Breakups are hard, there’s no doubt about it. Unless you’re a sociopath they’re usually hard for both people too – the one that does the dumping and the one that gets dumped. Unfortunately, a magic pill to make the effects of heartbreak disappear has yet to be invented but in the meantime, here are some tips to get you started.
1. Be a little reckless, and don’t feel bad about it.
This can mean different things to different people, there isn’t a one size fits all. For some, being reckless might mean eating an entire tub of Ben & Jerry’s and forgetting about calories. But when I was dumped, I lost my appetite altogether. Instead, I turned to rebounding. After being in a relationship for over three years, getting back on the market right away really did help. I went on some steamy dates and realized that there were other options out there. Of course, it didn’t make the pain go away, but it did make me realize I was being too hard on myself and my potential to still find love. Or, a cute guy at least.
2. Make yourself a badass playlist.
There is a ton of science and research to back up the claim that music does influence our moods. For me, it was hard not to think about my relationship when I was alone – especially while I was at work. To avoid bursting into tears from my own thoughts, I made myself a playlist that I could listen to whenever I was feeling down. You’re not the first to be dumped, and luckily there are plenty of musical artists that have felt your pain. Don’t feel like making your own? Check out mine.
3. Start exploring your interests.
Sometimes you can lose yourself in a relationship. Especially if the ending was drawn out and particularly exhausting. For plenty of people I’ve talked to, they no longer had a strong sense of what their interests had been. Activities they did just for them, and not with their partner. But you’ll never learn what interests you until you get out there and try something. Join a sports team. Take a class to learn something you’ve always wanted to. Start volunteering. Whatever floats your boat just go out and try something! Once you find it, make it yours. And when you do enter a new relationship, try not to let that interest go. After a breakup it’s hard to do some of the things we enjoyed because they remind you of your ex. If you establish an interest that’s just yours, you’ll have a permanent safe space.
4. Write down your thoughts.
Here’s the deal. Your friends love you and want to be there for you, but it’s repetitive hearing a friend complain about their breakup and their ex. They have lives too, and it can be exhausting emotionally supporting someone else. So give them a break by finding another outlet to unleash your emotions. I am not a journal type person, but even I wrote once or twice a week while I was getting over my ex.
5. Put work into yourself.
This is really important. For the most part, it takes two people to destroy a relationship that was once happy. Chances are, you made at least a couple mistakes. That doesn’t mean that it was a good match in the first place, it just means that there’s always a lesson you can learn from a relationship gone sour. That includes with friends, family, or lovers. So take a self-inventory and think about how you can improve. For me, I realized I had a lot of insecurities and jealousy issues that suffocated my relationship. But it’s not a weakness I could see until I was alone and able to reflect on it. I couldn’t fix it by myself, so I got a mind-body therapist to help me have healthier relationships in the future. Whether or not that’s the solution for you, don’t walk away from your relationship without having learned something about yourself from it.