Part 59: Heartbreak

Heartbreak* is the common metaphor that we in the English speaking world use to describe the intense feelings of desolation, grief, anger and physical pain that result from the termination of love affairs. As you will know, if you have had the kind of life experience that has led to you taking refuge in this blog, ‘heartbreak’ is not simply a handy hyperbolic imagery for use in literature, popular music and similar. No, heartbreak is a real thing. People have died of it, in novels.

In real life (if you can call what I am currently living ‘real life’- it often feels like a tame BBC sitcom that only tiresome people find amusing) I have yet to observe heartbreak directly snatch its victims into afterlife oblivion. But I have certainly witnessed it spiral a few into addictive drug use, obsessive mobile phone activity, violence and stomach destroying wine hangovers that last all week. Don’t worry. I have indulged in only the latter three psychotic behaviours on that list. Which makes me practically normal in heartbreak terms.

There is a popular proverb that you will have heard if you’ve ever been heartbroken and whinged to a friend more than twice about your pain. ‘The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else’.

As you will have probably realised, anyone who has ever offered you this wisdom is either emotionally retarded or wilfully deceiving you for their own gain. Listen single people, for unlike most of your friends and family I do actually have your best interests at heart, the best way to get over someone is not to get under someone else. The best way to get over someone is to have a hot bath, eat a steak, and undertake an intensive period of psychotherapy. Mini magnums are also v.good.

As you’ll know darlinks, I do usually like to keep it lighthearted on these pages (mainly because my maudlin heartbreak poetry is not something many people have shown an interest in reading), however, there are some hard facts that every human being needs to face up to if they are going to experience prolonged happiness in their day-to-day life. This is one of them: whether through death, deceit or drudgery your romantic relationship is guaranteed to end at some unspecified point in the future. Of course, just because something is definitely going to end that’s no reason not to enjoy it in the short term. Indeed most of life’s pleasures rely on some definitive ‘end’ to make them pleasurable in the first place (holidays, novels, meals, sex, phone calls to old friends, sleep). But it is utterly stupid to rush into a new love affair before you have found joy in being with your good old self. Being alone is one of life’s inevitabilities. No one is going to save you from it – so you might as well find pleasure in it. I’d advise you learn to enjoy being alone as a matter of urgency (there are many tips for doing so in my archives if the thought of your own company really freaks you out).

The other reason why heartbreak is a reason to be single is more obvious, but is often ignored by my own friends and ex lovers due to their selfishness. If you’re still heartbroken over your last love, you aren’t going to be able to commit to a new relationship in any meaningful way. And, though I’m loathe to offer any advice that might result in someone else having the kind of love that the universe has thus far denied me, meaningful relationships are really the only kind worth having. Luckily, most of my coupled acquaintances are currently nurturing heartbreak and seeking refuge in a bland relationsham that involves maniacally fulfilling milestones (mortgage, marriage, motherhood) and posting about them on Facebook. This means I can feel superior to them because I’m single, and secretly believe in true love at the same time. Which I like to see as something of a milestone in the healing of my own heartbreak. Result.

*In case you’re wondering, yes, I do realise that this week’s blog effort has the same theme as this week’s Xfactor. This was not intentional. However, I like to think of it as more than happy coincidence. Perhaps the universe is aligning with my brain in preparation for bestowing literary success upon me. Whatevs, after tuning into the big X, all I can say is: I do hope this blog entertains you fractionally more than the horrific MK1 entertained me last night. If that’s the X factor, then the moth that flew out of my wardrobe yesterday afternoon also has it.

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