The Blessing of a Break-Up
The Tale of The Aftershock
5cl. Cherry Brandy
In tennis, love is nothing. A “lover” is generically known as someone you are sleeping with, not necessarily someone you are in love with. And the term “love” when referring to a person, at least up north, can be used for complete strangers, not the person you are totally devoted to. We’ve got all the signs. No one can claim we haven’t been warned. But no, we insist on allowing ourselves to stand under grey skies with no umbrella.
We prepare ourselves for the worst in every aspects of our lives. We pack the car with a coat, blanket, first aid kit in case we crash. We have insurance for pretty much everything because we can’t trust ourselves with anything. But when we’re handing our heart to another person, putting our emotions all on the line, it seems we jump off the cliff without a harness and hope for a safety net to appear somewhere on the way down.
It pains me to watch people unable to move on from a relationship that has ended badly, leaving them in pieces. Going back to the jumping off a cliff idea, let’s think about this logically. If there is no safety net, the fall has to end somewhere, it may be a long fall, maybe hitting some rocks on the way down, but the ending of a relationship is when you finally hit the water. It’s going to hurt and may take you a while to get your breath back, but you will and eventually you’ll swim back to shore and probably go jump off a cliff again. So tell me something, if you’re falling and you’re hitting a lot of rocks on the way down and it’s dark so you can’t see the bottom, is that better or worse than that feeling of finally hitting the bottom and starting the journey back to shore?
Is it any wonder cold feet is such a common occurrence before a wedding? It suddenly hits you, no more first kisses, no more first dates, no more first times. Quarrelling with your emotions trying to decide whether you like them like them or just enjoying killing time with them. Being so nervous you walk out the house with no shoes on. Being secretive to parents about where you’re really going and who you’re really going with.
So let’s explain this a little more clearly. This is one of my all-time favourite scenes in a movie. Now before you throw me into the hopeless, soppy romantic pile, hear me out. Aside from Jude Law’s face, that makes the scene great regardless, what I love about it is how it demonstrates so perfectly those firsts in a relationship.
That feeling of hoping you’ll bump into them when you’re out. The awkwardness of a first date, getting to know a person, totally and completely from scratch.
So why do we all fight for love? Aside from the pros of what is to come after a relationship ends, have we all forgotten the reasons you broke up in the first place? Relationships end for all kinds of reasons, but for those that end badly, here’s my theory on the matter. You know those inflatable actitvities you get at Fun Fairs and carnivals that sort of thing. The one where you get strapped in on an elasticated rope and you have to run as far as you can as the elastic pulls you back. Well that’s how relationships can often be. No matter how much you try to run away, it just keeps pulling you back, you may get a little further away each time, but you’re not free until you’re released from the harness. And then the resistance is gone.
“Why are we so in denial when we know we’re not happy here?”
Let me tell you about Carly. Carly was going out with the anti-to-her-happiness. She couldn’t see it, and every time they had a great week or more likely, day, she lost the argument with herself that maybe he wasn’t right for her. Eventually, he ended it with her and she was gutted. She felt deprived of any kind of closure… closure. Let’s just talk about that for a second, ‘closure’ is the word people use when they cannot explain or understand why they can’t get over someone. And so they say that ‘closure’ is what they need. It many cases it’s quite viable, it could be because you don’t understand why they have ended it. It may be because you didn’t get a vent for your anger, their 5 minute phone-call wasn’t exactly enough time for you to call them a “f*#cking stupid selfish arsehole with no balls” and potentially throwing vegetables at their head. (I feel the drink in face has become a little clichéd, I decided a while ago when the moment came, I would replace perfectly good martinis with vegetables).
Anyway, Carly, deprived of any closure, she couldn’t seem to completely remove him from her mind. She got on with her life and had a few flings. She got her closure a few months later when she saw him again, he’d just broken up with another girlfriend, she kissed him and got that feeling like when you think you’re falling in a dream and then you wake up and thank god you’re not. That kiss was her warning dream not to go jump off his cliff again. When her Mum saw her for the first time since the break-up, she told her she looked like she’d had a huge weight lifted off her shoulders, she wasn’t weighed down by anyone and could carry herself again.
You’re supposed to walk side by side in a relationship, you shouldn’t be carrying anyone but yourself. And if you have someone weighing you down, you’re going to walk a lot taller when you throw them off.
This all sounds like a destructive diatribe towards all things relationship, which is sincerely not my intention, so if you’re in a relationship, please don’t go home and dump your Mr Is. But I feel it’s important to acknowledge how in denial we often allow ourselves to be.
It seems someone jumped on the proverbial bandwagon and decided that the term ‘break up’ will be condemned and the only thing that comes of it is misery. Well I disagree, and eventually you will too, because to me, a break-up isn’t the end of something, it’s the beginning. And the most important of all important things, the shiny and sparkling silver lining is that you can sing Single Ladies at the very top of your voice, and mean every single word of it.
So if you have just broke up with someone, put down the ice cream, turn off Titanic and label him Mr. Was. You’re going to be just fine.