Comedy Writer Molly Mitchell Shares Her Breakup Rituals: Loser Laps And Bathtub Wine


Team Mend

Molly Mitchell has a sense of humor about everything, especially when it comes to single life. She is a TV writer for The Late Late Show and Grownish and she also shares her artwork on @dailybutts. You can follow her Los Angeles adventures on Instagram @mahmitchell.


“Part of the reason I broke up with my college boyfriend was that I felt like he taught me so much and showed me all these new parts of myself that I needed to explore on my own. I needed to figure out what it meant to be me. So I took a break from any kind of romance – low touch, in-depth or otherwise – and then I met a guy through friends. We were all on a trip together. It was a good chunk of time after my last relationship and I was avowed I was going to just ‘do me’ but when we met I felt like I had this new sense of being seen. As a comedian you’re always putting your mess out there and being seemingly super vulnerable, but then there’s this locked away portion that you hold at bay. And so when I met this guy, we just really connected and the things he liked most about me were the things I wanted to be seen for. I felt this elation and we had this great weekend – all our friends left and we ended up extending it and staying together. But once someone’s one foot in and one foot out, that’s probably not going to change. We continued the romance after the weekend and I felt like we were growing in a beautiful way together, but it lacked this core component of commitment. That made anything that he was doing outside of our relationship not technically wrong, but it made me feel crazy. And things just kind of just exploded. I had never had that before because I’m pretty non-confrontational. I just remember having this extreme feeling of sadness because I’d really let someone in, and they’d welcomed it. They’d really entertained it. And then they rejected it.”


“I felt as though he was setting the pace, so I thought I was following in turn. In a much less funny way, it’s how it feels to be in the audience of standup. We’re bringing you in, bringing you in, and then when you think you’re on the same page, we totally subvert it and that’s the punchline. But the punchline was my heart. I’ve definitely been in positions where I’ve been the crazy one – you know, where you ask me what kind of coffee I want, and then I’m planning our life together. But this wasn’t like that. I remember saying to him that it felt like he was making promises he couldn’t keep.”


“You know, I learned that someone can only welcome you as much as they can love and accept themselves. The dearth or dissonance that I observed him feeling with me was creating that same resonant sadness within me. I hadn’t had that before. It was my first time loving with this new, open heart and I went all in and then I felt like a piece of cured meat; all the wounds were so well-salted. It was so intense. A good lesson in life is to get to a point where someone else’s dissonance with you doesn’t create dissonance within yourself. But I didn’t know that then and it totally sunk me.”


“We weren’t living in the same place, so as things were growing, and then falling apart, we kept having to encounter one another because every few weeks our friends would get together. We talked about it a lot. It wasn’t that he lacked EQ or awareness – he knew he couldn’t be fully available, but he couldn’t admit it. I knew it, but you know you have that wistful, cinematic soundbyte that’s like ‘No, I can be the one to change them!’ He was so charming and sweet, but he just couldn’t follow through. We would go back and forth, not talking and then seeing each other again – I’ve never been involved in a saga like that before. And I was also feeling this self-criticism about being involved in that saga. I felt like I had grown my heart to this new place and it really made me aware that there’s joy in expanding your capacity to feel, but you can’t curate it – you’re expanding your capacity for all feelings, including being really sad or really fucking pissed.”


“This is how I know, if there’s a God, that they have a sick sense of humor – I got the mumps after that breakup. You know, cases of mumps pretty much never happen. But I was supposed to visit him, and I got this sore throat. The doctor thought it was strep and asked me to come back in a day or two. The day before I left, I woke up at 5am and my face and neck were so swollen. I went to the emergency room and they didn’t know what to do. Finally this doctor comes in and says ‘Okay, we think it’s the mumps. To be honest, none of us have ever seen the mumps.’ So they bring in this older nurse, and she’s like ‘Yeah, my brother had it in 1947 and it looked just like that!’ It turns out I had been given a bum mumps vaccine. So flash forward to being out of the hospital – I was on leave from work for an entire month, going insane with only my thoughts. And the guy goes AWOL. MIA. I was like, you’ve got to be kidding me. The person I called first and frequently was my mom. I called her every ten minutes. I would call her and cry about the guy, and then cry about how I didn’t have enough turtlenecks to cover my face so I could leave the house. She was eventually like ‘I’ve actually updated you on everything…you know what the cats are doing, you know what’s in the fridge…of course I can talk to you, but I can’t talk to you anymore. Why don’t you take a nap?’ It was the worst storm of crazy. Honestly, the only redeeming thing was, come Christmas time, I was able to give my friend a beautiful ‘Mumps of the Year’ calendar.”


