A life in the shadow of a break-up is a life half-lived, isn't it? You're basically a human dot dot dot... in a perpetual state of intermission, loading up on butterscotch ice cream 'til the curtains open on the next act. In 'BUC', we call this 'The Sad Gap' - and we have some tips to help you through this grim passage of time! Follow them and you'll emerge from your gloom-cocoon a smiley-faced butterfly, faster than you can say 'Consciously Uncoupled'.

Lorelei Mathias

Lorelei Mathias

DO:

BINGE DRINK - Initially, oblivion's all you need. Go out every night with your mates. Go to work fuzzy with hangover. Your colleagues will understand.

KEEP YOUR FRIENDS - Ella, Robyn et.al - close by. Don't attempt relationship grief without music. Get headphones so loud the euphoria pumps through to your brain, and drowns out the sad.

SWING YOURSELF HAPPY. From Swing Patrol at Passing Clouds in Dalston, to the Ivy House Hoppers in Nunhead, Lindy Hop's the most fun you can have with your clothes on. It is speed-dating, only more sweaty, with better music.

SWIM YOURSELF HAPPY. Plunging into cold water has been clinically proven to lift your mood. Britain's full of lidos and wild-swimming holes. Leap in!

DO A 'PRECLAIM' - what activity fell by the way-side when you met your ex? Did you sack off parties for cosy box-set bingeing? Go on, get back that piece of you that went missing.

DON'T

BINGE DRINK- After the initial week's bender, go cold turkey. It will only make you feel worse, or do drunk crying, which is nobody's friend. At this point you need to accept that YOU WILL FEEL SH*T for a bit. Embrace it. Learn to sit with the discomfort.

STALK - We don't have the Eternal Sunshine machine (damnit!) but we do have neuro-plasticity, which without going all Science on your ass, is the same thing. The more you look at pictures of the ex, the more you're reinforcing those old neural pathways. Do you want to get over them? Have a friend perform a 'digital exorcism' - un-friend the ex, and move all pictures on your computer to a 'Don't Open' folder.

LISTEN TO RADIO - in case they play 'your song' - not until your second trimester, when you can do a 'Reclaim'. Music is time-travel. It will make you miss them more.

RELAPSE - Inevitably, you'll have a bout of Break-up Flu (a medical fact, caused by white blood cells fumigating your ex from your system). During this time it's tempting to want your ex to come and make you a hot toddy again. The truth is, we miss them when we're down.

REBOUND - Sure, it's tempting to jump into something new. It feels so shiny and exciting! But if it does go tits up, you'll end up in DWHBH (Double-Whammy-Heartbreak-Hell). Why take two heartbreaks into the shower? Instead, wait until your full 'Notice Period' has lapsed. (To calculate, count one month for each year of service to your last relationship.)