THE BEST FRIEND’S BOYFRIEND

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No, I haven’t done the unthinkable.

I am simply here to celebrate how wonderful it is when your friend falls in love with someone that you do too. It’s like a sigh of relief you didn’t know you needed to take. A realisation that you can relax now; they’re being taken care of.

To be quite frank, the men who have chosen to be in the lives of my six besties are super human. They must be for having to put up with not understanding a single joke from our school days and still making the effort to laugh at every single one. Not to mention tolerating the squeals, tears, tantrums and mini (and also incredibly rare) fall outs we have.

But despite the list of reasons to love them, you don’t realise quite how much you appreciate your best friend’s boyfriend until they bundle you all into an Uber after a night out. Until they’re giving you life advice at 3am in the corner of the BBC Introducing Tent. Until they offer you pizza on a hungover Sunday after letting you sleep in their bed whilst they snooze upstairs with their housemate. When they cope for 5 days in a tent with 6 of you girls with no other boy company in sight. When they put you on their shoulders at a gig even though you probably weigh more than they do. When they nurse your mate when she’s definitely over the limit. When they invite you to their birthday without knowing you because they know it’ll make her feel better. And when they write you a blog post when you’re short on Tory opinions.

Of course, in the past, I haven’t taken a shining to all of their choices. There was the guy who cheated on one of them in front of me- I mean come on, I am standing RIGHT HERE. Then there was the one who didn’t only want one, but two girlfriends at the same time- I have to admit that (although an absolute creature feature) his ability to multi task was tremendous. Then there was the one who dumped her on her birthday. And the one who just stopped texting. And then there are the collective of those who were just a bit odd, a bit not right for them and the ones who used their hands a bit too much. Then of course there are the ones we all loved and are rather sad to see the back of. But such is life, let’s not dwell on it too much.

Your best friend’s boyfriends are an exclusive group of men who you can hang out with without the fear of them staring at your chest, giving you skewed advice or any of the other things single men do that are annoying. They are the friends you never knew you had. Or even wanted.

I might be tempting fate here by singing their praises – they could easily, of course, turn out to be five little beasties – but all I know is that right now I have a beautiful extension of my friends in the loveliest way possible, in the form of beards, great music taste and a whole lot of patience.

Never underestimate the value of your best friend’s boyfriend because, when it comes to her fleeing the friendship nest and diving into proper adulthood (i.e. marriage, mortgages and babies), you’re going to hope he’s a good’un.

Be thankful for the great men in your life. And more importantly, your friend’s lives.

HAPPY PLACE

Whenever something goes wrong, I head to Hyde Park.

Whether the god-awful Winter Wonderland is on or whether it’s hot enough to take a dip in the lido, it’s the place that I go to do all of my best thinking. I’m hard pushed in central London to find places to clear my mind and, as one of the more greener settings in the capital, it really helps to escape the concrete and just… breathe.

Luckily for me, the park is walking distance from my parent’s house. Yes, I know. This means that I can just slip on a pair of boots and take a wander to my happy place at a moments notice.

This weekend, for no particular reason, Ryan and I decided to cycle to that happy place and it was as DI-VINE as always.

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  Whether you’re visiting London or have lived here longer than I have, an afternoon spent exploring our most famous park is an afternoon well spent.

THE HURT

cc9b98bcb67ced3ed24e5fbd9d8cf0f8Every time I feel like a boy has been mean to me and I cry as though my world has come to a swift and somewhat brutal end, my mum asks me the same question: ‘Is it your heart that is broken, or is it your ego that is bruised?’

Megan from Wonderful You posted a piece about heartbreak recently. As I read it, I could feel the pain in every word that she had written and it made me think about my own bouts of heartache. Now, I have had pretty much everything possible happen to me in a relationship. I have been dumped, humiliated, lied to and now, cheated on but I don’t feel hard done by. I just feel experienced. And as a result of this, I am able to offer Megan some (potentially) quite good advice.

When you see someone you love move on with someone else, I think you’ll agree that it can hurt more than the break up itself. Even if you were the one to finish things once and for all, jealousy can still strike. But when it does, be sure to ask yourself: is my heart still broken or is it just my ego that’s a little bruised?

The way to work out the answer to this is to note down the thoughts that are popping into your head as you scroll through photos of them on Facebook or as you listen to tales about them from mutual friends. If you can’t believe that he bought her that super expensive Christmas present or you can’t fathom why he would be with someone so vanilla when you’re so god damn chocolate chip, then I think you’ll find that your ego is bruised. This can be cured with a night out or a spot of speed dating. Basically, distractions.

If, however, you’re wondering how he could cuddle her at night, whether he calls her that pet name and if he slots his foot into the crease of hers in the same way you did when you were spooning, then it’s most definitely your heart that’s broken, and I’m afraid, that one’s a lot harder to fix.

But what is some practical advice to get over it?

Talk. Talk to your girlfriends until you’re sure they’ve phased out and are now contemplating whether gorgeous Charlie will ever make a return to Girls. Talk to your mum until even she is wondering whether gorgeous Charlie will make a return to Girls. If you write, write it all down. If you don’t write, write it all down. It doesn’t have to sound like a best seller but the act of writing can be some form of therapy (which is why you sometimes probably think I overshare). Finally, don’t taunt yourself. As curious as you are about where they’re headed on their summer holiday together or what she does for a living, just don’t go there. Who cares what she does? If your heart is still aching, then his is too; men just tend to mend things a lot quicker than we do. Nothing will change the time you spent together, so allow yourself to bask in the happy memories but don’t get bogged down in them. Chances are, she’s probably feeling pretty insecure about what you both had too.

Figuring out whether it’s your heart or your ego, much like a diagnosis from your doctor, will allow you to work out how best to treat your injury. A broken arm takes around six weeks to heal in a cast, a bruise tends to fade by itself over a week; see what I’m getting at? If you’ve worked out that your heart is broken, then the only way to take action is to wrap it up in cotton wool and hold it together as tightly as you can. If this means that you have to lie in bed for a few days, or dance the night away every weekend for a month, then do just that. There’s no prescription for a broken heart I’m afraid, just sound advice from someone else who has experienced it.

I broke my wrist around ten years ago now, and whenever it gets a little bit cold outside or I sleep on it funny, I get a twinge of pain; a reminder of my broken arm. The same goes for your heart: even after it has been mended, and you are happy with someone else, you’ll always wonder what might have been and you might still even feel a momentary ache. But don’t worry, it’s just a little reminder of how you strong you are.

Just give your heart some time. But whatever you do in that time, be kind to yourself.