Last time I was newly heartbroken I hid far, far away from other people. Not because I didn’t want to talk to them, but because other people – even those who love you beyond belief – can be an almighty pain in the butt by saying all the wrong things, and basically making you feel far, far worse. Of course, they WANT to help, but all those platitudes most people fall back on when dealing with a really really sad person are just terrifically unhelpful in every way. Here are a handful of my favourites.
“He/she wasn’t right for you anyway.”
You may know that in every fibre of your being, but you don’t need someone flippantly throwing it in your face as some kind of magical balm to your break-up pain. There is no magical balm to your break-up pain.
“You know, I never liked him/her.”
That’s great to know – but now is not the time to hear it. No one knows better than you that he was an antisocial so-and-so who never talked to people at dinner parties – or that she kept flirting with your mates knowing it got to you. You know your ex’s foibles better than anyone, and when you hit the anger stage you’ll be happy to list them and debate them over margaritas but right now, chances are you just want to mourn the person you loved and the future you’ve lost.
“I told you this would happen, didn’t I?”
Maybe, but ‘i told you so’s’ are really not helpful at this point in time.
“There are plenty more fish in the sea.”
Yes, but what if the fish you lost is the one you desperately want?
“Romances are like buses. There’ll be another one along shortly.”
A well-meaning platitude a parent or grandparent might trot out to make you feel better. Only it doesn’t.
“Call me if you want to talk / need anything.”
A cop-out response that puts the burden on you when just getting out of bed is an effort, frankly. When you’re heartbroken, it may surprise you who actually makes the effort to keep in regular touch / bring you comfort food / watch sad movies with you / etc etc but chances are it’s probably a friend or family member who knows all too well what you’re going through because they’ve been there and just want to be there for you.
“The best cure for getting over someone is getting under someone new!”
That might be true in time, but right now? ‘Sex’ and ‘wide berth’ probably belong in the same camp.
“What will be, will be.”
An equally annoying but somewhat vaguer version of ‘If you were meant to be together, you would be’. And just makes you want to punch a tree and thank the person for reminding you about the universe’s grand and inexplicable plan for your crappy love life.
“What comes around goes around.”
Ah yes, the great karmic consolation prize that your ex will one day be in your shoes, sobbing with agony and surrounded by tissues because someone broke his/her heart. Only problem is, you’ll probably never be there to witness it.
What are the worst platitudes you heard during your break-up?
The worst thing said to me when I broke up with my girlfriend… “You’re too young to know what love is.” Such crap.