Updated: Jun 15
It doesn’t matter if you are 15 or 50, whether you have been together 2 months or 20 years, breakups are hard and they are personal to everyone. The old cliché of “time is a great healer” is fantastic, however, what the hell are you meant to do while that time is passing?§
So after a few conversations with my girlfriends, we have put together a few survival tips that we wish people had said to us when we have gone through breakups over the years. Remember though that breakups are not an exact science.
Give in to the grief
And that is exactly what it is, grief. You have lost someone that was a major part of your life. Watch sad movies and cry, throw things at the TV and shout “bullshit” when the leading man runs after the leading lady and fights for her. Then pick yourself up and face the world again. It’s fine to go up and down with feeling better, be prepared for that; maybe one day you will feel on top of the world thinking to yourself “Fuck, yeah I dealt with that break up like a boss” only to see them and hear their laugh and all of a sudden you feel like crawling back into bed and screaming obscenities at The Notebook. That’s fine it doesn’t make you a failure at moving on, it just means you need that little bit more time.
Give Each other Space
Whether you initiated the breakup or were on the receiving end, what you need to to do is say what you have to say and then give each other space. Let them miss you, and if they don’t miss you then they weren’t meant for you. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking ‘I’ll just send one message to see how they are’ or ‘They will think this is funny’ but really it’s just an excuse to get some attention from them and if you don’t get the response you want it can just make you feel worse. Also if you push it too much you can start to muddy the memories of what you had together. You want to be ‘the one that got away’ not the crazy ex, don’t you?
Closure is bullshit
I hate how these days so much emphasis is put on getting closure at the end of a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I have been a sucker for this as well. We all watch a few romantic movies or re-runs of Friends and think all relationships will have this cookie cutter ending wrapped in a lovely bow where you will get all the answers you need and can release them back into the universe to grow and be happy. Well, I am sorry to say but breakups are messy and sometimes we never get the answers we need, thinking the other person will say some magical words and it will all be better just sets us up for a massive fall. Create your own ‘closure’ by accepting what has been said and walking away with your head held high.
Do Not Obsess & Stop Stalking… Like, right now!
If the breakup wasn’t your choice it is so easy to start obsessing about every tiny little detail, re-reading every old message, replaying every conversation in your head, thinking you could have done or said something different that would have changed the outcome. STOP IT, do not fall into that trap. Don’t get me wrong, if overthinking burnt calories I would be a size zero, but it’s just not worth it; it creates scenarios and situations in your head that never actually happened, causing you more pain than the reality would have.
Do not for the love of god look at things on social media that will piss you off, we all fall victim to this as it’s so easy to keep looking at what they are up to, but it’s inevitable you will see something that makes you want to throw your phone out of the nearest window. Remove them from your social media channels if possible, they should understand and you can always add them again when you are in a better head space.
Invest In You
The biggest trap a lot of us fall into is thinking the way to get over a breakup is to get straight back into dating. Growing up we are constantly told “there is plenty more fish in the sea” but hold on a minute, maybe we should leave those fish to go about their business and not let another “fish” hold our happiness in their hands (far too many fish analogies, but you get what I mean). Give yourself some time to enjoy your own company, treat yourself, work out what makes you happy as a single entity and not part of a twosome. Write a list of all the things you put off because your other half didn’t like/want to do them (keep it clean); eat at that restaurant you love but they hated, go on that road trip, jump out of a goddamn aeroplane if it makes you feel alive! Detox your life and body with the focus always being on you, and if along the way you happen to bump into your ex, feeling and looking amazing then walk by with your head held high and realise they were not right for you, and take a little pleasure in knowing you look H.O.T and are so over them.
I am sure we have all been there in our lives so I hope you enjoyed this lighthearted survival guide. Do you have any tips for surviving a break-up? Let me know in the comments below.