It never fails. Every break-up seems like the worst one. I mean, you have to rearrange your goddamn life again – most times in small ways like remembering not to text him “Good morning,” or in big ways like splitting up assets. I’m fortunate that all of my adjustments have been minor, but since I haven’t experienced the major, mine are all major to me, which I’m sure is not at all annoying to any of my friends that have to listen to me (*eyeroll*).
This is a discussion I would like to have with my friends, the multitudes of them that endure each and every break-up I’ve experienced. Those of you that have stuck around through all the ones before, and will likely be present for the next. Allow me to give a disclaimer before I begin: I fully understand and appreciate that everything said to me by my friends during my break-up comes from a warm place, full of love and compassion for me. I recognize that what motivates them is to protect me (mainly from myself). I love and trust each one of them because I know these things to be true. Now, to those, I have a few requests.
1. When I call you or show up at your house with a magnum of wine to talk about the fact that I just got dumped, please don’t tell me I’ll find someone else who’s even better for me than that guy was. The fact is, he just dumped me a minute ago and I still want him. My heart has not yet caught up to the tragedy that just occurred. The reason I spent whatever amount of time I did with him is because I wanted to be with him and I’m not over that yet. And we all know I’m going to be temporarily jaded for a bit, so let’s not even think about me dating again just yet.
2. Sometimes when break-ups occur seemingly out of nowhere, I tend to blame myself. Blanket statement: So, when heterosexual males are doing the dumping, they like to keep it short. And when we as women want to know more, all they can muster up is an “I don’t know.” So, we start trying to figure it out ourselves since they are obviously zero help. In our investigation inevitably appears the What did I do? thought. And it’s not even that I question an action I may have made – it’s a way more dangerous thought than that. I start questioning what it is about me as a person that isn’t enough.
Friends, let me say that I have this thought. By all means, do not ever agree with me, but tell me you know what I’m thinking. We’ve all had that thought, so just empathize. Empathy is the only thing that makes me feel less crazy. When you tell me I have no reason to think that way, it only adds to my feeling a lack of control over my own mind.
3. Don’t tell me I’m not alone. In the romantic area of my life, I am definitely alone. I know that I have family and friends that love me, but I don’t have someone to hug when I come home from work. I sit on my couch made for two, eating enough cold Chinese for two. I am alone. And possibly getting fat. And I have a stack of bills that I would like to share with someone.
I understand that my friends and family love me enough to do whatever it takes to get me out of my break-up hole, but at the end of the day, they go back to their husbands and wives in a warm bed, with a kiss, and share their days with each other. My days are now cold and quiet. To be someone’s single friend feels like a burden most times. When I want to share something with them, which means I’ll be taking them away from their significant other, even if just for an hour, and that is unfair.
4. I am aware of my qualities. And I love hearing people list them off. I even have a shirt that a friend made for me after a break-up, with my tagline I Am Bri’s Biggest Fan. The sentiment came from a He’s Going To Regret This One Day rant of mine. But here’s the thing, guys. I’ve had these qualities for quite some time now and they’ve only been charming the wrong men.
5. Don’t say “You can’t think like that. You’ll drive yourself crazy.” I can, and I will. Watch me. I’m in a pity party and I need to purge these tears before I have to go back to work. Every possible bad thought needs to happen now. I DO NOT want this to drag on. I’m already teetering on alcoholism even when I’m happy.
Being dumped affects a person wholly. There’s not a piece of me that isn’t touched by it. So, the reason I give these requests is to help us all get me through this as soon as possible. Kind words are amazing in so many ways, but empathy in its truest form is the only thing that eases my mind. Knowing someone has felt a similar way keeps me from feeling alone. From here on, let’s just keep it to “I know, Bri. I’ve felt that low before. What kind of wine do you want tonight?”