QUARTERLIFE BREAK-UPS ARE HARD, BUT LIFE WILL GET BETTER
By Tom Hunt
It's painful, it takes time, but - as Tom explains - you will come out the other side alright.
You wake up. She's not there. Endless despair seeps from your toes up into your throat. You try to swallow it back to stop it from bubbling over into harsh, spurting tears.
"How can they expect me to go to work!? Sandra was off last week for a fucking cold and I have to go in when I feel like I've been sucker-punched by a cold, hard fist of sadness. Fucking Sandra", you witter to absolutely no one.
You get up. There's no Wheetos left. Sophie always used to buy the Wheetos. Your start to cry and then stop abruptly. You have a brief moment of sad clarity as you snigger at yourself for being so pathetic. Then you realise that you won't have sex for ages.
It's a Tuesday. You get dressed. Your shirt isn't ironed, but it doesn't matter because you're probably going to die alone.
You're on the train. A woman sits opposite you. She's wearing a coat that looks similar to one that Sophie owns (or owned, you wouldn't know any more). You stare at this poor woman and your eyes well up. She moves seats. You pretend to read Private Eye whilst you think of all the people that will be trying to have sex with Sophie since you broke up. You download Tinder. You delete Tinder.
You get to work. Your coffee tastes like death. Does it usually taste this bad? It doesn't matter because you're definitely going to die alone. Small talk has never been so difficult. You don't care what your colleagues did at the weekend, even Lois who you used to think about having sex with "if you were single". You're single now. Since those thoughts two years ago Lois has found a boyfriend and got engaged. Perhaps she'll marry you instead. You stand up to go over to her but you spill tea on your trousers. You sit down again hoping no one noticed. You get through the necessary small talk and trudge onwards through your day. Communication is at a minimum. You start to wonder whether you actually find the thought of death appealing, and whether that means you should speak to someone. You decide you’ll settle for the weekend, when you can just sleep and drink and feel nothing.
It's Friday. Your friends are around. They tell you "mate, it's gonna be fine", but they don't know that. Can anyone know that? They also tell you there's "bare pussy" out there. You try to remember why you initially made friends with them but you have no recollection. You download Bumble. You delete Bumble because the first girl you swiped right for doesn't lead to a match. You can't face any more rejection right now. Maybe you'll include that picture of you up a mountain to prove you're outdoorsy. Is this what your existence has come to?
You go out that night. The music is loud but doesn't compare to the deafening silence of loneliness that would have plagued you had you stayed in. That girl over there looks like Sophie, perhaps she’ll marry you. Someone else spills a drink on you. You dance. Oh you dance. If you dance you'll forget. Shapes are thrown. Limbs moving frantically to the beat. You go to the toilet to cry. You write a text saying you miss her. You delete it and download Hinge. You match no one. You download Happn to see if anyone here will match you. No one does. You delete Hinge and Happn. You return to your friends on the dance floor. The grumbling bass vibrates up your body, battling with the endless despair. Which will win? It doesn't matter because there's no doubt that you're going to die alone.
You start to learn Spanish. You get those guitar lessons you always told everyone you were going to get one day, and you write an awful song you’ll never show anyone but your therapist. You end up performing it to a girl you have no chemistry with on the world’s worst date. She grabs her coat and leaves without saying anything, mid-song.
You don't contact Sophie. You tell people you’re moving on and don’t think about her as much anymore. Sleep is still a constant battle and the ceiling has never seemed so gripping at 2am every single night. Whilst browsing Instagram, you see a picture of Sophie with a boy you’ve never met. You spend 47-minutes (you time yourself) trying to establish their relationship history using every of social media platform available to you, but with little luck due to tightened-up privacy settings on Facebook. Thanks a lot Zuckerberg. Thanks a lot Cummings.
Six months later. You’ve had disappointing sex with two other women since Sophie. You ghosted both of them because taking out your pain on other people is easier than admitting to yourself that you’re still in love with your ex. Sophie sent you a drunk text two months ago but you didn’t reply because you couldn’t. You can’t. You have 36 matches on Tinder though, and one of them could be the one. Life will get better.
Image by unknown Pinterest artist.