Relationships are complicated. The dating scene sucks, and losing a boyfriend or girlfriend is hard, but what about losing someone you didn’t even technically date?
A situationship, the cutesy, catchall term for all those relationships that never quite made it official, can be especially hard to get over. How do you grieve someone that was never really yours? Friends can be dismissive, and family clueless (without so much of an intro to this dude that has now broken your heart), and it can be an extremely isolating experience. Feeling like you’re a burden on others for having, well, a lot of feelings can be shitty. A lack of a label does not make the feelings between you and your ex boo any less real, it just makes them a lot more complicated.
Surviving a traumatic event that’s only really real to you can be extra difficult , so I’ve put together a fuckboy tried and tested survival guide for the worst part of a breakup: the first two weeks after.
The First 48 Hours
Allow grief, with a limit. Acknowledge that the pain you’re in is legit, and put yourself under what I call the 48-hour rule. That is, you get two days to be EMO AS FUCK. Like I’m talking comically, self-wallowing, large pizza eating, half-baked pint scarfing, stereotypically sobbing, do-what-you-gotta-do, crying mess. Blow up your friend’s phones, scream into your pillow, print his picture and stab his eyes out, you get the picture. Saturate yourself with so much self-indulgent grief that it gets exhausting, because this is all you’re gonna get. Once those 48 hours are over, the pity party ends, which takes me to…
Delete his number. Groundbreaking, right? Since 95% of you will ignore this, I have a compromise: screenshot his contact, send it to a friend, then delete. That way, if you absolutely have to speak to him (you won’t) a backup plan will be in place.
Unfollow him on everything (yes, even Snapchat). Nothing is more detrimental to moving on than staring at his story icon in Snapchat posted 47 seconds ago dying to know if you’ll be able to click it and see a woman’s hands behind what appears to be a pitcher of beer. Unfollow him on everything, yes even Venmo, because I know come 3 a.m. you’ll thank me for being unable to obsess over his feed wondering why he bought SOME WHORE Chipotle at 8 p.m. on a Wednesday when he was always “too busy” to hang on weekdays. I didn’t say block because I am of the belief that his sorry ass should always be able to see/beat his meat to how thriving you are without him. Out of sight out of mind usually works for me, but if you find yourself poring over his feeds, then block it is.
One Week Out
Engage in rituals. And I don’t mean the kinds that involve chicken blood or burning human hair. For example, I upgraded my skin routine from a splash of water to the more widely accepted cleanse-tone-moisturize. Not only was I helping myself feel better, but my mind was wholly absorbed first thing in the morning, when I needed the distraction the most. Adding structure to your day, if even for a few minutes, is vital in keeping the bad bae thoughts at bay.
Some of my go-tos:
- Paint your nails
- Burn through all the “first week free!” offers at your local gyms, yoga studios, boot camps, etc.- and try them all in one fell swoop
- Try a new recipe – even if it’s as simple as a new green smoothie
- At home spa day – Make an at home face treatment for radiant, how-dare-you-leave-me-skin, or try your hand at DIYing a hair mask
- Keep your day structured: coffee with friend Y, dinner with coworker X
- Learn a new skill, like coding
Filling your free time with small, easy to follow tasks that are aimed at bettering yourself will help you look and feel better.
Less Bumble, more Barre & brunch. Or shooting ranges and whiskey, tennis and tapas; whatever it is you enjoy doing with actual humans, go do that. Yes, I know the age-old adage about getting under someone new to get over someone old. But when you’re fresh out of an emotionally sloppy situationship, the only thing you’ll be doing after a one-night stand is sobbing to your friends about how he smelled just like Adam!!!
Forcing yourself to get over it, or Tindering until you burn through all the eligible bachelors in the tri-state area because your BFF told you, to is the digital equivalency of the Band-Aid over the bullet hole. Give yourself time to heal. What works for other people won’t necessarily work for you. It’s okay to not be ready, and don’t feel pressured to get out there until you are. Focus instead on being active with friends, and if the conversations keep turning to boys, go for a run together or try a new fitness class.
Two Weeks Out
Treat yo’self. Buy a new lip liner, a sexy lingerie set, protein bars – whatever it is you’ve had your eye on for a while, get it. I’m not big on fixing problems through materialism, but hear me out. When you’re with a guy, you do a lot of stuff for them and because of them. Their favorite color bra, the nude lip they prefer to anything bold…whether consciously or not, we adhere to our partner’s wishes. Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, it’s inevitable that you’ll lose part of yourself in a relationship, and the best part of being single is having no one to answer to anymore. Take advantage of this and spend the money that normally would have gone toward dinner out with him on yourself instead. You deserve it.
Glam up and Selfie. The best part of social media is the instant gratification. When your self-esteem is at an all-time low, a quick hit of superficial love can be exactly what you need. Watch a makeup tutorial, do your hair, find a window, and snap away.
Drunk AF Girls Night Out. Kill your brain cells and go out dancing. Now that your man isn’t taking up all of your time, and since you’re already glam from your selfie, you might as well round up a crew and hit up a 4 a.m. bar. If boy talk is too much for your sensitive ears make a pact, the first one to mention the B word has to buy a round. It’ll take the pressure off your overworked brain and give you a hard and fast reason not to talk about him.
So there you have it, and before you know it, the breakup will be two weeks behind you, and within the blink of an eye you’ll be obsessing over someone new, with glowier skin, new skillz, and higher self-confidence to boot.