It’s not like those Lana Del Ray or Marina and the Diamonds songs. Like suddenly after you break some poor old boy’s heart you’ll feel like a badass and want to go put on another coat of red lipstick.
No, they don’t sing about the truth.
They don’t sing about how sometimes the heartbreaking happens suddenly. About how one day you’ll wake up, roll over, and want to throw up at the thought of spending another day with the man sleeping beside you, the one you swore was different, swore was the one you’d want to be with no matter what obstacles stood in your way.
You’ll feel like this for no reason. And so you’ll end it. Over a phone call while he’s at a family dinner, trying to cry when all you want to do is hang up the phone and pretend all of it never happened. Because you’re a heartbreaker. You’ve been one since you first said those words “I can’t do this anymore.” You’ve been one since you could practically hear his heart ripping apart as he realizes what you’re saying.
Or sometimes it happens accidentally. You have that one friend who’s that stereotypical “friend-zone” boy who never gives up, who’s always around, who tells you look pretty when you feel bloated and fat, who buys you alcohol when you just want to forget about that one asshole guy. And so one night, when you’ve had too much of said alcohol, you’ll sleep with him. And regret it instantly. And as you continue to regret it, he continues to relive it. You know that, but you’re too chicken-shit to sit him down and tell him for the third time that it was a mistake. So instead you slowly drive the nail in a little deeper, watching his face light up when you say his name, watching him curse every other guy you talk about no matter how perfect they are, watching him watch you. Because you’re a heartbreaker. You’ve been one since you first said those words “Fuck me” and didn’t mean them. You’ve been once since you could practically hear him confessing his love for you while you tossed back that last shot.
But then there’s the one that really gets to you. The one with the man you loved. Or maybe love. You still don’t know, but you know it’s too late. It’s too late because if there was ever a real heartbreaking situation, this would be it. This is the time you realize that if the reward for being considered a badass heartbreaker is feeling like this, then never again in your life will you listen to “How to Be a Heartbreaker” again. This is the time where you look a man in the eyes and yell at him not to touch you again because you are finally done. This is the time you have to watch as he slides his hand up like a visor over his eyes and as he shuts the door in your face, you wonder with a slight bit of shock if he was crying.
This is the time you will get a text message telling you to never come to his apartment again. This is the time you have to meet up with him three months later and hear that yes, he did cry. Because of you. You were the one responsible for this man, the one who just tried to love you in his own way, sitting at his desk and crying. This is the time you will have him look you in the eye and for the first time you won’t be able to tell exactly what he’s thinking because he’s guarding his heart. From you. And this is the time that you will feel like shit.
You will feel like shit. After all the heartbreaks. You will feel responsible, completely, even if there were perfectly good reasons for you to leave.
You will feel like a combination of Miranda Priestly, Regina George and that bitchy girl from seventh grade. You will feel like possibly the worst person to walk this earth. You will refuse to meet anyone new, because god forbid you do the same thing to them. You will sit at home and shove Cheeto Puffs in your mouth because at least then the only one you’re harming is the circumference of your thighs.
Eventually, you will try to dress nicely, do your hair, put on some makeup. You will finally flirt back with the guy who smiles at you in line at the cafeteria every day. You will smile and laugh when he asks if he can grab that one bag of chips, the one that requires his arm to graze your thigh. You will make at least three seconds of eye contact when he straightens up and meets your gaze. You will imagine making him laugh again on another day. You will imagine how his hair would feel under your hand. When he asks for your number, you will give it to him, with a wrong last digit. Because you’re a heartbreaker.