In the middle of the roller coaster ride that is a break-up (and sometimes simultaneously a break-down), here are 13 of the best clichés that quite possibly are the last thing you’ll want to hear being parroted by well meaning friends.
1. It’s for the Best
Here’s the best break-up cliché right off the bat. It’s for the best? Oh, good I’m glad that it’s not for the worst. That would have really sucked… Thanks, very reassuring.
The thing is, in the depths of a break up, you don’t care about better or best, you want what you had, what you had chosen. It’s like you’ve ordered a meal at the restaurant and instead of getting what you wanted, you get the most expensive thing on the menu - the best thing on the menu.
2. There Are Plenty More Fish in the Sea
Theoretically this isn’t true. Ocean resources are being depleted at an astounding rate and the fishing industry is one of the most inefficient, wasteful and ecologically damaging on the planet.
Oh, but in terms of the males of the species- yes, there are stacks out there. Unfortunately just like fishing, when you put out your net and go trawling you inevitably drag up a whole bunch of other junk with the blue fin tuna and dolphins (or whatever your preferred fish boy is…). The last thing a wobbly heart can imagine doing is head out in a dinghy to throw a line in.
3. He Isn’t/wasn’t Worth It
Now you tell me! He was OK when you came to our engagement party…
Sadly sometimes your mates’ feelings about your ex only come out when he’s out the door. Many people don’t feel they can share their real impressions of your fella and your relationship when you’re all loved up. Partly because you probably can’t or wont listen (all those neurochemicals flooding your brain with love!) or they don't want to damage a friendship.
4. It’s His Loss
This cliché is best-friends with “he wasn’t worth it”. Its’ hard to believe though when you feel like the loser. A loser for not being able to keep him, for not being enough (of anything- enough fun, skinny enough, happy enough, loving enough). Enough is like tolerant, weak cousins of “fine” and “not bad”… Consider that who you are is exactly the right amount, just like a Goldilocks serving – you’re just right, for the person you’re meant to be with.
5. Better Now than Two Days before the Wedding/ when You’re Married/ Have Three Kids
True, it could have been worse, much worse. You could have lost more than a few weeks rent and a bunch of money setting up a house that you only lived in for 5 weeks.
You could have spent thousands on a wedding before he got the balls to speak up and break up.
I’ve heard lots of different horror stories out there and yep, we nicked it in the bud and hooray, the collateral damage was minimal.
This will make sense soon enough, see the next point…
6. Everything Happens for a Reason
Totally agree. There is a universal plan for our lives and we only get the things that dreams are made of if we actually dream and dream big. The big plan and path that we are on will eventually get made into a highway. I really believe that when things in our lives that we think are really fabulous and unbelievably great fall apart, it’s because there is something even more mind-blowing and wonderful in store for the future.
Trouble is that it’s so great we cant even try and imagine it, especially in the throes of upset and distress. This is a test.
7. Time Heals All Wounds
This is my favourite because it is so incredibly and inevitably true. Thing is, you really need to want to heal. The longer you hang on to the pain and drama and the story, the longer it takes to heal and be “over it”. If you want to wrap yourself up in rejection and hurt, go for it. I prefer the freedom and power that comes with reclaiming your identity and confidence beyond the break-up.
8. Single Life is Better
Sure, being in a relationship is wonderful. However, there are plenty of great things about being on your own. You get to decide what channel to watch, what restaurant to get dinner from, and what friends to invite over. If you enjoy your freedom, then you’ll feel relieved after a breakup. Of course you’ll be upset, but you’ll also be ready to have the time of your life.
9. Who Needs Men?
You’ll normally hear this phrase from other single women. Sometimes it’s said bitterly. Sometimes it’s said honestly. Either way, it’s true. One day you’ll find the man you’re meant to be with, but for now you can survive on your own. Independence is a beautiful thing, ladies!
10. You Can Focus on Your Career
People assume that you can only focus on your career or a relationship, but not both. Of course, that’s far from the truth. With a little preparation, you can healthily balance all areas of your life. But relationships can distract you from your aspirations. While you’re single, try to remember what your priorities are and accomplish some of your goals.
11. You’ll Look Back and Laugh
This phrase isn’t used strictly for breakups. People tend to say this after any unfortunate event. While you may not laugh about being cheated on or hurt, you will be able to look back and smile at the good memories. If you were in a relationship, you must’ve liked your ex. In the future, you’ll be able to look back and appreciate the happy moments you shared.
12. Timing is Everything
You could meet your dream man while he’s in a relationship. You could stumble across your soulmate without speaking to him. While there are plenty of important aspects that determine whether or not a relationship will work, timing is crucial. The man you broke up with might be ready to get back together in a few months. Or you might run into your new love the next time you go shopping.
13. You’re Young
Even if you feel old, you’re still alive, which means you have time to find the one! Don’t give up. Not everyone finds their soulmate when they’re in their teens. Most people have to struggle, go on multiple dates, and get their hearts broken over and over again. It’ll all be worth it once you find Mr. Right.
It's only when the tears dry and your heart heals that you can start so see the reality and beauty in these break up cliches. These adages are a little philosophical reminders and perspectives that have such relevance because they reflect a sense of truth and just as importantly - a common, shared experience of heart-break. Now, off to do some fishing!
This article was written in collaboration with editor Holly Riordan.