There is a simple truth that exists in relationships but we always seem to ignore it.
A relationship has one of two outcomes. Your relationship will end, or you’ll stay together forever. Period.
We sure spend a lot of time thinking about the second option — dreaming of our “someday” wedding, thinking about color schemes years in advance, oohing and ahhing over cakes and flower arrangements with no boyfriend in sight, curling up on the couch with popcorn and wine for yet another marathon of “Say Yes to the Dress.”
Yet only one relationship will actually end up this way. The rest? Well they’re going to end. The sooner we’re able to wrap our minds about this, the sooner we can start internalizing it and preparing to breakup with — dare I say it? — dignity.
See it’s the lack of preparation that leaves us a sodden, devastated, emotional wreck when a breakup happens. We don’t know what to do because often we’ve never let ourselves even consider the possibility.
In order to combat this … I say go do some research on how to deal with a breakup! Yes now! Once you’ve broken up it’s too late. Your emotions are high, your logic has gone out the window, and you’re in no shape to handle anything gracefully.
There are hundreds of generic articles out there touting random advice like, “work on yourself” or “give back” or “purge him from your social media.” This is not what you want to turn to when you’ve broken up. You’re down in the dumps and you’ll grasp at anything online in a way to Google your way out of the pain. This is bad!
Now, while you’re (hopefully) healthy and happy, is the time when you should be figuring some things out.
1. Acknowledge that each relationship you enter is going to end in one of two ways.
It might sound a little pessimistic but it’s really just realistic. This isn’t about not believing in love or looking for the negative. This is about the simple truth.
2. Think about your last breakup.
What would you do differently this time? Really get into the details and get specific. Go deep. Was it calling him every time you got a little tipsy out with the girls? Was it trying to follow up over and over and demanding closure? Was it realizing that without him in your life, you didn’t really have anything left that was you — your life had been completely built around the two of you?
3. Spend some time thinking about how you react to things.
In general in life when are your emotions high? Does talking things out with your friends help or hinder? Does hurt make you want to be alone or do you like having other people around? What do you do to relax and take your mind off things? When are you most likely to mess-up, to send that text, to make that phone call?
4. Make a “breakup plan.”
As the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” If you haven’t put any thought into how you’re going to deal with a breakup you’re not going to deal with it well. Obviously there are a lot of variables to a breakup but we’re not going for a step-by-step guide to exactly how you are going to function every minute after your relationship ends. Instead, work on “generic specifics.” I know that sounds odd so here’s an example. You can make a list called, “Things that put me in a really good mood!” On that page you’re going to have specific things that you can turn to when you need a mood boost. For example, “kickboxing on Tuesdays with Christi” or “going for a drive in the country with my Good Vibes playlist on.” You’ll need this list and then some to get you out of the depths of despair.
5. Schedule time to heal.
Yes, you read that right. Typically you’re going to want to keep as busy as possible after a breakup. The seconds, minutes and hours drag by and in order to keep him off your mind, you’ll likely be constantly on the go. You do however need to process the relationship and move past it. An effective way to do this can be scheduling time in your calendar to think, write, and heal. This is extremely logical and helps you to tap into the head side of things versus the heart side which is probably going a little crazy at the moment. It’s also good practice in helping you to reign in that oncoming crying jag. “Nope, not right now. I’ll have plenty of time to cry it out tomorrow evening at 8 p.m.”
Quick tips! Schedule these for an evening when you don’t have to be up and at work the next day with puffy eyes. Also, put your phone far, far away. Like outside in your car. Turned off. And then put your keys as far away from you as possible in the house. Basically, make it a lot of effort to go get your phone and text him. You will want to.
It could be easy to dismiss all the things mentioned in here and think, “Well it’s just not that easy!” And that’s true, it isn’t. I’ve been through plenty of breakups myself and it can be absolutely crushing. But I have come to learn and grow a lot over the years and I’ve realized that I’m much better with a plan of action than with no plan at all. Give it a try, you just might surprise yourself. And statistically … would that be such a bad thing?