2 – 1 + summer = frisbee sadness


Dear Kitty,

How long does it take to get over a broken heart? It’s been six months but honestly, I still feel very much like crap. I keep remembering the rule, you know, that it takes half the time you were with someone to get over them, but that’s five years which is way too depressing to contemplate.

I’m giving it eighteen months and if I haven’t pulled it together by then I’m thinking of having him killed. But then I found this on the internet which is insane, but at least not criminal:

Broken Heart Calculator – Long term relationships

A. Estimate how happy you were (day to day) on a scale of 1 to 3

B. Estimate how physically attractive you found your mate on a scale of 1 to 3

C. Add up A and B – and then divide this number by 2 – this will give you a number in years

D. Subtract one year from the total

Example: John was happily married to Mary (he ranked his happiness as 2 out of 3.) He found Mary very attractive, a 3 out of 3. Mary leaves. John’s heart will take 1 ½ years to recover.

I calculated it would take my heart a year to recover, which sounds like a good deal to me.

Only six months to go!


Desperate ex-housewife, Cheshire


kitty column pic

Dear Desperate,

What can I say in the face of such rigorous scientific assessment except, if you change your mind about that other thing, I have a number you can call.

I’m joking, of course. No need whatsoever to alert the police.

So. Reluctant as I am to side with a piece of aloof arithmetic (‘Mary leaves’ – What, no warning? No note? What is she, a machine?) a year does sound like a good approximation.

This is because the first year of a break up is a grinding succession of firsts: the first time you sleep alone; first birthday without them, first Christmas, first spring. Which would be harrowing enough except that, post break up, the brain embarks on a post-traumatic editing process, recasting every occasion in a soft-focused, romantic haze.

Hence you should be very suspicious if, facing the first bank holiday without your husband, you are tortured by memories of playing frisbee in the park. If you concentrate very hard, you will recall that neither of you ever owned a frisbee.

Similarly, it may help to establish that he abhorred supermarket shopping, bought you terrible Christmas gifts and the Sundays you remember eating croissants and indulging in leisurely sex were actually spent sulking in front of Columbo with a Pot Noodle while he played World of Warcraft.

If you can’t convince yourself that your relationship wasn’t one long made-for-TV movie, don’t worry. All you need to do is hold on. In six months time you’ll reach the first anniversary of the day you split up, giving you one year’s accumulated ex-free memories and marking a whole new phase in which, while you might not be over him, you should be able to hear his name without wanting to beat yourself  to death with the Guardian Weekend Supplement.

Now, excuse me while I condense that into a pithy equation.


Exciting news! My debut novel, The Gods of Love, published on 1 February 2018, is available now for pre-order