A real Dear Jon letter, how perfect is that?! Who knew you’d get dumped twice in the same amount of months. See, I’m one paragraph in and I’ve already fucked this.
I’m writing this because I can’t say any of this to you face-to-face. I’ve spent the last few months questioning a lot of my friendships and wondering what their purpose is, if not to work through big emotional things together. But I now realize: I don’t want that. And I know you’ve all been there for me in other ways. Maybe not in the literal sense, but I know you all would have done anything to fix me other than listening to me talk and allowing me to be sad without solutions. And now I am writing this letter rather than picking up the phone and talking to you because, despite every thing I know, I just don’t want to, and I don’t think you want me to either.
I lost my mind when Jen broke up with me. I’m pretty sure it’s been the subject of a few of your WhatsApp conversations and more power to you, because I would need to vent about me if I’d been friends with me for the last six months. I don’t want it to have been in vain, and I wanted to tell you what I’ve learnt.
If you do a high-fat, high-protein, low-carb diet and join a gym, it will be a good distraction for a while and you will lose fat and gain muscle, but you will run out of steam and eat normally again and put all the weight back on. So maybe don’t bother. Drunkenness is another idea. I was in blackout for most of the first two months and I think that’s fine, it got me through the evenings (and the occasional afternoon). You’ll have to do a lot of it on your own, though, because no one is free to meet up any more. I think that’s fine for a bit. It was for me until someone walked past me drinking from a whisky miniature while I waited for a night bus, put five quid in my hand and told me to keep warm. You’re the only person I’ve ever told this story.
None of your mates will be excited that you’re single again. I’m probably your only single mate and even I’m not that excited. Generally the experience of being single at thirty-five will feel different to any other time you’ve been single and that’s no bad thing.
When your ex moves on, you might become obsessed with the bloke in a way that is almost sexual. Don’t worry, you don’t want to fuck him, even though it will feel a bit like you do sometimes.
If you open up to me or one of the other boys, it will feel good in the moment and then you’ll get an emotional hangover the next day. You’ll wish you could take it all back. You may even feel like we’ve enjoyed seeing you so low. Or that we feel smug because we’re winning at something and you’re losing. Remember that none of us feel that.
You may become obsessed with working out why exactly she broke up with you and you are likely to go fully, fully nuts in your bid to find a satisfying answer. I can save you a lot of time by letting you know that you may well never work it out. And even if you did work it out, what’s the purpose of it? Soon enough, some girl is going to be crazy about you for some undefinable reason and you’re not going to be interested in her for some undefinable reason. It’s all so random and unfair – the people we want to be with don’t want to be with us and the people who want to be with us are not the people we want to be with.
Really, the thing that’s going to hurt a lot is the fact that someone doesn’t want to be with you any more. Feeling the absence of someone’s company and the absence of their love are two different things. I wish I’d known that earlier. I wish I’d known that it isn’t anybody’s job to stay in a relationship they don’t want to be in just so someone else doesn’t feel bad about themselves.
Anyway. That’s all. You’re going to be okay, mate.