I’ve dealt with my fair share of breakups in the past. Some ended well, some ended badly, but all were hard to deal with at the time. Knowing that something you put hard work, effort, and time into has suddenly ended is tough to accept and let go. However, as much as we may believe life is over, it’s important to know that it is possible to move on, get better, and see the silver lining in the end. The phrase “hindsight is 20/20” can be hard to believe in the moment, but I promise it’s true.
Been on the receiving end of a break-up recently? While I am by no means a relationship expert, these are some tricks that I’ve found to be effective in getting over a breakup and moving on. (Guys: while my tips come from a female perspective, they'll work for you, too.)
1. Take time to grieve. It’s okay to take a few days, buy a box of chocolates, and watch some movies. No one expects you to jump back on the dating bandwagon immediately, and it’s even best if you don’t. However, make sure to emerge from the depths of your living room couch after a little while. Find a hobby, go to the gym, and start to slowly find activities to take your mind off of the breakup. And most importantly, don’t beat yourself up if you have a break down every once in a while. That’s natural, and it happens.
2. Eliminate the “maybe.” “Maybe” is a tough little word. Sometimes after someone breaks up with us, we want to believe that “maybe” he’ll see he was wrong and come back, or “maybe” this breakup isn’t a permanent thing. And maybe those things will happen, but it’s important not to dwell on them. By dwelling on the “maybe,” your heart will get broken even more if nothing ends up happening. By moving on, you can put the pieces back together, and if things do end up working out again, you’ll be in an even better place. Who knows; by moving on, you might even realize your life has gone forward and you don’t want to get back together!
3. Cut the person off. This is a tough one. His Facebook page is right there, ready for you to look at. His text messages are still on your phone. My advice? Get rid of them. Delete the texts. Try to avoid looking through photos, e-mails, etc. for a period of time. While it can be hard, a clean break is the best way to start fresh. Sometimes by trying to stay friends immediately after the relationship ends, the “maybe” creeps back in and it becomes impossible to move on. If you do want an eventual friendship, it can come with time. Don’t jump into it before you are ready. You need time for those romantic feelings to disappear, and when you are surrounded by constant reminders of the relationship, they won’t.
4. Surround yourself with friends and family. Friends want to be there to help you, so let them. It has always surprised and touched me at how willing my friends have been to help me with whatever I’ve needed. Let visiting and home teachers know what’s going on. They want to help you, too, and they will. Talking it out can help, and often hearing the viewpoints of others lets us see things that we couldn’t or didn’t want to see while in the relationship.
5. Make yourself over. A breakup can be the perfect time to evaluate how you’ve been doing. Want to change up your hair? Do it. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Join a gym, take cooking classes, clean out your closet. Life is on your terms now. The best way to feel better is to make yourself better.
6. Make a playlist. I identify with music, and good song lyrics seem to recognize better how I feel than I do. There are great songs that will help you get through the sadness or anger. Then, make sure to move on and listen to happy, uplifting music when you are ready to be in a good mood!
7. Have faith that everything will work out. I'll say it again: hindsight really is 20/20. With most of my breakups, I am at the point where I can look back now and say, “Now I know why it wasn’t supposed to work.” Getting that answer takes time, so let yourself have it. And it will come.
8. Fake it til you make it. This is my dad’s favorite phrase, and I never believed it until I realized it’s true. Sometimes, by putting on a brave face and pretending you’re fine and happy, you realize that you really are, or are very close to it. So if you're finding it hard to find the faith that everything will work out, fake it. Faking a smile when you feel like diving into a box of tissues is tough, but it really will lift your mood. I promise.
While no breakup is fun to go through, the hurt will go away with time. The most important thing to do is to stay positive that wounds will heal, life will go on, and each day will get even better than the last. Because they will!