The Theory of Harmonious Breakups

I’ve gone through my fair share of breakups, but nothing has compared to the most recent split. Five and a half years of being with someone, I grew to have certain expectations of my girlfriend. By far, the biggest expectation I had was that in the unlikely event that I ever had a difficult moment in my life to deal with… Well, I expected her to be there. The night I found out my friend Rich killed himself, she was exactly what I needed. I couldn’t have asked for more during that evening. Ten days later, she was telling me that I was such a horrible friend that it was no wonder Rich killed himself.

It’s been a rough road for me since then, but I realize something about getting over someone after a breakup. It comes directly from the science around how we relate memories to sounds and smells. I’ve come to the conclusion that the time it takes to get over someone corelates to the time the songs that remind you of them remain on the radio.

We have our songs that remind us of that special someone. In many cases, those songs will always remind us of that person. The best example I can think of is Sting’s “Fields of Gold”. It has always reminded me of my high school girlfriend. I rarely hear it on the radio, but when I do it brings back fond memories.

When I first split with my last girlfriend, just about every song on the radio reminded me of her. I’ll admit that “Gives You Hell” and “Heartless” are the top two that remind me of her the most. “Gives You Hell” is still in the top 10, so it gets a lot of airtime, but I’ve started to notice that Heartless is getting much less play these days (even with The Fray’s cover). Granted, I’ve gone through my own healing process over the last few months, but not having to hear songs that constantly remind me of her helps quite a bit.

Now, for people who listen only to classic rock and oldies who have songs that remind you of someone… You just might not ever get over your ex 😦


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