We’ve all heard the story before. Girl meets boy. You chat a little, he suggests dinner and before you know it you are the cutest couple on the rock uploading daily selfies just to prove how idyllic your life is. There is very little of interest outside of your love bubble until you discover that he’s been seeing someone else and suddenly your Cinderella story is looking more likely to feature a Romeo and Juliet ending. You fight, you cry, you die (just a little in your soul). Then you try to pick yourself up and get on with life in the goldfish bowl that is Jersey, where you must painfully encounter your ex at every turn. Who doesn’t enjoy dating in Jersey!? How do you survive a break up when there’s only nine miles by five in which to hide?
Ok, so I haven’t actually experienced a break up in Jersey for some time (happily married for 6 years this weekend), but I have a wide pool of friends who have recently experienced the rocky side of a relationship on the rock. Here’s their ultimate survival tips:
1. Expect the unexpected
Jersey is small. There’s not getting away from that fact, or the people that live here. It is also full of mystical blackholes! I've lost count of the number of times I've caught up with old friend for the first time in years only to discover that they actually do still live in Jersey, our paths have just never happened to cross. Expect to see your exes everywhere, or expect them to vanish without a trace. It’s the Jersey roulette people!
2. Call a crutch
Whilst there is always the worry that you’ll constantly run into your ex, their friends or family, the great thing about the Island is that you’ll also bump into your greatest supporters too. Keep smiley faces of positivity around you and talk to people about what you’re going through, professional or just the guy on the other side of the bar. A sense of community helps you to adjust to life as a singleton once more and Jersey excels at this.
3. Boost your confidence
This can mean different things to different people. For some their confidence rises when they realise there are other people interested in dating them, so its a case of jumping straight back in the saddle. The world of dating in Jersey can be small though so be sure it isn't someone else's saddle before you leap. For others it’s a case of learning to love yourself first. Get a new haircut or a completely new look (which would only help with going incognito around the rock) and show them what they’re missing!
4. Set yourself physical goals
Exercise is good for the body and soul. Jersey can be a difficult place to get over someone, but it's also a great place to get outdoors and discover the beauty of the Island. Take a long reflective walk or run and feel those endorphins flow. My recently separated friend is struggling with her new single life, but admits "the sheer beauty of where we live helps me on a daily basis." This tip also has the side effect of making you slimmer, tanned and more toned! Set yourself a challenge or take up a new sport and get to meet a new group of people on the Island. Keep your mind occupied and maybe even redefine your limits.
5. Remain optimistic
My best friend used to cry on my shoulder for many years about how her life plan wasn’t working out, because she wasn’t married and with children at the time she turned thirty. She dated a lot of frogs (including one donkey) before she found her prince, but she never gave up! "Even if life doesn't go to plan, don't stop chasing the dream", she reflects. You can’t force life, you just have to let it flow and get comfortable with the hand it deals you.
Like most traumatic events, you need to get some distance from a break-up in order to gain perspective. The same could be said about Jersey. You only realise when you leave it, what a wonderful place it is, how much it has to offer and that there's no world else in the world that can compare. The next time you find yourself heart broken and in despair rent a copy of Love Actually, ball your eyes out and prepare to fall in love all over again....with the Island of Jersey.
Do you have any tips for surviving a broken heart in Jersey? If so I would love to hear all about them!
All photos supplied by Radisson Blu Hotel where you can experience some of the most stunning views in Jersey and where singletons are always welcome! Find out more here.