Let me start off by saying in the most melodramatic way ever, "Life is over". We've all been there and felt the numbing ache in pit of our stomach when a relationship comes to an end. Whether or not you knew deep down it wasn't meant to be or whether you were the person who ended things, it rarely makes a difference. You're sad, you're hurt and you're also committed to making the next few months the most painful, and memorable, for yourself.
I've been through my fair share of break ups and I'd like to think I've built up a few "coping mechanisms," for the lack of a more dramatic term. Some have worked great for me, whilst others not so much. Welcome to Breakup 101, so wipe your eyes and get ready to laugh at my failed attempts and hopefully you'll take something away.
1. Be a Cry Baby!
Right now all you want to do is sit at home and cry, in fact you may be considering crying on the train to work or in the park. Bottom line is, you want to cry. Automatic reaction is to try and convince yourself that you shouldn't "waste your tears". Well, I say you cry, let it all out. My first serious break up I put myself on a crying ban, I was going to be "strong" and there's no way I was going to cry over a guy who didn't realise what he was losing. I hardened myself and resisted my natural urge to drool it all out in a pillow. Some people may say "Yes, stand strong, don't be weak" well thanks, but NO thanks. Crying is not a sign of weakness; it is an outlet to release an emotional feeling, whether happy or sad. So cry it out, be honest about what you're going through, about whom you are and what your thresholds are. I promise, you'll feel better & one morning you'll wake up with absolutely no more tears to shed over the situation.
2. Your friends love you....but they're lying
Friends are amazing because they never want to see you hurt, they'll do whatever they can to cheer you up but sometimes this can cause more bad than good. If I had £1 for every time I was told "Don't worry, he'll be back" I would literally be sunning it up in the Bahamas right now. They may not be wrong but believe me this is not what you need to hear right now. If you truly want to get through this, you need to believe it is over and you need to restore yourself. I remember when I was told "He'll be back", I believed it, in fact I got quite cocky with it which ultimately delayed my "recovery". I wasted weeks waiting for that text telling me he had made a mistake, well guess what? It never came. Your friends love you....but they're lying, they do not know whether your ex is coming back and neither do you. Don't put your journey on hold for a possibility.
3. Social Media Shut Down
Stalker alert. You were never much good at numbers but all of a sudden you have an impeccable ability to create scenarios based on your ex partners social media timestamps. You texted them at 13:30, they tweeted at 13:25 and was last seen on What's app at 13:31, oh and don't forget the pictures they liked on Instagram an hour ago. "This means he/she must have seen my text and now they're ignoring me" - Ok. Back away from the phone. Be honest with yourself, if you know you have acute social media stalker tendencies (who doesn't these days) I'm going to need you to put yourself on a Social Media Shut Down. You will drive yourself insane trying to figure out resolutions to situations you've imagined in your head. There's countless reasons why your ex partner may not have replied to your messages. Of course it's possible you're being ignored, it's also possible they don't know what to say. Chill out, leave the social cloud and step out into the real world. Two years ago I had my last Social Media Shut Down, My sister (Hey Han) changed my Instagram password and froze me out. May seem a little far fetched but believe me, I am honest with myself and I definitely would have stalked the hell out of his life.
4. It's okay to leave the house
This brings me nicely into leaving the house. Ok, get up, get out and breathe that fresh air! The worse thing for me was the thought of going outside and seeing happy people. I was hurt and I hated happy people. Inside I could simmer in my misery and replay back events scrutinising over things I couldn't change. It was comfortable but it was also toxic and counter productive. Venture to the park or for a meal with friends. Challenge yourself to do something you've wanted to for awhile. I took up a new sport and spent a few afternoons in Waterstones bookshop, I lived and breathed my independence.
5. "Let's be friends"
Every single one of my friends will tell you I have a real talent for converting ex partners into friends. Occasionally its been a way for me to hang on to someone, but most of the time its occurred after a considerably amount of time when I've securely got my sexy back. Now, some may argue you cannot be friends with ex's, it's a difficult debate which deserves its own post but what I will say is this. If you choose to remain friends with an ex, whether it's the day after the break up (I do not recommend this) or a year after, make sure you're doing it for the right reasons. Pursuing a friendship with an ex to keep them in your life is a wrong move, your feelings will start to redevelop and before you know it you're getting upset about things you have no right to. You've come so far, be smart.
6. Slow down Speedy Gonzales. - Take YOUR Time
Lastly, Slow right down. You're unique in your character and you're also unique in how you handle situations. You friends may have a fantastic ability to move on from relationships over night, do not be pressured to do the same. Take YOUR time, do things at your speed. Cry through it, laugh through it, whatever you do, just make sure you're putting yourself first. We all have different thresholds, Learn yours and if you're unlucky (or lucky) enough to hit this relationship malfunction in the future, you'll be better prepared.
Thank you for attending Break Up 101. Now, Who's for Ice-Cream?