So, I recently broke up with my partner of two-and-a-half years, and in the interest of investigative journalism I took one for the team and decided to give Zoë Foster Blake's Break-up Boss app a crack.
Full disclosure: I might be too heartless for this app because I skipped the crying-into-a-pint-of-ice-cream stage. But who knows? Maybe I’m in denial and this is the key...
OK, the first stumbling block is that the app is $9.99. The only app I’ve ever paid for is TripView, but I guess a book with the same info would cost more…
$10 poorer, the home screen of the app has a wheel you swirl to say how you’re feeling.
I chose ‘I Can’t Do This’ and for someone like ZFB, who has such a sweet face, she gives some seriously good tough love.
“Imagine you are your ex." she writes. "You see your name come up on your phone (again). You roll your eyes and say to the friend you’re with: ‘Jesus. She just doesn’t GET IT. I don’t wanna hear from her! I’m actually embarrassed for her now. She needs to get a life.’"
"Ouch. Doesn’t feel good, does it? Good. I want you to feel bad so you won’t pine over them anymore. Now, put your sneakers on and get outside already.”
OK, if anything is going to put me off making contact with my ex, it’s that. Which is good, I guess...
Hold up: my phone just got a pop up.
You can turn the “pep-peps” off if you want, but my ego constantly needs stroking post-break-up, so I’ll leave them on until I’m “so pepped that any more pep would tip you over and cause a real pep mess”.
The ‘Feel Wheel’ spins again and takes me to ‘WTF Just Happened’ where ZFB calls me a “dryface” for not crying. (Well, not me specifically, obviously...)
“Feel the sadness engulf you, and the sobs smush into your pillow… It’s important to be theatrical, and purposeful and let the crying know that it is valid, and welcome, and it should really go to town, because you won’t be doing this forever, so it should get its money’s worth.”
Man, this crying malarkey sounds amazing. And getting lost in your grief temporarily is great advice from ZFB.
All this crying made me think back to a time (AKA the other day) that my friend was telling me about how she felt uncomfortable with the guy she's seeing.
Apparently he complimented her all the time and wanted to take her out to dinner and she wasn’t used to it.
Um, sorry? Does not every man do that? My ex did that constantly - Have I done the right thing?!
ZFB has the answers.
“Can you hand-on-heart say that your relationship was a shining example of healthy communication, trust, respect, teamwork and friendship when it imploded?”
No, it wasn’t. OK, good. Almost-text To Ex deleted.
On that note, the best part of this app is that it does have a ‘Text to Ex’ feature. Obviously not a real text but writing everything you want to say and never letting them see it is the most cathartic thing you can do. Just ask 10-year-old me who used to write angry notes to her friends and then put them in the bin. Amazing.
WAIT A MINUTE – the best part of this app is actually that there’s a pre-made playlist.
This woman has thought of everything and it’s so much better than the subpar one I've been playing since said-break-up.
You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette, anyone?
ZFB also reaffirms my belief that the only relationship I’m meant to be in is the one with myself. I should take myself on dates and give myself treats, which is really good advice.
Except I’ve taken it way too far already and thank God I don’t have a credit card.
Break-Up Boss is the perfect balance of funny, tough-love and realistic advice. It’s the kind of stuff your mum would tell you but you can actually listen to because it’s not your mum saying it.
I have a self-diagnosed allergy to emotions, and parts of this even had me feel things.
Her advice is easier to stomach because she lists her many flaws so she doesn't sound preachy, and then there's the fact her real-life family is perfection.
So, when in doubt, just remember ZFB's best piece of advice.
Be cool, not crazy.