Written by Sarah Millican


Breaking up is hard to do

Sarah Millican’s got some tips for getting over a break-up. Not funny tips. Proper tips. That she made up and used. You’re welcome.

a broken heart biscuitThe following is what helped me get over an eight-year relationship (seven-year marriage). Pick and choose what advice works for you. Not all of it will. That’s tip one.

Change your partner’s name in your phone to something that makes you smile

I changed mine to The Arse. So whenever he rang or texted (always stressy), it would say “The Arse is ringing” or “A message from The Arse” and that made me smile a little before answering or reading. And that little twitch at the corners of my mouth was sometimes the strength I needed to tackle whatever he wanted.

Appoint a new “I love you” person

Sometimes you just want to say the words and hear them back and it doesn’t have to be the same kind of love. Just love. I picked a female friend and she became my “I love you” person.

Rely heavily on those who offer support

Those who step forward may surprise you. Equally don’t expect everyone to be helpful. Some you thought you could rely on will disappear but all that means is that divorce, or a break-up, has shone a light on a shitty friend. And that can only be a good thing.

“In the early days, you’ll want to text him/her if something good happens. It’s just a habit and all habits can be broken.”

I made new friends through my divorce, primarily two amazing women who were going through the same thing at the same time. It was a short intense friendship but very much needed. They were the only ones who knew the code that if the photocopier room door is shut, one of us is in there crying.


Cry when you feel like it. Crying is very good for you. It’s a release. Do not reprimand yourself for crying or reward yourself when you don’t. See it as part of the healing process.


Counselling helped me. It might help you. Don’t discount it if you’ve previously been one who pooh-poohed it. It helped me work through it and learn about how I am in relationships.

All habits can be broken

In the early days, you’ll want to text him/her if something good happens. It’s just a habit and all habits can be broken. Your instinct when you see something daft on the telly or a mutual friend told you a fun thing will be to tell them.

My rule, and it works, was to type what I wanted to tell him into a text and save it in drafts. In an hour, if I still thought it was a good idea to send it I was allowed to. I never once sent it. An hour is how long it takes for your brain to kick in and realise it wouldn’t be healthy. Plus, in my case, I felt he didn’t deserve my fun or good news any more.

Good days

In truth, good days pop up after a while. And gradually they become more common and the stints of bad days reduce. And then you’re fine. It’s horrible but absolutely doable. Be kind to yourself.

Oh, and I bought a red coat that made me feel amazing.


Read Alice Sanders’ defence of heartbreak here.

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Written by Sarah Millican

Sarah Millican is a comedian, writer, reformed workaholic, feminist, cat and dog mam, wife and lover of food.