Know-It-All: “She ripped my heart out of my nose”

Hey Prolific Immigrant,

My best friend told me to write this because she reads you. She’s sitting next to me and wants me to start this by saying “she ripped my heart out of my nose” what you’ve said before and I am so sad. I fell in love. She left me for a guy she met at university. […] I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to be broken up. She hardly responds to my emails and texts or calls. […] What should I do?

From my best friend: “HE IS WRITING HER SONGS!! They’re SOOOOO bad. She broke up with him in a text message!!”

Dear Bleeding Nose and Best Friend Of,

I cut your email down to the nitty-gritty of things. I’m sorry that you are so sad and that you don’t wish to be broken up. We have all been there and we have all had to have reconstructive surgery on our nose. I hate to be the one to break this to you, but what you’re going through is necessary.  Bottom line is break-ups are brutal. They are a million times worse when the other party moves on before we do, because this usually leaves us wondering how little did I mean to him/her that I was so easily replaceable?

Please recognize that there are quite literally an infinite number of ways to perceive a situation. If you look at this situation and think: My heart is broken, she is the love of my life and I was not good enough for her, I will never find anyone like her again, your brain — literally — creates a pathway connecting these dots. Every time you think of her, these dots light up and connect faster and this pathway gets more and more worn and eventually, your brain becomes incapable of creating another pathway and oftentimes depression sets in. You MUST, for the health of yourself, re-write this story: I got dumped by someone who is not the love of my life so that I could find the actual love of my life who will not step out on me and then tell me in an email. What a moron! 

That said, here are some practical steps which you can action immediately:

– No contact AT ALL not under any circumstance. She might reach out to you when her new piece isn’t giving her the attention she wants and she knows that you will come running. This is gross and it is unfair and it speaks to her personality not yours. Don’t be anyone’s security blanket unless they too are yours. Stop emailing, texting, calling, facebooking. She’s not being responsive because she’s not interested.

– If you are connected via social media, and if you’re not ready to unfriend her / block her, then unsubscribe from her feed(s). You don’t need to see what she’s doing and you don’t need to know about her happiness with her new piece. You need to concentrate on you.

– Exercise as much and as often as possible.

– Love of God kid, stop writing her songs. If you’re writing them for you, like a diary entry then that’s fine. Just please don’t be writing her songs and sending them to her. Write them and send them to your best friend and let her make fun of them…in laughter there is healing. Trust this.

– Make a list of all of the things which you did to contribute to this situation in which you find yourself. The next relationship, you will remember this list and you will not make these same mistakes twice. Don’t worry about her mistakes because again, you need to concentrate on you.

Onto the heavier lifting. First, allow yourself to go through all of the stages of mourning both the relationship itself and also whatever future you had imagined with her. The future? It never was, it never will be. It is a phantom limb which you need to cut off unless you wish for it to infect your entire self.

Second, allow yourself to be angry. Right now, the emotion of anger is like bubble wrap and it’ll keep you from breaking every time you fall and hit the ground, which will continue to happen for a little while still. What do you have to be angry about? You think she was the love of your life (which, she’s not else she would have never left you. It really is this simple) but she bounced you for another dude. You remained committed to her and true to her but she bounced you for another dude. You gave her your heart, but she didn’t have enough grace to even give you a pen…and instead: she bounced you for another dude and told you in an email. Be angry, it’s okay. Just don’t direct it at her, and instead talk about this anger with your friends. It’s why we’re here. This anger will lift when you don’t even notice it anymore; if it doesn’t in a few months, then you need to start actively removing it. Anger makes people unattractive.

Third, stop romanticizing her, stop re-writing both history and the present. Take off your rose-coloured glasses and ask yourself if her character is REALLY the kind of character you once believed it to be. If you can’t objectively answer, then I guarantee that your best friend will be able to answer brutally and honestly. This stage is one out of which you need to do double duty to exit because it’s in this stage of grey where your heart remains open to her and let’s remember she bounced you for another dude and isn’t even responding to your messages.

Fourth, insulate yourself with your friends. I love that your best friend forced you to write in; clearly, she loves you. Let your friends be your balm.

Fifth, do not under any circumstance engage another woman until you have completely and totally washed this one off of your skin. Because women can smell it a mile away. We know when another woman is still in your heart and in your mind and as a form of self-preservation, we will walk away shrugging and nauseous. It is purely an intuition thing and most of us will listen to the Universe when she tells us that a man is not free in his heart. As a dear friend said “Eat your feelings, but not other girls.”

Sixth, more amazing advice from friends: “take some time and regroup. Focus on what you can actually control in your life.” You’re a musician, so write songs for yourself, but not to send to her because she doesn’t want to listen to them. Remember: she’s with another guy. For you, for this point, focus on something which you love and whatever makes you happiest.

Seventh, and most important. When you have come out of this, please open your heart with this same amount of willingness and vulnerability to the next woman. This is for your sake, not for the sake of anyone else. There is nothing more painful than not loving to our full capacity or worse, holding someone else accountable for the mistakes of a former lover. Be open, be loving, be reckless in both and chances are you will be hurt again and again until you find the one golden woman who will meet you beat for pure beat every single step of the way. She will deserve this recklessness in love as equally as you do.

With love, from a girl who also had reconstructive surgery on her nose (and who would never have it any other way),