Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “How Do You Deal With Heartbreak When You Have to See Him Everyday?”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

My boyfriend of a year and a half broke up with me about six weeks ago. It was mutual, but only because I knew he didn’t want to be in it anymore and, if he didn’t want to be, I didn’t either. It was pretty amicable — no one got angry or shouted — and I was actually almost relieved at the time (things had been going downhill for a while and I was getting tired of feeling insecure about his love for me all the time). That state lasted about a week. Okay, almost a week. Okay, three days. For a month after that, I was depressed and sad most of the time. I didn’t want to do anything. Now, in the last two weeks, I’ve started to want to hang out with friends and read, and do enjoyable things. Even though I’m pulling myself out of it (gradually), I still love him (he was my first love) and I know that, if it were up to me, we wouldn’t have broken up.

The biggest problem right now is seeing him. Every time I do, my chest HURTS and there’s pain. Actual physical pain. Lots of it. And I can’t breathe. This wouldn’t be a big deal if I didn’t have to see him. But we’re in high school and we go to the same school. It’s pretty small, we have similar friend groups, and we’re both in music, which means we see each other all the time. I’m graduating in two months and we’re going to different schools next year. But I need to hold out and stay sane until then. My question is HOW? — Heartbroken

52 comments… add one
  • becboo84

    BecBoo84 April 27, 2011, 3:10 pm

    Oh… I can totally sympathize. I was with my hs bf for 2.5 years until he cheated on me with another girl in our class. We had a small hs, about 600 students, and we were in a lot of the same tracked classes, but thankfully I didn’t have anything with both of them. And, my locker was right next to his, so I had to catch them sucking face all the time. Major fail! I was able to change lockers, but other than that, when in class, I just made sure to not sit near him and concentrate on my own stuff. My situation was a little different though b/c, needless to say, given the circumstances, most of our mutual friends realized he was a punk and gave him the cold shoulder.

    Anyway, no real advice I guess, but it does get better! Now, 10 years later, I look back at that time and realize I dodged a major bullet. Clearly, we never would have made good life partners. And, it would have sucked a lot more to realize he was a manipulative cheater years later when we were married and had kids. Be thankful there are only two months left, and work on hanging with your girlfriends. At least in my situation, they had definitely been a little neglected while I’d been busy being in love…

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    ReginaRey April 27, 2011, 3:11 pm

    First of all, let me say how glad I am that you have such a mature approach to this break up. Many women much older than you would have tried to get him back, or accepted less than what they wanted, instead of stoically pressing on when they knew someone didn’t want to be with them. That is the HARD, healthy, and self-respecting thing to do, and I give you so much credit for that.

    I think the key to staying sane is changing how you react when you see him. You change a reaction by changing your thought process. Instead of thinking of him as “the ex who broke my heart” you need to re-label him in your mind as something like “That guy who just wasn’t good enough for me” or “That dude who couldn’t handle my amazing self.”

    It doesn’t matter if it sounds corny or stupid. What matters is you’ve automatically gone from pitying YOURSELF when you see him (physical pain, not being able to breathe, instant sadness) to pitying HIM (he couldn’t handle me, I’m going to go so many more places, I rock!). You may not believe yourself at first, but if you make a concerted effort to get a little mad and a little snarky inside your own head when you see him, eventually you’re going to start adopting those thoughts for real.

    Getting sad is like putting your ex on a pedastal – without even knowing it, you’re giving him all of this power over how you feel about yourself. But getting a little mad and a little defensive (even if it’s just to yourself)? That’s keeping the power away from him, and with you. It’s something you can carry with you at all times, and it’ll keep you sane, girl! Good luck!

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      sohara April 27, 2011, 3:53 pm

      I LOVE this answer and think it will work. An additional benefit is reminding yourself that you ARE fabulous and deserve someone who recognizes that.

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      HM April 27, 2011, 6:34 pm

      Wow, I wish I had that advice not long ago. LW, breakups will always be a little (or a lot) sad. Even 10yrs later, I still get bummed about breakups. But they do get easier and you will be glad when you look back that you didn’t settle for less than you deserve.
      People will tell you to get busy which is advice that always irritates me when I’m receiving it. But it is true. Eventually you won’t think about him first thing when you wake or when you get to class. I think changing your perspective is EXCELLENT advice and after a little practice it won’t be as difficult and your daily “norm” will be enjoying your life instead of worrying about some guy wasting your time.

