Opinion

21st June 2020

Going Through a Breakup: A Girl’s Perspective

A Girl’s Guide to the 11 Stages of Heartbreak.

Opinion pieces are the view of the author and in no way reflects the view of the Liverpool Guild Student Media or Liverpool Guild of Students.

Ah, breakups. Aren’t they just great? Aren’t they just wonderful? I mean, aren’t they just kick-you-in-the-crotch-spit-on-your-neck fantastic?

Like Rachel Green, I’m being sarcastic, obviously. Breakups are crap. And there’s no two ways about it.

They’re daunting, they’re arduous and they’re downright depressing, and I’m afraid gals, the adjectives don’t get much more positive than THAT. When we go through a breakup, we basically embark on one of life’s most difficult emotional roller-coasters and I swear there are more ups, downs and loop-de-loops than a race on Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road.

Sadly, in the real world, no cute little boggle-eyed yellow creature-on-a-cloud can come and save us after we fall off track and get five months deep into a stalk of the ex’s insta. However, I’m hoping that this honest take on the 11 stages of a breakup will be a helpful substitute for any broken-hearted gals amongst you. It will show us that whatever we’re feeling and going through is normal and at the end of the day, we’re all in the same crazy heartbroken boat. Anchors aweigh!

Stage 1: Grab the tissues and brace yourself for the waterworks.

As per the title, the first stage to any breakup involves a lot – and I mean A LOT – of crying. We’ll just want to lie in bed all day and cry endlessly. And that’s FINE. THIS is the time to do it.

Get it allll out of our system and cry away. Have a shower/have a cry. Have a cuppa/have a cry. Have a poo/have a cry. Trust me, after one of my breakups, I went to town on this stage and my eyes got so red and puffy that even the scouse cashier in the Co-Op felt compelled to ask me ‘av ya got an eye infection luv?’. No Mandy False-Nails. No, I have not.  

Sure, stage 1 does mean that we’ll be a bit of a buzz-kill for all of our surrounding uni friends and roommates, but if we decide to just bottle it all up, I can g.u.a.r.a.n.t.e.e. that on our ‘newly-single’ girls’ night out, we’ll go too hard and there’ll be an outpouring of alcohol-triggered tidal-wave tears. So, take your pick: be a depresso espresso for a few days in the safe (and sober) vicinity of our homes or the soppy, whiny fun-sponge who prematurely ends everyone’s fun night out on the lash?

(Side note: when looking for a Stage 1 catalyst, I recommend viewings of ‘P.S. I Love You’, ‘Marley and Me’ or Lloyd’s TSB advert with the horse and pony – gets me EVERY TIME.)

Stage 2: The Mother of All Binges.

Image credit: HuffPost

Since we spend most of our time on labouriously refilling our tear ducts, we’re going to need to get our energy from somewhere. Stage 2 is when we decide to turn to scrummy, fatty scran because we’re feeling sorry for ourselves and FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, we deserve some sort of calorific solace.

Staple I’ve-broken-up-with-me-ex Foods include:

  • Ben & Jerry’s (any and all flavours).
  • full fat squirty cream that we can casually inhale every time we pass the fridge.
  • Domino’s with a double serving of potato wedges and cookie dough.
  • Lotus biscuits to dip into a large tub of Biscoff spread
  • and at least 20 of Nabzy’s deep fat fried hash browns, drowned in an unhealthy portion of ketchup.

Bon nutritious-diet appétit.

Stage 3: Get a Grip Girl.

As tempting as it might be to just lie in bed (10-stone heavier) and never see the world again, there comes a point in time when we have to shake it out and try get back to normal. Stage 3 is this pivotal turning point. It’s the day that we finally start to wear make-up again, we cry less, we laugh and sometimes, we even forget that the breakup ever happened! Did we ever think we’d see the day?!

Stage 4: Miss Independent.

Yes, Ne-Yo, we got our own (single) thing now and that’s why we love us. In line with our new and invigorated lease of life, we garner a sense of empowerment. Stage 4 hence involves:

  • the vigourous blocking and unfriending of not only our exes, but also the people associated with them. It might be cut-throat but HEY, we’re moving on. Tough tiddies.
  • The deletion of their number and of our pics together from our phones – this really hurts…especially if we’ve got boss make-up and good lighting in the pic meaning that we look ON FLEEK. Two options: crop it or drop it.
  • The robust re-evaluation of our dietary intake and a move towards the ‘I’m going to get skinny and look hot as’ rhetoric. That’s bound to make them regret ever losing us.

Stage 5: Top of the (Pop)World.

Finally, we’re beginning to feel great! We’re moving on and we’re re-adjusting to a not-so-bad-after-all single life.

