How to Stay Broken Up

How to Stay Broken Up

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

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Dear Mom, From Your Daughter In College

Here are all the things our phone calls aren't long enough to say.
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Dear Mom,

Do you remember when I was three and we would play together? It was the age of princesses and carpet that was actually lava, and you were the prettiest woman in the whole wide world. Do you remember when I was in high school and the world seemed too big and scary? You would know exactly when to take me on a mother-daughter date and have me laughing about anything and everything, and you were the smartest woman in the whole wide world. Now, I'm buried in homework and deadlines hours away from you and we don't get to talk as much you want, but you're still the prettiest, smartest woman in the whole wide world.

I'm sorry that I don't call you as much as I should, and you know a lot of what goes on in my world via posts and pictures. Our schedules just seem to never line up so we can have the three-hour conversations about everything like I want to. I know we don't agree on absolutely everything, but I cherish every piece of advice you give me, even though it probably seems like I'm hardly listening. I know that sometimes we get on each other's nerves, but thank you for putting up with me for all of these years. Thank you for listening to me cry, complain, question things and go on and on about how everything in college is. I know I don't come home as much as I used to, but I think about you all the time. After all, you're my first friend, and therefore, my best friend.

Thank you for celebrating my successes with me, and not downing me too hard for my failures. Thank you for knowing what mistakes I shouldn't make, but letting me make them anyway because you want me to live my life and be my own person. Thank you for knowing when to ask about the boy I've been talking about, and when to stop without any questions. Thank you for letting me be my crazy, weird, sometimes know-it-all self.

Thank you for sitting back and watching me spread my wings and fly. There is no way I could have known how to grow into the woman I am today if I hadn't watched you while I was growing up so I would know what kind of person I should aspire to be. Thank you for being the first (and the best) role model I ever had. You continue to inspire and amaze me every day with all that you do, and all that you are.

I don't know how I got so lucky to have a person in my life like you, but I thank the Lord every night for blessing me with the smartest, prettiest person to be my best friend, my role model, my confidant, my person and most importantly, my mother.

Love,

Your daughter

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I'm Proud Of My Friends Because They Show Me The True Meaning Of Love Every Day

In the midst of a competitive, harsh society of school and work, my friends teach me everyday what it means to love.

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Every Christmas, our friend group does Secret Santa, our little way of celebrating the holiday season even when all of us can't meet up at one time over the break. And every summer, we all meet up with each other and spend the entire day together, taking a slew of pictures and laughing nonstop.

I've come to realize in the past school year that competitive energy can bring out the worst in people, especially the ones you expected it from the least. But I have not seen my friends waver once against the hard, cold face of competition. They've stayed completely true to themselves and the bonds they have with their close friends.

One of my friends is one of the only people I spend more time with during the day than I do by myself. She and I are currently part of a philanthropic program dedicated to raising money for blood cancer research, and we think of each other as sisters.

She and I have shared tears, memories and laughs so close to me that I will never forget the impact she has left on my life. She has changed me as a person, and I think that's what it means to love. As one of my best friends, she teaches me every single day of my life what it means to be a strong, fearless woman.

I see a lot of my friends only once in a while, but it makes me think about the fact that no matter how little we get to see each other, we still have that same appreciation and respect for one another that started the friendship in the first place.

No matter how close I consider myself to each person I call a friend, they all think about me even when they don't need to. They give me little tokens and pep talks when I'm feeling down and make sure to focus on making me cheerful when I'm not myself. They carry themselves with so much emotional elegance, and I have never been more thankful to be a part of their lives.

Every single day that I see them, they teach me how to be a better person.

What makes me proudest of my friends is that they are not afraid to put me in my place. Everything they say to me is out of concern for my well-being, but they always make sure to tell me when I'm wrong. It's something I disliked at first (considering sugarcoating was just a way of hiding the truth when I didn't want to hear it) but came to enormously respect.

They teach me the meaning of love everyday by molding me into a combination of tough love and empathy.

The friend who fights by my side everyday against blood cancers gives me a hug at the first sign that I'm not happy, but she doesn't hesitate to stop me when I start blaming other details for my mistakes. The friends who love giving gifts every holiday season to show their love when we can't see each other are the same people who explain to me the rational reasoning of a situation when my emotions take over. The friends who I see only a few times a month also teach me that there is value to having distant friends who aren't always there.

It's so strange how much I've changed because of the people I've surrounded myself with because I always say I'll stay true to myself. But I'm a mix of their individual personalities, and I've never been happier.

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