Why Hearing Your Name Doesn't Make Me Smile Anymore

Part of me is angry that I couldn't establish my own happiness sooner.

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By Rachel Behling

There was a time when I wished to forget about you. I hoped for a day when I could hear your name in the halls without looking back.

I dreamed for that day to come where I didn’t think about texting you late at night when I missed you. I couldn’t wait for the day that I finally got over you.

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It’s strange to think that one day you would disappear from my thoughts. The smell of your cologne won’t give me butterflies and hearing your name won’t make my head turn.


At first it was an eerie feeling, because you were all that I knew.

The environment, the relationship, that life was all I knew — but little did I know that I could be happy after I left you.

Happiness is such a bizarre feeling when it is being controlled by someone else. You forget what it means to be in control of your feelings.

How nice it is to look in the mirror and know you look good with short hair even if he didn’t think so, or how fun it was to go out on a Saturday night with your friends and not feel the need to let someone know your game plan every five minutes.

The day I broke up with you, people thought I was being selfish and cruel. How dare I?


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But no one really knew why I had to do it. No one knew that my happiness was gone, and that two years after it was over, I still didn’t know what happiness was.

I don’t understand why it took me so long, and part of me is angry that I couldn’t establish my own happiness sooner.

I tried to get over you, I went on plenty of dates, had a boyfriend, but it wasn’t the same. I still had you in the back of my mind, hoping I would run into you once again.

It took me this whole time to realize the kind of abusive relationship I accidentally tripped into.

It wasn’t until I was drinking coffee on campus and I didn’t turn my head back to look for you when they called your name. My heart didn’t skip a beat at the smell of your cologne, and I didn’t cry when Facebook told me you were in a new relationship.


I stopped hoping for you to come back into my life. I stopped letting two years of heartbreak control my happiness.

I started smiling, not because I heard your name, but because I learned that I don’t need you in my life to make me happy. I learned that me, myself, and I is all that it takes for me to be happy.

Happiness is something that only you can control. No one else is allowed to tell you how to feel, what to do, who to hang out with.

Your state of mind is more important than anything else, and the change can’t start until you let it.


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Rachel Behling is a writer who has been featured on Unwritten and Her Campus. Her work focuses on love, relationships and lifestyle topics. Visit her author profile on Unwritten for more.