In September, my many exes ago ex told me he was engaged…and the wedding was a month away. Since I’m a big fan of How-To guides, here’s how to and how to not deal with this.
First things first, tell yourself that your behavior for the next four weeks, doesn’t really matter. You have a free pass until the wedding! Do you know how often those come around? You only have one first love and they (maybe?) only get married once. This is the real one that got away. Or whatever.
Day One: This is going to get really really ugly. You’re going to cycle through emotions like a Snapchat story and painfully grasp for closure – which you absolutely won’t get. He tells me at about 9:00p.m. on a Monday. So, immediately afterward, I drag my glorious roommate to our neighborhood bar and get black out drunk. I had so many questions, and obviously had to ask them all. And because I’m not not psycho, I started with these:
- Why so fast? Is she pregnant? You’re an adult, have you learned nothing?
- You know you’re going to get divorced, right?
- WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME????
Also, he had completely reasonable responses to all of these. Like “This isn’t fast. I just avoided telling you because I knew you’d get upset.” and “Of course I love you, you’ve been my best friend, but we’re growing up.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Pro Tip: Make sure your drunk texts are extra pathetic. You won’t regret that at all later.
Day Two: Stalk his fiancée on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Insta, whatever you can get your hands on. Learn about her hometown, where she went to school, pictures of her with her ex boyfriends. Her food pictures suck and you’re obviously better at cooking and your IQ is probably way higher. Decide no grown woman who isn’t going through a major life crisis has bangs. Drink half a bottle of Grey Goose and show your dog pictures of her and laugh together about how she’ll have bangs in her wedding photos. HAH. STILL FUNNY.
Day Three: You fucked up and invited a friend from out of town to come visit, so you have to hold it together for three days because they’re staying with you. Solution? Continue this bender through the end of the week so you don’t have to deal with your feelings. Scare the hell out of said hometown friend with your coping mechanisms. You already had the time off work anyway and got a bunch of great photos.
Day Five: Go to a huge event with all of your friends. Remember you’re not a bad person and tons of people love you. You’ll run into people you haven’t seen in a while and see that your conversational skills aren’t just naturally repulsive because that’s totally what you’ve been thinking. Hey, strangers think you’re pretty! The world is okay!
Day Seven: You have to go back to work tomorrow. Have a Get Your Shit Together Sunday. Go to the gym, wash your laundry, respond to emails and get a jump start on the week. Then decide not to because it’s Harry Potter weekend and you already have wine. Remember what I said up there? You have a free pass. Tell your friends, strangers, your mom, whatever, and warn them of the storm to come.
Week Two: You’ve made it a whole week! That wasn’t so bad! Sure, you never actually dealt with anything other than a hangover, but that’s okay. Tell yourself you can heal slowly. Up next? Get ready to listen to A LOT of Tom Waits. I chose Ruby’s Arms and Kentucky Avenue. Speaking of music, post 500 snapchats of you singing I Really Don’t Care by Demi Lovato and Whatever Forever by The Mowgli’s because you know that little bitch is going watch every single one. Also, add All Your Favorite Bands by Dawes to every playlist you have. You are an adult and you wish him nothing but the best, after all.
Maybe even drunk text him the lyrics to that.
Week Three: After you go to Seattle for the weekend and spend the monthly income of a family of four on things you don’t really need because capitalism is great for dulling pain, get ready for a Mount St. Helens type breakdown. All those feelings you were avoiding are suddenly all popping up. And you are going to be ANGRY. Get on the phone with your mom for an hour and talk about how mad you are. Throw a light up ice cube at your roommate’s head because “HE DOESN’T DESERVE TO LIVE IN A WORLD WITH LIGHT UP ICE CUBES OR BATMAN.” Get mad at yourself for being a good friend when you should have walked away. Remember you haven’t actually eaten in two weeks. Unless you count that saltine cracker from two days ago. Cry to said roommate and she’ll make you lunch all week. Talk about him on the podcast. Dropkick a gingerbread house. Maybe cut back on the wine nights.
Week Four: After your breakdown/epiphany, you’re going to feel a lot better. Week Four goes alright, and you are actually capable of dealing with things now. Realize this hurts, and hurt for a while. It’s going to be incredibly tough, but sometime it’s going to stop. As personal as this feels, it’s not really about you, which sucks in itself. Someone you held out hope for, isn’t thinking about you because they love someone else now. But you’ll move on too, because that’s life and that’s what we do.
Also, under NO circumstances should you text him all of the lyrics to “I Will Always Love You” when you’re drunk. You should also absolutely not call him and leave it on his voicemail. You should also listen to this playlist I made.