The bitterest of ironies in the game of love; when you don’t give two shiny fucks about whether someone likes you or not your romantic game is faultless. Do pass go. Do collect £200 and a bag of vanquished hearts to boot. You are QUEEN of hearts, stealer of souls. You have the midas touch - you are messiah of seduction. This is a rigged game, one where you win every time. And that’s because you are simulating gameplay without introducing personal risk. You are funny, charismatic, nonchalant, and maddeningly attractive. Then suddenly, catastrophically, feelings are on the table - real risk is introduced and your composure falls to pieces. The training wheels are off and a fall means grazed knees and grazed hearts. Your vulnerabilities have declared themselves ‘open’ and your wits have left the building.
With little hope of emerging with your dignity intact, Ditzy is here to dab your fevered brow as you sweat your way through a severe bout of ‘the feels’. Welcome to our fully-ratified guide to coping with the apocalyptic effects of love with an ROI of 0.
i. What to Expect
Unrequited love is generally characterised by violent oscillations between two emotional states; joy and despair. A crazed demon breaks into Control HQ and proceeds to spin your emotional thermostat like a roulette wheel.
State 1 - Early Onset Optimism
State 1 involves bursts of Herculean optimism and energy; the kind of transcendent, semi-psychedelic euphoria that might enable you to not only survive, but actually enjoy a Saturday afternoon trip to IKEA. You will miraculously leave the store with all 15 separate parts needed to build your TV unit and effortlessly transport an 8-person dining room set home strapped to the roof of your car with bungee ropes. During this period, young children will no longer seem intolerable - you will feel sudden urges to pet small animals and perform acts of charity. Work will be (temporarily) dazzled by your diligence and passion. Symptoms can extend to feverish desires to ‘juice’ things and make smug tupperware lunches. You may remember to call your mad elderly relatives and start taking cauliflower rice seriously.
State 2 - Hopelessness and Chronic Napping
State 2 is the inevitable sugar crash following the derangement of state 1. You will grow your armpit hair long and listen to ‘The Editors’ a lot. Food will turn to dust in your mouth, punctured by brief remittances where you manage to scoff down a loaf of bread. Your bed will be full of crumbs and acquire a distinctly ‘hamsterish’ smell. Everything will suck. Your boss will poke you in bemusement as you sit inertly at your desk practising your best corpse impression, an excel spreadsheet flickering pointlessly on the screen in front of you. Basic personal grooming tasks will become insurmountable; teeth brushing will be reserved for special occasions only. Incidents of sick days will increase by 4000%. You will fantasise about killing small children and animals. Your favourite activity will be retreating deep into the soothing recesses of your imagination, where you can build a highly evolved and intricate fantasy world for you and the subject of your plaintive affections.
i. How to Survive
Once you’ve found your sea legs and become used to the violent heaving/lurching of your emotions, here are some tips to help you bring some semblance of order to the crumbling remains of your life:
Gather a small consol of mature and successful individuals from work/or other venues with high density adult populations who can give you helpful advice
Enforce a strict verification system - no amorous texts may be released into the digital stratosphere without sign-off from a disinterested third party to limit over-zealous emoji usage
Try to see them objectively for the fallible humans they are
Practise good conversation openers in case you ‘accidentally’ bump into them (”NAME YOUR FAVOURITE WATER BRANDS IN ASCENDING ORDER!!”)
Rent some hobbies off more interesting friends
Commit serious time to sorting out your social media game - particularly your caption game
Stick a photo of them on your mirror and practise looking at them whilst keeping your spit in your mouth
Do a ‘stock check’ of your fancy underwear; have any of the items been structurally compromised by mothballs? Are those crotchless pants actually just really really holey pants?
Write bad poetry about them in coffee shops. Write their name in public toilets.
Take up late night swimming
Perfect some nauseating ‘fun girl’ activities like cracking open a cold one with your teeth and looking good with wet hair
Refrain from doing anything too ‘experimental’ with your outward appearance to attract their attention; e.g. new eyebrows/yellow hair/adult dungarees/face tattoos
Win over their friends with some hilarious low-stakes banter
Actually convince yourself that you hate them and never want to talk to them again
Start the whole business of getting over the inevitable failure as soon as poss
Refer to the Daily Mail for advice on the laws of attraction: PRACTISE PUPILLOMETRICS There’s just one thing you need to get bedroom eyes: big pupils. According to pupillometrics, the science of pupil study, this is the crucial element we respond to. You can’t consciously control your pupils but you can create the right conditions to inspire large pupils. (???!)
Most of important of all - try to laugh through the despair. This delicious anxiety is something you’ll look back on with fondness in your old age.
Written and illustrated by Jess Bird