After surviving a decade of dating without ever experiencing the exquisite pain of being dumped, karma finally caught up for me and I experienced one of life’s most universal experiences: all-encompassing heartbreak.
In the midst of a visit during an unexpected whirl-wind romance that had swept me off my feet, my long-distance boyfriend sat me down on my couch, looked me in the eyes and told me, “he had just lost that good old lovin’ feeling.” It turned out that despite our best efforts, keeping his pants zipped up whilst 5000 km away from the “love of his life” proved to be too difficult.
I was absolutely gutted. I spent the next three weeks hiding in a makeshift cocoon at my parents’ house, drowning my sorrows in boxes of wine, carbohydrates and all-day Friends marathons.
Then, as with all breakups, I slowly crawled my way out of the worst of it, and discovered that although incredibly painful at the onset, this experience provided a 180-degree turn in my perspective. I became stubborn about changing my life; I became another person. Better than I ever was with my ex. It was the unexpected catalyst to all the amazing experiences that followed.
Having successfully navigated my way through being dumped – and coming out on the other end stronger than ever – I feel I picked up a few pearls of wisdom that I hope will help you navigate (and conquer!) your own heartbreak:
1. Wine is your friend. Choose your poison wisely; don’t abuse it. But rest assured that a glass of Merlot will never kick your ass to the curb.
2. All those stupid sayings about time healing all are true. One day, you will wake up and the first thought on your mind won’t be that smug bastard. Let time do its thing; Pinterest quotes do not lie.
3. Safety nets are key. Your friends and family are wiser than you ever knew. Let them share their stories; it feels good to know others have come out on the other end to be the functioning members of society you know them to be!
4. Exercise is a lifesaver. Once you’ve gotten your snotty face out of your pillow and dragged yourself back into public, going out and getting your ass moving is crucial. Better to be sad and fit, than sad and wallowing in sweatpants.
5. You will be overly cautious with every new person you meet for a while – and that’s okay. Eventually, your faith in humanity will be restored. Not everyone is an asshole; chin up, girl.
6. It will feel like a giant kick to the stomach when you learn about your ex’s new flavour of the month. Avoid the urge to social media stalk, and you will be rewarded in time. Out of sight; out of mind. As trite as they may be, clichés are clichés for a reason.
7. You will be more self-critical than you’ve ever been. Were my thighs too fat? Was I not charming enough? Smart enough? Funny Enough? No. No. No. No. Be kind to yourself. Don’t let yourself fall into this pattern of self-criticism. Life happens; people change; relationships end. Period.
8. Not forgiving someone doesn’t make you a bad person. Yes, you need to move on. But you don’t necessarily have to forgive the douchebag who had so little regard for you. Eventually the anger will fade on its own and he will just be a forgotten blip in the grand scheme of your awesome life.
9. Kelly Clarkson is the ultimate break-up song go-to diva. Because Of You. Never Again. Since You’ve Been Gone. Miss Independent. What Doesn’t Kill You (Makes You Stronger). Play it loud; play it proud. Sing at the top of your lungs. No shame.
10. You shall love again (probably). Unless you decide to become a crazy cat lady instead. But chances are, once you have adequately grieved and healed, your heart will pitter patter again at the sight of a handsome stranger. Don’t be a bitter bitch; embrace it when it comes your way.