Break ups are tough. It’s hard to hear someone say “So, he broke up with me and I hugged him with a smile on my face as he wished me the best, all after I gave him his Christmas present—an iPhone 6s.” Um we don’t think so. It doesn’t matter the length, depth or complexity of the relationship; break ups are never easy. Regardless of the way it happens, it will always affect us somehow. There are many risk-takers and hopeless romantics who will do the impossible to win their soulmates back, but when there have been broken hearts, it’s better to hit the reset button and get passed it.
Typically, when the relationship ends badly with no possibility to fix it, people tend to lock themselves into a whole lot of pain. We are here to tell you: it’s just a bad experience, and you will get over it. We are not saying it will be easy, because it never is. You just have to know that there is a light at the end on the tunnel. The thing is to try not lose yourself in the process. There are many healthy ways to get over someone before you can finally say, “I’m okay.”
The Isolation Period
The first stage is the hardest. You feel like you are alone and you will never recover from this relationship Armageddon. In this stage, there’s the common “social media stalking.” This involved overanalyzing everything from a tweet saying “Having a great day!” to an Insta post from a house party. This is completely normal. It will take time to not care and to not constantly check your ex’s social media activity, but you can be sure that the more you avoid it, the faster you’ll feel better.
There’s no timeline for the isolation period, but the key is to utilize a few tools to take the edge off. Break ups can feel like ripping off a Band-aid, only the pain isn’t instant. Just know there are things and people there to help you through.
You are not alone. Even if you just want to chill and look at the ceiling all night, there is someone who will lay by your side and just keep you company. Being alone is okay for a while, but some distraction from your friends is the first step to get back on your feet. Suggested diversions: Movies are very good distractions as long as they’re comedies or action movies (we don’t want to be watching romantic films in this kind of situation. How would you feel watching “The Notebook” right now?) If you have a show you want to watch, then go watch it. Binge watch the hell out of your favorite series. If TV doesn’t work, ask your closest friends to come over for a game night or just a get together to talk. By the end of this stage, you will feel closer to moving on.
Let it Out
Once you’ve emerged from the shadows, what should you do? First, let it all out. And by this we mean drain from your mind all of those thoughts and bad feelings you’ve been having since the breakup. There are many ways to let anger and sadness out. Try writing it out. Put down what you’re feeling on a piece of paper, every little thing that troubles you. You can throw the letter away once you’re done, so don’t leave anything out. If you’re better at saying things rather than writing them, have a conversation with your best friend or in front of the mirror and say whatever is bothering you. Being vulnerable sometimes is the best remedy. After this you will feel so much better.
Create new projects, find new things to do, meet new people and explore yourself and your surroundings. Being caught up in a relationship consumes a lot of time, so take advantage of everything you didn’t have the time to do when you were in a relationship. Keeping yourself distracted gives you the chance to focus on yourself rather than what happened. Try to enjoy the experiences you will encounter and make the most of it.
Not so healthy ways to get over him/her.
- One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, four…This is one of the most common unhealthy ways people think will help get over someone. Ultimately, it is just worthless. Getting drunk will isolate the problem for one night, but will not make it go away. The Royal College of Psychiatrist states in “Alcohol & Depression” that drinking to relieve any kind of depression will affect chemicals in your brain that will ultimately just cause more depression. It is more likely that you will end up sadder than you were before you started. Don’t drink for the wrong reasons. This can lead to a dangerous habit and even more dangerous situations for yourself.
- Rushing to date someone else is not a great way to start fresh. You might feel lonely, but trust us, dating someone the week after your break up will only hurt you more. You could even hurt the person you are using as a rebound. It’s okay to be alone sometimes. It gives you time to improve and get to know aspects of yourself you didn’t even know were there.
- Anger management is key. Resentment is a common feeling from both sides of the break up, but that doesn’t mean you have to attack your ex in any way. Vandalizing your ex’s car will give you the revenge you wanted, but it doesn’t really makes things any better. And attacking doesn’t have to be only vandalizing, it could also be simple hate texts or damaging of his/her reputation. It’s not healthy and it will not feel as good as you think it will.
Take into consideration that every break up is a tough situation, but it’s also something you can learn and grow from. A bad experience is still a learning experience. Think of it as something you had to go through in order to become smarter and stronger as a person. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. As we mentioned before, you just have to know that you will never have to cross that tunnel alone.
Photo by: Abby Pfaff