Remember Paul Simon’s song? Very catchy tune, but it didn’t teach us any new tricks. Even when you are old enough to know better, slipping out the back door or hopping on a bus are hardly cleaver solutions. Just how many ways are there to leave your lover? Countless, I’m sure. The problem is, leaving a lover, a mate, or whatever the politically correct term is, is only part of the process. The beginning of the process, to be precise. We are programmed to think of it as the end when in reality, it is the beginning of our life without the past object of our desire. We have to create new routines, fill new voids. It is up to us to decide how to do this. We can make it easy or hard, whatever we choose, the final result doesn’t change: the relationship is over. It’s what happens between ‘the beginning’ and ‘the end’ that defines our readiness for the next stage, dating again.
We go through the stages of relief, grief, and acceptance. Some of us move through them faster and more successfully than others. And when we least expect it we hear a song, see a familiar sight, smell a known scent and memories flood us. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to remember only the good parts, right? We suffer the pain in the stomach, the longing for the missing lover…it’s like a weight, a lump, suffocating us, and we want to rid ourselves of it, fast. So we talk about it, a lot or a little but we keep the relationship alive. We’ve all done it. I develop breaking-up routines. For example, I don’t break up at night. Darkness, silence, and big empty beds are an awful combination. When possible, I do it just before a trip. The change of scenery helps. Obviously, the most effective remedy is a new love interest. That can cure you faster than anything else. However, there is a risk with dating too soon, we find ourselves talking about the past.
Second best? Chocolate. See someone who reminds you of your ex? Pop a truffle into your mouth. Have to share custody of your pet with an ex? Try a pecan turtle. Soon you’ll gain a few pounds, your clothes will be too tights and uncomfortable, and you’ll need to get new clothes or to go on a diet. Either way, you’ll be too busy to think about your ex. And while you are shopping for clothes or signing up at a new gym to lose weight you’ll meet new people: they know nothing about your ex. Keep it that way. Just tell them you’re addicted to chocolate. They’ll all sympathize with you. They’ll bring you books and cds to help you kick the habit. They’ll invite you out for drinks and you’ll have so much fun, you’ll forget about the chocolate and why you got addicted in the first place.
And if you really don’t have a clue on how to leave your lover….send me an e-note, I’ll share my list with you, but not my chocolate.
Love is the only game that is not called on account of darkness-M. Hirschfield-