Nights out are now a totally different ballgame. We continue to dance and sing our hearts out in the middle of Popworld to ‘Reach for the Stars’ with our supportive gal pals but we can also have unguilty flirts with hot Italian bartenders and get all giddy when they flash us a sexy smile and wink. Hehe Buongiorno…! *BLUSH*

Jumping on the karaoke machine with the girls at The Empire on Hanover Street. Image credit: BBC

Best of all, we don’t have to worry about sending a very carefully worded (I’M nOt aBsoLuTELy WeLLiEd) ‘got home safe and sound xo’ text to the other half when we get home. No, instead, we can simply kick off the heels, stuff our gobs with cheesy chips and ungracefully throw ourselves into a banging 12-hour alcohol induced coma. Sweeeeet dreams xoxo

Stage 5 really is the bee’s knees. We feel completely over our ex. ‘Our ex? Our ex, who?!’ LOL. Seriously, what could possibly go wrong?!

Stage 6: That’s what.   

It’s raining. We’re bored. We’ve watched every Netflix show going. We definitely don’t want to get on with the uni work that we’re supposed to be doing… soooo…what to do…what to do….

Cue the what-I-call: Morbid Curiosity Breakup Snoop.

We KNOW we shouldn’t. We KNOW that no matter what we see, it’ll hurt us. We KNOW it’s going to undo all the progress we’ve made thus far and it’ll most likely catapult us back to Stage 1.

Yet, we STILL DO IT?! It’s like we want to punish ourselves. But whilst curiosity killed the cat, we (of course) will still be interested in what our ex is up to and doing, so I don’t really blame us.

It’s a simple click, click here and a click, click there… then BAM. They’re unblocked and we can see everything.

DUN DUN DUNNN. *Sweaty palms. Intense nausea*.

We’re like an uncontrollable, crazed Sherlock Holmes as we scroll endlessly through posts and thoroughly investigate the pictures they’ve uploaded since our breakup… Sometimes our ex looks dead happy and as much as we might say ‘yeh I wish them all the best; I still want them to be happy’ – we’re baffled (and slightly annoyed) at how well they seem to have gotten on in their Lives Without Us.

Seriously, are we that easy to get over? Where are all the pining ‘I miss her/ ‘No girl can ever match my wonderful ex’ posts at???

Stage 7: Have a wee cry pet.

Image credit: SHEmazing!

No matter what we see, stage 6 is always going to make us feel crap. It might unearth memories of our relationship or we might see them with someone new (which is a double-whammy tequila-shot kick-in-the-teeth). Invariably, we end up feeling like we’re back at stage one, feeling insecure and a bit down and- oh. Yep. Great. There goes our stage 4 and 5 mega, single girl self-confidence. WOOP-DE-DOO.

It’s alright though. It’s all part of the process. So, we have a wee cry. We let it all out. Then we dust ourselves off and pick ourselves back up again. Onwards and Upwards mes amis. x

Stage 8: The Rebound.

Whether we’re doing it to get back at our ex or whether it’s just simply a way to up our ego, almost all of us will go for a rebound. 10/10 if we land ourselves with a posh, suited hottie in Alma de Cuba or we might even get it on with a 54-year-old baldie called Gary who we meet in the toilets of McCooley’s. Whatever the rebound, you do you hunnay.

Stage 9: The regrettable ‘I mis$ss youuUUuuuuu’ drunk text.

‘OW. God my head hurts. What the hell happened last night?’ *Checks phone and lets out a Phoebe Buffay, ‘Oh No.’*

Let’s face it, we’ve all been black-out drunk before, but it’s dangerous to do this so soon after stage 6 and 7. Our vodka infused brain often misinterprets our aforementioned snooping and crying and conflates it with the idea of wanting to get back with our ex. Eek! We’ve never looked more desperardo as when we’ve texted an ex at 3:29 in the morning going ‘I mis$ss youuUUuuuuu tesxsh meee backgkk’.

Fortunately, nowadays most messaging services allow us to delete a message after it has sent, so if we don’t want that awkward text to be read, we better act FAST before it becomes two smug looking blue ticks.

‘Oh buggeration.’ Image credit: Magnolia Box

Stage 10: The Dating App Download.

Unsurprisingly, we’ve hit a couple of setbacks in our heartbreak. We might be feeling a bit of self-doubt by stage 10 so we look for a nice quick-fix confidence boost remedy.

All hail Tinder and Bumble. We download, swipe, accidentally Super Like (!) and match till our thumbs go numb.

Stage 11: Light at the End of the Tunnel.

It takes time and patience, but believe me the day WILL come when – without even realising it – we won’t have snooped or thought about our exes for a few days. Praise ye the Lord! That will turn into a week and then eventually months and before we know it, we’ll reach a point when we can look back objectively on our relationships and simply appreciate them for what they were worth.

Some people get to this point sooner than others, but what’s important to remember is that we go at our own pace. Let’s not compare ourselves to our exes or our friends who broke up the same time as us and who are already dating again. Focus on ourselves, on our own path and one day, in our own time, we will cross our heartbreak/Rainbow Road finish line.

So, girls if we’ve learnt anything from this article it’s this: breakups are messy and they take time, but more importantly, they’re also quite formulaic. We all seem to experience the same feelings and go through the same set of motions, so let’s cut ourselves some slack and in the famous words of Troy Bolton, Gabriella Montez and the rest of the H.S.M. cast, remember that we really are all in this together.

They got our backs. Image credit: Playbill

Chins up girlies and peace out. x

Featured Image Credit: Author