be a friend to your heartbroken comrades.

22 Jun

True (and embarrassing) story:

Many years ago I was dating a girl.  It was one of those relationships where you know, I mean really really know, right away, that this is “the one”.  Long story short, that girl broke up with me after two weeks.  Might I have been a little too intense and freaked her out with all that “forever” talk on the first date?  Likely. Might she have been wise to drop me because I was basically a gigantic child who had zero capacity for a mature relationship? 100%, yes.

Anyhow, she breaks up with me in the afternoon and I called my friend using a gigantic Zack Morris phone and told him what happened.  He said he was sorry and wanted to know if I needed anything, I told him I was fine – I was lying.  Upon returning to my apartment I began what can only be described as a downward spiral of snot, tears, beer, my roommates cigarettes, Johnny Cash b-sides, and half-written letters of forlorn love.  “Seriously, you and I were meant to love each other!  What if you’re not allowed to break up with me?  What if I say no! No. You can’t break up with me, I love you too much.  We’re knit together in a tapestry of memories.” Oh god, I have to stop, this is really humiliating.

Here’s how that night ended.  I’m laying in the middle of my living room floor à la a dog on the pavement in summer.  Things have gotten dark – I am crushed.  There’s a knock on the door.  I grunt for whoever is there to come in.  Is it a robber who wants to kill me? WHO CARES, SHE’S THE ONLY PERSON THAT’S EVER KNOWN ME! However, it wasn’t a random murderer who was polite enough to knock, it was the aforementioned friend with two more friends – each of them were carrying six 12oz. friends and suitcases full of empathy.

That night, those guys didn’t say crap like, “Quit crying, there will be other girls” or “No, we don’t want to hear your poem titled The Heart Died Today”.  Those guys just sat there as I talked about how bad I felt.  They responded with phrases like, “I’m sorry, man” and “Yeah, that really does suck”.   They spent the whole night just letting me go through the process, bringing me beer after beer and, when appropriate, injecting moments of humor and levity in hopes of gently bringing me out of the spiral.

Grown Men, that’s what we’re supposed to do. We’re supposed to be a particularity great friend for our comrades in times of need. Being broken up with, as most of you know, is one of the worst feelings ever.  Paul Simon wrote the lyric, “Losing love is like a window in your heart, everybody sees your blown apart, everybody feels the wind blow.” When a buddy is in the midst of breakup pain, be present, don’t judge, and just feel the wind blow.  I can assure you, they will thank you for it later.

One more thing.  When the night is over and everyone meets up for the next days Frisbee Golf game, it is illegal to embarrass that guy because of what he said or how he acted the day before.  Guys get a pass for all heartbroken behavior – for a time.  If it’s a week later and they’re still be a baby, unleash your best mocking.

P.S. I ended up getting to marry the aforementioned girl when I was older and less of an idiot.  I guess all that “forever” talk was pretty astute.

36 Responses to “be a friend to your heartbroken comrades.”

  1. Raven 22 June 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    Without a doubt you deserve your own advice column.

    • You're a Grown Man 22 June 2010 at 1:43 pm #

      You really are kind. Thank you.

    • spiritofshizuku 22 June 2010 at 3:17 pm #

      I second that!

      Thanks for sharing this story with us. It reminds me of the character Ted from “How I Met Your Mother”.

      P.S. Your wife should totally do a “You’re a Grown Women” blog; that would be awesome!

      • Daniel 22 June 2010 at 3:18 pm #

        How I met your mother is one of the best shows ever!

        • spiritofshizuku 22 June 2010 at 3:21 pm #

          I know, right?! It’s completely hysterical!

          • Daniel 22 June 2010 at 3:23 pm #

            I cant wait for the new season

            • You're a Grown Man 22 June 2010 at 3:29 pm #

              This is the third and fourth recomendation I’ve gotten today for this show…I’ll watch it already! Thanks Spirit and Daniel for reading-you’re both awesome.

    • Ashley 22 June 2010 at 4:02 pm #

      I wholeheartedly agree with the advice column comment.

  2. Coco 22 June 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    I laughed at the Zack Morris Huge-o-Phone and I felt sorry for the younger Not-Yet-GM, so crushed. Then I laughed again (though I still felt bad for you) at the roommates’ cigarettes and Johnny Cash B-Sides.

    But the P.S. was what made my day.

    • Daniel 22 June 2010 at 2:23 pm #

      Friend introduced me to your blog and gotta say pretty much everything you write is pretty much spot on for how guys should be acting nowadays. Keep it coming your page is one of the pages that opens everyday when I turn on my computer.

