Happy New Year is it? My arse! It's only a fortnight into 2014, and I've just been dumped, like countless thousands of other people in January. I've become another statistic - another soul cast adrift on a winter wreck of broken hearts, created by the likes of Divorce Day, Blue Monday, and oh heck, just because it's THAT time of year.
It's happened to me before too. Years ago, my significant ex and I split just a week into January after four years together.
Last night was still a doozy however, despite the fact my recent beau and I had not been that 'serious'. I'd spent the day off work ill, and had only just ventured to the shops for supplies at 9pm when I got the text. Oh yes, and it was my stop day to give up smoking.
After two months of us dating, he explained, he'd accidentally met someone else which is why he hadn't texted for the past week. Apparently I am great, and deserve someone who'll give me 100% etc so he's being honest. All I could think was, of course, he's found someone better. I'm never good enough.
As I stood in the queue at Aldi, I couldn't help the tears spilling onto my vacuum pack of smoked Bavarian sliced cheese with chilli thinking, not again. I'm never going to get a proper boyfriend. I really hoped this time it had potential to work out as I really, really liked him and he wasn't (as far as I knew) an alcoholic/insane/commitment phobic/married/closet gay. We had fun, had a connection, got on brilliantly and really fancied each other (so I thought). But still, it wasn't enough. He met someone else who was better. Of course! She is probably beautiful, long-haired, willowy and girly - ie the polar opposite of me. What is WRONG with me? Etc.
Thoughts are still whizzing round my head like a gazillion judgemental satellites, beaming bad thoughts into my brain. But I am determined to deflect them. I will turn this into a good thing. I keep telling myself - I. AM. NOT. RUBBISH. And if this has recently happened to you, I would bet my last (very cheap but tasty) Aldi bagel there is absolutely nothing wrong with you either.
The timing might have be pants but there are positives. Here's a list. Maybe modify it for your own needs and let's kick this January in the nads.
1. This was upsetting BUT I DIDN'T GO AND BUY CIGARETTES AND SMOKE THEM AFTER. Or smoke at all. I could have bummed one off a tramp on the way back from Aldi. But I didn't. Choose to be strong. Dust yourself off and get back on that horse (but not back on the fags).
2. Like most sane folk, I'd never be with someone for the sake of it, and I don't want to be with anyone who doesn't really want to be with me, so it's better to find out sooner rather than later. All I have to do is unfriend and unfollow. DONE.
3. He might have met someone else who he'd rather be with, but has she written a book about penguins, chaired an Oxford Union debate between Malcolm McLaren and Alan McGee, or won a gold run on Blockbusters? Doubtful. We all have our own unique talents and attributes that someone, somewhere will love us for.
4. As my friend Julie said on Facebook in the wake of the Hollande alleged affair: "I'll NEVER understand women who get bent out of shape by a man - NEVER. There are SO MANY out there!" Swim on. All's fair in love and war y'all.
5. You might feel shitty, but you will only be stronger after. You learn from everything that happens in life, and yes, at the risk of sounding cheesier than processed smoked Bavarian slices, I do believe everything happens for a reason. Brad Pitt (or Will Self) might be just around the corner (or in the queue at Aldi. Or Lidl. Other supermarkets are available too).
6. Think positive. If you think you're crap, chances are other people will too. Whitney and Christina were onto something. But seriously, cognitive behavioural therapy's cornerstone is challenging your negative perceived truths about yourself. Give yourself a little love.
7. It's better to have two months of good dates than no dates. Think of them as job interviews - you get better with practice. And hey, you had fun, no? Onwards and upwards.
8. New Year, new beginnings. No dating for the time being could mean loads more spare time spent in the gym, which will help you look and feel even better (and for me, help keep off the fags). Or you'll have more time with friends who, in my case, give me just about as much love as one person could ever need. Or you just have more time to meet someone even better.
9. I just read Shirley Bassey's biography, and she was dumped aged 16 when she was four month's pregnant. It's all relative - there's always someone worse off than you when it comes to affairs of the heart, and hey, no one died.
10. You could end up with him as another really good friend down the line. You hooked up because you thought he was a good person, and just because he doesn't fancy you enough doesn't necessarily mean he's a bad man.
So, I am going to keep reminding myself of these tips and hopefully, 2014 will be the year that all of us will be a little kinder to ourselves in the great dating game, give ourselves a break and think, hey, we're not so bad after all. And if it doesn't work out for you a few weeks down the line, well, at least you're not getting dumped in January.