Okay, so you got dumped and you were in love. Like you thought you were going to grow up to be Jay-Z and Beyonce. You’re devastated. You don’t need to read a think piece to tell you this. You probably Googled this, and the miracle of SEO probably brought you here if you asked Google the right questions. You are probably in a stage between trying to win your ex back and trying to let them go. There’s got to be something online that can help you right? Some work of romantic comedy fiction that will reveal some perfect strategy or appropriate emotion for you to feel at this point. Well, chances are you’re not Kate Hudson, Jason Segel, or any of the characters in Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man so the rules of rom-com universes do not apply to you. Your ass has to work. Your ass has to get better. Your ass has to move on. There will be times to hurt, and a time to have meaningless sex with strangers, and a time to heal, man. Stop picking that scab. Put on some Usher, and put your life together.
1. Understand what happened. You’ve been in a relationship before. You’ve broken up before. You know the types of questions you will want to ask. Ask them now. If it means getting closure from your ex, do it. Understand why this happened, understand how this happened. You’ll never ever get every answer, but there is a truth that you will begin to obtain during this process.
2. Figure out who you are in this situation. Who do you want to be about this situation? What is the best possible scenario that doesn’t involve you getting back together? Is it you sending psychotic midnight emails asking the other person what their fucking problem is? Instagram “performance art” videos of you crying to get back together? Taking shits and pretending you are pooping out your relationships? Does it help to try and sell your ex all the reasons they made a mistake? Does your shameless cyber stalking make you feel better? Do you want to be this person? Or would you want to be the kind of person who can find the right tools to rise above it all. During the course of this relationship, there was shit you brushed to the side. You became complacent. Pick up that project. Pick up those weights. Get on your feet; create and run. Be resilient.
3. Get it all out of you. Even if you have to take a few days. I mean, use your best judgment because not everyone can just do that, but it’s pretty cool if you can. If not, you can get it all out of you at work. Just cry in a bathroom stall. You can’t avoid what you feel. You can’t change how you feel. The best thing to do is to feel it and deal with it for a while. The second you start to take advantage of this time to wallow is where you need to begin pushing back on some of those dumb ass feelings. They will be right for a time, but not the whole time.
4. Drink. Drink a lot when it all goes down, and then drink a little less each day. Unless you have an alcohol or drug problem. Drink for wheatgrass in that case; it’s good for you and tastes like shit. The taste in your mouth will be almost as bad as the pain in your gut.
5. Run to yo’ Mama. Or whoever it is that taught you how to tie your shoes. Or whoever it was that taught you that day drinking isn’t really a bad thing. Friends and family are the people you need to reconnect with. If they were ever good at their jobs, they will remind you of who you are, and then they will stop pretending you are the center of the fucking universe. You aren’t you baby. They have shit going on too, so by all means vent, but do it in a timely fashion. Your mom has to do her Friday afternoon walk soon. Shouldn’t you be at work?
6. Sleep. It’s gonna be hard, but try. If you have access to any safe sleeping aids, I fully support you forcing yourself to sleep. It’s your treat for dealing with life.
7. Masturbate. Seriously. Masturbate. If you are going through a break up now, please stop reading here and go “take a selfie.” Obviously, with great power comes great responsibility, so like…you can’t stop here. Chemically, your brain will just be like… oh yeah, we’re fine. Lot’s of people may tell you that this is bad or pathetic, but they probably don’t understand the value of taking selfies.
8. Stop looking shit up on the internet. You ain’t in control. This is out of your hands. Nothing you do can change this right now. You don’t expect this piece to help you do you? The writer is probably some millennial navel-gazer doing all of the things they are telling you not to. Writers are hypocrites, so don’t put a lot of stock in what you are reading. No one knows you, or what you had, or what you lost. You can only help yourself. You must believe that you have to ability to make the right choices on your own. You have to want the right things for yourself. The internet cannot and will not ever want what is best for you. It will not truly heal you to read this. Like at all. Fuck it, you could probably write something better. Write a listicle yourself.
9. Rejoin the rest of the world, you blubbering bitch. The world is so much bigger than you give it credit for. Move around. Read outside. Take a train somewhere for no reason. Just get out and start to make things happen for yourself. Stop reading this now and you could really make this happen right the heck now.
10. Let it go. LET IT GO! If this is truly the pain of love and you really did love them, you have to let them go. As if this isn’t you “final test.” As if this is the end and it is really over. It is. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing. This isn’t about your pain or regret or making them want you again. If you loved them so goddamn much, leave them alone. Honor yourself and what you had. If you are a millennial, this might be a new feeling — you have to be selfless. Bitch, be cool. Do you. This is life. Keep figuring it out.