F*ck off and die - A sh*tty guide to getting through the f*cked up first month of a break up.

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I got stood up last night but I am still fucking awesome

By Sarah Robinson on March 20, 2018

I met ‘Jimmy’ on Tinder. He was a 6 foot 4 Fijian dude with a cute smile and great abs. Normally, before I go on a Tinder date I engage in just the right amount of online banter.

This informs me whether they get dark humour, like Liam Neeson and have just the right amount of anxiety and self-loathing to make them a good person.

Then, even if I don’t feel an attraction, I know I’ll have an awesome time with a new person, who may or may not become a friend. I didn’t do this with Jimmy.

The promise of hot mixed-race children obviously clouded my judgment.

Jerking off in sand dunes

We met at the beach and sat by a sand dune, not on it, because then they get eroded and that’s bad. Two 40 something year old men lay in front of us. He asked if I thought they were gay. I said, maybe.

I then said something awkward about dudes jerking off at the beach, which was obviously the perfect moment for a kiss. He lent in. I went with it, still thinking about weird men wanking.

Jimmy’s penchant for fooling around on a first date was second to none. He tried to get me to touch his dick a couple of times, to which I explained it was a little early, and also, illegal.

He said it wasn’t. I told him it definitely was.

Being stood up

Jimmy messaged me for a second date and I said yes. I went for a drink with a friend, then went to meet him. But, he wasn’t there.

I enquired as to his location.

He said, ‘I’m eating a burger with my mate, the night is young’. I said, ‘but weren’t we meeting at 8’? He seemed confused that I was annoyed.

I wandered around the City listening to emo music. He didn’t message back or show up. That’s when I realised I had officially been stood up.

I messaged my sister and a friend, who expressed requisite outrage. I messaged another guy on Tinder who I thought was hot. He was supportive.

I felt love from my friends, and the hot guy from Tinder I didn’t know. Now, in the hazy morning (okay it’s 1.40pm, but shit’s still hazy), I reflect on my feelings.

I am angry because:

  • When you didn’t show up, it made me feel like I was not a real person to you. Yes, we met on a gamified app, but I am still a human being.
  • If you don’t want to meet me send me a text. I have wonderful friends I could have been hanging out with. But I made plans to see you.
  • I am allowed to be upset when someone treats me badly.
  • I am not a nagging woman. I am an empowered person with boundaries.

And now that is out of my system, I have something to say to you.

If you have ever felt some cunt is treating you ‘less than’, please listen to that inner voice or feeling in your gut – it’s trying to protect you.

You always deserve to be treated with respect, whether it is a lover, a date, a hook up, a boss, a colleague or any other human that crosses your path.

Yes, conflict is fucked. I would rather eat broken glass than engage in any behaviour that may ‘upset’ another human. But, I matter too. And so do you.

You. Fucking. Matter.

Feelings exist to tell you when things are not right. That sensation in the pit of your stomach? It’s warning you that this person is not good for you.

Straight after I was stood up, I felt like a loser. I felt I was not worthy, not good looking enough and not cool enough to warrant a guy showing up.

Deep down though, I knew that wasn’t true. By the morning, I felt pissed off that my time had been wasted, so I sent him this message:

It’s not about you, it’s about the douche canoe

When someone treats you as ‘less than’, it is only a reflection of them.

Yep, I know that’s one of those trite sayings that falls flat when you feel like shit, but if I can believe it after just being stood up, perhaps you can too.

To anyone who has ever been broken up with, cheated on, stood up, heart broken, disappointed or fucked over by another person:

  • You are not what happened to you.
  • You are a wonderful person, even if you do mildly illegal shit, smoke menthol cigarettes or make fun of people on TV.
  • I am no therapist, but I am pretty sure the only way to heal is to feel your pain.
  • So, feel it, grieve it, ugly cry it, call your friend – do whatever you need to feel your pain in a safe space.
  • Eventually the bad feelings will get less and less. One day you’ll find them hard to remember. Pain is weird like that.

Vulnerability is bad ass

To your brain, rejection feels the same as the death of a loved one. Know your pain is real, don’t diminish it. You’ll just end up frustrated at yourself and feeling worse.

If you’re a woman, know it’s okay to be angry. Anger is activating and has a healthy purpose. Feel it, express it – just don’t go burn his house down cause he’s not worth the jail time. (Fantasising about it is totally okay though.)

If you’re a man, and you are feeling your emotions, you are beyond bad ass. There’s a reason why male suicide rates* are higher than women’s – you’re socially conditioned to think emotions are weak.

It’s not just manly be in touch with your emotions, it saves lives.

* Over the past 10 years in Australia, the number of suicide deaths was approximately 3 times higher in males than females. Source ABS.

How to feel better

Studies show rejection activates pain centres in the brain. Yep, rejection hurts because it actually does.

In the cave human days, rejection from our group meant certain death. So, our bodies tell us it’s bad, because, well, in the old days, it was.

Even though times have changed, our bodies still act like we’re going to die when we’re rejected. For fucks sake, evolve already.

Luckily, there is shit you can do to make the pain less.

Reconnect with your tribe

Psychologist Guy Winch says, “Rejection destabilizes our need to belong, leaving us feeling unsettled and socially untethered. Therefore we need to remind ourselves that we’re appreciated and loved so we can feel more connected and grounded.”

In other words, go find people who love you and accept you, and hang out with them.

By doing so, you remind your body that you still have a tribe, and aren’t being exiled towards death (phew). Also, it feels good to be around people who care about you.

When I was going through my break up, I stayed with my brother and his wife and son. They made me feel safe and loved, and I also got to watch a lot of children’s television, which makes you feel weird, but never sad.

If you can’t physically be with your people, phone them, message them, reach out to them. Don’t go through rejection alone, it will only feel much worse.

Join our Facebook community, PM me, call Lifeline (seriously, I used to do this all the time when I was feeling low). Know that you are loved. And he or she can go fuck themselves.

Sarah xox

 

art by Jade Foo

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