Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Road to Splitsville

What do you do in the event of a breakup?

Let's face it, all of us ( excepting those lucky few who meet their twin souls in infancy ) have been through an excruciating breakup that involved name-calling, plate-smashing and possibly car-jacking.

Okay, maybe not the car-jacking for everyone else.

Sad to say in the shockingly evanescent world of gay relationships, a committed relationship is anything that lasts beyond that second date and the fortunate couple that goes beyond the month threshold seem almost set for matching wooden rockers in front of the nursing home. Contrast this with the extreme of our speedy lesbian sisters who tend to start shopping for matching china and that comfy minivan right after saying good night on their first date. :)

It's barely two weeks into the new year and I've already seen two relationships steadily crumble into nothingness. Certainly not an encouraging sign for the rest of us but hey, we still soldier on, picking up the pieces and moving on.

After the dust of a forgotten relationship has settled ( along with tossing out the broken glass, his leftover shirts and various lovey-dovey mementoes ), it's time to move on. Some immediately leap into disastrous rebound relationships though I doubt the efficacy of this particular solution ( unless it's leaping into a bed with me! :) ). Some would advocate cruel sadistic punishment for the ex ( did anyone say me? ) but honestly it's a futile attempt that only makes the recent split much harder and painful than it's supposed to be. Much easier to just walk away and leave it all behind. Let sweet Karma deal with the rest.

It's a break
On a break...

Although we all have our own ways of dealing with the loss, my friends and I ( and possibly some helpful tips from talk-queen Oprah ) have discovered that some things are essential for the recovery period.

1) Showers
Seriously. After that first few days of indulging in bouts of grief while pouring out forgotten grievances to the understanding teddy ( and listening to endless renditions of All By Myself ), it's time for a hot shower. Puffy tear-stained faces, nasty bedhair and six days body odour doesn't help make you feel better. Get into the shower.

2) Support Shoulders
Really we all need that shoulder to cry on - and even in the most abusive fucked-up relationships, all of us mourn that particular loss. It's human after all. Preferably more than one shoulder to cry on of course since endlessly weeping weenies do tend to wear out even the most steadfast best friend. You'll hear your share of 'this too shall pass' and 'other fish in the sea' but bear with it. It's far better than 'I told you so'.

Unfortunately if you dated your best friend ( like I did ), it's going to be one tough lonely road.

3) Comfort food
Bet all the gym-bound gay boys are staring in utter astonishment but this does help. Could tell you all about stimulating endorphins and all that rubbish but why bother when we all now the indescribable feeling of sinking into that delicious bowl of peanut butter chocolate ice-cream on a hot summer's day? Food is not love of course but one small bowl isn't going to tip that dieting gay boy into Michelin Man world.

And if you're worried about turning into the post-breakup blimp, there's always seaweed, celery sticks and wheat crackers though I doubt the effect would be half as good as chocolate chip cookies :)

4) Blog / Journal
Well, what can I say? I'm a guy who lose himself by writing as it helps me focus my thoughts ( no matter how insanely erratic they might sound sometimes :) ) Provides a reasonably cathartic outlet for the anger, the pain and all those red-hot emotions running through - which helps distract from the vengeful criminal ideas that can sometimes land one behind bars.

5) Books / Movies
Some would indulge in a mindless marathon of weepy melodramas and disastrous Romeo-and-Juliet tragedies but I certainly wouldn't recommend such a move. Give the tearducts a break. Humour and laughter would be an easier way to go and would also offer a temporary respite from the relentless Kleenex mauling.

After you've packed all his stuff into a box to the left ( as Beyonce advocates ) and realized that he's not irreplaceable, the good news is life does get better. The hurt takes a while to heal but hopefully there will come a day when you'll share lunch with the ex, smiling and laughing about what happened before. Of course I'll stick my ISO with the bill but that's something else altogether :)

So how do you get over a broken heart?


strapping.shane said...

We're not crumbling, and we're not split. We're just reassessing our relationship - at least that's what it feels to me.

I hope I hear good news from him (while he thinks it all out). I really love what I had and I don't want to lose such a wonderful boyfriend.

Will stand by him to the end.

Anonymous said...

i shop... and shop and shop...
then i work and work and work...
... doesn't really help much...
i guess it depends on how much you love that person...

Anonymous said...

I cry alone in the car just like today and tell myself being alone is not that bad afterall.

Theo said...

Some say it takes almost half the time you were together in order for you to get over a broken relationship.

In my case, it did take a tad longer but didn't involve the plate-smashing & car-jacking etc.. with me being BLESSED? by the fact that it was a Long Distance Relationship.

Remedies I took were

- cutting off all the ties with him; put everything that reminds me of him in a box and chuck it away in the store.

- spending time with friends who will listen and comfort you (I practically stayed at my friends' for weeks, only went back home to pick up the post, shower and change etc.)

- Go online and talk to/flirt with your gay pals; at least it makes you realise that there are loads out there still waiting to be picked up. I never thought my gaydar membership would come in handy until then!

Gradually, he just disappeared from my thoughts and suddenly reached to a point where I found myself chatting with him like a best friend... (to be honest, I did even flirt with him with no emotions).

Stayed as friends ever since and I am going to visit him next month ;)

Yen said...

I spiral. All I put into my body are cigarettes and coffee. That's a loaded post, and a perennial concern I think for most gay people. It's so difficult to date, with so much pressure to fuck. Can I just say that that'd be completely crazy-sounding to the straights. It makes me really afraid to go back on the market again.

boocefus said...

Sigh...okay. I feel like the old guy here. Best way to get over a broken relationship is NOT to jump into another one, NOT to go screw whoever or whatever will stand still just so you feel wanted/desired again, and NOT to obsess over who/what/when/where/why.

