Sunday, June 2, 2013

How to get over your breakup

If you're anything like me, you probably wound up on this page after entering this exact phrase into your search engine of choice. And if you're anything like me, you may or may not be sobbing and sputtering something about a "last ditch effort" while clutching some gift that your ex gave you years ago, trying to make yourself break it. Or, you may be nothing like me and were simply curious. Either way, stop sobbing, put the gift down (why break it when you can SELL it??), and pay attention. I have some valuable information for you.

First, let me establish my credibility by saying that I glean my experience from numerous breakups, each uglier than the last, but with each one, I bounce back a little bit faster. Want to know my secret? OF COURSE YOU DO. In order to get over someone, I follow a simple list of rules:

Rule #1: KEEP BUSY.
Seriously, idle minds THINK and OVERTHINK and THINK some more. If you think too much about your breakup, it just makes you depressed and, honestly, a complete drag to be around. I read somewhere that a woman should have at least three hobbies that don't involve looking at a screen. This is excellent advice because not only will these hobbies keep your mind off your breakup, it will also make you an interesting person. And when you are finally over the loser who dumped you (or that you dumped), you are going to want to be interesting in order to catch the eye of someone new (that is, if you haven't completely sworn off dating, yet). So, whether it's painting, Civil War reenacting, or tennis - find a hobby and get religious about it

Because endorphins or some shit.
No, really. I don't care if you are Carey CouchPotato and have never set foot in a gym in your entire life, if you want to get over a breakup and feel GOOD about yourself while doing it, get on board with this rule. Whether it's an in-home elliptical or a run around the block, exercise will make you feel empowered and all around kick-ass. The plus side is that along with the endorphins there is also possible weight loss or toning that will happen and will make you feel great about yourself physically. Great for your health AND great for your self-esteem? Get off the damn couch, Carey. You'll thank me later.

Most friends are on your side after a breakup (if not, add "GET NEW FRIENDS" to your list) and when they see that you're down about it, they will usually try to cheer you up (see previous parentheses). So, find that friend who is brutally honest and let him/her tell you what's up. Once you hear about how lousy the ex really was from someone else's perspective, you'll start to believe it, too. If they're a GREAT friend, they will also tell you to stop blubbering and get on with your life. You'll resent it right when they say it, but it'll kick you in the ass and give you the drive to pick up your shit and move forward.

There's a saying somewhere that says something about always dressing like you're going to run into an old enemy or a new love. It's for real. Not only does dressing nicely allow you to avoid running into your ex looking like you've just escaped a crypt, it also does wonders for your self-esteem. There's some statistic out there about looking good directly correlating with feeling good about yourself, but I'm too lazy to look it up. So, take my word for it because it's true. Sure, it's a pain in the ass to put on a nice shirt and heels to go to the grocery store, or a cute dress and flats to get your tires rotated, or whatever makes you feel like you look nice to go wherever the hell you're planning on gives you a small ego boost and that, seriously, is the best medicine. Another note: Lipstick. Trust, bitch, it's like magic; you automatically feel Angelina Jolie sexy no matter what you're wearing.

Allow yourself to get excited about not thinking about your breakup or refraining from driving past your ex's place of work or residence (seriously, stop that) and reward yourself with ice cream or a new nail polish. You've gone 2 weeks without thinking about him or contacting him? 2 minutes? GO YOU! There is no sarcasm here, that's a fucking accomplishment. Treat it as such.

Laugh it up, but when I play Destiny's Child's "Survivor" or "Independent Woman" my confidence levels go through the roof. Find your magical playlist and play the shit out of it.

Now, we come to the last rule and the most important one :

I mean this one. No calls. No texts. No Tweets. NADA. Communication with the person who has hurt you will undo ALL of the work that you've put in by following the previous 6 rules. I don't care if you've known each other for 20 years and you've made a pact to "stay friends," do not contact your ex. If it's too tempting to see their Facebook or Twitter account, hide them. If you see them regularly, like if you work with them or if you have the same friend group (which, that will be a whole different blog post: DON'T DATE YOUR FRIENDS. OR YOUR COWORKERS) then just don't associate with them closely. There are ways to avoid being close with your coworkers or awkward ex-friends; utilize them. This is the hardest rule because I know how hard it is to refrain from telling an ex off or dumping your feelings bucket on them every time you think about them. However, it is BY FAR the most important rule to follow. Will power and the desire to feel better about yourself has to pull you through this one. Communicating with an ex just prolongs the process of getting over the relationship; it will either make you yearn for the ex or make you hella angry at him/her - both extend the amount of time it will take you to get over the breakup. Instead, be silent. If he/she texts you, don't text back. If he/she calls, let it go to voicemail and don't call back. Make them wonder what you're doing, but never actually tell them. Work on picking yourself back up and leave the ex in the dust behind you.

So, there you have it! My simple list of rules to get over a breakup. I will warn you, this process is NOT easy and, depending on the length of the relationship and the intensity of your feelings, it could take a while. But don't give up. If you break a rule, don't beat yourself up and give up on the process, just shake it off and try again.
Now, do one thing for me: roll your shoulders back, hold your head up and take a deep breath. We are survivors and we ARE going to make it.

Good luck!


The Average Person

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