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    LolaBeans April 27, 2011, 3:12 pm

    Oh LW, I know your pain so well.
    If it is any consolation, we all go through it and we all get through it. You have two months left until summer where you won’t have to see him every day.. I think that is something you can set your ‘sights’ on.
    In the meantime, seeing him isn’t really avoidable as you take the same classes.. but maybe try to form new friendships outside of the ones you share with your mutual friends.
    Keep busy. Go to the gym, start a new hobby, prepare for college, join a soccer/volleyball or whatever you like for the summer.
    You will see, you’ll come out of this so much stronger and excited for your new life!
    College!!!!! That will be so amazing for you.. new experiences and friendships.. it will be here that you will being to grow. Enjoy your next few months before college, it will be a crazy fun 4 years ahead 🙂

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    lk April 27, 2011, 3:14 pm

    Ouch…. I work in the same building with the man I’m in love with : /

    However, I’ve found that the best way to deal with my feelings is to do what you’re doing – whatever makes me a happy, healthy human – and to re-frame the way I think of him in my mind when I get sad. That is, I go back to the feelings I have for him as a person and as a friend and change the lacking, heartbroken feeling to one of gratitude that people like him are in the world. I choose to make the assumption that he has always acted with the best of intentions and I choose to act with the best of intentions toward him (and others, of course).

    Then I smile at him, say hello and continue about my day.

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    Sarah April 27, 2011, 3:22 pm

    Man, I feel for you, LW, first breakups are the toughest, especially when it was for such a long time, your boyfriend pulled out emotionally long before you, and that you’re still so young. The good news is that you’re incredibly mature for your age, and that will work in your favor when you discover the galaxy of horniness that is frat boys. Luckily you’ve got a two month limit to having to deal with this guy and you seems like you are recovering well in the last two weeks. Once, I went to my counselor with the issue that I could not stop thinking about bad experiences with men and would start to get depressed every time I saw an ex or man who threw me to the curb (I lived in a small town). The counselor taught me a trick. Whenever you catch yourself feeling that awful pain and dread when you see an ex or think about what happened, focus on everything else in the room. Focus on what color backpack someone is wearing, count how many windows there are in the room, do whatever you can to bring yourself in the presence of the moment. Remove yourself to everything except the most basic of observations. My specific way of doing this is I play this game “what color should her hair be?” I look at every girl in the room and wonder what hair color would best suit her face. Or what she would look like with longer or shorter hair. My make over instinct kicks in and before I know it, the bad thought has drifted away. I know it seems silly, but it worked for me then and its worked for me ever since.

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      nameless April 27, 2011, 4:17 pm

      This is the best advice!

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        Sarah April 27, 2011, 4:41 pm

        Oh thanks! 🙂 Its one of the best tricks I got from counseling. Plus, the more I do it, the more I’m able to distance myself from damaging thoughts. It used to be really hard for me to separate my actual self from the thoughts going through my mind. Once I realized that you can train your mind to alert you when you begin to dwell on a negative thought, distraction seems like a much easier, and healthier, thing to do.

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      sarita_f April 27, 2011, 10:49 pm

      First of all, thumbs way up for this quote alone:

      “The good news is that you’re incredibly mature for your age, and that will work in your favor when you discover the galaxy of horniness that is frat boys.”

      So true!

      Also, really great trick your counselor taught you, I haven’t heard of a coping skill like that but can see how useful it is. Cool!

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      SpyGlassez April 27, 2011, 11:34 pm

      When my grandma died, I would do the same type of thing! Whenever I would find myself dwelling on the past and hurting or missing her, I would try to look at what was around me. I rearranged the furniture a lot in my head, trying to focus on better layouts and such, but it helped me break that cycle.

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    cat-i-z April 27, 2011, 3:25 pm

    We have all been in that heart-broken state. It’s so hard no matter your age. I get physically sick, I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. Then day by day… it gets easier and easier and easier.

    Keep in mind you said, that you could tell he had not wanted to be in the relationship for a while. Keep reminding yourself that you deserve someone that we enjoy time with you and appreciate you.

    I dodged some HUGE bullets with my ex’s. During the break ups… I thought I was never going to be OK but here I am now, happily engaged and thankful for those painful breakups. They helped mold me into who I am now, and they helped me set up some healthy relationship boundaries.

