Last week I broke up with someone.
He was a proper ex, one I used to live with, plan a future with and all that stuff. We broke up this time last year but despite never officially getting back together, we couldn't stay away from each other.We went on dates every so often, chatted regularly and slept together (look, I'm only human). We thought we'd invented this whole new style of relationship where we didn't need to commit to anything but still get all the perks. As you can probably guess, this didn't end well.
I thought because I write this sex and dating column I should be immune to any kind of emotional turmoil. I think I'm actually worse than anyone else I know.But anyway, here's some breaking up tips which I am going to need to start following myself. Maybe after this cup of tea. Maybe tomorrow. OK, at some point.
This bit I've done. I whinged about it on the internet, to my mother, to my friends, to the postman. I found different parts of the floor I've never laid down on before, I smoked like a chimney, I ate like I had no taste buds. Good friends came round and watched this spectacle as friends do. You should've been in my house last week, then you'd know what howling really sounds like.
I wasn't hurt because I'd lost a precious, beautiful butterfly. I was hurt because I thought he was giving up on me - us - too easily, and maybe because he just didn't like me enough. It's a self-worth issue. So if someone cheated on you, you're hurt because of the betrayal. If someone was horrible, you're hurt because you're not getting treated the way you should've been. Pinpointing the problem might make it easier than just being a whole ball of pain. Probably (I've not got to this stage yet).
I even made a list "I liked how they looked naked" and "they were supportive". If you know what you're missing, you can work out how many qualities they have that you won't be able to find in someone else when you're ready (I bet it's none).
Do your best. I am failing miserably at this but I know once I stop, it'll be better. If you can find the discipline to say "if this is over, you don't get anything from me", perfect. Someone shouldn't be allowed to have access to your cool chat or get to feel good about themselves by knowing you're still thinking of them. Once the habit is broken, you're winning.
I've been in this situation before (shock horror, I'm not still in every relationship I've ever started). It's the same process. Feel sad. Try and make things right. Stop communicating. Start to feel alright. Either forget forever/become awkward friends.
The only advice I can give myself that I'll actually listen to is this: remember that pain of breaking up with your last boyfriend? Did it pass? So will this.
Until then, lie on the floor.
LOVE THIS WRITER? Follow her on Twitter @alicewhitey.