What is it about the end of summer and the end of relationships? My guess is that if you haven’t had a good summer with him it’s sure as hell going to be an awful winter.
I mean, it’s pretty damn easy to have a good summer with anyone; everything is on your doorstep. No winter coats weighing down on your shoulders and psyche, a bucket load of vitamin D (albeit counteracted by Aperol spritz intake), weddings, festival fever, open-air showings of Romeo and Juliet, summer was made for lovers.
And although winter’s the perfect season for snuggling a man in cashmere by a log fire, if you’re arguing about who forgot the fig jam for your Regent’s Park picnic, it’s probably better to get rid. Who forgets fig jam? Who in a world of Waitrose even eats fig jam??
What I’m getting at is that a number of wonderful people in my close social circle, myself included, have experienced end of summer break ups. It’s like an autumnal cult of tears.
A few have blamed it on post-wedding season – Catherine, 29, art director explains: ‘Every time I watched another woman walk up the aisle I kept thinking to myself, I can’t imagine doing that with [ex-boyfriend’s name redacted.] Every loved-up groom’s speech I heard I’d think: I don’t feel love like that. I don’t feel love at all!! What am I still doing in this relationship?!’
Others had more specific reasoning: ‘I went on holiday with Adam for 10 days in the Seychelles and it rained every single day. That’s the ultimate test for any relationship and we failed miserably. By the end of the time there, I’d identified every single thing I’d previously found adorable and twisted it into an infuriating habit I needed to not see ever again. His mouth moves strangely and his thumbs are really wide,’ says Frederica, 30 (29 on Tinder)/
Whatever your reasons for leaving your lover, however grounded or neurotic – mwell done. You made a decision and definite decisions are the paving stones of a diverse and vibrant life passage. Now you’re on the road to the next adventure! Just don’t fall into any of these traps which will stick you in standstill, twiddling your slender thumbs and moving nowhere.
Drinking the entire world
People will encourage you to do this. Your single friends will be delighted you’re back in the game and that they have a new partner in crime/wingman. Coupled friends will invite you to every dinner party in the attempt to matchmake you with the one single person they know. Your single male friends will be suggesting ‘fun activities’ that will end in an awkward discussion featuring the sentence, ‘But Bob, I’ve just never seen you that way.’
All this involves copious booze which can lead to misguided judgement and liver disease. Distraction postpones the pain but never addresses it. What will inevitably happen is you’ll drunk-dial him after shagging a randomer, asking why things never panned out – dignity = irretrievable.
Eating the entire world
Another thing your friends will encourage you to do. ‘Let’s have a movie night and eat some ice cream,’ says the friend who is not your friend because she suggests cliche activities. How did this ever become a thing? Ice cream has never made anyone feel anything other than a fleeting sugar high. Comfort eating will make you feel shit in the long run.
Now you’re single and ready to mingle you should be subsisting on a diet of dust, basil leaves and vodka. Shit, I’ve totally nullified my previous point. I take the vodka bit back. Go to the gym, go to yoga, eat three healthy meals a day and invest and put energy into yourself. You broke up to make your life better not to sit in a whisky well squirting whipped cream into your mouth like a goblin.
Getting together with other women and saying, ‘I just hate men’ is pointless, vapid and purely incorrect. You don’t hate men. Men are your friends, fathers and pickle-pleasers. Also, sexuality does not suddenly change because one man has been a deluxe knob cheese. You are not now suddenly a lesbian if you weren’t one before (watching girl porn doesn’t count).
Be honest with yourself that you’re going to have to eventually get back on the man bandwagon, so running around shouting, ‘I hate men’ makes you sound weird. Like a gangly teenager preempting no male interest in the subconscious knowledge that her braces are totally undesirable.
Don’t shag everything that moves
Or, you know, do you if you want to. Admittedly this is a fun prospect. It doesn’t help that promiscuity almost feels obligatory to collect shocking tales for couples’ dinner parties.
‘So who’s the latest?’ asks the couple who have just invested in a ‘home is where the heart is’ doormat.
‘I haven’t actually seen anyone since Gary,’ you reply.
They frown and the strawberry cheesecake hovers in the air in front of your nose.
‘But next week I’m planning on having an orgy in a helicopter with at least three donkeys involved.’
You receive the cheesecake and a silver spoon with their wedding date engraved on it.
In reality if you get your shag on too soon, there’s a chance you will (if you’re anything like me) end up crying during intercourse, otherwise known as ‘crucking’, freaking them out and then wondering even more why nobody loves you.
The old adage ‘best way to get over someone is to get under someone else’ might be true but give yourself some time, woman.
Don’t block the ex on Facebook when you’re feeling emotional
I’ve recently found out from making this mistake myself (yesterday) that when you block someone on Facebook you defriend them. It’s not (which I’d hoped) a Facebook device to allow you to just unsee them and stop you from liking photos of you together when you were 22. Blocking is a pointless childish thing to do and puts you ‘in the sin bin’, according to my ex.
Re-asking for a Facebook friendship will 9/10 not work and will make you feel like a loser. I was ‘left to stew’ for an hour with only a ‘you are in the slow cooker’ for hope on the 30-minute mark.
If you really can’t face watching the rest of his life unfurling on social media while you stare at the laptop screen in your pyjamas, mute them instead.
Don’t call his mother
His mother will always love him more than you. Call your own bloody mother.
Good luck, girls. If you have any break-up rants you want to share just tweet me. I’m on the same journey and following none of my own advice. Gotta dash. Off to sink a bottle of wine, eat an entire tiramisu and shag a donkey.
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Follow Madeleine on Twitter: @MissMadeleineK
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.