Everyone has been there. You thought you met the love of your life and y’all were going to run away to Mexico and forget all your problems only for him to crush your heart by A) cheating on you, B) ruining your life, or C) all of the above. Now, you could wallow in your newly ruined life or you could learn from this dreadful experience and manifest into the person you were always meant to be. This is a list of steps I have followed and will continue to follow as I (hopefully) continue to become a better version of myself every day. Wherever you are on your journey, whether it be fresh heartbreak or years down the road, I hope these steps can help you like they have helped me.
Step 1: Take your time.
A true break-up takes time; a long time. When I was breaking up with my ex, it took months and months of break-ups for me to finally decide I was done accepting what I didn’t deserve, because after accepting this treatment, it was hard to think there was anything better. However, once I knew I was done, I was beyond done. I knew I could not truly love my ex anymore without hurting myself; and so it was over.
Step 2: Allow yourself to cry (a lot!).
The whole time I was going through this break-up everyone told me I shouldn’t cry over this guy; but I needed to. When you’re in a relationship with someone for a while or you spend a lot of time together, you start imagining things with this person. You start picturing your future with this other person involved in everything you do. It was so hard for me to erase the plans we had made. It took me crying way too many tears, but more importantly it took me making plans of my own.
Step 3: Make a clean break.
This is probably the step that’s hardest for most people when breaking up with their significant other. This is also why step one and two are so important. The point is to make sure you are all the way done and you have no regrets when building your new and improved self.
Step 4: Re-learn what you like and re-love yourself.
When you’re in a relationship it’s easy to lose yourself. You lose what you like when you start having shared likes and you start to put all of your eggs (and your love) in one basket. This makes breaking up extra hard. However, it is important after you make your clean break to get back to you. If it’s been so long that you forgot what you like, try a bunch of random stuff. I learned that I wasn’t going to find my passion laying in bed, feeling scared to get hurt again. I had to go outside and discover what I liked and what I didn’t. With every experience I learned to take pride in myself again. This pride in myself was easily transformed for hope in my own future. I could finally believe in myself again.
The last and final step: Don’t be afraid.
Although this relationship was dreadful, it taught me one of the most important lessons in life: To never be afraid when it comes to love (or pretty much anything else). I realized that getting my feelings hurt was not a reason to stop loving or stop living.
Richard Bach once said, “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly” and I honestly couldn’t agree more. I had to go through what I felt was death at the time, now I have such a full new life and I’m more than grateful for it.