Ashe, toxic relationships, and when to walk away

Singer/songwriter Ashe’s tracks about toxic relationships show just how common these situations are.

Music conveys many messages and Ashe has put out two songs that capture the reality of being in a toxic romantic relationship. I have been in a few toxic ones myself and “Moral of the Story” and “Not How It’s Supposed To Go,” both released in 2019, struck me with many emotions. I wish I had these songs when I was going through tough times.

In “Moral of the Story,” I found the lyrics to be poignant and relatable. The opening lyrics are “So I never really knew you / God I really tried to / Blindsided, addicted / Felt we could really do this / But really I was foolish / Hindsight it’s / Obvious.” When hearing these words I was instantly brought back to how I spent way too much time thinking about all the things that could have been done differently in the toxic relationships. The mention of addiction is also relevant because toxicity can become addicting. Often, in bad relationships, we spend too much time thinking about what could have gone differently, rather than moving forward. This song captures this perfectly.

There is another set of lines in the song that resonated with me; something that we often get told is that “They say it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Ashe chose to include “That could be a load of shit,” and I agree with that sentiment. This perpetuates the idea that even if the love was bad that it’s better than no love at all. I have sadly believed that lie, and hearing this song drove home just how easy it is to fall deep into unhealthy relationships.

“Not How It’s Supposed To Go,” really stayed with me for days after my first listen, as it reminded me of many of the same pressures I felt during these relationships. The opening lyrics are “Be a good girl, pretty housewife / Need to have sex every night.” As a woman, this is so powerful, and sadly expected of many of us. Women are expected to be perfect for men. I have had many conversations with both women and men on this topic, and have heard the general opinion that women should just be readily available for their husbands. This perpetuates such a negative idea for the expectations of consent when it comes to women’s feelings, and Ashe does a great job of calling it out.

The chorus of the song is “I was filling up my head with those lies / Tryna tell me everything’s fucking fine / I wanted love, you know I wanted it so right.” Sometimes we push the idea that because we want love, we should just accept it no matter what the circumstances are. I have put up with things because I just wanted to be loved, and Ashe is calling attention to it, which is important.

“Moral of the Story” and “Not How It’s Supposed to Go” are two songs that help to rethink how we view the role of women in relationships. These two songs are provocative in their messaging, and give women — myself included — hope that we will move to a much better place. 


 Graphic by Lily Cowper.


The Broken Hearts Gallery: The art of holding on (and letting go)

The Concordian staff discuss what items they’d include in the Broken Hearts Gallery

Lucy is, to be quite frank, a hoarder. Every imaginable surface of her room is covered with a bauble or an ornament. She sees everything as a piece of art: her bookshelf is lined with trinkets — so much so that you cannot really see her books — and a selection of random items are taped and pinned to her walls. These items, however, are not as random as they may seem upon first glance. They all have one thing in common: each item is a souvenir from a past relationship.

I guess you could say Lucy has some trouble letting go.

Directed by Natalie Krinsky, The Broken Hearts Gallery follows a New York City gallery assistant, Lucy Gulliver (Geraldine Viswanathan), as she curates an exhibition consisting exclusively of mementos, souvenirs, and knick knacks from past relationships.

While by no means a cinematographic masterpiece, and despite its ending being obvious within the first 15 minutes of the movie, it’s predictability lent itself to being a somewhat comforting, feel-good film — in the same way that most cheesy rom-coms are.

That being said, its exaggerated attempt at creating a romantically-inclined protagonist, alongside the incredibly loose and ill-defined use of the word “relationship,” led many questions to cross my mind throughout the duration of the film.

Among them, how is Lucy able to fill her room with mementos from all the people she has dated? And why is she heartbroken after seeing someone for a little over a month? Ultimately, leading my cynical self to think: No wonder she is miserable and if she is always that devastated after only a few weeks … maybe she shouldn’t be dating.

Despite these shortcomings, the film did yield many relatable moments which offered opportunities for a good laugh. Subsequently, this made me forget the apathetic questions I’d been asking myself throughout its duration, and the irritation I often felt towards Lucy’s overt optimism.

One question, however, did remain at the back of my mind: What item would I include in the Broken Hearts Gallery?

Here is The Concordian staff’s very own Broken Hearts Gallery:

Lorenza Mezzapelle, Arts Editor

I only have one item remaining from past relationships: a stuffed toy duck. My two dogs use it as a toy now. Do with that information what you will. Depending on how loosely we are applying the term “relationship,” I have a roll of unused black and white film that was gifted to me over a year ago… it’s probably expired. I guess the toy duck is what I’d exhibit, chew marks, drool, and all.

