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Writer's Block: Love hurts - Ex Nihilo / Livejournal Comments
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Writer's Block: Love hurts

See: http://writersblock.livejournal.com/2011/09/29/

Q: "What’s the best way to mend a broken heart?"

A: You don't. Either it mends itself or it doesn't. All that you can do is get out of its way and put yourself in a setting in which healing has the best chance of happening.

What that environment is depends on the individual. I've seen some of the women saying things like "don't pretend that everything is OK" or "have a good cry" and maybe that works for women. Never having been a woman, I wouldn't know. I will say that for a man, this advice might not work so well. A lot of women will tell a man "let it out", they will badger him about it, and on those rare times when he does, you should see the expressions on their faces. Pure scorn, for having been given exactly what they requested. The man, having been nagged into sharing that which he was inclined to keep private and made more vulnerable than he wanted to be, finds his faith in his self-appointed confidant was misplaced. Now he gets to feel humiliated and violated, and that doesn't help.

Crying, for a guy, can be like going to the bathroom. Everybody does it, sooner or later - except for me, of course - and it's nothing to be ashamed of, but you don't really want an audience for that, or to talk about it, later, or admit to it, either. It never happened, even if it did. Find some privacy and expect your friends to give you some space for a while. Don't hesitate to snarl and take a few heads off if a few of those friends won't respect your wishes in this. Do not go into the "chick zone" and start playing sad music to get it all out, unless you're one of those fellows who feels at home in pink chiffon, in which case, I don't know. But as for the rest of us - do you remember all of those chick flicks your ex wanted to drag you to, and how you begged to get out of them? Why do you want to be living in one? Forget that! Put on a little comedy, something light, drop the lights and chill. You're there to forget. Make a point of choosing entertainment that you've like, but which you had avoided, because your girlfriend hated it. I find that Andrew Dice Clay is a popular choice. The Blue Collar Comedy Tour guys aren't bad, either. The Three Stooges, I don't get at all, but if that works for you, why not?

Don't wait for happiness. That's not going to happen while you're alone. Just wait for as much composure as you're going to get. At some point, you'll feel the walls starting to close in, and you'll start feeling less relaxed instead of more, and that will be your sign that the Diceman has done for you everything he's going to do for you, today. Yes, I said today. Don't spend weeks in there. Get out, find your friends and do whatever it takes, as often as it takes, to make you think about anything other than what happened. Everybody will tell you that's wrong, that you need to examine your feelings. They're wrong, at least in the beginning. Ever get a cut? What would happen if you kept peeking under the bandage to see how the healing was coming along? Leave it alone.

Once you're out, with your friends but without your (former) girlfriend or theirs, think about all of the things that you used to have fun doing before you "grew up" and became a serious adult. A lot of what passes for maturity in this society is really nothing more than conformity, easily enforced on those in heterosexual relationships because as a group, women can't cope with the disapproval of their peers. Yes, that's a "sexist" thing to say and it's also the truth. As men, we lose freedoms that we should be able to enjoy because others discover that they can get to us through the women in our lives. At this point, there is no woman in your life. Cut loose and do the things you've been forbidden to do, and forget what anybody thinks about that. Get in touch with your inner adolescent and goof around a little, as you enjoy the furlough from this little prison of convention that the opposite sex puts us into, just to win the approval of others. Yes, you've lost something, and it matters, but remember that you've gained something, too. Even if the gain doesn't make up for the loss, it takes the edge off of it. It lets you think about something else, and it gets you out of your own way.

Whatever you do, if the old relationship was serious, don't expect the next woman in your life to measure up to the last one. Think about it. The last one couldn't have measured up to herself, in a sense - you had all of that past history with her, right, but you didn't start out with that past history. If you measured the experience you had with her in the beginning, as good as that was, against the experience you were having with her before things turned bad, it wouldn't stand up to the comparison. You could meet somebody who was better for you than your ex, maybe even the best who could ever be, and you'd never know, because you'd held her up to this impossible standard, and blinded yourself to the possibilities that were right there in front of you. Just live in that moment, as if the past never was, and experience it for its own virtues. Can you go from commitment to casual? Well, you'd better, unless you want to move into a monastery or turn into one of those guys who proposes on the second date, and then wonders why the woman stops taking his calls, if he's lucky and she says no. You're back to Square One, and you're going to have to accept that.

There are worse places to be. One other thing - those little mementos of the time you had together, put them somewhere out of sight and maybe a little hard to get to, but resist the urge to throw them out or burn them or otherwise damage them. Don't be hateful toward the one you were with, in any way - anger passes, but regret is forever. The time you had with her is over and it isn't coming back, and that's probably for the best, but that doesn't mean that those memories and that time won't or shouldn't mean anything to you. I assume that you wouldn't want to go back to high school or even to undergrad, but does that mean that you burn your yearbooks after you graduate? Those times that are passed and those people we used to know, they're part of us and they make us who were are. To throw that away is to throw away one's soul, and to forget who one is - do that, and who or what do you become?