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the break-up

Break-up. Two words no girl ever wants to hear – unless it is in the context of a rom-com type scenario where you are either curled up with a significant other or with a dear girlfriend. Otherwise, you won’t escape this one unscathed (unless you have a very thick skin, Dr Who’s Tardis or an aptitude to guzzle glass after glass of red wine).

It sucks. Let’s be honest and admit it: the only mental image you’re able to generate of your former flame is one of a particularly thorn-endowed satanic figure. The once warm and fuzzy memories are nothing more than piles of ash, deposited after the relationship has spontaneously combusted.

This is a lot to bear – for our ego and for our sense of self, but ask yourselves: do our reactive tendencies to a situation stem from the ego’s attempt to protect our self-esteem? If this is the case then the urge to throw a toaster (or really, any animate/inanimate object) at your former partner may be little more than a transient hotheaded response that will pass in time. Arriving at this conclusion is not an easy task though – your hurt ego will fight your desire to exercise rationality. It will be the thorny red midget sitting on your shoulder encouraging you to exercise a bit of catharsis by throwing things.

The good news is that with time, aided by copious amounts of chocolate, wine, tissues and a smidgeon of self-inflection, we (hopefully) arrive at the conclusion that the relationship really did lack the essentials to make it go the distance and that the break up-up really was for the best.

Getting over a break-up can be like getting over the common cold. Both conditions portray the following symptoms: runny nose, watery eyes, blocked sinus, low mood and headaches. Once you have it there is no quick fix approach, merely time and a lot of TLC to the self. But it is also an opportunity to re-evaluate your needs, wants and desires in a partner and think about whether your former flame ticked these boxes.

What is it though that draws people together? Let’s go back to the ego. Male, female, hermaphrodite, we all have the same urges. Jig around, scope the field and ‘spread the seed’, before finally, surrendering to the ‘nesting’ gene to take up anchor with one significant other.

Should we panic when life’s course dictates something else, and getting to the nest takes a lot longer, or even fails to eventuate? Is this why people compromise on their values; lower their bar? Maybe because they fear being alone, socially isolated or financially insecure. Perhaps even in some cases, they need to have someone else to prop up their own ego. We are all, probably, guilty of this one to some extent. If this is the case then it may help explain some of the crazy things we do when a relationship disintegrates. Our sense of self is (momentarily) jeopardised at the prospect of this new, unstable environment.

While we may initially struggle to understand the ‘whys’ of the situation, time often provides us with the benefit of being able to assess the flaws in the relationship – our own as much as those of our former partner. This is when healing can truly begin. Admitting to your struggle helps the healing process; the emotion will come and then go again until finally, the former emotion-inducing memories will dissipate, and you carry on.

While there is nothing we can ultimately do to prepare ourselves for this lesson, there are some things we can do to prepare ourselves for any challenge that life throws our way. The only advice that can really be offered when we find ourselves in this situation is that such experiences serve to shape us; evolve aspects of our personality and character that may not have occurred otherwise.

Hoist the sails and set course for mending a broken-heart, because if Captain Jack can make it to world’s end and back, anything is possible. It is through such exposure that we achieve such a sense of introspective knowledge. We may even learn something about ourselves, and establish some clarity over our own needs, wants and desires.

(Image credit: 1.)

2 thoughts on “the break-up

  1. Beautifully written, Chloe. Having been through this experience (as I’m sure have most of us) I feel that your piece is able to offer sensitivity and insight into such a difficult period in one’s life. A time when you do feel bitter to your “other” and insecure about yourself. Thanks for the positive message about what can be a very negative experience.

  2. This lacks depth and is a very simplistic view. The guts of this lack emotion and presents a very casual response to a break up. I want to feel the emotion…the hate the love the hurt feelings. But instead i get a very washed out view of a break up. When you began to talk about the ego I thought you may have delved into Sigmund Freud’s structural model and the psyche.

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