Opinion: NYC is the best place to get over heartbreak

Feeling sad at the end of a relationship? Don’t worry: the city streets have plenty to help you recover.


Kevin Wu

(Photo and illustration by Kevin Wu)

Aksha Mittapalli, Staff Writer

You just got out of your first long-term relationship since starting at NYU, and you don’t feel any of the freedom or relief you thought you would. It’s not high school. You don’t have the live-in support system of your parents, nor the personal space or time to indulge in your sadness. The major you always wanted to study suddenly seems boring and unfulfilling. You tiptoe around campus, afraid that you’ll bump into your ex or their new partner. The good thing is that New York City is the best place to experience a breakup.

Even if your ex made you feel replaceable, the city will reassure you you’re not. Take a casual stroll through Washington Square Park, and multiple strangers will remind you that you are, in fact, desirable. Some of them may be catcallers, but there’s genuinely a lot of kind people in the city — many of whom may compliment your outfit in a non-creepy way.

If you look quirky enough, you can also rely comfortably on the fact that a Parsons first-year trying to jumpstart their TikTok career will interview you about your hot take on the “Jaylor” situation. Even if your ex was never interested in listening to you or your opinions, the city is!

This new chapter in your life deserves its own fresh wardrobe. Maybe they told you they don’t like “try-hards” and you obediently put yourself in sweats, flannels and jeans. You don’t need to let their taste dictate your wardrobe choices anymore. As a New Yorker, you can wear nearly anything and get away with it. Grab those thrifted pants that absolutely do not fit you, a maximalist top that toes the line between extremely high fashion and just straight-up ugly, a Strawberry Kiwi Elf Bar and a tote bag. Extra points if the tote says “eat the rich.”

The greatest gift of having the entire city as your campus is that the chances of you bumping into your ex are significantly lower than they would be at a school with a more isolated campus. While you’re running late to your lecture in the morning, waiting for the dependably late Silver Center elevators, they will be taking their class at Cooper Square. If you want to make sure you don’t see them at a restaurant, take this as a God-given sign to finally use those meal swipes you paid so much money for — Crave NYU is genuinely good. Worried that you might see them at the park during a picnic with your friends? Pack up your basket and coerce your friends into finally venturing out of Manhattan — the other four boroughs have been waiting for you.

Your relationship was not just an emotional investment, but also a significant financial one. Remember all those dates that you paid for? All those meals you would bring them when they texted you that they were hungry? All the gifts you bestowed on them during milestone celebrations that they forgot about? You can’t get those back, but you can find enough cheap food around the city that the hole in your wallet — and your heart — doesn’t feel so empty.

You’re not proud you dated an NYU ex. Maybe you dated a Sternie and now see a different front page of The Wall Street Journal every time you close your eyes. Or your ex was a self-serious Tisch student who constantly wanted to “do it for the plot” when the plot in question was showing you their favorite Bob Dylan songs and speaking incessantly about their first love. Either way, heartbreak can be tough. But, either way, New York City’s got your back.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer.

Contact Aksha Mittapalli at [email protected].