Step 1: Be betrayed by an individual. Have your heart shattered into a million pieces. So shattered that any possibility of a complete heart is immediately eradicated.
Step 2: After the shock of the broken heart, resent that individual as deeply as possible. Hate them as though your entire being hinges on it.
Step 3: Make a long list of all their trespasses against you. No act or word is too small. Make the list as detailed as possible. Every statement must start with the phrase ‘I forgive you for’.
Step 3 (part 2): I forgive you for breaking my heart as spectacularly as you did.
I forgive you for telling me that I was the one, that you wanted to marry me and then never following through with that.
I forgive you for saying that you weren't interested in listening to my concerns for a suicidal friend. I turned to you for a listening ear and you turned that ear away from me.
I forgive you for saying that you were ‘disengaged’ after I moved back to London from New York to be with you.
I forgive you for saying that my clothes are ‘un-coordinated’, even though you know that is not true.
I forgive you for never taking pictures of me. You’re a talented photographer and most of your photos from our time together are of my best friend. I forgive you for the excuse you used to justify your fixation with her and your disinterest in me.
I forgive you for every misinformed, unloving thing you ever said to me regarding me regarding my 10 year battle with my eating disorder. So I forgive you for saying that I was lucky to have an eating disorder because I was able to choose to starve myself as opposed to those in the third world, who had no choice.
I forgive you for allowing me to think that you not wanting me was somehow my fault. I struggled with low self confidence for so long; I forgive you for leaving me to deal with it on my own. You are at liberty to not want me, so I forgive you for never clarifying why you didn't want me and instead sitting by as I blamed it on my lack beauty, my stupidity, not being selfish enough, and not being enough like your ex.
I forgive you for saying that your inability to discuss your emotions was indelibly linked to me, inferring that you never had that problem with any of your other exes. I forgive you for lying to me about that.
I forgive you for saying that if I felt suicidal in my teens, I should actually have killed myself. I forgive you for saying those words on a ‘romantic’ trip to Paris.
I forgive you for the time that you said I shouldn't have an ice cream because you don’t want me to put on weight. You justified that statement by saying that you were trying to ‘support me in my eating disorder’. I forgive you for any other time you tried to ‘support me’ by putting me down.
I forgive you for calling me annoying.
I forgive you for all those hours that we spent looking at pictures of beautiful women on Instagram together. Not a confidence boosting exercise.
I forgive you for all those times when you complained that my house was too far for you to visit me.
I forgive you for refusing to visit when I eventually moved into your neighbourhood. You sometimes made me feel as though I was not worth spending time with.
I forgive you for the time you accused me of playing the victim. According to you I was always complaining that you were ‘rejecting me and shit’. Those were your actual words. I forgive you for every time you belittled my feelings of rejection.
I forgive you for every time you belittled my feelings, period.
I forgive you for every time you tried to make me feel as though I was overreacting to the hurtful things you said to me. I also forgive you for the times you blamed those overreactions on PMS.
I forgive you for making me into the type of person that expects scorn.
I forgive for you getting angry at me when I bought you gifts for your birthday.
I forgive you for all those times when you blamed me for feeling stupid, when you treated me like a I was stupid. I forgive you for all those times when you blamed me for feeling ugly, when you treated me like I was ugly.
I forgive you for highlighting that you were a boyfriend, not a girlfriend, and as such you were absolved from discussing your emotions. It’s possible for men to be vulnerable.
I forgive you for suggesting we spend Valentines Day with another woman.
I forgive you for every time you inferred our communication problems were my fault; because I used hyperbole too often, because I would misinterpret your words, because I would put words in your mouth.
I forgive for your lack of empathy and your inability to see life through my eyes when I tried to communicate with you.
I forgive you for telling me that I was standing too close to you when I dropped by to give you some good news. I forgive you for everything silly thing you ever said to me which you thought was justified because we were ‘going through a hard time’. Going through a hard time does not give you licence to be a cunt.
I forgive you for every time that you pushed me away by branding something as ‘personal’. We were together for over two years — what was so ‘personal’ that you couldn't tell me?
I forgive you for every time you pushed me away.
I forgive you for saying that you had lost respect for me because I broke down in front of your friend. I forgive you for saying that I aired our dirty laundry out when I only briefly explained to her why I was crying. (Now I'm airing our dirty laundry.)
I forgive you for saying that you weren't ‘that bad of a boyfriend’. You didn't physically beat me but I still bear scars. I forgive you for my scars.
I forgive you for all the times you inferred that I was being irrational for being hurt when you said and did hurtful things. I forgive you for thinking I was ‘making this shit up’.
I forgive you for all those times when you said that I was ‘choosing’ to be hurt by your words. As though there was some other reaction that I could have chosen, but instead I went with the emotion that was most inconvenient for you.
I forgive you for going on a date with the aforementioned friend while we were still technically together. You took the day off work to spend time with her, you took pictures of her, you had food, and you didn't tell me about it until after it happened. Whatever you want to call it, you had a date, and I forgive you.
I forgive you for flaunting how much more fun other women were to spend time with.
I forgive you for not picking up my call in an emergency situation. I forgive you for coldly insisting that I must text you when I was stranded in another country, alone.
I forgive you for stating that my trying to move on after we broke up was me trying to ‘copying you’. Normal people move on after relationships end, I wasn't moving on merely as a form of mimicry.
I forgive you for making me break up with myself. You are so incapable of communicating your feelings that when you no longer wanted me you couldn't even tell me. You allowed me to hurt for months, you watched me tear myself to pieces over us and then you made me your mouth piece. I was forced to communicate what you wanted on your behalf. I may have said the words ‘I want out’ but I definitely got dumped.
I forgive you for dumping me simply because we couldn't communicate and because we are different. Everyone is different, that’s why life and love is beautiful.
I forgive you for refusing to put effort into the relationship. You allowed me to think it was my fault; I felt I wasn't good enough for you to want to work on the relationship. You just didn't want me, that’s it.
I forgive you for not wanting me.
I forgive you for being who you are. For being flawed, for being human, for having scars, for never dealing with your issues so that you could love me properly. I forgive you for anything you ever said that led me to believe you ever could.
I forgive you for every hurt. The big hurts, the small hurts. The hurts mentioned above, the hurts I forgot, the hurts that were too long to write down, every last one.
I forgive you, even if you never forgive me for the hurt I have caused you.
Step 4: Struggle to post your list as it would be a fictional list of forgiveness. You haven’t forgiven that person in the slightest.
Step 5: Wake up one morning to find that after 116 days, you’ve forgiven them after all.
Step 6: Press publish and be free to love again. You’ve been through a hell of a lot but you made it. You’re gonna be okay.
Step 7: Repeat. Often.