Erin Green's recipe to overcome a broken heart

  1. A handful of genuine friends that care about you is essential.
  2. A tonne of chocolate helps to dull a painful heartache.
  3. Carefully peel away, delete and disconnect all social media connections with the recent partner – why torture yourself following their away days and nights out?
  4. A pinch of self-indulgence doing what you like and when you wish, is essential.
  5. Unmeasurable amount of time spent doing interests/pastimes that you previously participated in and enjoyed.
  6. Add a guilt-free pass to hibernate from all social situations, but only valid for the duration that is absolutely necessary, trust your instinct regards how long.
  7. A huge dollop of me-time to reflect and heal before venturing to pastures new.
  8. Add a brand-new outfit that makes you feel fabulous and wonderful – in preparation for the day when your renewed faith wishes to take flight.

I had lot of useless suggestions during my twenties when broken hearts seemed to be my penchant. Age-old advice revolved around red wine, match-making suggestions and fly-fishing amongst the bountiful fish in the sea were all totally unhelpful. If anything, they resulted in more heartache than the original situation. 

As time went by, along with various beaus, I learnt what was best for me. It usually involved a damned good cry where I got to choose all the rules in relation to the duration, the frequency and the moping about on sofas. Seriously, I literally gave myself permission to grieve for what could have been, might have been and for the hurt that had been caused to me in the process. A diet of Cadbury’s chocolate and Lucozade is perfectly fine in such circumstances! A balance diet of vegetables and fish can wait their turn!

I used to withdraw from social occasions too, I literally couldn’t abide doing the whole glad-ragging events where I was supposed to wear a huge smile and chat about inane subjects while dragging about a heavy heart that was smouldering inside my chest. All I’d do was watch the clock until I could escape to go home. Sadly, I found that the more I put on a brave face, others would incorrectly assume ‘oh she’s back on her feet’ – er, no, I’m simply going through the motions to please everyone else. Left to my own devices, I’d have chosen to be in my pyjamas for a stint of hibernation and reflection, with plenty of wound licking.

It would take a little while, sometimes a few weeks, on a couple of occasions nearer a few months but hey, I knew what was best for me. I only ever put my best foot forward when I knew I was ready to face the world and rejoin the party. 

During my hibernation, I did usually return to the things that made me truly happy. The reading of favourite books was one such treat - Fitzwilliam Darcy has rebuilt my faith in others on more than one occasion. On the most desperate days, I’d simply adlib Elizabeth’s lines… guaranteed to make me feel better every time!

I valiantly fought and refused to attend those situations where people have secretly match-made during their lunch hours – thinking they know what’s best for you. I remember being invited to a house party where the host had virtually promised my hand in marriage to a police officer. It made for an uncomfortable evening, as everyone in the room knew and so watched as he chased, attempted to chat-up and woo me with an audience of twenty. Thankfully, I had a loyal friend who told me before the event as she felt it was unfair that this damsel-in-distress should be violated to grace another with match-making bragging rights and an unwanted date. It’s one reason why I never match-make, I know the downside. 

And finally, when you are back on your feet don’t forget to tread carefully, there’s no race, simply take your time and be happy. The best things in life are worth waiting for, I promise.

Erin x

Erin's latest novel The Single Girl's Calendar is out now!