The be-all, end-all breakup. You cry all the time, you cannot understand how you got here, and you do not know how you are going to move on. Nothing else in the world matters.
Years ago I was in this exact spot. I knew I had to get out of this unhealthy state of mind and do something about it. When you want to know how to do something, where do you go? Google. I googled, “how to survive a breakup.”
I stumbled across an article that was pretty blunt, not necessarily something you are ready for when your heart is aching, but I decided to test it out. That article changed how I respond to breakups. Since then I have had my fair share of breakups and I am a survivor. Here is my own list based on my experiences that I hope helps you get up, move on, and get into something better.
How to survive a breakup: 9 things to start doing now.
1. Hearts don’t break even.
This is key. You want your ex to be in the same emotional spot you are in so he can feel the pain with you. You are going to struggle with the, “why.” Why isn’t he hurting as much as you are, why isn’t he reaching out, why doesn’t he care, why is he able to move on so easily? These breakups do not come out of no where. He has been preparing his emotions for a while. That does not mean this is easy for him, it is just easier. What you can do is understand that you are not in control of his emotions or actions, you are only in control of your own.
2. You broke up for a reason.
A lot of times when you are going through the emotional stages of a breakup you tend to hold on to the good. You go right back to the beginning, and you forget about the middle. All of the arguments, the tears, the distance, the lack of intimacy, ect. You start playing in your head what you wish you could go back and do differently, and you blame yourself. What you need to do is put away all of the excuses of why the breakup could have been prevented, and start being accountable to the reality that it just was not working.
3. Life is not over.
Now that you have put away the tissue box and you understand that you cannot control what state of emotion your ex is in, and that your relationship was not working, it is time to move on. This is when you think back to all of the trials and tribulations that you have conquered in your journey. At one point in your life you felt like the world was over but you survived. You need to write down all of the experiences you have overcome and use them as an example for yourself. Life was not over then and it is not over now.
4. Get Hot.
There is nothing better than the breakup diet. Believe me. It is time to put down the pint of Ben and Jerry’s and go pick up the weights. Get your hair done, buy some new makeup, get a spray tan, and feel good about yourself. There is no better feeling than looking hot after a break up. This is so important, now is the time to invest in you.
5. Do You.
If you are like me, you probably have lost yourself in this emotional mess. You are questioning who you are, what you want, and what is the designed plan for your life. For me, the most important decision I have ever made was this one. I put down the gossip magazines and picked up every self-help, motivational, and spiritual book I could find. I want to encourage you, if nothing else, to do this right here: invest in your soul.
6. Remove neutral friends.
You have probably been dating your ex for quite some time which means you have mutual friends. Unfortunately, this is a casualty of a breakup. In many of my breakups I would make excuses for why I should still keep mutual friends in my life. I did not want to offend anyone, and quite frankly I did not want to set that boundary. However, I have found that by removing neutral friends that did not want to pick a side was one of the healthiest decision I made in being able to move forward. My advice is that if you have any friends that cannot pick a team, you pick one for them. This is what I call, “loving people from afar.”
7. Make peace, and forgive.
You are not always going to get the answers you want. You may not ever get an apology or closure. You are only going to find peace when you accept these as a truth. You are not going to ever do everything right or make every right decision, but you have the ability to make it right afterwards. Sometimes, this just means forgiveness. What you need to do now is forgive him for whatever you feel was wronged against you, and forgive yourself for whatever you feel you have done wrong. This is when you experience freedom from the chains of anger, resentment, or guilt that has held you back from moving forward.
8. Get out and explore.
This one really got me outside of my comfort zone. I read this awesome book by Henry Cloud, “How to Keep a Date Worth Keeping”. Often you think that you are limited by your environment: who you know, where you work, any social hobbies you have, ect. When you focus on these limitations it seems impossible to meet someone. The fun part is, you are not limited by your environment. I am a big fan of online dating or joining a social group because let’s be honest, the milkman is not going to bring your next boyfriend to your doorstep. You have to get out and explore.
9. At all costs, DO NOT RELAPSE.
I will just leave you with that.
For all my strong women out there going through a tough time right now, I hope this helps. Always feel free to reach out, you are not alone.
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photo cred: move-therapy.com