IT'S not often these days that a news story makes me laugh out loud.
But I admit I chuckled away when I read that Lisa Armstrong had got over her ex, TV perma-boy Ant McPartlin, by dumping his stuff on the street outside her house with a sign saying: “Help yourself”!
I don’t know the specifics of Lisa and Ant’s split (and don’t want to condone fly-tipping), but as I’m currently going through my own ugly break-up it was good to see another woman move on by clearing the decks.
As one man outside Lisa’s house, who’d bagged the Little Black Book of Classic Cocktails, said: “Throwing it out is the normal procedure after a break-up, isn’t it?”
Like Lisa, I know the best way to get over your ex is to eviscerate every last trace of them.
After any break-up, I immediately scour my house for anything my ex might have left (toothbrush, handwritten cards, heart), pack it all into a box then order an Uber to send it over to their house.
If you can do this while loudly playing Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, so much the better.
The more dramatically you handle a break-up, the more cathartic it is. My last break-up was so messy I drunkenly set fire to all the photographs I had of him, almost igniting my neighbours’ garden deck in the process. Boy, that felt sweet.
So without further ado, here are my eight essential – and ruthless – cures for a break-up…
1. Bawl your eyes out at karaoke
Obviously. This is also perfect for Corona-times because you don’t need a group bigger than six. Book a booth at Lucky Voice and scream along to your favourite ear-splitting hits.
Luckily break-up songs are a particularly rich seam of pop – think Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, Katy Perry’s Part of Me, Adele’s… anything. During this particular break-up, I’ve especially enjoyed Ariana Grande’s Thank u, Next and some classic TLC.
I like to make a mix tape of my favourite break-up tracks so I can sing them in my car, on the Tube, or at my desk (even if I’m wearing a mask). It is ok if some of these songs make you cry – you need to quickly get that bit over with.
2. Throw Every. Single. Thing. Away
Every. Single. Thing that reminds you of them.
For Lisa, this meant disposing of Piers Morgan’s book The Insider and Craig Revel Horwood’s Tales from the Dance Floor (both of which must have been agony to part with).
Lisa rather generously gave Ant’s things away for free. I prefer to flog what I can and use the proceeds to buy something fabulous for myself.
This time I’ll be pawning my engagement ring and spending the money on a golden-doodle.
3. Delete your ex on social media
It’s not enough to ‘wash that man right out of your hair’ – you need to scrub them, not just physically, but virtually from your life.
Obliterate them online. Delete your ex's phone number, block them on WhatsApp, redirect their emails to spam, delete their pictures from your Twitter, your Facebook, TikTok, Instagram. Remove every virtual connection to them. (Unless you’re still using their Netflix account).
Now do the same to every one of their friends and members of their family too. Hey presto! In less than ten minutes it feels like you didn’t just waste the last six years of your life.
4. Go dancing – even if it's in your living room
This was easier before lockdown when you could go clubbing, but dancing around the living room will do.
Dig out some heels and a bandage dress, warm up some cheap white wine and start making drunken passes at people on Tinder, who you’ll forget the next day.
Don’t worry if you’re not in the mood, soon the endorphins will kick in.
5. The only way to get over a man is to get under another
I am afraid there is no option now but for you to have a one-night stand.
The pandemic makes this complicated, so be selective. Choose someone who’s had no symptoms for the last 14 days, and ideally someone who you could quarantine with.
If you’re going to go wild and have a gang-bang don’t forget the Rule of Six!
6. Binge eat ice-cream
And try day-drinking. Don’t wash your hair and consider spending whole days in bed. Then join workout gurus Barry’s Bootcamp and take up weightlifting.
This worked wonders for me when my ex and I last split. I felt stronger, more capable and confident.
I was also two-stone thinner the next time I saw him.
7. Hug your friends close
Call them, they won’t point out your flaws and say it’s probably all your fault, like your mum.
8. Be brave
Breaking-up is hard – you’ve done the difficult bit! Now move on.
Seize the day and start dreaming about what big changes you’ll make next.
Enjoy the chance to be single. After all, they always come crawling back again.
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