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Rosie Wilby Breakup : Do Breakups Make Us Stronger, Better People?
One moment of lunacy or clarity separates them. Wilby’s book The Breakup Monologues: The Unexpected Joy of Heartbreak argues that breakups make us stronger, better people. This compilation traces the end – arguably for the better – of several of her and her friends’ relationships. “My biggest learning experiences have been breakups,” she says.
South London-based comedian and writer Wilby. This book follows 2017’s Is Monogamy Dead? and is based on her podcast. It’s a collection of personal experiences and psychological advice about relationships and breakups from her gay woman’s perspective.
The focus on lesbian relationships is rare in this genre, so it’s refreshing. Wilby argues that “the structures of commitment, marriage, and monogamy within which we conduct our romantic relationships have all been forged in the heteronormative, patriarchal interest.”
He provides advice applicable to all relationships through the primary prism of a gay relationship, which is a welcome change from exemplifying heterosexual partnerships as the norm. This book is honest. Wilby’s first date with her present girlfriend in Brixton’s Brockwell Park is delicate and tasteful, using natural speech to convey the pleasant sensation of a nice first romantic encounter without cringe-worthy vocabulary.
“Curving,” whatever it is, “sits between breadcrumbing and ghosting,” she says. “Toasting??” Her remarks about not feeling in control of your own identity in a relationship or being your most creative self without space are heartbreaking. Other aspects of the book are odd, such as the usage of pet names like “baby” or proper nouns like “Secretive Ex-Girlfriend” or “Boozy Ex-Girlfriend.”
Even Wilby‘s present partner is called “Girlfriend” This maintains anonymity and expresses the stable yet enigmatic status of the other in a connection with the self, but it also gives the book a false ring, one supported by sloppy footnote comments like “How meta is that?!”. “After Girlfriend” suggests Wilby has split up with “Girlfriend,” however they’re together throughout the book. Inept times like this clash with discoveries concerning relational fractures.
The Breakup Monologues’ organization is chaotic, making chapter links seem artificial. A section will end with a reference to a nice vacation, and the next chapter will be about that vacation. This “dot, dot, dot” effect doesn’t exactly work. The connection between pet care and wanting children is also difficult. The book is a ramshackle collection of thoughts and experiences, so a looser structure may match Wilby’s stand-up style. Her set could have been tighter.
Wilby’s manner is awkward and she says nothing new about breakups. The Breakup Monologues is carried by her unique perspective, Generation X ideas, and pertinent understanding. Without her awful breakups, she wouldn’t know what she wants. Endings aren’t always awful, and breakups are learning experiences.
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