5 Breakup Stories & Some Songs — Ease Your Lonely Heart

If you’re like me, at the end of every summer, you have a yearly scheduled heartbreak. School is looming, and deadlines become real, the first being your summer love. 
So, you made it through fall, now winter rears its lonely frost, and suddenly Target is selling heart shaped candy again. Maybe you’re over it. Or maybe, it’s just cold and dark enough at 4:00 pm that you feel that familiar ache creeping in. 

We know that time heals all, but music is what gets you through the wait. You need a song to cry to, a song to scream to, and a song to bop around campus in your chunky headphones.

If you’re solo and scorned this Valentine’s day, I have the heartbreak playlist for you — and some heartbroken interviews to go with them. You shouldn’t feel alone, because your peers are just like you. So, while you’re listening, grab some tissues, smoke a bowl, and read about the heartbreaks of the strangers you pass on the street, sit with in class, or even crush on in the lib. Let the music run through you like a heartbreak runs its course – it may even rinse you clean. If nothing else, just ride the WAV. 

#1: the Impending Breakup

As college students, our time here is defined by limits and breaks that pull us apart. So, let’s start with the kind of heartbreak we know all too well – the Impending Breakup: 

“This was easily the hardest heartbreak I have ever had,” said Impending Breakup. “Also it was my first queer relationship, and there’s that trope like your first girlfriend is going to be, maybe, one of the harder ones to get over. What we had was pretty spectacular, I think.”

How did it start?

“I had been seeing this girl for about 6-ish months and we knew going into the relationship that we were going to be breaking up. That was just the nature of it because she was going to move away.”

Post-grad realness. How do you keep it together when you know it’s ending?

“It was actually kind of hard to be present in the relationship at some points in June. Sometimes we would be together and I would just get really sad and it was really hard to balance that – like let’s be present and enjoy this, but I am sad right now. I can’t exactly just put away these emotions. Our last month together was amazing, but it was really hard to balance, knowing it was all gonna end.”

So there’s a tearful breakup, the devastating separation of two souls in love. Where does that leave you now?

“I feel like we’re on good terms. It’s a little tough. We’ve kind of mutually requested no contact.”

What does good terms actually mean, though?

“For me, good terms means that we hold each other in positive regards. Still, good terms doesn’t necessarily mean we’re talking. It can, but I think more than anything it means there’s still this mutual respect for the other.”

With the impending breakup, nothing fades. The fire is brutally snuffed. Where does that love go?

“I guess, depending on how you end things, slowly that love turns into a more passive love for someone. Then at some point it kind of either remains passive or dissolves entirely. There’s this almost defeat about it. I’m used to being in charge of most of my relationships and I just really had no control over that one.”

Impending Heartbreak’s breakup song: Waltz #2 – Elliot Smith

#2: Heartbreak for the Best

Let’s hear from another post-grad, distance breakup. This time it might actually be Heartbreak for the Best:

“I got into a relationship towards the end of winter quarter last year. They were a very lovely person. They’re very similar to me. It was quite scary at times, how similar.”

But sometimes similarities just aren’t enough. 

“Literally a week before school started, we were at one of my friend’s bar crawls and we had an argument. I think there’s a lot of stuff that I was too spineless to bring up. I never want to upset the other person in the relationship and I think that was definitely a weakness of mine. It just kind of all surfaced.”

They try to make it work for a while longer, but time and distance get in the way. 

“The first weekend of school – got to love the timing right – we ended up breaking up which was really unfortunate, and I wish it wasn’t the case. I was at a point where I had to do that because it was the only way that I would not be putting myself through torture.” 

Do you think anything would go differently if you tried to make it work the second time around?

“I think they still have a little bit of work to do in terms of emotional maturity. They’ve been through some horrible things and I really empathize with them for that. I was being punished for things that I wasn’t doing. I think they’re progressing, and I think they’re doing really well, but I would be very nervous to be a victim to that again.”

And what about you? What have you learned?

“My friends from high school used to joke because, you know, one date and I’m head over heels. I think I have changed in the last few years and I’ve become a lot more able to process feelings. I need to make sure that I’m able to stand up for myself in a relationship. I think that’s something I’ve never been able to do and that was, unfortunately, part of the demise of this past relationship.”

