Moving on

Last Updated: Fri, Aug 17, 2012 19:16 hrs

Demi Moore has reportedly engaged a hypnotist to help her get over her break-up with Ashton Kutcher. The late singer Amy Winehouse took the route of substance abuse. When Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp finally called it quits on his relationship with Winona Ryder, he sought the help of a laser surgeon to change the tattoo on his arm from ‘Winona Forever’ to ‘Wino forever’.

Closer home, celebrity break-ups have been as dramatic. Salman Khan was reported to have had a full orchestra meltdown when Aishwarya Rai dumped him, Preity Zinta took a sabbatical and enrolled for a course at Harvard following her split with the Wadia scion. Manisha Koirala took to spirituality after the dissolution of her marriage to a Nepali businessman.

Celebrity or not, one thing that unites all — megastars and people like us — is the fact that break-ups are never easy and there’s no easy way to deal with them. In fact, in this age of hyper-communication, there might be, to paraphrase Paul Simon, more than “50 ways to leave your lover”.

Did you know for instance that there are websites devoted to getting over heartbreaks? That there is a compendium of songs ‘to break up to’ on the Internet? That the pop spiritualism industry has flourished thanks to the broken-hearted and the recently dumped? That various ancillary industries (music, wine, movies, cards, florists and jewellery) are predicated on the phenomenon of when boy loses girl or vice versa?

As far as I’m concerned, there’s no perfect way to mend a broken heart, but some things help: a good support system of family and friends who you can enlist for those midnight moments of despair; a healthy self esteem (aided by a mirror that reflects good health, a smart wardrobe and an overall sense of well-being). A job that engages and excites you. A change of geography, a new hobby, a revamped daily schedule — any thing that restyles the same old same old. And of course, if you have the stomach for it — a new love interest, something that gets the old ticker pumping faster again. (Or as my friend Al once said, “The best way to get over a guy is to get under one ASAP!” ).

Others have tried other methods. A famous actress once told me that every time she’d start feeling blue about her ex-boyfriend, she’d take a cold shower. Considering how squeaky clean she looked, the break-up must have been pretty bad! Another young man I know hits the gym with a vengeance; a doctor of my acquaintance copes by learning a new language or discovering a new country. From all these methods, what is clear is that the key to getting over a break-up is moving on. This of course means that there are some things, however tempting, that one must avoid if one wants to achieve some semblance of closure and emotional balance.

So listening to Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits is not a good idea when you’ve been jilted; neither is hitting the bottle, stuffing yourself with junk food or spending the next few months in bed. Sweet, sad Hollywood romcoms are also to be avoided and stalking your ex to check if they’re seeing someone new is an absolute no-no!

A friend who recently broke up adopted the most sensible way of dealing with her heartbreak: she sought the help of a renowned therapist. All was going well and she appeared to be on the mend until another kind of disaster struck: she fell in love with her therapist and moved in with him! This was bad enough, but not as bad as the fact that the therapist had a wife and children who were completely devastated about the whole situation.

Perhaps she ought to have simply got the name and number of Demi Moore’s hypnotist instead!

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