Single Girl: Is it better to be single than heartbroken?
Single girl about town Bryony Gordon decides it is, in fact, better to be single than heartbroken
An epidemic of miserable winter break-ups among my friends has convinced me that I am better off single, living with my sister and 'our' cat. First there was Chloe, who has thrown herself head first back into her party lifestyle; the straight vodkas are back on the menu and she tells me she has snogged three blokes since she was unceremoniously dumped by her fiancé.
She says all of this with a big grin on her face, but she isn't fooling me. I can tell that she is utterly distraught and I wish I could make it better, but I know she needs to do this to get him out of her system. Haven't we all done it at some point?
Then there is my friend Katie, who has just said goodbye to her boyfriend of five years, and, even though she dumped him because she felt he was taking her for granted, she is wandering around like a bag of bones with a thousand-yard stare. 'I don't know what to do with myself,' she said the other day. 'We'd been inseparable for so long and now I wake up in the middle of the night and expect him to be there. But he isn't. And I find myself in floods of tears at 3am.'
Stephen, whom I have known for years, proves that men are not above heartbreak, even if none of them has ever exhibited symptoms of it in regards to me. He has discovered that his girlfriend of two years has been seeing her ex-boyfriend. He has not slept for a week, unless with the help of his good friend Whisky.
'You look terrible,' I say when we meet for coffee (why do I feel entitled to say this to a man, but never to a woman?).
'Thanks, that's really comforting.' He rolls his eyes. 'I am so glad I came and met you.'
'Please don't call me Steve,' he snaps. 'She called me Steve.'
Later I tell him that there are plenty more fish in the sea. 'That's a crummy analogy, Bryony, especially given that environmental statistics show there aren't plenty of fish in the sea, that fish stocks are actually falling, and that, when they do eventually rise, the new fish will all be too young for me.' I sigh. Only a man could be so scientific in the face of heartbreak.