My boyfriend ended things out of the blue – eventually the agony of heartbreak taught me how to live

Annie Lord was 25 when her five-year relationship ended. After a lot of tears – and cold pasta – she scraped herself off the floor and took stock

‘Whenever anyone tells me they’re going through a breakup, it makes me feel sick,” I told my dad, sitting in his kitchen one weekend, during a trip home to Leeds. “It takes me right back to how much he hurt me, like I’ve got PTSD or something. Do you ever get that?”

He shook his head. “I have to say, I’ve never been heartbroken.” I went to challenge him because, at first, this concept seemed impossible. But then I remembered my mum saying that he was a bit of a player once; that he had always been the one ending things. I thought about what that might mean. No bad haircuts or drunken phone calls. No walking through a world where everything reminds you of them, from the blue of your coffee cup matching their eyes to an advert for Jet2 bringing back memories of them wanting to go to Venice. No listening to Taylor Swift songs and finding it impossible to believe that she didn’t write them specifically for you. No thought games where you imagine everything you’d do to get them back: drink a cup of toilet water, cut everyone else out of your life, sit in a room with James Corden for an hour – except you wouldn’t think that, because it’s a joke, and you wouldn’t be making any of those.

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