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    silver_dragon_girl April 27, 2011, 3:25 pm

    Oh, high school…

    Ok, this might not help you right away, but I swear it’s the gospel truth: There are other guys out there. Lots. Tons. A multitude. I know that this hurts, I know that you love this guy, and you still want to be with him, but…there will be another one. Probably sooner than you think. You WILL move on, and you WILL feel better. One day you will wake up and not think about him right away. You will pass him in the hallway at school and your heart won’t stop. I promise.

    So you just need to pass the time until that happens. Read books while you wait for class to start so you don’t have to talk to him. Or wait until the last minute to walk into class so you don’t have to sit and see him. Find another cute guy and develop a ridiculously huge crush on him in order to distract yourself. Ok, maybe that’s not the most mature advice, but it always helps me get over someone.

    If you’re still getting panicky around your ex, try getting a yoga DVD or meditation CD. Spend 20-30 minutes relaxing and breathing deeply every night. Before you know it, you’ll be able to quickly go into that “happy, calm place” when you see this guy.

    I promise, it won’t hurt like this forever. Best of luck.

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      Sarah April 27, 2011, 3:31 pm

      Oh yeah, yoga and working out, that’s a good one. I used to ride my bicycle through the wash and sing out loud to Patsy Cline on my ipod after a break up. Thank god I never got dumped during the rainy season :).

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        BeccaAnne April 29, 2011, 1:45 am

        Patsy FTW

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      brendapie April 27, 2011, 3:58 pm

      I have to agree with silver_dragon_girl and say you should try yoga. The breathing exercises are amazing! Maybe this is TMI but I do deep breathing exercises when I visit my gyno and it helps me get over the intense discomfort. The pain doesn’t go away but my focus on the pain does.

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        SpaceySteph April 27, 2011, 4:20 pm

        Off topic on your TMI… if you’re just having a regular pelvic exam, you shouldn’t be feeling intense discomfort and physical pain. I apologize if you have other complications that cause it, and you can ignore me if you do, but otherwise I would suggest you talk to your gynecologist. He should be able to use a smaller speculum or more lube, which might help. Also you could just have a yeast infection, which could make it painful. If he’s unwilling/unable to help or brushes off your issues, I suggest trying another doctor and being upfront about the pain to see what they can offer you.

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        brendapie April 27, 2011, 4:49 pm

        Thanks for your response. It’s more anxiety on my part and feeling uncomfortable with a doctor examining me in what I feel is too private of an area. I’m a bit of a late comer to it since I was 28 when I finally bit the bullet and had the exam and also being a virgin didn’t help matters much. It took two separate visits before the doctor could complete the exam and seeing blood on the exam table afterwards left me fairly traumatized. I did feel that my doctor brushed me off when I told her it was my first time so next year I’ll take your suggestion and find a more accommodating doctor.

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        Thyme April 27, 2011, 5:04 pm

        Wait… you BLED during a pelvic exam? Maybe I’m just totally uninformed, but that does not seem right, even if you are a virgin. It sounds like your doctor is not nearly as gentle and careful as he should be! Maybe try a new doctor. Ouch! I’m crossing my legs in pain just imagining.

        …unless you were just on your period… but I don’t think that’s what you meant.

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        brendapie April 27, 2011, 5:15 pm

        No period. When my doctor uses her fingers the sensation is almost comforting but the speculum is just awful. The only way I got through it was focusing on my breathing and while I felt pain, my mind wasn’t focused on it. I’ll definitely get a new doctor – I didn’t realize the pain and bleeding was abnormal.

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        LittleLuWho April 27, 2011, 7:21 pm

        I’ve spotted after pelvic exams from the pap smear portion because they’re actually grabbing a swatch of skin with that bristly brush. Most of the time I don’t have an issue but after one particular exam, my doctor said I was probably going to spot for the day (I guess he realized he scraped a little too much) and to grab a panty liner from the drawer when I got dressed. I wouldn’t be tremendously alarmed about the blood if your doctor isn’t.
        However, if you feel like your doctor isn’t totally accommodating of the fact that you were freaked out, it was your first exam, etc, find a new one asap!!