Elyette Levy, Assistant Commentary Editor

Maybe the matching phone case I got us on a whim one day. We were both very spontaneous people, and I think that’s a bit what that represents to me: having fun by doing things on impulse. I also really like to tell people I got it for $8 at Lionel-Groulx metro.

Chloë Lalonde, Creative Director

I’ve been in a relationship for the past seven years. But from before that, I’m pretty sure I have a stuffed Spider-Man somewhere in my parents house (too iconic to get rid of). And if deep, ex-friendships count, I have a pink flowery mug and a little wooden tray that goes along with it, which still hurts to look at. There used to be a spoon and a little teapot-shaped infuser, but the spoon broke and I lost the infuser. That would be what I’d exhibit, I think.

Michelle Lam, Social Media Manager

My partner and I recently separated. For my birthday last year, he gave me a necklace that I’ve been wearing ever since. Maybe one day, if I have it in my heart to take it off, I will include it in the Broken Hearts Gallery.

Hadassah Alencar, News Editor

I’ve been with my partner now for 10 years, married for eight of those years, so I really had to dig around my house to find something for this gallery. After all my Marie Kondoing last year the only memorabilia I can find is a hard cover, comic book version of The Little Prince, given to me by an ex in the beginning of a relationship that just wasn’t meant to be.

Christine Beaudoin, Photo Editor

I’ve been in a relationship for the past three years. Before that, I spent several years as a single lady. During that time, I moved a lot, so all I have left from my past relationships are Facebook photos taken with Mac’s photo booth application. Applying rainbow-coloured filters, we made weird faces and kissed in front of the screen. For this gallery, I think I would have one of those printed and framed.

Lillian Roy, Editor-in-Chief 

I have a USB-key full of pictures from my first serious relationship that I couldn’t bring myself to permanently delete. While I could care less about looking through it now, I hope to stumble upon it one day as an old lady. I’ll spend a lovely afternoon getting tipsy and looking back on old memories.

Rose-Marie Dion, Graphics Editor

Last semester, I was in Melbourne, Australia for a student exchange and sadly had to come back earlier than expected due to the current situation. While I was over there, I went on a date to see a movie at this cute movie theater down the street from where I was living. I kept the movie ticket and put it in my travel journal. Everytime I see it, the first thing that comes to my mind is: aahh, what could have been.

Maggie Morris, Head Copy Editor

I ended a three-year-long relationship a couple years ago when I went back home to Ottawa for Christmas. When I got back to my apartment in Montreal a month later, I got wine drunk and took down all the photos I had framed and hung around my apartment of the two of us. I couldn’t bring myself to throw them out, and wanted to keep the memories (just, not on display to look at every day) so I bought a pretty box and filled it with the photos. I keep it on a bookshelf; there if I ever need to reminisce.

Student Life

The art of being single: Getting over someone you never dated

You spend weeks thinking about them, admiring them, flirting with them, talking for hours on end, sharing memes, tagging each other on random Facebook posts.

You go on dates, pouring your heart out to them, sharing your hopes and aspirations. You start to fall for this person, who you’re only “talking to” and you’re left with the fantasy of what it will be like once you end up officially together.

Except, that never happens.

All of a sudden, messages dwindle down, they’re suddenly busy, they stop paying attention, ignoring your approaches. They might even ghost you. All of a sudden, the potential of being anything more than two people in the “talking stage” gets thrown away, discarded like the butt of a cigarette.

How do you get over this type of rejection? How do you get over someone you never dated?

Dating culture has become increasingly hard to navigate. More than being together or not, there is an entire spectrum of labels in between: the talking stage, seeing each other, friends with benefits, fuck buddies, dating. All these labels make it more difficult to know which one applies to you because lines, boundaries and what you think you mean to someone versus what you actually mean to them all become blurred.

So how do you get over someone you never dated? Someone you spent hours a day talking to, weeks opening up to, months falling for. It’s easier said than done to simply get over it, move on; there’s no sense in saying it’s your fault for getting attached too easily, for fantasizing about wanting something serious with someone.

It feels like every aspect of dating culture in this society isn’t taken seriously. Why is it so strange that someone wants something serious? Why is it odd to want to plan a future with someone? Why can our emotions constantly get pushed to the side once someone new comes along? How can we move on after we put our all into someone who didn’t end up feeling the same for us because of a stupid label that allowed them to think they could walk over us any way they liked?So the question remains: how do you get over someone you never dated? While it may be easier said than done to just get over it and move on, there’s not much else you can do. I’m a firm believer that people will make an effort to keep you in their life if they truly want you in it, so there’s no point fighting to stay when they made it clear they don’t want you.


Graphic by Loreanna Lastoria

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