What to do when your heart is broken by something especially awful

AayuTheLegend asks: I got my first breakup. I lost her to my best friend. I just don’t know what to do. I am crying while writing this email. What can you suggest?

Hey AayuTheLegend –

I try very hard on here not to use bad words.  We dogs express our negative feelings through barking, growling, and biting, and there’s no need for us to stoop to obscenities to make things clear.

But here’s an exception:   Breakups SUCK!  And losing your girlfriend to your best friend SUPER EXTRA MEGA SUCKS!!!!!

There’s no way around it, there’s no argument, there’s no possible other side to it.  It just sucks.

But there is one slight positive to it…. afterwards…

Which is that

it simply totally sucked.  And because of that, you get to move on from it.

A few years ago, my human friend Handsome was very in love with a girlfriend, who broke up with him saying he hadn’t done anything wrong, everything in the relationship was perfect, but she just wasn’t feeling things for him.  And then she was a really good friend to him after that.  

It took him nearly a year to get over it!

Why?  Because there was nothing to complain about, nothing to change in himself, nothing at all.  If you’ve ever seen or read the great movie/novel The Grapes of Wrath, it’s like those farmers asking “Well who do I shoot?” as their house is being destroyed.

You are SOOOOO not in that situation!  You are the subject of countless novels, plays, operas, and songs (Oh where would country music be without someone being left for their best friend!).  Everyone in the world relates, everyone feels for you.  

Have you ever accidentally stepped on a dog’s tail or foot?  You know that yelp we scream out?  How heartbreaking it is?  Yeah, well you’re that right now!  Except that you’re like the yelp if my tail had just been stepped on by King Kong – and he’d stayed there!  EVERYONE relates, EVERYONE feels for you… you’ve got this story for the rest of your life!

So does that mean you should never speak to your friend or ex again?  Or should you try to accept things as for the best and stay close to them?  Or be nice but keep your distance?

Yes to all of them.  Yes Yes Yes.  Because in the position you’re in, you get to do WHATEVER YOU WANT (except seriously hurt them or their properties).  You can hate them one day, be their best friend the next, and ignore them the next.  

And you know why?

Because what you’ve just been through SUCKS!

What do I get to do if Handsome steps on my tail?  Avoid him, lick him, bark at him?  Sure!  Any and all of them!

As awful as this experience is, it’s also freeing.  You owe them NOTHING!  So my only advice to you is to be very watchful for “Shoulds.” The person who says you should do something, the voice in your head that says you should do something… or shouldn’t… I’d say to listen to them, but not feel that you have to obey them.  (Except, again, don’t do anything violent or illegal!)

Just be yourself.  Get through this however you can.  Lean on your other friends, go out on seventeen bad dates, eat lots of ice cream, change your hairstyle… whatever works for you.  

And listen to lots of sad songs, so that you get constantly reminded of what I’ve been saying here throughout this letter… you’re not alone, everyone can relate…

and that this just plain SUCKS!!!

With love and an aching tail,


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