Whether you were together for a decade or just a few months, are the dumper or the dumpee (although, let’s face it, the former is better), breakups suck. Unfortunately, they’re also a part of life and most of us at some point or another will experience one. Some of us will experience many. But the good news is we all get through them. And here are 20 tips for making them a little easier to deal with:
1. Change his name in your phone to “DON’T.” Don’t call, don’t answer, don’t text … just don’t.
2. While you’re at it, hide his or her feed on Facebook and all other social media.
3. Here’s how to change your Facebook relationship status without broadcasting to your entire Friends list that you’re suddenly single.
4. Join a breakup book club (or just read a/some breakup books on your own). Dear Wendy readers and I recommend; It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken; The Breakup Bible; Getting Past Your Breakup; and Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends.
5. Seek support and commiseration in the Dear Wendy forums! Sometimes confiding in people who don’t know you offline and aren’t personally connected to your ex makes it much easier to vent, cry, rage, and move on guilt-free. And unlike dealing with offline friends and family, if someone says something that pisses your off or hits a nerve you aren’t prepared to deal with just yet, you can shut off your computer and walk away.
6. You know how there was this thing that you LOVED to do that he HATED doing, like going dancing, or hitting the beach, or camping, or shopping, or bike riding, or drinking whiskey sours? Do that thing. A lot.
7. And you know how there was another thing that you did that drove him or her crazy, like watching trashy TV, or letting your dirty dishes pile up, or spending too much time on the internet, or spending an entire Sunday hanging out with your friends, or talking to your cat like she’s a person? Do that thing a lot, too. Especially hanging out with you friends.
8. Get a change of scenery. Book a flight, take a road trip, play tourist in your own town. Do SOMETHING that gets you out of your normal day-to-day environment and shows you something new. It doesn’t have to be some grand “Eat, Pray, Love” trip; it needn’t cost a lot. But changing your scenery will go a long way toward changing your mind frame and breaking you out of your breakup funk.
9. Do something nice for someone else. Maybe it’s counterintuitive; YOU’RE the one hurting, after all, right? But doing something nice for someone else — especially if it’s unexpected — feels good. And feeling good is a great antidote to, you know, feeling bad.
10. Make a breakup playlist. None of that sad shit, now. Fill it with empowering songs with strong female vocals — songs that make you want to climb on top of a table and shake your booty.
11. Climb on top of a table and shake your booty.
12. Go to karaoke, pick out a breakup anthem — maybe a favorite song from your breakup playlist (I like “Rolling in the Deep”) — and belt that shit out.
13. Host a potluck dinner party for a handful of your favorite single friends and ask everyone to bring a “breakup dish.” What’s a “breakup dish,” exactly? Well, I guess you’re about to find out!
14. Avoid online dating sites for, like, at least a month or two. I mean, it’s just depressing if you aren’t in the right frame of mind.
15. Also, avoid driving/walking/biking/commuting past your ex’s home or place of business until you can do it without secretly hoping you see him.
16. Push yourself physically — run a race, hike a mountain, bike to a nearby town, swim a mile. If you set a goal and train for it, you’ll not only release feel-good endorphins — a natural painkiller — you’ll give yourself something else to focus on besides your broken heart. Plus, you’ll feel like a badass when you reach your goal and remind yourself how capable you really are.
17. Losing weight on the breakup diet? Now you’ve got an excuse to go buy yourself a new outfit — something that makes you look and feel amazing.
18. Change up your routine. Take a different route to and from work. Go to a different grocery store. Try out a different gym. When you change patterns in your life, you change patterns in your mind, which helps you break out of a funk a little faster.
19. Eat well. It’s OK to have a weekend where you bury your face in a vat of ice cream, but after that, fill your body with stuff that makes it feel good — fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc. You need to keep your energy up when you’re fighting the sads.
20. Avoid dressing rooms with florescent lighting. That’s a general life tip, but good to remember when you’re going through a breakup.