Last week the phone rang. When I picked up, someone heavy breathed and then let out some mangled cry. I was on the verge of hanging up when I realized it was one of my dearest friends. All she could wail was, “He did it on a note. A NOTE!” Turns out what ‘he’ – her boyfriend of 3 years, 6 months and two weeks, ‘did,’ was to pack up all his stuff in the flat they shared, and leave her a note. So returning from a girls’ lunch out, having sunk some glasses of fizz and a tasty risotto, she noticed that the hall had fewer coats than usual, and there wasn’t his pants lying on the bedroom floor. Her first thought, “Bless, Mr X, he has tidied up the flat!” Then…. then, she saw the note. A pathetic piece of paper torn from a notebook that merely said, “I’m sorry, but it wasn’t working. I think we need some time apart. I’ll be in touch re: bills etc. You take care.”
“You TAKE CARE” she raged at me down the phone, and then later in person. “Like I’m some old buddy, or someone he knows on Facebook. Not his partner of 3 years!!!” Yes, she started in the ‘in shock’ stage for all of half an hour, and then moved with deft speed into the ‘angry’ phase of a break-up. She is currently still there. Anything that he left behind in haste (a framed football shirt from his favorite team) is now in the bin or on Ebay. She is really doing exceptionally well at the old anger stage. It may be a while before she moves into the ‘in denial’ stage, and even longer before she ticks the ‘devastated’ box. If the grief of a break-up is in seven stages, she is only on No 2.
Personally, I think she feels all the things we do after a bad break-up: rejection, betrayal, hurt, anger, loss — and yet we still somehow want them back. I speak as a woman who has been dumped several times. The best one, was when a boy (who was possibly the dullest man in Britain, but he looked a bit like Brad Pitt so I tolerated him) ditched me, because (and I quote), “Your personality is too much for me.” It is to my eternal regret that I never replied, “That is because I have a personality, whereas you buddy, don’t.”
We’ve all been there. Stunned as we are told the dreadful words, “It’s not you, it’s me.” When clearly, it isn’t about them – it is because they don’t like us enough. Sob.
So, in celebration of all great movie break-ups, the ones that made us laugh and those than made us cry – and the ones that made us go “We’ve all been there,” enjoy the slideshow below.
Which one is the ULTIMATE break-up? Let me know!