The thing about heartbreak is that it is a deep, painful, loss of a loved one. The only problem is their not actually lost. They’re just lost to you.
They aren’t dead.
I don’t mean to be morbid, but that’s really the difference here.
They’re just as alive and well as they were with you, except now, they’re just not with you. It’s a very strange loss when you could theoretically pick up a phone and be “together” again. It just lacks the finality of other losses.
Imagine being able to call your dead grandma but just choosing not to, because you’re respecting “her space” or whatever.
“Grandma, what the fuck, why aren’t you calling me back? I just want to talk.”
Don’t worry, I’m respecting “the space” and not picking up the phone, no matter how stupid I think all this is.
“Sam, it’s over” doesn’t feel so certainly over. Is it really over? Yeah, It’s probably really over, but it doesn’t feel over, which to someone who relies so heavily on his feelings is, well, not great.
It’s easy to say and feel nice things about people who have hurt you when they’re no longer among us, because they can no longer hurt you. It’s over, for real, They are at peace now, peacefully unable to fuck with you any further.
But the person lost to you in a breakup, however, can very much fuck with you further.
Mostly unintentional though, since their happiness with another person would be considered a form of “fucking with you.”
You kind of lose your sense of fair, don’t ya?
I think I have the worst kind of heartbreak — amicable, undramatic heartbreak. It’s so much easier to slap a demon label on your ex and pray to the Hindu goddess Kali, Bringer of Destruction, to wipe that evil-doer of the face of the earth. No, instead you are left knowing your ex is a decent person, and that they just don’t want to be with you.
On good days, I may even remember how much I care about them, and wish for their happiness. Just, of course, slightly less happiness than I want for myself. I’m still a human being, and I still must “win” the breakup.
Heartbreak is the end of the world, except nobody seems to notice the end is here except you.
The sky is fucking falling, people!
But no, everyone seems to be going about their day as if nothing is wrong.
The good news is that you don’t have to worry about when it happened, It doesn’t matter. Whatever month or season you’ve found yourself alone and in pain, America has done a pretty great job of making sure there’s some sentimental holiday or event that will remind you just how alone you are now. There’s Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day, 4th of July, Halloween, your birthday, and my particular favorite, baseball season.
I don’t give a shit about professional baseball, but my son’s Little League forces me to hang out with other parents for extended periods of time and it seems like they’re all happily married and raising their children. I feel like a failure for being a single dad again. Me not having a partner must say something about me as a person. My son is eight, I should have found somebody by now, right?
I sometimes remind myself that I had him when I was 19, so maybe, I’m being a little harsh on myself.
Nay! Ye must be harsh on yourself! Ten lashes!
You start to find out almost every single piece of art was either influenced by love or the lack of it. There’s ample opportunity to become a new super fan of that musician you now realize “understands you”. It’s Russian roulette though. I choose to stay away from un-curated playlists or radio stations. Every new song will either soothe your soul or rob a little more of it from you.
Heartache leaves you so raw and defenseless, you find yourself doing things you normally wouldn’t. I looked up one day at a school event and realized I was actively emotionally leaning on my son’s step-dad, who previously had been offered up to Kali, Bringer of Destruction. The heartbreak just seemed so much more important than my resentment, and he was just another dude who’s been through enough life to listen to another dude boo-hooing over the shock of it all. We exchanged a look mid-way through with a “what’s happening right now” expression, and then went right back to commiserating.
I really just don’t understand heartbreak, evolutionarily. It makes no goddamn sense looking at it from a Darwinian stance. If we’re all just meant to spread our genes as far and wide as possible why would we have this stupid, painful response to losing a single, potential mate. The world should be populated with callous, insatiable sex monsters who can’t be bothered with attachment or longing feelings for their previous breeding partner— immune to it all.
And I should be one of them, and it shouldn’t hurt this much.