Where do you stand now? Was it all for the best?

“The word ex, I feel like it has a negative connotation. Our exes are an integral part of who we are today. I have changed as a person based on all my past relationships, and I’ve learned lessons from all of them. As sad as I am that it didn’t work out, I’m very lucky to have had six months in that relationship. It was a lovely relationship for most of that. Having the negative things that lead it to end, I’m not gonna let them define that relationship.”

I think you’re gonna be okay, Heartbreak for the Best, or at least Heartbreak for the Sake of Self Betterment. 

Heartbreak for the Best’s breakup song: Strange – Celeste 

#3: the Poly Curious Heartreak

Since I love a theme, here’s another long distance break. I’m calling this one the Poly Curious Heartbreak:

TW – sexual assault

“It was like a summer fling turned into a relationship that went on for too long. I made a lot of excuses for him, and I also think I liked the idea of him more than I actually liked him. I think he felt the same thing about me.”

They meet during his last week of school, he graduates, and for seven months they do long distance, seeing each other more in their dreams than in real life. 

“It was pretty good doing long distance. Talking on the phone was fine. Honestly, it was kind of fucking boring ’cause I feel like talking to men on the phone is stupid, you know? I mean like what are we going to talk about?”

So true. So other than underwhelming phone calls, what happened?

“I’ve never really vocalized it, but basically some non-consensual shit happened. Let’s just put it that way. He tried to pretend like everything was normal. He was extra sweet to overcompensate for what happened.”

Did it end right there?

“I lowkey ghosted him for a week. I just couldn’t talk to him. A couple days passed by, I called him in the parking lot of some beach in Grover. And I was just like ‘I don’t think this is working and I’m really sad, like, I love you so much. But like this is just not sustainable for either one of us anymore.’”

After about a week, they have a phone call and confront him about the coercion. 

“I eventually was like ‘Okay, sure,’ but it wasn’t a yes and you knew that. You’re not stupid and that really hurt my feelings and made me feel disgusting.”

Looking back on it now, they feel like it was never real love. 

“I thought I was in love with him because he was very much in love with me, but I think we were just super infatuated with each other. I loved him obviously, but I wasn’t really in love with him and I realized that as time went on.”

After that experience, how are you approaching future relationships?

“If I’m being so real, I’m not really thinking about a next relationship. I’m kind of just chilling and making connections with people – almost like a polyamory vibe you know, but I feel like I’m still learning about that. I like the idea of having different connections and appreciating them for what they are – no attachments, no ownership. I’m not going to make excuses for anyone anymore or for myself. Actual honesty – make sure both of our needs can be met as best as they can and if it doesn’t work out, let’s not force it to work out.”

Poly Curious Heartbreak’s breakup song: FNF (Let’s Go) – Glorilla

#4: Manic Pixie Heartbreaker

Don’t hate me for this one. In the spirit of true journalism, I think it is important to get both sides. So, let’s hear from the heartbreakers. Staring off with the Manic Pixie Heartbreaker:

“OK, well this was a situationship,” MPH clarifies when I ask about the relationship. “I met him two summers ago. He’s a music artist, and he’s from my high school.”

And it started like many gen-z situationships do. 

“We met through Instagram. I put one of his songs on my story and then he slid up and basically asked me on a date.”

Despite feeling starstruck after an amazing first date, she still wants to keep it casual. 

“I told him off the bat that 1) I was going abroad for two quarters and 2) I am not ready for a relationship because I don’t want to be exclusive, but he did. So, that was not-so-difficult on me –  obviously very difficult on him.”

But he’s not the victim, MPH insists, at least not yet. 

“To be fair, I did help him produce an entire album because of his ‘pain,’” MPH air quotes. “And looking back on it, he totally had a savior complex, because I talked about my daddy issues. He thought that was the reason why I wouldn’t commit and I wouldn’t be loved fully. And maybe some of that is true, but that is not his place to fix me.”

Still, she’s not completely righteous. 

“I did feel like I was being a little bit of a manipulator. He wasn’t totally in the wrong. I wanted him to come up and see me all the time, and I liked being in that gray area because he was so special to me.”

