Nae Do
2 min readAug 23, 2021


Photo by Nate Neelson on Unsplash

My boyfriend broke up with me and I hadn’t seen it coming. I’d spent a month dealing with crippling anxiety knowing deep down that he would, but I hadn’t actually believed it would happen.

I feel winded. Like I was battling one wave, entirely unprepared for another which dunked me. Floundering in the depths of the ocean, I have finally come up spluttering, coughing, wheezing for air. And now I’m at the mercy of my friends and family, whose arms are gently guiding me to the shore so I can catch my breath and wait for the respite of the sunshine that I know will eventually creep through the parting clouds.

What actually happened? How did this pivot point of my life vanish? After 30 years of existence I know who I am, but what rock do I cling to now? What body do I hug? Whose smell do I inhale at night?

He came over and dropped off my things and I’m breathing in the scent of his laundry through my pajama t-shirt.

When he left, after a series of breaks that I could not uphold, I asked the wrong question: have you missed me? He said yes, but not everyday. He had remembered me in moments when he came across our jokes, but overall he felt not having me around was good for him.

When I asked him if I had meant anything to him, he said yes, everything, that I had been the center of his world, and that was why my attacks on him had been so painful to digest.

I ran down the corridor begging him not to leave but as we said our parting words, I heaved great sobs and he kissed me on the head, grazed his knuckle over my belly and left. The door clicked and that was the end.

I called my dad then, unable to hide my immense, overwhelming, engulfing sorrow. He said that I must not blame myself, that I had done my best and now all that was left to do was to move forward knowing that it simply was not meant to be.

I just keep feeling like he’s going to come back, that this is not the end of our story, that there’s more to our epic romance. But it is the end, and all I need to do now is to embrace the love of those around me.

As I sat weeping on the other end of the phone to my dad, he said that I wouldn’t have had the support that I have if I wasn’t the person that I was. I suppose that’s the message I need to leave with. That romantic love is not the only love: in fact, the love around me tells me far more about myself than this one man’s choice to leave.



Nae Do

PhD candidate in Race, Podcasting and Social Media. Associate lecturer in sociology. Irritating know-it-all.