I Crafted a Playlist to Avoid Heartbreak Before It Happened

We were still together. I made a breakup playlist anyway.

Moya Lothian-Mclean
Human Parts


Illustration: Jelena Zivkovic/Getty Images

I am making a breakup playlist. The problem is we are not broken up yet, my boyfriend and I. But I imagine we soon will be, so I have started this breakup playlist prematurely, to get ahead of the game. The early bird catches the worm, avoids inconvenient heartbreak, and soldiers on with nary a stumble in her stride. Perhaps, I reason, if I can be sad now, I won’t be quite so sad when I lose this funny, doe-eyed man who is wrong for me in all the ways I think are right.

I begin this seven-hour opus the day we nearly break up. Not the most recent occasion, when he tells me he thinks I’m trying too hard to please him, or the first time we fight to a degree of almost-separation, when he accuses me of flirting with man in a bar (wearing a polo, as if). No, the playlist is born from the little blip between those events when I discover, through a sappy attempt to revisit our earliest conversations, that he is still updating the dating apps he says he deleted.

I respond to this unwelcome information by crying quite hard. Then, I fire off a flurry of WhatsApp messages. He quickly takes the position that I am a hysteric making a mountain out of a molehill, a whole heap of nothing out of Hinge.