1. Acknowledge the breakup.
Don’t worry, my friends, this is the hardest part. Call up the friends you’ve shoved aside during the course of your relationship. They still love you; they’ll be there for you. They’ll make you laugh, and even if you are still in love, for a few minutes they will convince you otherwise.
2. Allow yourself to feel relief.
Even if you don’t really feel that way. Just do it. Sit back and relax. Explore your newfound freedom. You escaped something and better times are coming your way.
3. Regret everything.
Regret the narwhal shirt you bought them for their birthday. Regret the sexy snap chats you sent them while they were away in Hungary. Regret the fact that they know every deep dark thing about you. Regret everything, but the experience. And, that means more than anything else. Remember a day you felt safe and loved in their arms, lodge that into your moment. That’s the only thing that should stay there.
4. Go through an awkward, we-are-still-friends-but-should-we-talk-or-not-phase with your ex.
Even if you were never friends to begin with, you will be friends. It may take weeks, months or years, but someday you will see them at the old coffee shop you two used to eat at together, and you’ll laugh.
5. Realize how hard it is to be single.
Realize you go out at night, strangely hoping you’ll run into Mr. Right (realize you probably won’t). Realize how much you hate your friends, who are in relationships, go to bed alone, and depressed.
6. Have a relapse. Stalk their Facebook and Instagram.
Struggle a little bit. Cover up the pictures of them in your room; throw the presents they gave in the back of their sock drawer. But don’t give in. Don’t give them your heart back, they don’t deserve it. Not yet, anyways.
7. Learn how to be alone again.
YOU get to pick what to watch on TV every night. YOU get to pick what’s for dinner. They didn’t like Chinese food? Eat Chinese food until you’re sick to your stomach. Get comfortable sleeping in a cold bed. Make decisions by yourself. It’s your time to shine, baby.
8. Get more attractive. Seriously.
Lose some weight, buy a new wardrobe. Do something amazing. Do something for you.
9. Have a beer. Or ten.
Maybe cry a little bit more. Debate texting them, but hand your phone over to your friend. Drunkenly realize they weren’t the one for you, and acknowledge how lucky you must be, because someday you’ll find someone who will gladly be sitting next to you, and everything will be perfect. Continue to drink beer.
10. Kiss someone new.
Don’t push for passionate. But try it. Seriously.
11. Get jealous.
Think about all the other people your ex is with. Think about how one day they will find someone who will make them happier than you could. Think about everything you did wrong, and everything you would change. It will leave you transparent every time, accept that and go on with your day.
12. Make contact.
Send them a Facebook message, text them. Crack a inside joke, or tell them about the new steakhouse you went to that you were supposed to visit together. Don’t sound desperate. Don’t be a bitch. But say something.
13. Talk shit with your friends.
Talk about how bad their breath smelled in the morning, or how their future is a dead end. You don’t have to mean everything you say, just do it. Trust me. Say things you would have never said aloud in your relationships. You’re free. Remember?
14. Think about your future, one that they are no longer a part of.
Think about the dream car you wanted, but they would never let you have. Plan a vacation to Bora Bora, or Costa Rica, you don’t have to work around anyone’s schedule but your own. Focus on your dream job. Focus on you, you, and you.
15. Tell yourself you’re ok. Everyday.
Wake up and realize how good you’ve got it. One day you’ll start to believe it.
16. Fall in love.
Give this person everything all over again. Realize how scary it is, realize how much better it is.
Until one day, you won’t have to anymore.