In the pantheon of love songs, Juliet Lloyd’s “Sorry Now” explores a far less common theme than usual. It’s not about unrequited love, the hurt someone causes or the feeling of freedom at the end of a toxic relationship.

This about is the person who initiated the “split” opaquely stewing on their regret. And to say it hit home with me is an understatement.

At the start of the year my wife and I separated, after eight years of marriage and two kids. It was amicable, and we remain good friends, but it wasn’t mutual and I did not initiate it.

So in the case of “Sorry Now” I am the one being sung to. That’s why I wasn’t quite sure how to start this review. Did I take myself out of it and focus on the melody and theme from an objective viewpoint? Or do what Lloyd has done and be opaque and honest?

After listening to the song a few times I went with the latter.

“Sorry Now” lands so well because of its literal and honest imagery.

Why does it feel like the choices
Of who gets the knife set, the mattress, the old picture frames
Are harder than choosing to leave
In the first place

For anyone who has been on either side of a separation, this is a familiar tale. For anyone who hasn’t, it’s easy to understand. For me, on the “receiving” end of the split, it was the loss of the Pyrex measuring jug after a game of Rock Paper Scissors that cut deep.

I bought a new stacking set of non-brand jugs a week later and have never looked back.

Or so I tell myself.

While I regret not being able to measure fluid in a nice glass jug, Lloyd’s catalyst for retrospection is based on boxes.

How many boxes does it take
To divide up a life and give one half away

Which is followed later by…

It must’ve been after the fifteenth box I lost count
I wasn’t sorry then, but I’m sorry now

Boxes are containers for the stuff we hold dear.

They also hold the things we throw away, and the memories we want to put away forever. Sometimes you find a box you forgot about and move on.

Sometimes you find something that stirs up memories and fills you with a sense of loss.

But so what? What if you’re me and you’re the one that’s getting an apology? It’s all a bit late now?

Empathy is a tricky business, especially when you don’t completely understand the motives that led someone to a decision or action. However, sometimes they don’t fully understand their motives either. So you just have to accept honesty, and that’s what Lloyd gives you.

Truth be told I’m not sure
What difference it’d make

Still you deserve to hear me say these words out loud

In season three of the must-watch The Bear, Carmy, played by Jeremy Allen White, is focused on subtracting; taking recipes to their simplest and most effective. That is what this song does too.

There’s a simple melody, a pleasing progression and themes we can latch on to with ease. If you want a complex epic about the Russian Revolution, move on.

“Sorry Now” does not give me false hope that my separation will suddenly mend itself. I’ve made my peace that what will be will be. But what it does give me is a realisation that not every decision we make is one we go on to be happy with down the line.

That could be the termination of a relationship, who gets a mattress, or whether we open a box on moving day or throw it in a cupboard. In “Sorry Now”, Lloyd wants you to front up to your decisions and learn to move on.

There’s always a better jug out there.