The last time a real life boyfriend broke my heart I was 15. I thought he was the coolest person on earth, my best friend and I used to follow him around town, having a go on his BMX and taking an occasional toke of weed. I was gutted for a week, until GCSE stress took over.
It’s true, I have been let down a hundred times since then by boys I’ve been, but I’ve always been expecting it and therefore haven’t let myself get too attached in the mean time. But Lance, the beautiful American, who lead me to believe he was FACK as fuck, has just dumped me. On Boxing Day no less, not even a week after I had arrived back from my trip to see him. It wasn’t a break-up so much as a “we should get with other people”; This does make sense given the distance between us, but it was the way Lance went about the announcement which really broke my heart. He was completely self absorbed – what else could I expect from an American? Despite the fact that he was the one who made the decision, it was still all about what would make it easiest for him to get over me – excuse me, what..?
I’ve never understood why my friends can’t get over their exes faster.. just go out and get fucked (in both senses of the word, right?). But now I do. PDA’s with strangers in bars is really the last thing you want when you’re still pining over someone else, not to mention the thought of being vulnerable with anyone else.. ever again.. for the rest of your life, will reduce you to tears.
But I’ve come up with a few things that do make the break-up process a little more manageable:
1 Embrace those guilty secrets
I can still vividly remember a night at Lance’s, waking myself up by farting. Of course I was absolutely mortified at the time, panicking that he’d heard and would be disgusted by me. Post- dumping, I now look back on this moment with fond memories, thinking, yeah you had the last word but I had the last laugh, because I farted in your bed while you slept.
This lead me to think, perhaps we should all plant little memories like this during a relationship, just in case we’ll need the satisfaction one day.
2 Texts I didn’t send to my ex
After a full on psycho week in which I would send a nightly barrage of hugely emotional, painfully brutal and I’ll be honest, pathetic, texts Lance’s way, with absolutely no acknowledgement or empathy from him in response. I decided that instead of worsening the divide between us in a desperate attempt to get some kind of affection (like getting blood from a stone), I should hold back. Instead, I would still write down the thoughts in my head, but in the notes section of my phone instead of sending them to him.
This proved to be a fantastically therapeutic way of getting my concerns out there but not wasting non-reciprocated feelings on him and losing yet more face. Unfortunately however, it does not account for the lack off inhibitions and non-existent decision making strategies one struggles with after a few glasses of wine. Therefore I cannot say that since using this method I have managed to steer clear of the send button, but it certainly has helped, and has also led to an amusing collection of either extremely harsh or extremely emotional paragraphs in my notes app.
3 Breakup playlist
You’ll need a playlist to listen to while you’re riding the wave of single female independence, as you inevitably will be doing post break up. Nothing makes you feel more ready to take on the world than “Survivor” – Destiny’s child, speaks your feelings more clearly than Adele’s “water under the bridge”, gets your own back like “fuck you right back” – Frankee, or prepares you to get back in the sex game like “I would like” – Zara Larson. Singing my heart out in the car has been my only solace on otherwise non-eventful work days.
4 Mini breaks with the girls
I have yet to go on a Big Night Out since becoming single but to be honest I’m not sure how much I would enjoy it given my delicate emotional state. Fortunately however, the weekend after the whole palaver I had a mini break to a cottage in Kent planned, with the girls I lived with for 3 years at university, what could be better? We spent a relaxing two days mooching around the seaside, drinking endless cups of tea and glasses of wine, eating yummy food and putting the world to rights.
Next weekend I’m taking a spontaneous trip to see Celene in Paris, it’s important to have things like this to look forward to.
I hope these suggestions help, and this might too…