1. Stop allowing your thoughts of them to only be the nostalgic, pleasant ones — find how much you dislike remembering the negatives when you force yourself to do so.
2. Re-invest in friends that you might have neglected when in the throes of a consuming relationship.
3. Remember how much you loved these friends, how much was good about your own relationships together, and how much you can just be you around them.
4. Start doing all of the things, and embracing the parts of your personality, that you had to put on hold when you were with them.
5. Listen to a lot of good, sad, happy, wonderful music and don’t spend the entire song looking for an obscure connection with what you had together. Sometimes a song is just a song.
6. Embrace the fact that you will think of them from time to time, and that you don’t have to run from those thoughts, but you also don’t have to feed them like an ugly little pet.
7. Focus, more than anything else, on being a good person — and understanding that such a person exists outside of a couple.
8. Splurge on a vase of nice flowers to put somewhere sunny.
9. Remember that you can still have orgasms — really awesome ones — without the help of anyone else, and that remaining connected to your body is nothing to be ashamed of.
10. Go on dates with the intention of simply having a good time, and not with grandiose expectations of something this is going to ‘replace’ or ‘live up to.’
11. Take a long bath with a glass of wine and realize how amazing the combination of a light buzz and soaking in hot water is.
12. Look in the mirror for a long time and pick out the things you really love, the things that you had let yourself forget about.
13. Watch good movies that make you cry, and realize that crying doesn’t have to be reserved for only one thing in your life.
14. Be realistic about why it ended.
15. Dance around your room naked, cook naked (though nothing with hot oil!), just hang out in general naked. Be naked. Naked!
16. Talk about it with friends if you need to, but don’t become an endless monologue following them around about your failed relationship. Learn to be concise with your feelings, and realize that the longer you go on about it, the more you are inevitably thinking about it.
17. Watch silly kids’ cartoons and eat bowls of cereal in your pajamas.
18. Go to a movie or eat dinner in a restaurant by yourself and realize that you can enjoy your own company — that you don’t have to worry that everyone is pitying you.
19. Get rid of them on social media, at least for a while. Creeping on them (or even giving yourself the opportunity to creep in a weaker moment) isn’t good for anyone.
20. Take a long walk around your city and just do fun, lazy errands like going to a bakery or picking out a new knick-knack for your apartment. Allow yourself to take the pleasure in small, everyday things.
21. Don’t worry about ‘winning’ the breakup. You’re not going to become the first ballerina president astronaut unicorn by the next time they look at your Facebook, so don’t waste time trying.
22. Work on being civil with their new significant other, whenever they should arise — they are not the devil, no matter how convenient that would be to your storyline.
23. Listen to “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus on full volume and dance around. Because there is no situation which doing that doesn’t improve.
24. Don’t concern yourself with when your next relationship is going to come along. It’s a cliché that “love comes when you aren’t looking for it,” but it’s certainly not going to come when you’re chasing it around like a junkie.
25. Go out and have fun amongst friends, without worrying about impressing anyone.
26. Redecorate your room. Find interesting new ways to adapt to a space that seems completely dedicated to “before.”
27. Take a long drive with the windows down and no place in particular to go (within reason, gas is expensive).
28. Stop torturing yourself by poring over all your old conversations, texts, gifts, and everything that now exists only to upset you and make the entire past seem irrationally rosy.
29. Read a new book that pulls you so far into its world that you have a much-needed reprieve from your own.
30. Set up an OKCupid profile, if only just to browse around and feel a little ego boost from the messages you receive.
31. Don’t date someone seriously if they are just a rebound — no one deserves to be led on like that.
32. Learn to make a new recipe. Find that using your hands, making something from scratch, and enjoying eating it without guilt is an incredibly satisfying experience.
33. Listen to new music, music to be associated only with you and your awesome new life.
34. Realize that it’s not going to happen overnight, and you can’t force it, but (as with everything else), it will improve — and hating yourself in the meantime isn’t going to help anything.