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        moonflowers April 27, 2011, 5:21 pm

        I’m a virgin too and I just had my first pelvic exam yesterday (also procrastinated – I’m 26!). I most definitely did not bleed, and my doctor was very sympathetic and didn’t try to force the speculum wider when she heard me saying ouch. Something’s not right if you left non-menstrual blood on the table. I’m so sorry you had to go through that!

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        Golden_Key April 27, 2011, 6:53 pm

        At my first exam (as a 21 y/o virgin), I had such intense pain that my gyno had to use the pediatric speculum…and it still hurt like hell. I had to insist she switch several times before she actually did, because she didn’t seem to believe I was in *that* much pain. But I was, even with my normally high pain tolerance. I’m planning on switching doctors after that lovely experience.
        So while I agree that the bleeding probably isn’t normal (unless it was your hymen breaking?), the pain just could be because you’re small. Sorry if this post was too detailed!

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        MissDre April 27, 2011, 10:13 pm

        She probably bled because her hymen broke for the first time. That’s why some girls bleed/hurt their first time having sex. But a doctor should be gentle and understanding.

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        SpyGlassez April 27, 2011, 11:41 pm

        I didn’t bleed, but I am pretty sure my hymen broke during my first gyno visit (WAAY late starter; I was 29!) When I went back a few weeks ago for this one, I told them from the beginning that I needed a smaller speculum.

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    cmarie April 27, 2011, 3:26 pm

    You’re already doing the right thing: going on with your life. I know it hurts and I know it sometimes feels like it will never get better but you need to believe that it will. You are already being so mature about something adult women sometimes have trouble dealing with. Heartbreak is never easy, nor should it be. The reason breaking up hurts is the same reason they make life worth living. You are giving a part of yourself to every person you form a relationship with, whether it be a boyfriend or your sister, and they do the same for you. That’s what makes them so meaningful. Someday you’ll feel better and you’ll find the courage to put yourself fully out there again and even if it ends up hurting you it will be worth it in the end because you get something from every relationship. After my major relationship ended what helped me was to find what I had gained from being in it instead of focusing on what I had lost. Just keep living your life and looking forward to the future. Allow yourself to feel that pain and grieve but always remember that it won’t alway hurt like this. Avoid him when you can and when you can’t remember that you have what it takes to be mature and responsible in your interactions. You’ve already proven that so just keep going.

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    MissDre April 27, 2011, 3:34 pm

    When the love of my life dumped me and got another girl pregnant (after he told me how much he loved me and wanted to marry me) I listed to the song Return of the Mack over and over again. Definitely helped me feel empowered get my swagger back…

    So I’m back up in the game
    Running things to keep my swing
    Letting all the people know
    That I’m back to run the show
    ‘Cos what you did, you know, was wrong
    And all the nasty things you’ve done
    So, baby, listen carefully
    While I sing my come-back song…

    Return of the Mack! You know that I’ll be back!

    LoL 🙂

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      callmehobo April 27, 2011, 3:55 pm

      Also, definitely check out “Breaking Up” by Rilo Kiley- it’s so damn catchy and happy, you can’t feel depressed!

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        plasticepoxy April 28, 2011, 10:03 am

        Rilo Kiley has gotten me through so many rough times in the past. These days I’m more apt to reach for Regina Spektor, but Rilo Kiley (and some Jenny Lewis solo) still makes it into the rotation when I’m especially upset. Somehow it always makes me feel better.

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      Elle April 27, 2011, 5:12 pm

      I also like La Roux – Bulletproof

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      HM April 27, 2011, 6:59 pm

      Sun of a Gun – Oh Land
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWRi7gDYjVY

      The video is freaky in the best way too.

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        TheOtherMe April 28, 2011, 10:17 am

        I adore “Oh Land” ( especially “Frostbite” )

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      Elle April 27, 2011, 7:15 pm

      I find The Kooks very uplifting too. ‘Naive’ and ‘Ooh La’ are my favorites

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      sarita_f April 27, 2011, 10:55 pm

      Once you start coming out of the fog – “The Dog Days are Over” by Frances and the Machine. Ray of sunshine.

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        callmehobo April 27, 2011, 10:57 pm

        I think you mean Florence + the Machine?

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    Shell April 27, 2011, 3:39 pm

    I also want to compliment your approach to dealing with your break-up, it’s really admirable!

    Continue to do the things that make you feel healthy and happy – I took up yoga after a difficult break up and even just learning the breathing technique was a helpful way to calm myself, when I could feel the anxiety coming on even at the thought of seeing him.

