1. You may be at fault, but that doesn’t mean it’s all your fault
We all have our issues and quirks. Everybody has kinks they need to work out; it’s a part of self-improvement. During a break up it may be easy for one party to push it all on the other. It’s easier to make a clean break if, obviously, if you feel like you did nothing wrong, if you’re the victim. While there are cases like this, unless you do a little self-examination and find you are, in fact, just a total asshole, it’s rarely what actually happened.
Break ups are difficult, history gets rewritten a little bit, and sometimes it leaves us feeling confused and badly about ourselves. Take time to reflect on your own actions as well as theirs before you let yourself get pulled down by what’s being said.
2. It may feel like it was a waste of time. It wasn’t.
I know right now you think I’m stupid. “It was too a waste of time,” you’re screaming at your computer screen. Okay, that’s a normal feeling and its justified right now. It will feel like it was a waste of time for a while. However, I implore you to search very deeply into the muck of the disaster behind you to find what you learned about yourself, and about loving and communicating with another person.
There are lessons there, and those are not a waste of time. You grew, and you watched someone else grow. You helped somebody else grow, and hopefully they did the same for you. All of these are lessons, things you should take with you throughout your life. You make also discover things you want to avoid, things you feel were taken from you, and things you would like to get back during your period of one-ness. (Let’s scrap the singlehood bit; we’re not 45-year-old, single cat lovers just yet).
3. There is no rush to move on.
When did we as a culture start this race to move forward with all of our broken pieces, shoving them haphazardly into another human’s poorly filled cracks? And then we sit back and wonder why that relationship also fails. Nobody takes the time to just be alone with their thoughts. To think, to be, to become a single person capable of being an I instead of a we or an us again. I understand the comfort of being a couple, and the crippling, nauseating, even disorienting pain that comes with it being ripped out from under you.
However, I do not understand using another body, just any random body, to fill that void. What happened to connections and bonds? Taking one’s time? Finding a person you actually like? Part of it may be we’re worried they will move on first and we must show they meant less to us than we did to them. HAHA! Look how strong we are moving on before our ex, look how fast we did it! Moving on isn’t about making your ex’s thoughts and feelings a part of your process, it’s just about what’s doing best for you, sans ex completely. Take your time.
4. Tinder is weird and if it’s not for you, that’s okay.
Tinder is a dick pic fest if there ever was one, and while you may feel compelled to use this portal for dating, before or after you’re ready, do so at your own risk. Many people feel completely comfortable using Tinder, seeing no issue in the strange messages or the fact that people would rather meet up for coffee and beet before asking for one another’s names.
Granted, names are posted right below pictures, but there is little formality in such a service, and if is not for it is not for you. Go to places you enjoy and maybe you’ll meet someone. Allow your friends to set you up on horrible blind dates; maybe you’ll be that one person it works for. Live your life like a normal person and another normal person will stumble upon you when you least expect it.
5. Your life doesn’t equal Our life
There’s this misconception that everything you enjoyed as a couple needs to be scrubbed out of your life because of these memories…the painful memories that will overtake your entire body. Surely if you watch a show you both loved or go to a park you frequented you will be overcome with unbearable sobs and fall to your knees in agony. And maybe you will the first time, and even the second time. A break up, however, shouldn’t rob you of things you enjoy.
Did you enjoy the park just because of your old partner? Well fine, scrap it. But if you enjoy the park, go to the park. Take control of it. Make it your park. At the end of the day, it’s your life now and while there will be moments of pain admitting that to yourself for a long time, there will also be powerful moments of liberation knowing and understanding that not only have you taken control of something that keeps others so mired in misery, but that you have also not let it take any joy from your life. Go to the park, watch all of the shows, and frequent every restaurant. Are you going to just stop liking Thai food because it didn’t work out? I don’t think so.
Be you, live your life. Closure will come.