Breaking up is hard to do: A letter to Britain from the brokenhearted

Sorry it didn’t work out.
Sorry it didn’t work out.
Image: Reuters/Hannibal Hanschke
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Dear United Kingdom,

I’m sorry to hear about your break-up. It probably feels terrible because people can’t stop talking about it. I know it hurts, and you shouldn’t pretend otherwise

But you’ll get through it.

Your relationship with the European Union lasted more than 40 years, which is longer than most marriages. You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished together, even if you’ve ultimately decided to call it quits. It’s been a good run, and your lives are deeply entwined (like a bunch of bananas). It will take time to heal.

You will feel confused and bewildered for a time. When you do, I urge you to remember the many difficulties you’ve endured over the years.

You must put the bickering of the past few weeks behind you. Forgive the accusations and the bad feelings. You will, of course, need to reflect on why things didn’t work out, so that you can avoid making the same mistakes in the future. But reflection can come later.

Avoid social media if you can. Looking at Instagram will only exacerbate the pain. Don’t worry about your former partner: she will make her own way.

Don’t expect to feel better immediately. Broken hearts take time to mend (tee up an Adele playlist). Give yourself the space you need and stay busy. Tend to your gardens. Go for a walk. Drink some tea (avoid the booze).

The world has always looked to you for courage and resolve. Don’t lose that. It is these strengths that will guide through the grief of a broken heart.

Your friend and ally,

The brokenhearted