What's wrong with getting to know someone and actually deciding you LIKE them before dropping trow?

Easier said than done, yeah?

What does work or help in the process is to write down everything that was wrong with the relationship. And for god's sake, be honest. Crush the rose colored spectacles and look at reality. If you can't see it, ask friends/family their honest opinion of your former spouse/partner or boy/girl friend. You might get a shock.

I never believe anyone who says, "Oh but everything was perfect, but just suddenly they decided they wanted something else or that we weren't working anymore".

There are always issues. You just have to decide upfront if you can live with that, or else if it's a deal breaker.

And if you decide you can live with it, it's bad pool to bring it up after you've settled into "domestic bliss" and decide they need to stop or change a behavior you knew going into the relationship you didn't care for.

For example, my wife can't cook and she's a major slob. I knew it going into the relationship. Solution? I do the cooking and I do most of the picking up but we've hired a housekeeper to do the majority of the cleaning.

Could I bitch at her about picking up her bras/panties that she leaves on the bathroom floor after her morning shower? Yeah I could, every single damn day. But all that'd do is piss her off and piss me off even more when she doesn't listen. But I went into the relationship knowing these things about her and decided I could live with picking up after her.

Getting over a broken relationship is dependent on the quality of the relationship, the amount of emotional investment you've made, and particularly just how awful or nasty the break up was.

In those extreme atom bomb explosion break ups, writing a list of what was wrong ain't gonna cut it.

Pretty much those break ups require a period of quiet - no thinking, no emotion, no upheavals - just blessed quiteness...and a fifth of tequilla wouldn't hurt.

Anonymous said...

I listen to songs and cry my heart out. Also not go to places that would remind me of him. Until later when I have slightly gotten over the loss.

Rex said...

I agree to Yen.When you have been hurt, you got allergy to man, and really need antibody to cope with a new relationship.Unfortunately you need a very long time to heal.

hrugaar said...

I'm a little surprised you didn't mention your 'get blind drunk one night' remedy, paul. But maybe you count that as before the moving on stage that you're writing about in this post?

Took me about ten years to start getting over someone who didn't actually love me anyway. I have no easy answers. :o\

Anonymous said...


everything happens for a reason...

Anonymous said...

First, Yen, straight people have the same pressure and it starts very young now unfortunately. The added pressure in straight relationships is that women do not age like men since they do have to listen to their biological clocks. So an untimely break up is not only about being alone again, or jumping back into the dreadful dating pool, but it's also realizing that the chance of having a baby in your optimal physical age has just dwindled exponentially.

Boocefus said all I had to say, and well.

I have been married for over 21 years so it's hard to remember those broken hearts. I do remember one case of crying every night for a while and then deciding that enough was enough and just moving on. I remember that he made it more difficult because he insisted on continuing to be best friends. In a way it helped because it made me feel used and it made me realize how one sided the relationship was and how clueless he was about my feelings.


Anonymous said...

How did I get over my broken heart? I sleep it over....
But yeah, chocolate helps a lot!

Anonymous said...

I think the most difficult part in all this is the change in routine. You are no longer a "we", only a "me".

It's human to feel disoriented - straight or gay.

A mother who's last child moves out of the house - must now get used to a new life without routines with said child.

A death of a spouse. He used to fix your broken car. Now you'll have to take it to a mechanic.

In order to adjust to any major change like a loss of a partner, friend, pet, home, child, etc... you need to give yourself time to "grieve" and take care of you.
1. Sleep - get rest
2. Breathe in, breathe out
3. eat and drink WATER
4. Take walks

... take it one day at a time.

Get used to being on your own and into a new routine that's comfortable.

There is no *deadline*. You're not going to get evaluated for your efforts.

and sometimes, you may realize as I have, that you may never get over those you loved. You simply live on and you love another.. but you have to accept that you can love someone else - and it doesn't have to be the same.

Musang said...

i cry, i sleep, i cry again, chuck all his stuff, cry while sorting what to chuck, cry after sorting the stuff... oh well, basically i cry all the way.

then the evil me will come.

and i go party.

hidup mesti diteruskan. yang telah terjadi mesti dibiarkan berlalu pergi.

Anonymous said...

i knw i will cry. but cry wont help me move on. and the reason to cry is cos of the pain. if it makes me feel better, why not?

i will sit in the car and blast music. 1st pissed off songs, then melancholic and mushy shits and cry somore

weeks later...

do charities, go to temples, shop, eat, catch up with old frens that i've abandoned cos of the rship (dont we ALL do that?) and...

few weeks later...

travel! and take LOTS of pictures. they say if ur depress, u tend to produce ur best work of Art. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

hmm. never was able to cry. so i just carry on as normal. it really is no more different than any other event in life, only that it doesn't happen that often, which is why most people place so much emphasis on it. i suppose it gets easier with practice. some more than others.

thompsonboy said...

Don't have heart, how to get broken?

Anonymous said...

Ah. You know my story already.

But I do think one's entitled to a good cry. It won't take away the pain but at least you get that part over and done with and get on as best you can.

Gawd. I want a bf like boocefus - someone who wouldn't gripe about my leaving my panties around :-P

xxxguy said...

how come no one mentioned about accessing the r/ship and learn from it? I believe (after a good cry) one should evaluate what went right/wrong and look forward towards a better tmrw. =)
Dashboard Confessonal's Broken Heart is a great song. Talks about moving on instead of holding on/waiting like a fool. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Someone's in denial..

MasculinEndings said...

Breaking up from my last serious (really serious) ex was a feat in itself. Yet, oddly enough, the pining and pining for him suddenly stopped one day when i realised that i only remembered him whenever i played my/our Tori Amos CDs. The only thing i miss now is Tori Amos. Now i even wonder if it was true love at all or some pop culture-induced relationship. LOL