Thursday, 1 September 2011
When one person's exciting news is another person's kick to the chest
There's a lot you can do to minimise the after-effects of a break up.
Surround yourself with people, keep busy.
Delete phone numbers. Don't make contact, with them or their friends.
Steer clear of their workplace / favourite pub / house.
Resist stalking online. Ideally, remove them altogether.
If that's too much, click "less-of" so their news doesn't bombard your feed.
Set up Outlook to acknowledge their e-mails with an automatic "fuck off, please" notification.
Get a blog. Write about it. Read about other people's heartbreak.
And accept that, for the significant future, good times will be closely followed by days of feeling like a dog has repeatedly shat on your shoe.
Yes, heartbroken friends, you can do all these things and more to protect yourself from extreme misery.
But there is nothing, bar a gagging order, custom made t-shirt, shutting down the worlds largest social networking site, or holding aloft a placard or banner wherever you go, that can prevent other people popping this little protective bubble that you have created.
You can't stop Facebook showing off its new 'On this day in 2010…" feature, on a day that would have been the anniversary of your now defunct relationship; something you celebrated with an extremely uncharacteristic public declaration of coupled happiness the year before.
Likewise, you can't stop other people sharing their Important News.
Now, it's worth reminding you that - as far as I'm concerned - my Ex is blacklisted. You know as much as I do about his whereabouts, work, relationships, feelings and life sans-moi.
So when my sister piped up across the table yesterday with "Oh, did I tell you that Beth saw Ex the other day?" I experienced what can be most accurately described as a big, sharp, kick to the chest.
Having clarified that the Ex in question was not in fact her Ex of the same name, I went a bit quiet. Taking my silence as encouragement, she continued.
"Yes! He was walking down Old Street. She said he was with a very plain looking gir -"
My mind quickly thrown into information overload, I interrupted seconds too late.
"Arrghhhh. Don't tell me. I don't want to know."
"Ok. But she didn't think they were a couple. Not holding hands or anything. Just friends." she dug deeper.
"Don't want to know."
"And she gave him her most disapproving look."
"I actually like to pretend he doesn't exist" I said, "Anyway. So. How's work?"
The conversation moved on, but my thoughts couldn't. You can do a lot to make life easier for yourself and get someone out of your head.
But no matter how much you pretend they don't - newsflash - they will still exist.