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Notes on Heartbreak: From Vogue’s Dating Columnist, the must-read book on love and letting go

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Maybe if you’re currently going through a heartbreak you’d enjoy this book, but it missed the mark for me. I can listen to Taylor Swift's 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' at full volume and know that it's women like me she's written it for. To lay yourself open like this, it’s entirely impressive, and to do so with such introspection and intelligence as well. Perhaps it’s about finding someone so perfect that meeting them doesn’t feel like finding something new, but coming home.

Otherwise, it ends with them getting back together – which makes you feel so shit if you’re not able to. Heterosexual women often have a cultural script to follow about breakups – one your book perhaps contributes to – where it’s like men instigate them either directly or by bad behaviour and then women process them – often with other women – and gradually recover a sense of lost agency. This stunning exploration of love and heartbreak from cult journalist and Vogue columnist Annie Lord, is so much more than a book about one singular break-up. Josh sends a photo from where he sits in the pub, gums shining pink through his smile, beer froth bubbles popping on his top lip. The heart is a muscle after all, it’s strong and can withstand much, and really, if you’re lucky enough to find someone who it beats in time with, then that has to be worth the risk.This really sucker punched me in the gut on various occasions but Annie does such a beautiful job of taking us with her on her journey of heartbreak, reflecting on the very best and worst aspects of love. This understanding is one of the things that’s leading to heartbreak being taken seriously in a way it never has been before. By the time we reach our mid-20s, most of us will have gone through at least one hideous, gut-wrenching break-up. I just want someone to break my heart,” my friend Emily said to me the other day over coffee, exhaling like she was trying to push all the frustration out of her body.

It was a month since a major earthquake had shaken the country, causing mudslides in the mountains, injuring 4,805 people and killing 68.Dit boek voelde als een combinatie van SOS van SZA, main character vibes én gemini energy 💫 Voor fans van Dolly Alderton.

I was definitely lingering over it and taking my time with it, because despite reading like a novel, it was still non-fiction and that, for some reason, always slows my reading down by at least twenty-five percent, at a minimum. It’s stirred up all these thoughts within me and even though I was desperate to keep reading it and just get on with it, I would dip in and out and then wander around with my thoughts for ages before repeating the process. Painful while it sloughs away the dead romantic ideals, leaving you cleansed, reborn and gorgeously satisfied. Concealed in the undergrowth of our relationships, it explodes at an unexpected moment, over dinner, at Christmas time, at a wedding, in bed. I go to exhibitions and take pictures of the descriptions by the pictures knowing I’ll have time and space when I get home to think about those thoughts in more detail.Even thinking about my male friends… I was actually listening to an episode of The Receipts podcast where Tolly says something like, ‘A relationship’s only over when the woman’s done with it. I don’t feel embarrassed when I’m writing about myself because I’m a massive oversharer even in person, but it does affect how other people see me which is crap. The intellectual references perfectly blend in to the writing, which actually seems really difficult to achieve but Annie made it look easy.

Yet, I regularly work weeks like this and my whole life is about juggling, so why, with a book I was enjoying so much, was it taking me so long to read? They went from dating to being in a relationship, but now there are so many stages: the “talking stage” (interminably long, notoriously hard to get past), then the “seeing each other” stage until the Holy Grail, the most elusive, “exclusive” stage. And it explains why people going through a big breakup face higher risk of early mortality and a number of diseases, particularly if they don’t work hard to process the pain.Her memoir Notes on Heartbreak evolved from a long love letter she wrote to him afterwards, but never sent. As well as giving clarity to its horrors, a flake of solace to those tangled in bedsheets or crying on buses, the science behind heartbreak offers something else, something bigger.

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