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One minute you were planning a future together; a few holidays, a little house in the suburbs, a dog, cat, maybe a baby or all three. Then, before you know what has happened, you’re single. Ditched. Dumped. Unnecessary.

It’s happened to everyone at least once. You feel hurt, betrayed, heart-broken and worthless. Probably, you eat too much, drink too much, cry on the shoulder of a trusted friend until she takes the wine bottle out of your hand and puts you to bed. Eventually, you get up, get dressed, paint on your brave face and go back into the world.

But what if the person who left you was “the one”? That fabled being, who you loved with all your heart, the one who accepted your faults, brightened your world and made you feel that perhaps, just perhaps, this time it was for real. Forever. Safe and secure and loved you “just the way you are”, as Mark Darcy would say.

Well then it’s like someone has torn the security blanket from the tiny fingers of a new-born. You are totally vulnerable. You can’t see a future because all your plans and dreams have died. Probably, you still get up, get dressed, paint on your brave face and go back into the world. Safe in the knowledge that your life has now changed forever.

This is no new phenomenon. Since the dawn of time, literature has recorded the Cathy and Heathcliff, Romeo and Juliet pain of lost love. The  grief associated with having and then suddenly not having that person who made you complete. And do you know what I’ve learned from literature? If Shakespeare has taught me anything, it’s that in an addictive, complete, and total love affair, everyone dies. Sometimes literally, sometimes metaphorically; but a piece of your soul dies there and then – irreparably.

So. He left me. What becomes of the broken-hearted? Watch this space…

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