How To Do Heartbreak With Regina Spektor

Have you ever been in love? Have you ever fallen for someone so hard that they’re all you can think about? You see their face in every flower, their eyes in stars above, and all sorts of other overblown romantic things. But then has this wonderful experience been marred by heartbreak? That horrible time after the affair when those loveable things they do – like leave the toilet seat up, leave the sponge in days old washing up water, make endless snarky comments at your expense whilst forgetting to praise you – just stop being loveable. Heart break can be tough especially when you’ve really loved someone but I think wonderful, singer-songwriter Regina Spektor has some great tips on getting over that ex-love of your life. Here’s How…

It’s clear Regina was deeply in love with whoever she’s no longer going out with: “How can I forget your love, How can I never see you again…How can I begin again, How can I try to love someone new?” Yup, I think smitten is an understatement. All she does is think about them to the point that she can’t imagine ever dating someone else. It’s a sad song with a haunting melody and whilst it’s clear a part of Spektor wants to meet this person again, perhaps with the intention of rekindling their affair, there’s also a part of her that wants to move on.

“Time can come and take away the pain but I just want my memories to remain.” Like the best of agony aunts she recognises that time really is the best healer and the more temporally distant we are from someone we’ve cared for the easier it is for our hearts to heal. And the second bit is really fascinating – she’s not saying she wants to forget, she’s saying she wants to keep the memories of her past lover. Now, this could be her desperate attempt to not let go – maybe she checks their facebook profile regularly when really she should have defriended them long ago, or maybe she listens to their songs online (assuming they’re a singer like Spektor). This is something so many of us do as we try to hold on to things that have passed and social media makes doing it way too easy. However, there is an alternative interpretation. Her not wanting to forget could be an acknowledgement that a love as powerful as theirs won’t simply just go away. Our memories of places, faces, smells and sounds are deeply interwoven with our feelings and emotions. Emotionally intense experiences, good or bad, are more memorable than that average burger you ate last week or that mediocre movie you saw a while ago. So maybe Spektor recognises that an experience as emotionally charged as true love is bound to leave a deep impression on her neural networks – maybe she’s not in denial because she can’t deny the potency of the experience.

“There’s not one moment I’d erase,” she sings, “You are a guest here now.” And this is the bit I really like and the bit that helps me live with my own heart breaks. Rather than try to force her ex-love from her mind, rather than live in denial and pretend this stuff never happened, Spektor lets them stay in her memory and her heart. Not necessarily in a desperate, clingy sort of way but in a way that acknowledges the huge role they played in her life. So, they’re a guest, not unwelcome but not given the best room either. And perhaps, slowly over time Spektor can move on…until the next guest turns up unannounced. Date, anyone?

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