When you’re romantically let go, your self-worth tends to leave too. However, there’s a couple of fractions you need to solve.
I remember it the first time it was me. I was eleven, and I was on the front step of a friend’s cubby house. Inside the cubby house was a friend, and with that friend was a girl I really liked. Madeleine Cairns. I can’t even tell you what she looks like, but I can tell you what it felt like. Shit. I just Facebook stalked them both. They don’t exist. At least in the same names they had in the days of all-you-can-eat Pizza Hut and all-you-can-remember Mortal Kombat combinations that was 1996. He finished my romantic hopes. Brutality. His glasses were bigger than mine. His zits were bigger than mine. I sat on the balcony and watched the rain cordon off the tiny house from the regular house.
It was my introduction to heartbreak, one that’d drunkenly reintroduce itself to me at parties, at weddings, at funerals up to and including last month. Yeah, bruh, we’ve met before.
I was a strange kid then, I’m a strange kid now. They just didn’t like me that much. Which is all well and good. Let me drop some mad mathematics to you, homeslices. I’m the same idiot now I was before I got my heart stepped on. However, the same question from way back tends to reemerge with each event: what went wrong?
The first days of the break up are the best. You still have a semblance of your relationship, but it’s with the lack of “them”. Their absence is the little spoon in your bed, the angry face reflected in the sheen of the toaster.
The emotional value of ex you need to find is the value in you. In, fact that you should not tie yourself to those ties that have been severed. For those people who aren’t colossal, monumental fuckups, you should hear me. And to those who are, you’re probably far too genitals-deep in a series of unsuitable fleshy bandaids to be reading this. Great sex to you, guys. Just be prepared for that post-coital-Uber-angst. I’m still learning, even at an age where I really should be married, and I’m not saying I don’t have a sweet Pizza Hut Bigfoot Pizza box worth of spicy problems, I do, but when I get my inside parts smashed up by the bat-wielding Mafiosi of lost love, my first impulse is: what the hell is wrong with me?
Nothing. Well, a lot of things.
But nothing I should change in a vacuum to make that person, or the next person like me, because that previous person would like that change. Learn from what you fucked up, sure. But changes on the back of someone else’s perception of you, reflected in the smashed funhouse mirror of a broken relationship: that’s whack. That being said. If you were a complete dick, you’re the exception.
Look. Whether you got dumped, cheated on, manipulated – or whether you risked your glasses and painty overalls to fall in love with Freddy Prinze Junior, only to find out that it was all a fucking bet – you still have to make space for your new roommate, pain. Sadly, P-Dogg has moved his bro-shit into your space, and that mofo will chug all your Lido and not replace it. However, he’s going to be crashing here for a while. The last time he stayed at my house, I watched our favourite movie, back-to-motherfucking-back.
Now continued exposure to the hideous catharsis of emotional movie marathons is not recommended, but in the early days after the emotional Nagasaki, you should wrap your arms around the neck of that pain, look into its stupid face and whisper: “I’m yours, and I’m not yours.”
In many ways, the first days of the break up are the best. You still have a semblance of your relationship, but it’s with the lack of “them”. Their absence is the little spoon in your bed, the angry face reflected in the sheen of the toaster. You know what, don’t be afraid to hatefuck pain. It’s doing the same thing to you.
But, find a correct conduit for it – which is anything but your ex. You need to embrace, but also replace. He/She/It/They’re dead. If they ring, don’t answer. If you get drunk, hide your phone. If they turn up, pretend you’ve got somewhere else to be.
You need to put yourself first. Actually, you know what, let us pray at the altar of the Church of Livingston. The Rev can say it better than me:
You need to embrace the pain, but also embrace you.