Breakups are a universally terrible experience. In my most memorable breakup — and a moment I truly wish I could forget — I literally got rug burn from dropping to my knees and begging someone not to leave. Yikes. I’ve also woken up in the middle of the night from having elaborate fantasies designed to get my lover back, such as building an elaborate papier-mâché sculpture of my heart in front of their door, and then leaving a hammer on their threshold so they could smash it to pieces IRL. When you feel like you’ll never get over someone, remember that you have agency over how you respond to what you are handed in life. Breakups are no exception!
So you can lie awake at night, seething at your ex and drafting numerous text messages telling them how horrible they are/heartbroken you are/devalued you feel as a human being, and so on. Or you can channel all of that rage, fury, and heartbreak into carrying out the best revenge plot of all: becoming so wildly successful and happy that you forget all about them. When it feels like you’ll never get over someone, the best way to move forward is to start thinking about the future.
But if even that is too hard, here are some other things to remind yourself:
1. Don’t Give Your Energy To Someone Who Isn’t Even There
Being angry or sad about someone, or even thinking about someone who isn’t there at all, takes a lot of your emotional energy. It’s only natural for your ex to pop in your head as you’re moving on, but if you spend time actively dwelling on what they are doing and who they are seeing now, you’re only taking more of your reserves away from yourself. Channel that energy into creative projects while grounding yourself through meditation so that you are able to hold onto your strength for yourself.
2. Healing Is Not Linear
The most frustrating part of a breakup for me are the days when I get sad about my ex all over again, for no reason, even though I’ve been doing so well at not thinking about them, focusing on myself, and attempting to move on. At those times, in my vulnerable state, it’s hard for me to not start beating myself up about how much I’m wallowing about them. This only creates a cycle of self-harm. If you need to be sad, be sad. If you need to be angry, be angry. Give yourself permission to feel the feels and let them out so you’re not holding on to anything when you are ready to date again.
3. You Have To Want To Move On For Moving On To Happen
If you don’t want to actually move on from your ex, you’re going to find a way to keep them in your heart and trick yourself into thinking they are coming back. You’ll read your horoscope and all signs will point to them. You’ll hear songs that will remind you of them, and you won’t change the station. This behavior is all because you want to keep them in your life, even if they resemble a ghost. But ask yourself: Why do I want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with me? Remind yourself that you are deserving of all of the love and tenderness in the world. If that person isn’t giving it to you anymore, oh well. You’ll find those qualities elsewhere.
4. Make Room For New Experiences To Fill Up Your Cup
A breakup is definitely a major loss that can send you through the stages of grief. And while it is OK to feel sad, be sure that you don’t get so wrapped up in your losses that you forget to have fun in the meantime. Hang out with friends, take trips, and find new adventures to remind yourself of all of the beauty that is in the world, waiting for you to embrace it!
5. You Don’t Have To Date If You Don’t Want To!
After that most difficult breakup of mine, I remember feeling all of this pressure to date. Really, that pressure was coming from within. I was telling myself that I should be seeing other people, should be moving on, should be dating, when, in fact, I just wasn’t ready and that was fine. If you need to wait a year to date again, wait a year. There are plenty of other pursuits for you to engage in besides dating, and you might even find that dating yourself for a while replenishes you much more than meeting other people. Investing in yourself doesn’t mean that you’re holding out for someone to come back to you. It means you’ve already found your soulmate, and — surprise! — it’s you.
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