Victim of a 3 year plus relationship’s demise, I can proudly say I survived. I didn’t think I would, but I did. And do you know what? The world is still spinning. The sun is still rising.
When you’re going through a break up its unsettling, everything changes. Oftentimes we center our whole worlds around this one person. This one “perfect” person. And when they leave, we’re left out of orbit. Everything feels upside down. Reality is, they were not perfect and the world is still spinning. The key to surviving is becoming the center of your own universe.
I’ve heard many different opinions on crying post break up. Some say it shows weakness, that it gives the ex power. Others claim they don’t want or need to cry (this is a lie). It doesn’t matter whether you did the breaking up or were broken up with, you still lost a large part of your life. Regardless of the situation you are going to cry eventually, so why not get it over with? Let it all out. Let yourself scream and cry and get angry. Let yourself rant. Eat an entire tub of chocolate chip ice cream on your own. Lie in bed all day if that’s what you need to do. Just know when to stop.
You need to stop before the sadness and anger consumes you. Give yourself a time frame and after this has passed get up and get on with life. Time is still passing and you’re only going to get left behind. I allowed myself three days. These three days I spent in bed with a box of Kleenex, my diary and a pen. My phone was switched off. I didn’t speak to anyone. It sounds dramatic but seventy two hours later I had come to terms with what happened. I’m not saying I was over it, I was far from over it, but it meant I could hear his name without feeling sick. Baby steps.
2. Don’t contact him
I don’t care what anyone says no matter how much you want to you will not be able to friends for a long time. It may be months, it may be years but it will not be tomorrow. Unfollow his facebook, twitter and Instagram. You will overthink all his posts. There will be girls in photos with him. He’ll be tagged at festivals and events appearing to be having the time of his life. Don’t be a fool. This will not be easy to see so why subject yourself to it? Hit unfollow sooner rather than later.
Don’t try and “keep in touch”. Please avoid drunk messaging him, this just says “I’m meant to be out having a good time but I’m just crying over you”. Why let him ruin your night?! Turn your phone off. What I found helpful was, picking a friend I could call when I felt I was going to message him. It’s hard to hear but if he wanted to speak to you he would.
3. Change of scenery
If at all possible get away, even if its just for one night! Escape to a place where there is no trace of him. No memories. Its refreshing. I booked a weekend away and it was so amazing to be exploring a place that knew nothing of his touch. Open your mind to new places, you heart to new experiences and close your mind to the past.
4. Don’t push your friends away
You will want to be alone. It’s a hard time and you’re confused. You might not want to leave the house. This won’t help. It might feel easier to hide yourself away but ultimately its detrimental. Friends will only be considerate for so long and then they begin to feel useless. Set a time limit on the pity party and then try and go out. It may surprise you how much fun you’ll have. Let yourself forget your sorrows because you need your friends and they need you.
5. Break the relationship routine
Fill the gaps he left behind! For me, Tuesday nights were tough. So I tried my damn hardest to have plans every Tuesday. They didn’t necessarily need to be group plans. Plans as simple as go for a run or do laundry helped. Keeping busy is the key.
6. Inspirational girl power music
Too many people spend their time crying to The Script or Kodaline! Why? This is not helpful. You need motivation. Listen to the cheesiest mantras you can find. Play them on repeat. The Pussycat Dolls say you don’t need a man. Trust me, you really don’t.
7. Meet new people!
Meet people who don’t even know he exists. These people don’t know you. They don’t know your heart is breaking. You have the potential to be this whole new person, whoever you like. Why pass that up??
No I don’t mean remember him. Remember before him. You were a person before you met him and you will be a person long after. Revisit the places and things you used to do before you met him. Maybe you didn’t have the time for these things when you were together. Maybe he didn’t like them. It doesn’t matter why, just reconnect with the person you were before.
9. Don’t let him in
You broke up. This means that at least for the time being you want to be apart. So why let him have a pass to peek into your life? As tempting as it may be don’t post snap stories or facebook statuses to “make him jealous”. He knows that’s why you’re posting these. Your #girlsnight is fooling no one. You’re giving him power. You’re showing him you still care. So don’t. Shut him out. This will annoy him more than seeing you looking pretty on snapchat.
10. Limit the alcohol intake
I know, I know, getting drunk may be the only thing you want to do right now but trust me, all you’ll do is cry. Your friends will have to leave the club early and take you home. It’s not fun for anyone.
11. Feel good about yourself
Dress up nice. Buy yourself a new lipstick. Get a haircut. But do it for you. Don’t do it because you think he’ll change his mind. Do it so when you look in the mirror you think “hey I look good”.
12. Learn to love yourself
The biggest lesson I learned from my break up was how much I relied on him for reassurance. I depended on his approval to feel good about myself. This is not acceptable. Girls have a habit of critiquing themselves. When we’re given a compliment its almost like we have to insult ourselves. Ladies, take the damn compliments!!! Start saying thank you instead of no way. Confidence is the sexiest accessory you can wear. Start loving yourself and just watch how your life changes. For the good, I promise.
13. Get motivated
It’s hard not to think about the break up. Your life is littered with traces of him. You need a distraction. So get out of your comfort zone and start a project. I threw myself into the gym. Whenever I felt down I’d dust of my runners and go for a run. The exercise boosted my confidence and I toned up. I started to feel good in crop tops, an item of clothing I couldn’t leave the house in before. Set a target and reach your goal. Take your life back into your own hands.
14. Kiss some frogs
Prince Charming isn’t going to ride in on a white horse to mend your broken heart. You have to learn to fix yourself. It will be the most valuable skill you ever learn. Don’t rush it but when you’re ready, kiss someone. Remember the rush of feeling wanted.
15. It’s a marathon, not a sprint
Don’t beat yourself up when you think you’re over him then you see him. You see him and tears prick your eyes or your knees start to shake. It’s going to take time, but you can do it. Baby steps girl, I promise you’ll be okay.
When you’re happy and over it, chances are he might try worm his way back in Don’t let him. Look at how far you’ve come. The relationship was not the best relationship you could have had. It finished for a reason. It taught you a lesson. Leave it behind. Leave the past in the past, where it belongs.
Just remember, you lost nothing when he walked away from you. He lost someone who loved and valued him despite his flaws. It might not be today or tomorrow. But trust me one day he’ll realise what he lost and by then you’ll be happy and a new and awesome you.