May 25, 2024

Want to know the truth about getting over breakups?

Heartbreak is universal. Whether you are male, female, trans, non-binary, gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, polyamorous, monogamous, young, old or somewhere in between, we all seem to navigate a similarly emotionally perilous happy-sad terrain in the unfortunate (or as it turns out sometimes, fortunate) event that we have been dumped.

But if you really want to know about breakups. . . you should ask a lesbian.

I don’t mean you should just rock up to a lesbian bar and start quizzing the first comfortably-shoed woman you see about ghosting, conscious uncoupling, rebound flings, heartbreak, addiction, serial monogamy, loneliness, grief, attachment theory, anti-love drugs, rebirth, transformation, personal growth etc. For a start, you’ll be hard-pushed to find a lesbian bar. Most of them have closed down.

No. I mean that lesbians are the unofficial, unrecognised world champions of breakups. Statistically speaking, we go through more breakups in a lifetime than anyone else. So we have figured out how to do it kindly(ish). Time and time again, I hear stories, studies and polls that suggest that we stay super-close friends with an ex more frequently than anyone else. After all, it’s a small community. . . and sometimes, there’s nobody else to be friends with.

So trust me when I say I’ve got some relevant life experience and a useful perspective on this topic – useful for lots of people.

Straight women! I’ve got your back. I know how it feels to get dumped as a woman.

Straight men! I’ve got your back too. I know how it feels to get dumped by a woman.

And queer people. I’ve got your back too, because you’re my family and I love you. Simple.

So who the hell is this lesbian telling you to read her book [The Breakup Monologues]?

I’m a professional comedian, radio presenter and compulsive serial monogamist. In 2016, I started obsessively exploring breakups in my work. I was concerned that perhaps I had been wasting years and years of my life expending so much energy on relationships that did not endure. Surely real love was supposed to last? I was on a quest to figure out how to finally settle down and stay with my awesome new partner. Let’s call her Girlfriend.

It may seem odd how much of this book about breakups I spend talking about a relationship I’m trying, fighting even, to stay in. But to me, breaking up and staying together are simply two sides of the same coin. They are a flick of a switch apart, separated only by one fleeting moment of madness, or perhaps clarity.

They are as intertwined as the wayward sun-browned stems of ivy that creep up from our neighbour’s garden and are slowly but surely obscuring the view from our bedroom window. And sometimes, we ourselves can become entangled with the strands of our relationships in unhealthy ways that obscure our view. Sometimes, like it or not, it is time for a spot of pruning.

After touring a solo show all about my own most painful separation, somewhat ironically titled The Conscious Uncoupling, I began speaking to other comedians, authors and academics about heartbreak.

Initially, this was a live chat show called The Breakup Monologues. I had no real plans for it. I would probably start writing and touring another solo show about something else entirely. I would resume grinding away on the comedy circuit. But the discussions were so interesting and fun that I thought I really had better start recording them for a podcast. A new journey began. I wanted to get to the ‘who, what, when and how’ of breakups. . . and, more pertinently, the ‘why’? Why the hell do we do this to one another?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *