Jen Kirsch is a pint-sized, blonde, bronzed, twentysomething from Toronto.

It’s nothing to be proud of, but it is so very true: the courage and final push for us to commit the act of breaking up, is the knowingness that we have someone waiting in the wings on standby.

Breaking up is hard to do. The idea of not having constant company, a plus one for the events that fill up our agenda, and of course, consistent sex, is reason enough to hold on to our other half when we know our time is done. Plus the idea of breaking the heart of the person we love (and loathe) is never easy. But I’ve got to tell you, it comes much easier when you know that there is someone else interested in you, when you’re not taunted by the ‘I’m going to be alone forever’ kind of thoughts.

So, who is on standby on your flight or love and when do you decide to take off?

The word ‘standby’ can be interchanged with ‘rebound,’ both being one of the same. This is the guy who we look to to fill our to-be-expected void. He acts simply as a distraction and if we are ever in that ‘I’m lonely, maybe I shouldn’t have broken up with whatshisname afterall phase’ we can call him instead, avoiding pain for us and our former flames (as good as ex-sex is, it’s never worth the emotions that are certain to follow suit.)

When a relationship is winding down, it’s difficult to maintain our confidence. We are filled and fueled by doubt and confusion. But having someone else in our lives who is on the outside of our inner turmoil is refreshing. They offer us something different than our partner does. They offer us a sense of calm and a fresh outlook and perspective. Staying in relationships longer than they are meant to run often causes unnecessary pain for both parties. Remembering how you guys started, how he pursued you, the honeymoon phase, the fights, the stabs, how did it come to this?

Having a go-to guy on the side makes us feel wanted. No, he doesn’t know our quirks, our habits and the behaviours that come out over the course of knowing someone and interacting with them overtime, and that’s what makes this so perfect. It’s superficial and it’s ok. Who are we kidding heartbreaker, you’re not ready to move on quite just yet.

Have fun with Mr. Distraction. Flirt, fantasize, feel out the personality and excitement of a new person, but don’t let yourself fall for him. He is just a symbol of someone who allowed you to bite the bullet on something you were putting off. Give yourself time to come to terms with your breakup, investigate in why it ended, learn from it, grow from it and then move forward. We’re always in such a rush to move forward but the best part of an end is a fresh start.


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