Getting Over A Break Up
Whether your break up was amicable or ended in a steaming row that left even the neighbours disturbed, the end of a relationship is never an easy situation. It’s painful, awkward and at first you find yourself wondering how you will ever stop thinking about your ex. There is no right way to get over someone, so I’m not about to start demanding that you pound a bowl of ice cream or go out drinking until there’s sick coming out of your nose. If I can offer a tiny amount of comfort, and a bit of guidance in the emotional wilderness though, that’s good enough for me.
Sex and the City taught its dedicated viewers that it takes us half of the relationship’s life span to get over someone. I think I smell a pretty strong pile of bullshit. I recently broke up with my partner of nearly five years, and am not prepared to mope around for two and half more to ‘get over him’. Let’s stop searching for the time limit and let each broken heart decide individually how long the mourning process will take.
You may spend the next week crying in front of the TV, listening to songs that remind you of them (which is every single one, by the way) and eating your feelings. Or you might get up the next day and think “Fuck it. I’m scheduling nights out, lunches and some pampering, sod crying over that loser.” Whatever your response, it’s perfectly fine. Don’t panic if a couple of amazing weeks go by and then you suddenly break down in tears when you see a guy walking along with flowers for his loved one. Everyone is different. Face your feelings head on as they hit you, and avoid fighting or burying them. If you feel shit one day, well, tomorrow’s a new day.
After the initial few days when copious chocolate consumption is inevitable, it can be hard to step out of those rotting pyjamas and make an effort. It’s even possible that the sofa has moulded permanently to your growing ass-print. There comes a time when slumming around in your house is probably making things worse. This is when girly intervention is needed. People often forget that while their support straight after the break up was great, it is in the days and weeks after when a slap (metaphorical or not) in the face is essential. Round up the troops and go shopping, or somewhere you can get dressed up and have a laugh. Never underestimate the power of a good giggle to heal a broken heart.
Bear in mind though, people aren’t always sympathetic. Don’t take it personally when they tell you to block his calls and delete all memory of him. Sometimes you need that kind of person to give you a kick up the arse, and I guarantee it will be that same person who puts the spark back in you later on. Just maybe avoid them for the first couple of days, they probably aren’t the person who is going to mop up your tears; a pillow makes a better substitute to their shoulder.
So, the next step? Bag up his leftover clothes, photographs, and anything that sparks a painful memory. Chuck them all into a box. I could never bring myself to chuck this stuff out as sometimes – weeks or months down the line – you need a good cry, and maybe even a laugh at every sentimental item. If you do end up binning anything related to him though, you are a much stronger person than me! I salute you.
There is going to be a time when everything seems much better. You no longer get upset talking about him, and you are happily ticking along in your single life. Beware of this moment. I don’t know whether it’s a sixth sense or a sick joke, but this is when life is going to throw you a curve ball. Expect a text from your ex or a surprise meeting. They may not be wanting to get back with you, but there’s a big possibility it will end up exposing lots of buried feelings. On one hand, you may end up feeling completely over him and surprised at yourself. There is however, the possibility of this collision sending you straight back to your sofa.
Also, what’s that thing that every girl needs called? Me time. Instead of getting upset that Saturdays were your ‘couple days’, do something for you. There is no better sign of someone comfortable in their own skin than being content enough to choose to spend time with the funniest, smartest, coolest person they know… themselves! Dig out all those bath products you never used and have a pamper night in. Always wanted to join a class but never had the time? Do it now! I’m not saying your man was a keeper, but there’s always that reluctance to fill up spare nights that you could have been spending with him, or shying away from nights out because you had him as your comfort blanket.
If you are reading this at a particularly sad stage, this section will probably be difficult to read. In fact, for me, it isn’t exactly a joy to write. There will, however, be a point when you meet someone new. Whether this be way off in the future or perhaps a shining light close to home, it will happen. A work friend recently said that it will happen at a time that you least expect it, which I like to think is true. I know people who have met at a yoga class, in a pub, at work, and even bumping into someone in the street. But hey, that’s the future’s problem. Focus on you right now and the rest will sort itself out later.
Finally, take time to be the best version of yourself. Learn to smile and see the funny side of a shit situation. Wake up early, make yourself feel beautiful and make an effort to talk to people you would normally duck your head away from. It’s the little things in life that make you smile, and is these things that will prove to be the biggest heart healers. Embrace them and always remember: this tough time, although incredibly hard, is making you stronger and transforming you and your history. Chin up girls, and I’ll see you on the other side!