Monday, March 21, 2011

Breaking up is hard to do...

Ah the break up.

I was lying in bed last night, trying to fall asleep, when I was struck with a slap-you-in-the-face-light-bulb-kinda-revelation about break ups.

Right now you're probably like: "But Shelley, you're single and you've been single forever, how can you know anything about break ups?"

Perhaps you're right, but lest we forget that I'm old and I've been through some doozies. So have a little faith that I do know a good break up when I see one...

At this stage of the game I'd venture to say that we've likely all been down that road to heartbreak before-- This is that period in our lives where cheesy love ballads and bitter break up songs become a poignant part of our days; where some of us will change our Facebook statuses to cryptic messages of love and loss (Or, even worse, song lyrics...) Or, where we'll take up poetry and/or journal writing.

"I've never written a poem before, but I feel so sad that I just want to express my pain in a rhyming structure of words..."

(Yeah, I don't get it either, but I bet there is a study out there that can correlate breaking up and poetry.)

For most of us the ultimate experience of a break up is lost because it is marred by psychotic episodes of irrational emotion and a distorted sense of self entitlement. In fact, I dare say that reliving a break up in hindsight is often hilarious and awkwardly embarrassing.

You see friends, there are certain things we do when we hit the all-time low of ending a relationship. these things, usually out of the normal scope of who we are, and are often insane.

This is why I've decided to compile a list of breakup behaviours...

1. Cry: Not all of us are criers, but for those of us who are, ending a relationship is like opening an uncontrollable time-bomb of tears. I remember when I broke up with this dude who I dated for a little over four years , I cried for days. I probably even cried for weeks, I don't remember. All I know is that any little reminder of him would send me into a frenzy of tears, and let me tell you, EVERYTHING reminded me of him. Heck, people would say hello to me and I would burst into tears.

"I remember when he used to say hello to me, it was just like that...Waaaahhhhh!!"

It was awkward, but it leads us to our next break up behaviour...

2. Telling EVERYONE you know how sorry he'll be one day: There's this weird thing about human beings, we need justification from other people (and from ourselves) that we're better than our current situation. When someone gets dumped (or endures a break up because their partner did something wrong, like cheat) the scorned person usually looks to other people for confirmation that they're better.

"He'll be sorry. I bet nobody else can cook a roast like me, or can do that (insert explicit sexual reference here) or will love him as much as I did...He's stupid, he doesn't know how good he had it. And you know what, I'm happy I'm out of that relationship, because I realize that I could never date a man who doesn't appreciate me for me. And you know what, he'll be rudely awakened by the next girl he dates, because she won't compare to me and that's when he'll realize how good I am, but by then it will be too late. TOO LATE...I'll get the last laugh, and I feel sorry for him, because even though he deserves to be laughed at, I don't want to hurt him..."

Depending on how scorned a person feels, these conversations can be reiterated (to numerous people) for weeks, even months. It's a tiresome task to be friends with someone who got dumped...

3. Appetite: Most people who are mourning the loss of their relationship either suffer from break up anorexia, where they are too sad and depressed to eat, or they have an insatiable appetite because they are literally eating their emotions. (Hence, they're hungry for the sads.)

I've done both, neither are pretty.

4. Error in judgement which leads to an inability to decipher a compliment from a pass, which leads to a rebound or a full blown case of being slutty: As the break up wears on, emotions change back and forth from sadness to anger to relief, back to sadness, back to anger, and so on...

During all of this the one thing you can count on is your inability to see clearly and your starvation for attention. (You may not see this in yourself, but the stench of desperation you are emitting is clear to the people around you, especially guys like Mr Smooth, who will try to take advantage of it.)

It is important to note that just because you and Mr Smooth may have things in common, like eating, sleeping and breathing, you likely do not have a "connection" or a "spark." In fact, you don't have a "connection" or a spark" but that's what you're going to tell yourself when you go back to his parents place after a drunken night at the Pal.

And last, but certainly not least, the final break up behaviour that seems like a good idea at the time...

5. Communication: The psychotic phone calls, texts, visits, notes, emails, etc to the ex: People waiver back and forth a trillion times about whether or not this break up was the right thing to do. Hell, you'll justify why you should be together, why you shouldn't, and what you'll tell your friends if and when you decide to go back.

It's a vicious cycle that starts with a tiny ounce of communication:



In no time it will spiral out of control, that 'Hey' will quickly turn into 'I love you' or 'I miss you.' At this point you're pretty much fucked.

However, nobody can tell you not to communicate with the ex because you're not going to listen. Quitting an ex is like quitting meth or crack, you've got to want to do it.

To conclude, all I have to say is that if you keep any sort of record of your next break up (a journal, poetry, a CD of your favourite sad and angry break up songs...) in a couple of months down the road when you're not sad anymore, I promise you, it'll be hilarious.



  1. Totally relate! Except #4 -- You call it "being slutty", I call it "having some much-needed fun!" ;-)

  2. my favourite behaviour point is the full blown slutty!! Holy crap I love your blog :)