“My friend Leah sent me this care package of all the things you would want if you’re feeling like you’ll never leave the house again. Magazines, nail polishes, an eye mask to de-puff your face and a journal. I really like the concept of journaling but hate the accountability of it. But she just told me to write down every day, at the very least, ‘The direction I’m moving in is the right direction.’ She said ‘If you can write more than that, write down one thing you’re grateful for.’ I was really touched. Part of the magnitude of going through a breakup is that you feel like love is lost, but that experience held a magnifying glass to the love all around me. I’m probably not going to sleep with or marry Leah, but there’s a lot of love there.”


“There wasn’t that one moment where I felt whole again, but I remember making a decision to just accept what he had been in my life and then let go of it. We continued to be in the same circle of friends, but we stopped communicating. I put it out there that I didn’t want to talk. I felt like I could stand up for that decision. I can think of a time where maybe that would have felt dramatic or bitchy. But I was like, no this is a decision I’m making for myself, and it’s not spiteful or vengeful. It’s just that what we had was great, but I’m not in a place where I can live in the wake of that reality. In the same way we can’t be boyfriend or girlfriend before, we can’t be friends now. It was still painful every time I saw him, and there was a temptation to bring it up. I don’t remember when it was that I was finally over it, but there was one day where I was like, ‘You know what? I don’t want to date you anymore. The day has come!”


“There’s not an intentionality to me staying single. I’m pretty open. But I do think there’s a level of comfort and comedic thriving in being single that allows me to keep being single. I’ve always defaulted to being single over partnership, versus my sister who is 21 and has had 5 serious boyfriends. She’s a really great partner. That’s her thrive mode. Whoever I date next has really big shoes to fill compared to my imaginary boifriend. They’re going to have to do a lot of silly shit.”


“When my friend went through a really devastating breakup she made a playlist called ‘No One Puts Kasey In A Corner.’ I was like, ‘fuck yes!’ One song I really love when you’re just getting soulful is Lauryn Hill’s Ex Factor. And I’m really obsessed with Fiona Apple, Paper Bag. She represents this gnarly, electric energy. I don’t even know if I understand the lyrics, but that’s a good one when your hair is in a greasy bun and you just want to get in your bathtub with a glass of wine. And it’s not that sexy Sade bathtub wine. It’s that drinking in a bathtub at 8am on a Tuesday wine, when you’re just like ‘I don’t give a fuck!’ Then the get over it pump up song is anything by Kanye, because my god, as a model of confidence…”


“This isn’t eco sustainable, so I might have to sunset this, but I have found that if I can make myself amused, that’s a good place of levity. You don’t need to feel happy or joyful. I’ve found when I sing in my car, I’m really amused by myself. Sometimes when I’m frustrated or pissed about a guy, I will just go and do loser laps. I’ll cruise around blasting whatever song and I’ll just crack myself up. I’m able to realize it’s not that bad, go back home, park and resume an outward projection of normalcy.”


“When you’re single you’re, necessarily, open to so many experiences. One, you have more time, but also there are a lot of things in the gray area that you have to cut out when you’re honoring a relationship. But as a comedian and a storyteller, that’s where all the good stuff is – the gray area! You know, I’m only alone at 2am buying fried chicken at Von’s when I’m single. All the fun and crazy things that have been material for me are born out of the randomness with which you live your life when you’re single.”


“Being in the field I’m in has been a great lesson in being open. When you go into something as crazy as acting, or as crazy as finding a soulmate, you know it’s a wistful pursuit – but your heart is in it. The probability of finding yeses is so disproportionate to the nos, but the more nos I plow down the closer I am to a yes. Statistically is that true? No. It’s 50/50 every time. But experientially, there is a sexiness to the fortitude. As an actor, hearing no is a part of your work. Going to an audition and realizing they don’t know what they want, or they aren’t looking for someone like you – that’s moving towards your end goal. You went to work for the day if you did that. You get more comfortable with rejection and stop looking at is as rejection. It’s just refinement. It’s nothing personal. And it’s the same with relationships. It’s a them thing, not a me thing. Before I would have felt that was just fodder for confidence, but now I think that’s true. I can look back at times when it was a me thing, not a them thing. People were perfectly kind and and wonderful and charming – the kind of thing I would proclaim to want now – and I just wasn’t open to myself, so I wasn’t open to them.”


“The majority of my life revolves around humor and that’s been a really great blessing. Sometimes it can be a defense as well, but it helps when you’re forced to see the humor in everything by practice and by passion. Like, ‘Okay that was fucked up, but that was also pretty fucking funny.’ We don’t get to choose our personalities and there are a lot of things I’m working on, but that’s one thing I’m grateful for on the daily.”


“My mantra is to love every little thing. I used to have a perception that there could be some massive love, whether it’s the love of your life or love of your career, that could fill you up and brighten all the darkness in your world. But over time, I’m seeing that it’s actually finding the amusement and delight in the small things, the day to day.

Related posts