1. “I never liked him/her.”
Friends and family members often say this after your relationship with a significant other is over. It’s the most horribly clichéd thing a friend can say to you in an effort to console you, and can make you doubt your own judgement. Why didn’t I notice before that you didn’t like him? And if so, why didn’t you say anything sooner, so-called friend of mine? Opinions matter, especially before you get in too deep. The truth in this lie is that they put aside whatever ill feelings they had for the sake of your happiness so as not to burst your rose-colored bubble, but now that it’s officially over, anything negative they have to say is fair game.
2. “Finding a new hobby will take your mind off things.”
Sure, if I can get the strength to get out of bed and not end up sobbing mess on the bathroom floor. Don’t people understand that there’s a significant amount of time spent in recovery after matters of the heart end horribly wrong? Deciding to go out and pursue rock climbing or painting or helping out at the soup kitchen takes a lot of strength, and more often than not, forcing yourself to “get back out there” before you’re ready will backfire. You will relapse.
3. “The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.”
While their best interest is at heart (I think), I don’t find that this is the truth. Sure, being into someone else can help you temporarily forget about your sadness, but inevitably you’re going to have to face the music, ugly-crying style, and make the decision to deal with the pain of your loss. Distractions are just that—and they only last so long.
4. “Post everything online.”
Fake it till you make it, right? I see so many of my friends suddenly have a huge spike in their social life after all pictures of their ex disappear off of their social media accounts. The advice may seem logical at first, but chances are the person you’re trying to get to notice all your fantastic new adventures (if you’ve haven’t already blocked them yet) knows that it’s a show. It’s a classic move that really doesn’t have much pay off. Posting every move you make and all the “awesome” stuff you’re doing isn’t fooling anyone, and chances are, they’re not going to magically get back your significant other.
5. “Wallowing helps.”
I find that heartbreak occurs in waves—sometimes your mind will give you the courtesy of not constantly equating everything with your ex, but other times it’s like the whole relationship comes crashing over you in one fell swoop. And while dealing with your emotions sooner rather than later is something I advocate (because why prolong the inevitable? It will just manifest itself in other ways), wallowing in your sadness for days on end is not healthy.
Cry, eat, stay in bed, play hooky, whatever works for the first few days is fine. It’s your right to deal with heartbreak however you like. But give yourself a timeline to be sad, and at the end of it, get up and be productive with your sadness. You don’t have to become a social butterfly or start “talking” to people again, but fuel that sadness into an old love of yours that you forgot to spend time on when you were with your ex; running, drawing, reading, helping people…whatever used to give you joy.
While our friends and family try to make things easier on us after heart ache, the truth of the matter is that advice is just that: guidance. You can choose whether or not to follow it, and it may not work for you. The solution is not to get mad because maybe the “lies” worked for them. Dealing with heartbreak is going to take as long as it does, and while you can’t skip to the end, you can expedite the process by letting yourself feel what it wants, and then making the decision each day to try and move past it, until one day when…it doesn’t hurt so damn much.