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Going through a breakup during Red

| Monday, November 15, 2021

You’ve seen the videos on TikTok, the captions, the comments — “In an unfortunate turn of events, I will now be relating to Taylor Swift’s re-release of ‘Red.’”

How sad, I thought to myself. What poor girls that their boyfriends dumped them and now they must experience the most anticipated release of the year fresh off a heartbreak.

And then it happened to me.

I should preface this by saying that my breakup (and relationship for that matter) was in no way, shape or form toxic or abusive. My boyfriend, now ex-boyfriend, has always been nothing but loving and supportive to me during our entire long-term relationship.

For the sake of the column, I will disclose to you, dear reader, that our breakup was very mature, and we are still best friends — but that unfortunately, does not take away from the pain.

Although I was through the worst of the pain by Thursday night, I was still fresh and primed to feel the entirety of my heartbreak again when the clock struck midnight.

In case anyone is going through the same pain right now (and from the likes of the TikToks I’ve seen, plenty of people are), I will now share with you my ~expert~ tips on how to survive a breakup during the reincarnation of Taylor Swift’s “Red” era.

Tip 1: Ignore all your obligations.

As most of us are busy college students, I realize this is a hard tip to follow, but hear me out. The night that “Red” was released, I stopped doing my assignments in order to start listening right at midnight.

I forced myself to stay up until I physically couldn’t anymore so I could listen to as much of the album as possible.

In turn, the next morning, I literally could not wake up in time for my 8:20 a.m. class. My morning-person (derogatory) roommate claimed she called my name multiple times, but not even the apocalypse could have woken me up at that point.

In summary, “Red” >>>>> any other obligations.

Tip 2: Make separate “Red” playlists.

Something that comes with the territory of breakups, if any of you are unfamiliar, is a lot of mood swings. One minute, you may be sobbing your eyes out and begging for another chance, and the next minute realizing that you do not need no man/woman.

To solve this problem, my suggestion is to split “Red” up into different categories. Some potential combinations include:

1. Sad with a touch of anger: “All Too Well,” “Better Man,” “The Moment I Knew”

2. ‘I want my man back’: “Come Back…Be Here,” “I Almost Do,” “The Last Time”

3. Moving on: “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “Begin Again”

Tip 3: Do NOT watch the short film of “All Too Well.”

This is an unpopular opinion — I am aware, but I think the point is still valid! The first thing I did when “Red” was released was listen to the “All Too Well” 10-minute version. It was heartbreaking and cathartic in the best way. It made me cry and gasp and scream.

The pain I felt from just listening to the song was more than enough for me to handle at that moment. And although I have heard amazing things about the short film starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien, the suffering from seeing the visual depictions of this heart-rendering song is more than I think I can bear.

This is why I suggest my fellow heartbreak sufferes take more time to digest the pain of the album before subjecting ourselves to the excruciating experience that comes with the short film.

Tip 4: Be GENTLE with yourself.

Going through a breakup is hard. It exhausts you from the bottom of your soul. I think that we can all agree on.

Ladies and gentlemen, you need to take some time for you. Please, please be gentle with yourselves.

Know that your feelings are valid, in any way you need to express them. Take some time away from your phone to do some self-care. Take a nice, long shower and shave your legs just for yourself. Eat that chocolate AND that popcorn. Don’t let anybody tell you no (unless it’s in the context of consent).

Experiencing a breakup at the same time as the world is experiencing “Red” for the second time is like the two most draining events of the year happening simultaneously. Whether your fix is to turn the music up and belt your heart out or to take some time to just sit in silence — please sympathetic to your own feelings and needs.

You can contact Bella at [email protected]

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Bella Laufenberg

Bella Laufenberg is a sophomore biological sciences major, who likes news much more than organic chemistry. She has a supplementary major in classics and is in the journalism, ethics and democracy minor. At The Observer, she is the New Writer Editor and works production.

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