Gray area seems to be the defining characteristic of a situationship. Did it ever get less gray?

“I went abroad and he visited me twice. Which was insane because that’s like $1000 each time for a plane ticket.”

Find yourself a new-money musician ladies and theydies. 

“So, I told him that I wasn’t going to sleep with anybody else. And then I did. I was abroad and I never told him.” 

Ignorance is bliss, I guess. 

“And so I came back and we started dating. Mostly because I kind of just felt like it was the next progression. I’m never doing that again, forcing myself to be in a relationship just because I feel like I owed it to him. Also, I felt like it was a challenge for me.”

Once she has settled back into being home, she asks him for an open relationship. Initallity he agrees, but then he changes his mind. 

“We broke up in my backyard while my little brother and his friends were jumping on the trampoline. I was just sitting on a chair outside with him, sobbing.”

How did he take it?

“He told me this whole list of things, about how I’m such a selfish person, like this life I was living was fake. All these things he told me after the relationship, not during it. I just let him say it all to me. It was awful to hear those things from somebody you loved, but he got it all out.”

What did you learn from the experience?

“I learned a lot from that situationship, especially what I want in a partner, when I do decide to have one. But I really wasn’t ready, and maybe that means he’s not the right person. Maybe that means it wasn’t the right timing, but I mean what is the right timing? You have to be two whole people making a relationship, not two halves making a whole.”

Manic Pixie Heartbreaker’s breakup song: The Reservoir – Small Forward

#5: the Unscathed Heartbreaker

To be the heartbreaker doesn’t necessarily mean you avoid the heartbreak yourself. For MPH, it was just a different kind of pain. Next, I give you the Unscathed Heartbreaker:

“The story started in my hometown, Portland, Oregon,” says the Unscathed Heartbreaker. “I was kind of in between things, with the intent of moving to SLO for the second half of the summer. And then as it goes, I met someone.”

Skateboarding around Portland, he finds himself in the store where she works. 

“When I was in there, I had seen this girl walking through. She was just like, sort of carrying herself with a striking degree of confidence and also of distance and that, to me, was very appealing, just on the basis of like ‘wow, what is there to know?’”

Alright, so they meet cute, he asks out the mystery girl, and they start hanging out, but only after she makes him wait two weeks. At this point, his time left at home is running out. 

“The essence of this relationship is that it was built on, like blind hope. And also just like a certain sense of fleetingness. And I was being very forward because I knew that time was of the essence.”

Is there something about summer that lends to these whirlwind relationships?

“I get this feeling from summer that it’s like everlasting – like you can’t really imagine when it’s not summer. And so that really led me to just kind of be like completely swept up.”

Endless summer. It feels like our summer loves should be endless too, right? 

“She is a senior in college and I’m a second year in school. She lives in Portland, and I live in San Luis Obispo. So I was kind of just doing what felt right, not what was right. I was letting my immediate sensory experience overpower my, like, degree of prudence.”

They have a magical couple months together. He moves back to SLO for the rest of the summer, and they do a brief stint of long distance. Let’s skip to the good part. 

“We start talking about the next time we’re gonna see each other. She doesn’t have a fall break until like, the second week of October. At this point, it’s like the first week of September. And I just began to feel this like, pull away from the intimacy that I once fell into, like a feeling of burden, demand and strain. And so I didn’t let that fester at all. I just kind of, aborted it.”

I’m all for the right to abortion, but that one hurts. They cut ties fast, no contact, it’s over. Even though he ended it, he could still be mourning the loss, right? So, I ask him, are you heartbroken? He says no, but she definitely is. 

“We had like four conversations in a couple hours about it. And I was like, very thorough, but she was definitely blindsided by it. It was just a shame that I hadn’t considered that this might be how things would be. Like I just hadn’t thought like, September 1st then what? Yeah. So I kind of let her down in that way. But mostly, I feel like I let myself down. But I never really kicked myself for it.”

Unscathed Heartbreaker’s breakup song: Zombie – The Cranberries

Olivia Monforte writes for .WAV’s Content Team. She wrote the article & made the art.