How to Stay Broken Up

How to Stay Broken Up

The path to success requires a plan… even for break-ups.
61
views

The path to success requires a plan… even for break-ups.

The following are tried-and-tested rules for surviving the end of a romantic relationship, whether it be an intense-but-brief fling or a fifteen-year marriage.

1. Cut ties.

Explain to the ex that you need to isolate yourself from him or her to heal and then remove all contact from phone, email, Facebook and any other social media. (This is one place where Facebook stalking is damaging)

2. Catalogue Your Reasons

This is the time to make a list of the things you dislike about being in a relationship with this person and an explanation for why you are breaking up. It will be useful later during moments of weakness.

3. No contact for 60 days.

This means no phone, no IM, no email, no Facebook, no “Hey, I was just in the neighborhood.” No accidental run-ins at the gym. No hanging around her favorite nightspot. No late night sobbing voice-mails singing along to Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now.” Nothing. Nada. Nope.

Zero contact means zero contact. If you trip up, accept it and restart the clock.

*If you have children, contact is inevitable. Pare interaction down to the minimum needed to communicate the parenting responsibilities. Nothing more, nothing less.

4. “Get busy”

Your circle might be smaller now, depending on the length of the relationship and how mutual friends are divvied up, but the quality of love and support from those left over, best friends, family and coworkers, will do wonders to offset the loneliness. Avoid honeymoon-phase couples, critical parents and babies, if you can.

5. Write down all the things you can enjoy now that you’re single.

This will force you to reframe your perceptions. It will shift your brain from thinking about the negative impact of the break-up to the positive opportunities now available without the attachment. It might take a few tries, depending on how upset you feel. If so, push through. You’ll find some good reasons. You might even end up with a new plan for your life. When you’re done, store it with the reasons you listed for the break-up.

6. Forgive yourself for your reaction. Accept what you feel.

Break-ups are f*cking painful. It’s a totally human and normal reaction to be dramatic, heartbroken, solemn, bitter, etc. If you miss him, let it be. If you say hateful things, let it be. If you do something stalkerish… well everyone has their weak moments. Let’s just all agree to forget about it, OK?

7. Actively let the person go.

This is simple but challenging. Whenever you begin to feel overwhelmed with grief… let the emotions surface (have a good cry if you need to). When finished, announce, out loud, “I am letting [ex's name] go.” It is incredibly relieving and you might be surprised by the physical reaction it fosters…

8. Procrastinate.

Make the following bargain with yourself: When you want to pick up the phone or drive to his place to reach out, commit to wait just one week. Promise yourself that if you still feel exactly as you do in that moment one week later you can indulge the impulse. If she truly cares about you, she will be receptive to it and you can work from there. This gives your fearful brain a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of an opportunity to click “undo.” Meanwhile, it gives your heart more time to reflect and heal without the confusion of the ex in your day-to-day experience. It’s a win-win. If it’s really not meant to be, the temptation will fade accordingly.

9. Trust that break-ups happen for a reason.

Something pulled you away, whether it was frustration or loss of lust or boredom or whatever… there is a good reason. Perhaps it’s something in you, perhaps it’s something in her, perhaps it’s something that happens only when the two of you come together. Perhaps it’s something that’s hard to easily describe (thus the lists) but it is definitely there. Trust yourself.

10. Own your decision

Much like monogamy, you have chosen to end a relationship and there will be temptation to stray from this commitment. The only difference is that instead of a promise to a lover, it’s a promise to yourself. You could even argue it is a promise to your as-yet-unnamed life’s love. Honor the decision. Stick to your guns. Ride it out. Soon, you’ll be ok (I promise).

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

Popular Right Now

To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
754788
views

Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Dear Freshman Year Roommate, Thank You For Being Someone I Always Looked Forward To Hanging Out With

From the first moment we met and bonded over our love for bubble tea, I knew our friendship was going to be special.

147
views

When I was applying for college, I was concerned with supplemental essays, SAT scores, scholarship applications and letters of recommendation. I never took a moment to stop and wonder "What happens once I get in?"

Finally, the fateful day arrived where I made my college decision. I bought a sweatshirt from the George Washington University store. My mom decorated my High School locker with our colors. And most importantly, I sighed a breath of relief imagining how refreshing it was going to be to ride out the rest of my senior year without the stress of college deadlines weighing on my shoulders.

Unfortunately, that blissful serenity was cut short when I joined a Facebook group of admitted students, where profiles of smiling teenagers flashed on my screen accompanied with the fateful "I'm looking for a roommate."

A roommate. I obviously knew that I needed a roommate. It was common sense, yet for some reason, I had failed to consider the logistics of finding a roommate until that moment.

See, my mom helped me through my college process, but times were different back then. She described showing up to her college on the first day, not knowing who she had been randomly assigned. There was no Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram to help you communicate with the girls on the other side of the country-- or sometimes even on the other side of the world.

This was a new, unexplored territory where my mother's wealth of knowledge sadly fell short.

Lucky for me, I was accepted into an honors program which restricted the list of girls available to be my roommate to a list of about twenty-five. We created a google document which asked basic questions like "Are you a night owl or earlier riser?"

Even still, I had no idea how to pick someone who I would be compatible to live with for the next year of my life. The stakes felt high, but I was reassured by the fact that I grew up sharing a room with my siblings, learning some important skills about being low-maintenance and tolerant of others' habits.

I read through the list and found someone whose answers sounded similar to mine, figuring we had enough in common to be amicable, if nothing more, throughout the school year. Her name was Riya, and she had a cute Instagram, so I messaged her asking if she wanted to try and room together. She agreed and we put each other down as roommates when applying for housing.

Looking back, that decision was the best one that I made when preparing for GW.

Throughout my freshman year, I have heard horror stories about roommates who fight all the time, steal each other's clothes, refuse to clean or try and micromanage the other's sleep schedule.

All the while, I count my lucky stars that my roommate is not only sane but someone who I genuinely look forward to spending time with. We share ice cream and inside jokes. When the weather was heating up and the university refused to turn on the air conditioning, we even shared our fans.

It comforts me to know that at the end of even the worst days, I can come back to my room and laugh or cry (sometimes both) with her by my side.

I remember once, I was having trouble with another group of friends. I felt alone and isolated. I felt like there was nobody who I could talk to apart from my mom or my best friend from home, who are both supportive and incredible but don't know any of the characters in my life in the same way as someone here at school.

I have a bad habit of struggling to reach out to people when I'm going through something, figuring I am strong enough to handle it on my own.

While that may sometimes be true, thanks to Riya, I didn't have to. I ended up telling her everything. She listened to me rant, understanding how I was hurt, and advising me on the situation.

I felt so much better after our conversation, and the best part was, I didn't have to leave the comfort of my bed for the entire conversation.

Her friendship reminded me of my family, and honestly, she has acted like a sister to me over the past two semesters.

It is so wild reflecting on the year, knowing that next semester we will be going our separate ways, living with respective friends in buildings a couple of blocks away from each other.

However, even when the posters are off the walls and signs reading "Riya" and "Emilie Joe" no longer stick to the outside of our door, I know that the bond we created in room 217 will never leave us.

Related Content

Facebook Comments