Reckon you'll never get over that split? Neither did these readers. Here's how they finally made a break from the past...
My first boyfriend Jason was my whole world. We started dating when I was 17 and it’s fair to say I completely idolised him. It wasn’t until three years in that his perfect image was shattered. He confessed to me that he’d slept with another girl while away on a lads holiday, and I couldn’t forgive him. I was devastated by the split, and tried everything I could to get over him.
For about 18 months I’d get drunk and hook up with a random guy, before ending our short-lived fling and moving on to the next one. My friends thought I was just having fun but really I was trying to replicate what I’d had with Jason. I guess I thought the more guys I hooked up with, the more likely I’d be able to find another relationship and feel whole again.
The turning point came when a friend of mine was organising a move to Australia, and asked me did I want to come too. I was sick of the string of meaningless hook-ups, and knew I needed a fresh break, so I agreed.
My experience of living abroad changed me so much. It gave me this amazing opportunity to switch my focus on to myself. I forgot about chasing another relationship, and instead, thanks to the long periods of traveling, learned how to really enjoy my own company. I lived there for three years and it was probably one of the most life-transforming things I’ve ever done.
I went for my dream career
I loved Craig, but there was no doubt that our relationship held me back. We’re both from a small town, and even though I’d always wanted to move to Dublin to pursue a career in PR, he’d always refused to come with me, so I never did.
Then we broke up, because – wait for it – he’d been offered a job in London, and he’d decided to move there to take it – without me.
It was a kick to the face, but it did teach me something; you shouldn’t ever have to sacrifice something important to you for a relationship.
Within two months of the split I moved to Dublin and began interning at a small PR firm; it wasn’t much but it was definitely a start. I was still heartbroken about Craig but I threw myself into my work and pushed him to the back of mind.
Two years on, I’m much too busy working to have a boyfriend, but I’m okay with that. For now, I’m just happy working my way up. Craig is definitely the last thing on my mind!
I had a complete lifestyle overhaul
I never felt truly happy when I was with Conan, and looking back I can definitely see why. He’d make remarks about my body and my appearance, and even though I never admitted it at the time they definitely damaged my self confidence.
To some extent, Conan was right; I didn’t look after myself when we were together; I was always bingeing on crisps and I had a serious love for Mint Aero, but the things he said to me were still hurtful. We broke up in 2010, when I decided I’d finally had enough of his nasty comments and his shitty behaviour.
After the split, I decided to make some changes. I’d start treating my body with respect. It deserved to be looked after. I began eating a lot better and taking a little exercise three or four times a week. I wasn’t doing it to lose weight; I was doing it because I wanted to take better care of myself.
For months after the sting of his comments still hurt me, but I let them spur me on, rather than derail me. Gradually, I got more and more into it. I loved the buzz of hitting the gym and creating lots of healthy recipes, and eventually, I started a blog so I could share all my food and fitness experiences.
Between blogging, cooking and working out, I have very little time left to even think about Conan now, and I’m so much happier in my own skin
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