    Keep on hanging in there!

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    honeybeenicki April 27, 2011, 3:46 pm

    I would have to agree with everyone here on a few things. First, for being so amazingly mature about this. In high school, even as a senior, I don’t know if I could have done quite as well. Second, definitely continue to do things that make you happy – reading, hobbies, etc. I know it is hard, even for the two months you have left of school, but it will get better and you need to be able to look back and know you didn’t neglect yourself. Change the way you think about him and the breakup (I agree with changing “he didn’t want to be with me” to “he couldn’t handle me!”) and focus on other things.

    While I don’t have some magical tip for just getting over heartbreak (I could be a millionaire selling that!), I can offer some advice from past experience that helped me. In addition to the things above (do things for you, change the way you think, focusing on other things), I found that sometimes you have to succumb to sadness. If you do, do it in a more productive way. If you find yourself getting really sad in the middle of the day, tell yourself that you will deal with it later and then do it. Put in a sad movie and watch it by yourself or with friends, read a sappy book, hell even indulge in some ice cream (we all know ice cream makes everything better and I definitely recommend Kemps Under the Stars as an excellent break up ice cream). But don’t neglect yourself – get out and do things, eat something other than ice cream, make new friends, find new hobbies, and just make yourself the best YOU that you can be. And just remember that eventually, it will pass. The hurt will go away and you will be able to move on.

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    AKchic April 27, 2011, 4:01 pm

    Oh sweetie. Your first love always seems to feel the worst… at the time. Trust me, time will help you forget the ache you feel. It is normal to mourn the loss of a relationship. Sometimes, the loss of a relationship can feel like a death. You are still grieving to some extent.
    The good thing is, you are handling this in a very mature way. Much more mature than many women twice your age. I can remember girls in high school trying to play games in order to get “their” guys back.

    Take the high road. You two weren’t meant to be together now. There is summer break and college to look forward to. Immerse yourself in your schoolwork, your girlfriends, and maybe even some casual dates with new guys. Don’t allow yourself to get physical with anyone for at least six months though. You will want the time to get yourself mentally straightened out, and work on an image of the kind of guy you want to have as a boyfriend. Nice, easy to communicate with, etc.

    Good luck.

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    BoomChakaLaka April 27, 2011, 4:16 pm

    Just to continue emphasizing what everyone has been saying: this too shall pass. It hurts now, but you know what? It’s ok for it to hurt. If you don’t feel like you’ve grieved, cried, shouted, or moped enough, then go ahead and do all of those things and get them out of your system.

    The one thing I really want for you is to be your best possible self in college. There, you’ll (hopefully) find more like minded individuals and who knows, maybe a second go at love. But to get there, you’ll first have to get over your heartbreak.

    I went through heartbreak for the first time at 24 after breaking up with my bf of 4 years for the very same reasons you left yours. It wasn’t easy,but I did what I needed to do to let him go. Because if he doesn’t want a life with you, you can’t just sit around hoping for the life that could have been with him.

    Good luck with your healing. I hope we hear a positive update from you in a month or so!

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    SGMcG April 27, 2011, 4:41 pm

    I agree with everything that’s been said about the maturity you’ve shown regarding this relationship so far. You need to take that maturity and turn it into strength to help you cope with your broken heart. Yet I wonder LW, if that’s not all you’re sad about.

    Change is a scary thing LW and it sounds like all the memories of your high school years are connected with this guy – the shared music recitals, the great after parties (I remember those) and the progression of your relationship with HIM in the process. Please don’t let the last two months of making further memories be that of sadness and mourning the end of a romance. Since you’re into music, see if you can take your talents and sublimate your sadness into song – I can’t tell you how many break-up songs and lyrics I’ve written over unrequited love. Maybe it can help you too? Start a band with those songs with your friends and play out your heartache.

    The important thing is to focus on the chance of making final goodbyes to high school with your other friends as you get through prom, graduation and the promise of summer and college. Don’t let the sadness eat you up. You have so much more to look forward to with or without him.

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    HmC April 27, 2011, 4:43 pm

    LW, I think your letter demonstrates tremendous poise and self-awareness for such a young age, especially considering that this is was your first love.

    In addition to what others have said, take heart in the fact that you had a first love experience that ended relatively well, and that you will be single when going away to college, which will be fun in a lot of ways.

