Joining the broken hearts club

SARAH BERRY
Last updated 11:50 18/05/2012

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If they never replied to your wotwentwrong request, you might find an answer at the Why we broke up project. And if, amongst the posts of people's heart aches and breaks, you still can't find an explanation for why you lost your love or why your date ditched you, you can always post your own side of the story instead.

Why we broke up is a book, by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman, which explores the adolescent heartache of two fictional teenagers.

Yet, the stories on the Why we broke up project are real. People are invited to post their anonymous break up stories, to which Daniel Handler often humourously replies. That's their story, the site says, what's yours?

Categories include I can't believe how disgusting you were, I can't believe there was someone else, I can't believe you did that, I can't believe you wore that, I can't believe that's what you thought, I just can't believe it and I'd take you back in a minute.

The stories are sweet, sad, confused and funny. Here are 20 reasons why people broke up:

"We broke up because I moved to a different country for you but you couldn't move a meeting to pick me up at the airport."

"You meant the world to me and you knew you did. I thought we were in love, I thought we had something special. Long distance relationships are never easy but I loved you so much I was willing to try to make it work. Than you broke up with me over the phone while I was driving 400 miles to come and see you. The worst part is that I still wanted to be with you for months maybe even years after it all happened. I deserved better."

"We were young and crazy and had nothing to lose. We saw every sunrise. We smoked every sunset. We broke up because I was naive and gave you more responsibility than you deserved."

""We broke up because I was not a boy."

"I was crazy about you for 9 months. When I gave up, you wrote me a note saying 'I blew it. I've been blind to how lucky I was to have you. You're the nicest, most genuine person I've ever met. You mean more to me than you can ever know.' After that we started dating, then you dumped me over a text message while I was at work 3 weeks later."

"You were afraid to love me like you said you did. You were supposed to follow me to New York City, where you would suffer for a few years like I did in Smalltimore. But you never came. And that is why we broke up."

"We were at a restaurant and he got angry and said he was so mad he wanted to go home and beat his dog. I dumped him that night, took his dog with me and never saw him again. The dog and I are still together after 11 years."

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"She was foolish enough to ask me what I was thinking and I was foolish enough to tell her the truth."

"My high school sweetheart broke my heart ... and then I married him 30 years later."

"She thought the name of the doctor on Doctor Who was Doctor Who."

"I had ugly shoes. But in my defense, I was in seventh grade and my mom was cheap."

"We broke up because you thought I was broke. Ha! You thought wrong."

"I returned from a rock concert to find that i was not the girl who was lying next to you in bed. I made pancakes for our roommate and played old Nintendo games till dawn, all the while silently inventorying our living room, and swearing that, damn it all, you weren't getting any of my books. I left you the Buick, but I took your signed Neil Gaiman. I'm still not sorry."

"I was flirting with your friends. I'm sorry, but now I'm glad we did it because we weren't meant to be anyway. I'm glad we're still friends and we've both found other people to be with."

"We broke up because you didn't love me as much as you loved yourself."

"You never called me beautiful. Not once. Not beautiful, not pretty, not cute, not smart, not interesting, not funny, not sweet, not nice, not awesome. And you know what? I am all those things."

"Someone made up a lie about how I only dated you out of pity because you were fat. I really, really liked you, but then you believed the lie and broke up with me. So maybe you didn't like me as much as I thought you did."

"Of course I had my heart broken as a teen. I was desperately in love with myself. Then I found out that I was completely shallow. I haven't spoken to myself since."

"We broke up because I kept forgetting that I had a fake British accent."

"You know that old expression, 'Men Are From Mars, Women Are People Who Hate Me, Belittle Me, Take Pleasure In Pointing Out My Faults, And Think I'm Ugly'? It was like that, which was too bad. I mean, hey, I'M FROM MARS. That ought to count for SOMETHING, right?"

So, is it a good idea to get things off your chest and share your break up story (with the rest of the world)?

The Australian National University, in their guide to surviving relationship break ups, says: "Don't bottle up feelings too long, but let them out gradually or you may 'explode' and scare yourself and others." But, they also warn, "don't take revenge. It will end up prolonging your own hurt and you will probably regret it."

Given that the posts are anonymous and no names are named, it might not be a bad thing. Venting a little can even help says Gail Westcott, a counsellor with Relationships Australia NSW. "It can be cathartic and quite helpful."

Although she does say with sites like wotwentwrong, where you request feedback from someone who hasn't called, "you might not have a positive outcome or the outcome you hoped for."

Certainly, the Huffington Post interviewed a young man about the site who said "that if a girl sent him such a 'feedback request,' he'd 'think she was a psycho.'"

Westcott understands the need for people to have resolution around a break up, but says that if you don't find it online or can't get it through the person you've broken up with, "you may need some extra support, that's affirming for you, so you can change your frame ... and just to help get you into a different groove."

- Sydney Morning Herald

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