      • You're a Grown Man 22 June 2010 at 3:20 pm #

        Thanks, Daniel! I really appreciate it. I’m glad I made the default pages.

    • You're a Grown Man 22 June 2010 at 3:15 pm #

      The P.S. made my day too.

      Thanks for enjoying my pain.

      • Coco 24 June 2010 at 3:36 am #

        If I hadn’t experienced similar pain, I could never have chuckled along. Power to the Not-Yet-Grown People!

  3. Valerie 22 June 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    I loved this! Very well-written and fun to read… I know a lot of guys who would really benefit from reading this. It’s so nice when your friends are willing to listen to you even when you’re entirely depressed from a breakup or some other situation.

    And I loved the Zack Morris reference! : )

    • You're a Grown Man 22 June 2010 at 10:14 pm #

      Thank you, Valerie, and thank you for reading/commenting. It’s rare to find such good friends who care enough to just let you get all sad and sloppy.

      Glad you liked the Zack Morris reference, he’s the man.

  4. BeneathTheSpinLight 22 June 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    P.S. This time I liked your P.S. 🙂

  5. Anas Shafqat 22 June 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Touching story with a nice end :] I likes :]

    • You're a Grown Man 22 June 2010 at 10:19 pm #

      I like the ending as well, Anas. Thanks :]

      Also, that was the first and last emoticon I’ll ever use. I just wanted to speak your language.

  6. Heather 22 June 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    Oh, I love a happy ending–what a wonderful real life romance. I think your blogs should become high school curriculum. Always look forward to the next one.

    • You're a Grown Man 22 June 2010 at 10:17 pm #

      Chapter 1 – Don’t date, you’re not smart enough!
      Chapter 2 – Why don’t you read?
      Chapter 3 – Axe Body spray is repulsive.

      I’ll start working on the first textbook now.

      Thanks for the nice comment, Heather.

  7. blacktotheblind 22 June 2010 at 11:16 pm #

    I love this blog. It shows us the best (and occasionally worst) of ourselves, and inspires us to be better people. Bravo.

    • You're a Grown Man 22 June 2010 at 11:24 pm #

      Holy cow, blacktotheblind, thank you – that was really nice. I’m glad you read and enjoy the blog.

  8. pbandchutney 23 June 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    Aww I loved the P.S.!! Guys should definitely not be afraid to unleash their vulnerable sides! Hiding behind a thick skin all the time can get tiring, no?

  9. Brian 23 June 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    You have some wonderful friends, and the ending to this story is just perfect.

    You are an amazing writer, and I love the way you express yourself. You’ve made my blogroll. Keep up the good work!!

    • You're a Grown Man 24 June 2010 at 2:10 pm #

      Thank you, Brian, I really appreciate it. Also, as an MJ fan, I appreciate your site (

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

  10. lookingforsomethingtofind 24 June 2010 at 9:22 am #

    Great story and so true. Also as other commenters have said, it really does seem like an episode of How I Met Your Mother. Totally right, and congrats on how it ended.

    • You're a Grown Man 24 June 2010 at 2:13 pm #

      So I watched the show last night and really enjoyed it. They were doing interventions for each other, it was super funny. Good call, “looking” and everyone else!

  11. Ricardo Lopes Kotz 24 June 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    Hi, I’m a 20 year old brazilian and I lived something similar a year ago, it was a girl I really liked, and I hab been dreaming to be with her for all my teenage years, we were together for only three months but it was incredibly intense.
    I guess we had quite a difference in experience, maturity, i don’t know what else. It ended, even though she still meant heaven and hell to me.
    Anyway, this post comforted me somehow (no, I’m not talking about the P.S, I don’t see that happening).
    What I’m trying to say is Thank you! It made me think.

    • You're a Grown Man 5 July 2010 at 10:31 pm #

      Ricardo, I’m sorry you relate with this story. Getting your heart broken is, by far, one of the worst feelings ever. I’m glad, however, that you have a perspective that allows you to process it and move forward – well done.

      You’re a good man – thank you for reading.

  12. Niña 5 July 2010 at 9:04 am #

    I have been reading this blog from start to finish and I find myself nodding. I grew up around guys who did the more chivalrous things that you mentioned it. This particular I noticed does happen a lot. Although I am not a grown man, I have had grown men friends consider me one of the boys. I have been a witness and a sober sister for most of my male friends. ^_^ I oughta make them read this part, I am sure they’ll love it. ^_^


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