- Me: leaves a photoshoot half way through to go punch seagulls and shake bushes for energy
Sometimes, when I need answers, I like to take my questions to Google.
I have googled “How long does heartbreak last?” The result more popular than that was “How long does heartburn last?” This implies people suffer from heartburn more than they do heartbreak, which is a good thing, because heartbreak sucks way more than acid reflux ever could. Weirdly, though, a broken heart does physically hurt. It feels heavy, like someone is sitting on your chest.
There are upsides to despair. You can wear a blanket instead of a coat and your friends won’t judge you. You can smoke indoors because nobody will have the heart to tell an inconsolable girl that a smoking ban has been in place for eight years. And you find out that people are very nice and that they care about you, even if the person you care about most doesn’t.
The problem with heartbreak is that nobody can help you. Not the films you watch alone, searching for a character who feels the way you do, not the glasses or bottles of whisky you keep by your bed, and certainly not Instagram. Every time you post a picture of yourself on Instagram looking fake happy, a fairy dies.
Also, scrolling through photos of girls your ex may or may not be shagging won’t help you. Remind yourself that the right filter can be fantastically flattering, and she probably doesn’t look that good in real life.
'Tell me what happens the first time you see a woman naked.'
'The first time you see a woman naked will not be like you imagined. There will be no love, no trust, no intimacy. You won’t even be in the same room as her.
You won’t get to smile as she undresses you and you undress her. You won’t get to calm her nerves with nerves of your own. You won’t get to kiss her, feeling her lips and the edge of her tongue. You won’t get to brush your fingers over the lace of her bra or count her ribs or feel her heartbeat.
The first time you see a woman naked you will be sitting in front of a computer screen watching someone play at intimacy and perform at sex. She will contort her body to please everyone in the room but her. You will watch this woman who is not a woman, pixelated and filtered and customized. She will come ready-made, like an order at a restaurant. The man on the screen will be bigger than you, rougher than you. He will teach you how to talk to her. He will teach you where to put your hands and he will teach you what you’re supposed to like. He will teach you to take what is yours.
You must unlearn this. You must unlearn this twisted sense of love. You must unlearn the definition of pleasure and intimacy you are being taught. Kill this idea of love, this idea of entitlement, this way of scarring one another.’