There exist a select group of people on this earth, untormented, lucky bastards who have never properly experienced the earth-shattering event that is a breakup. This is either because they have been with the same person since they were like eight or because they have not quite met someone they like enough yet. And whilst Tennyson may have maintained it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all; frankly you should all read some of his darker shit, because the guy was a wack a doodle. A proper breakup is heart-wrenchingly, terrifyingly, immensely painful; and literally feels like you are being torn apart from the inside out. And so for the lucky few of you haven’t experienced this pain here are the top five no-nos to say to your friends going through this.
- Maybe you’ll get back together
Oh I know…your sister’s cousin’s aunt broke up with her boyfriend for three years and then they got back together, had a brood of kinderlach and lived more happily ever after than Cinderella herself. This is the exception to the rule. Again – please let me repeat this for emphasis – the rare exception to an otherwise flawless rule. Most people break up and do not get back together and, frankly, of those who do attempt to reconcile the odds are not in their favour (just look at Digby and Liv from MIC). So do not put false hope in your friend’s head, trust me they’re already there- building Hollywood fantasises without you adding fuel to the fire.
- I told you so
OK so yes they went for the drug addict/casual drug dealer and so literally nobody is surprised it ended (not that I’ve ever been there.) In truth, we all know those couples who are hanging on by an ever so tenuous thread that threatens to break at any moment. However, when the end does come, as you knew it would, you’re allowed one I told you so, but that’s it. Because, frankly it’s just unconstructive feedback and unfortunately not all of us go for the good Jewish boys with stable jobs and five-year plans (again…this is not about me, obviously.) So instead remember that love is blind and even Hollywood starlets like Katie Holmes fuck up from time to time.
- Try not to think about it
I’m going to give you a case study about a couple called Brad and Jen, in this case study Brad leaves Jen for another woman. And, in this scenario, this is how Jen’s brain will look – work, Brad, food, Brad, need to pay the tax man, Brad, just saw a film posted that reminds me of Brad, wonder what Brad is doing now, does he think about me, must go to the shops and buy some milk, Brad…basically all Jen will be able to is think about is Brad, admittedly interspersed with some other thoughts. But, trust me most of her brain power will be focused solely on him. So saying something as insensitive as “try not to think about it” is akin to saying “it was only a dog” to someone who’s lost a pet – something that I learnt the hard way let me tell you. But, another story for another blog – perhaps entitled top five times I’ve put my foot in?
- But it was only three months/it was never right etc…
These lame platitudes are irrelevant. There are couples that date for years that never really give a shit about each other (I can literally think of two off the top of my head) and others who date for three months and burn hotter than the sun. Not only that but just because a couple shouldn’t be together doesn’t mean they don’t love each other tremendously. Don’t invalidate someone else’s experience because you have nothing better to say – keep your mouth on lockdown and pass the fucking vodka bottle. Which brings me nicely on to my last point….
- If you have nothing helpful to say…
The truth is you will get over a breakup (trust me on this one), but in the immediate aftermath that is irrelevant. And to be honest there really isn’t anything that can be said, done or interpretively danced to improve the situation. My advice – just be there for your friend, get drunk, binge eat, watch A Walk to Remember (a massively underrated movie) and pray to whatever god you believe in that it doesn’t happen to you.