Breaking up is hard to do, or so the song says. At this point in our lives most of us have dealt with a few relationships that have ended and felt our share of heartbreak. Every situation is different, but here are some tried and true tips to get you through the rough patches and back on track to your fabulous life.
Maybe your form of wallowing is laying in bed all day binge-watching Orange is the New Black and eating pint after pint of delicious Ben and Jerrys. Maybe you need to listen to the same sad song over and over again, or go through T. Swift’s entire discography. You do your wallow thing girl, go ahead and watch The Notebeook or Dirty Dancing every day, cliches be damned. This is an important step in any break-up, just let yourself feel what you need to feel, sadness, anger, etc. Have a good cry and let the healing process begin.
2. Give Yourself Time To Mourn The Passing Of The Relationship
You do not have to get right back on the horse, give yourself a little time to adjust. Your well meaning friends may be the type to insist that you just need to go out, drink yourself into oblivion and hook up with a random person to clear the pipes. If that’s what you truly want to do, I won’t deny you the rebound hookup, but let yourself have a bit of breathing room first. It’s fine if you aren’t fine after a day, a week or even a month. Go at your own pace and don’t feel pressure to act like everything is fine when it isn’t.
3. Don’t Feel Guilty About Being Fine With It
On the other end of the spectrum, you may feel relief or be glad your relationship ended when it did. Don’t waste time worrying that you should be sadder or feel worse than you do. The end of your relationship could be the best move for you, and even feel freeing or liberating – that is okay. Some people may feed on drama, constantly asking “oh what happened?” and then simper at you when you insist it was all for the best. What they think doesn’t matter, what other people think you should be feeling doesn’t matter. If you feel fine, then just be fine.
4. Adjust Your Pattern
In order to snap out of a post-relationship funk you may need to adjust your pattern. If you hung out with your ex every day after work, try going to the gym or doing yoga at that time instead. Instead of sitting on the couch on Saturday nights crippled by the thought that you used to hunker down with popcorn and snuggle with a movie, set up plans with friends or coworkers. Make sure you have plans that won’t make you think of your old ones. Getting out and keeping busy will make the transition easier.
5. A Little Therapy Never Hurt Anyone
Sometimes your friends can’t provide the support you really need. If you feel like you can’t bounce out of your funk, consider talking to an independent observer, a professional who will give you objective and straight-to-the-point feedback. A wise friend once told me, “I think everyone should be in therapy” and I have to agree. What’s the harm in talking through your problems, thoughts and fears with someone who is equipped to deal with anything and everything you will throw at them? This is about you and your mental well being, take it seriously and talk to someone if you feel you need to.
6. There’s Nothing Like A Mom (or Dad)
If a therapist isn’t your scene then consider opening up to your mom, or a close family member. We tend to forget that our parents navigated the dating and relationship world, and did it successfully considering you exist. They’re a resource that can be surprisingly helpful and share insight that you may not be able to see due to your age. My mom is great at putting problems in a larger context and getting me to look at the big picture. She also asks the questions that matter and is a master at building the self-esteem back up to normal levels. Moms have been through everything already and are the best resource for comfort during these tough times. This is not to discount dads, who definitely can hold their own. I’ll never forget calling my house basically already in tears over a guy expecting my mom to pick up, but my dad did so we talked for an hour and a half and it was supremely helpful. Parents aren’t as out of touch as we think.
At the end of it all, know that you will heal, you are worthy of love and you will find someone who compliments you perfectly.