1. Despite what movies, television, and songs have preached for pretty much ever, the chances that you’ll get all of your possessions back are slim. Tiny. You will get some things back, but most of them are gone for good. Especially the intangible things.
2. Just because your crush has broken up with the person they were seeing doesn’t mean you’re automatically next in the queue. Try not to celebrate too hard.
3. Reality is more sobering than it is romantic. When you begin to think of your ex in hyperbolic terms, apply some perspective instead of getting swept away in some fantasy thought-prison.
4. Hooking up with someone after ending your relationship isn’t a rebound until you make it one.
5. Let’s admit that sometimes it feels insanely good to break into pieces when a relationship ends; almost as good as the regular sex you no longer have access to.
6. No matter what anyone tries to tell you, there is no correct amount of time to mourn a relationship. You can’t compare and contrast with your friends or Google, “when will it stop hurting :(” You’re going to feel bad about it until you don’t, end of story.
7. “This is hard on me, too” — thing no broken-up-with person is tryna hear.
8. It’s OK to stay in touch with your ex’s friends, but don’t be a freaking menace about it.
9. There is a difference between dating a stranger post-relationship and dating someone your ex knows/likes/hates. A big one. What you do with that information is up to you.
10. Waking up one day and feeling like you’re totally over it doesn’t mean you won’t relapse in the future. It’ll take more than a few mornings of waking up and feeling like you’re over it; it might actually take waking up without realizing there’s something to ‘get over.’ (This is an imperfect science I’m working with.)
11. Keeping busy and distracted is one way to deal with a breakup, but no one’s ever died from sobbing in bed for days, either (I don’t think).
12. While we all know your friend’s newly-minted ex is a loser, maybe don’t start slinging shit just yet? Allow them some grieving time. You’ll have the rest of your lives to talk smack but for now, do what Hootie would. Let her cry.
13. The length of a relationship really has no bearing on how much it hurts when it’s over.
14. It’s likely that one of the people in the relationship will have a harder time dealing with the breakup. Sometimes, that person will be you. When it’s not, be compassionate.
15. There should be a service that rings up your parents and explains the demise of your serious relationships so that you don’t have to field questions they probably don’t want to hear the answers to.
16. Breakups aren’t one size fits all. There is no default way to handle a breakup maturely; being friends with your ex isn’t morally superior to cutting all ties. Respecting your ex and former relationship looks and feels a little bit different for everyone.
17. It will not feel okay until it is.