So you’ve just broken up with that boy you thought was ‘different’. That boy that didn’t make you sick in your mouth when he asked you to go on holiday with him. That boy that you could see more than two months with. That boy that you wouldn’t laugh at for a whole hour because he fell down the steps in a shopping centre (when that happened with Actor Boy, he fell out with me for a whole day). That boy that you actually deemed good enough to give the final cream egg to out of the 6 pack.
Yeah, it really sucks doesn’t it. I’ve only had one of these kinds of break-ups but I’ve also had plenty that have hurt pretty damn bad. Whether I’ve been cheated on, been lied too, or they are simply moving to another country (twice this has happened) I have a set of things I know that I will end up doing: things that have become pretty acceptable under the heading “Break-up Behaviour”. So, I’m here to offer you a lifetime of knowledge. I'm going to shed some light on the living conditions of a broken hearted girl; what you are allowed to do, what you should do, what you really shouldn’t do but probably will, and what will get you arrested.
One of my immediate reactions to a break-up is to eat; similar to many other reactions I have in life. I know there are some people who don’t eat because they are upset but this couldn’t be more different for me. I am a firm believer in the fact that if you are upset you need to surround yourself with the things you like most in life. But being the skint student that I am, that no longer means a new dress or bag, rather a half box of left over cookies or a jar of Nutella and a spoon. You are allowed to indulge yourself in anyway you see fit because its one of those times in life you don’t have to feel guilty about it. You have been well and truly screwed over and your Mum buying you Grazia Magazine, an Easter egg and a scratch card for your broken hearted journey on the train is a perfect cure.
You are also allowed to cry. You may be one of those people who think this shows vulnerability or lack of strength, but there is only so much hitting of walls you can do before you need to find a less dangerous and arthritis inducing way of getting your emotions out. If you feel a lump in the back of your throat, yet don’t seem to be able to cry, you should definitely invest in The Notebook (everyone who has ever seen that film will be nodding right now).
Sitting around on my bum for the first few days is something I allow myself (I will let you have a week depending on if you got broken up with by post-it or not) because that entire tin of Quality Streets that you scoff during that time doesn’t matter in the next stage of the Break-up phase – getting physical. At this point you will just feel down right angry so there really is no better time than now to start exercising; particularly a punching and kicking focused exercise class. Rather than actually assaulting your ex or his new ‘full-time model’ girlfriend (according to Facebook), imagining their faces when doing roundhouse kicks and right hand hooks feels incredible. Plus we all know about the Endorphins that are released due to exercise, which means you are definitely going to feel better afterwards. However maybe not the next day when you can’t bend your legs enough to walk down the stairs.
Another thing you should do is put the stuff that reminds you of him into a box and into the back of your wardrobe. I for one have quite a large box of stuff filled with necklaces I didn’t like, photos, letters, theatre tickets, a glass from a pub, and other things that weren’t accidentally stolen. It’s incredibly therapeutic. Firstly it gets the things out of the way whilst you are angry and don’t want to think about him and secondly, when you are ready to look through the box you can remember the good things for what they then are; memories.
One more thing – and perhaps the most important that we all know we should do, which is deleting his number!
That brings me very nicely onto the section “What you shouldn’t do but probably will” and that is texting him or ringing him or thanks to Mark Zuckerburg; Facebooking him when intoxicated. If I was on the board of Dragons Den and an entrepreneur came in with his idea of creating a product that detected when you were about to send a drunk text along the lines of “L smiss yooo”, I would definitely be the first to invest. Even though in your inebriated state it may seem the most genius idea you’ve ever had to leave him a voicemail at 3am about how much you are happy for him and his new girlfriend whilst sobbing, it is not something that will be a nice surprise to see on your call history in the morning.
You may feel weak admitting it, but it’s tough getting used to them not being around in the way they used to be, and it’s weird not associating them with that feeling of butterflies in your stomach anymore. Knowing that they remain as a few funny photos, a selection of cinema ticket stubs and pair of socks they left at your flat can be really hard and no one should underestimate how crappy it makes you feel. These things I’ve mentioned are what we all know but don't feel ready for. This is because on most occasions all we want is to go back to sitting across from him in Costa Coffee with him telling you he has never felt for anyone the way he feels about you.
Time for some tough love. Those times aren’t coming back. As much as the films we watch and literature we read make us believe they can, most of the time they never will. If someone wants to be with you, they will be and they will do whatever they can –within the law, hopefully - to make that possible. Cheaters, liars and downright jerks don’t deserve you, and you shouldn’t let them be in your life if they cause you to be anything less than happy.
You may lose your faith in humanity and you may be hatin’ on men for while, but it doesn’t feel that way forever. Don’t dwell on it, and don’t spend hours going over what went wrong over and over again in your head. What’s done is done. Life goes on. There are so many things to be happy about in life – things that don’t involve a boy who doesn’t appreciate how amazing you actually are.
My last break-up, Chef Boy, was the hardest. It was for reasons out of our control that we broke up, not because he was a jerk, lied to me or cheated on me. Life happened and we couldn’t keep up with it. So unfortunately he won’t be subject to any man bashing.
So girls, and boys because I know that us girls can be jerks too, I am going to give you the best advice I can and that is to remind yourself how lucky you are every single day for the things you may not even notice. It’s incredible how much better it makes you feel.
Live. Laugh. Love.