a time when you did, a time when you thought he was the definition of love. Love is a funny feeling because when it evaporates, it leaves you with a unique mixture of hatred, regret, nostalgia and mostly, a tinge of happy sadness.

Happy that you once spent a brilliant amount of time with someone amazing and special to you. Sad that it couldn't last. Happy that he's doing great. After all, of you love someone, you want the best for him. Sad that he's doing just as well without you.

Happy that you both moved on to better places in your lives and maybe even found someone better. Sad that you used to think he's the best it could get and planned to spend a lifetime with him only to have fate break that up.

Yes, that's happy sadness — a conflicting, confusing remnant of the love you used to share.

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