Break ups are pretty crap. It involves all your friends and family incessantly saying, “there’s plenty of fish in the sea” and “I never liked them anyway.”
Your everyday routine dramatically changes from talking to this person every day, to virtually nothing. You feel like hell for a bit, and you can even evolve into a weird crying swamp monster; at least that’s what happened to me when my ex decided to end things just two weeks after Valentine’s Day. We’d been together for two years, and he was my ‘first love’ – just typing those words makes me cringe. Safe to say I spent an unnatural amount of time in my bedroom, watching horror movies, listening to P!nk’s song ‘Who Knew’ (yes I’m fucking old) and screaming the lyrics. This was followed by a lot more crying and ended up with me eating M&Ms (gifted by the ex which had our faces on). Not my finest moment.
Anyway, you move on and they become a distant memory. You might think about them or talk to them sometimes but nothing more really. Saying that, M&M guy and myself are weirdly good friends now.
I’ve always wondered if we all act in the stereotypical way depicted to us in movies. Do girls really feel horrible, cry and want to get back with their partner immediately? Perhaps after a lot of alcohol, Beyoncé and Ben & Jerry’s, they seem ok again. In contrast, boys supposedly feel “fine” when a break up occurs; they can’t wait to have fun and be able to ‘let off steam’ (code to sleep with others). But then, it flips as the girl starts to feel better, and the boy now feels shit. He has suddenly realised that the grass isn’t greener on the other side and wants to try again. If this is accurate, then we truly embody John Gary’s book ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.’
I highly don’t recommend this book.
I believe it would appear heinously sexist to say all men and women react the same, and that we are so different we might as well be from different planets. Of course, men aren’t always thinking about the amount of people they can get with and girls are not weak, emotional wrecks all the time. Moreover, this doesn’t take same-sex relationships into consideration. Does that change anything?
Break-ups, and our reaction to them are interesting topics. Strangely, when I look at the majority of my friends – I would say the above gender theory proves fairly true. My friend, Sarah*, was with her boyfriend, Ben*, for three years, but she broke up with him about four months ago. The first few weeks were horrific; she was crying all the time and wouldn’t stop going on about how much she missed him. Now, she’s completely over him, and in fact, hates him. On the other hand, Ben didn’t make an effort to contact her for the first four months of the breakup. It was only when Sarah went round to pick up her stuff that he grabbed her by the waist and tried to kiss her! Sarah being the best at reacting to this sensitive situation responded with “What you doin’?”
Even with myself, M&M boy is a perfect example; he broke up with me because he was into someone else. He claims that he didn’t like her in that way when we were together but I’m not stupid. Anyway, as I mentioned, I was very upset. For the first few months he was an unrelenting dumb shit. He would let his mates text me from his phone asking to get back together – as you can imagine, I went batshit about that. However, because we genuinely just got on, we slowly became friends-ish. After five months, he proceeded to dump the new girlfriend and kept talking to me, but not in that way. By the time it got nearer to Christmas, he started acting weird; we had now been broken up for 9 months and I had also slept and been with other people. Long story short, he realised he missed me and wanted me back.
A pattern is emerging. However, I’m really not trying to be a relationship expert here, but other factors should surely influence this; it can’t all be based on whether we have a penis or a vagina. There are a countless number of factors – why the relationship ended, who ended it, your hobbies, their interests, and also your age!
I would like to think I’ll cope better when I’m 35. However, Bridget Jones doesn’t give me much hope.
*Names have been changed to provide anonymity.