    I have found that, personally, there was not too much that I could proactively do to mend my broken heart quickly. It just took time. So, give yourself time, let yourself feel what you are feeling, and don’t judge yourself for it.

    As to how to handle seeing him every day… two months is not that long. All you can really do is try and focus your energy and attention on something other then him, when he’s around. Don’t be mean to him, or outright ignore him. But maybe try and talk to other friends in the class you share with him.

    Ultimately, there is no HOW to feel nothing around someone you once loved. You’re supposed to feel something- if you didn’t, especially this soon after, you’d be a sociopath. I just met up with my first love, 4 YEARS after our break up, and while it wasn’t devastating, I certainly did have a physical reaction. Be happy and grateful for what you had and what you’ve learned. When you do eventually fall in love again, I think you will look back at this first experience with greater, more objective appreciation.

    Good luck to you!

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    Sarah April 27, 2011, 5:48 pm

    Can you cultivate a crush on someone else? That’s maybe not the most productive way to move on, but it works better than anything else I know.

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    mf April 27, 2011, 6:26 pm

    LW, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. You seem really smart and mature. Although it doesn’t feel like it, I’m 100% you will come out of this experience a happier, stronger person.

    RE how to get over the break up: one thing that has helped me in the past is having something to look forward to. Make some really fun exciting plans, whether for next week or the upcoming summer break. It can be anything, as long as it’s something to look forward and something that you’re excited about.

    Then, when you’re feeling down, you can think about your plans to see a movie with your BFF this weekend, or that road trip you’re taking in July, or your graduation party in June. When you’re looking forward to the future, it’s much harder to linger in the past 🙂

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    Kerrycontrary April 27, 2011, 6:45 pm

    I don’t have any advice but I do feel your pain. I lived in the SAME APARTMENT BUILDING as my boyfriend (and my first real adult love) when we broke up in college. Sometimes it was horribly awkward, but you have to realize that life goes on and you will physically, and emotionally, survive this time period. I would like to praise the LW for being so mature about this breakup. I definitely didn’t expect the LW to be in highschool after her first paragraph. In fact, I thought this was going to be a “I work with my boyfriend and we broke up” kind of scenario. You will get through this!

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    crazyayeaye April 27, 2011, 7:08 pm

    I’d just like to say, LW, that you are really mature for your age! You’re awesome, lady, own it! 🙂

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    Jessica April 27, 2011, 9:26 pm

    I’m pretty much in the same exact spot you are in, except I am in college, so believe me, I feel your pain.

    But, what everyone keeps telling me is to smile. Especially when you see him. Not only is it the best medicine, it’s the best revenge, if you let it be, as my mom told me.

    So far, it’s worked for me. It’s made things easier when I see him, and when he’s not around.

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      ape escape April 28, 2011, 10:47 am

      Yes! My mom always gave me the Smile advice, too – fake it til you make it! It may feel silly to smile when you’re hurting inside, but if you do it enough, sooner or later you’ll start to actually believe it and FEEL it.

      Looking hot in general always works wonders too. Even if you aren’t going to see the guy that day, putting on a cute dress or sexy heels you wouldn’t ordinarily wear for a casual day, or doing a new hair or makeup trick, whatever, is sooo good for your self-esteem. Think about how when celebrities will have those super public breakups and the tabloids hound them. Surely all they want to do is curl up in sweatpants with some ben n jerry’s. But what do they do? They make sure they’re looking FIERCE. I highly recommend this method, in addition to the others the brilliant ladies here have already suggested.

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        spaceboy761 April 28, 2011, 10:53 am

        Eh. This could also backfire hugely. Throwing a mask on your emotions is a short-term fix at best. LW should do her best to remain composed around her ex, but revenge motivation doesn’t work for most people for very long.

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    Elle April 27, 2011, 9:27 pm

    Congrats on surviving the first 6 weeks! Especially for having to see him every day, you are a very strong person. If you haven’t lost your mind by now, chances are, you’ll never lose it. The hardest part is behind you. Make a list of all the advice here, and take a look at it whenever you feel like it.

    You are doing great, and kudos to you for the mature way you are handling things. Give yourself time, and be patient with yourself. Two months from now you’ll be a different person, and you’ll regret the time you spent longing for him. You’ll be so happy, you’ll wonder why you haven’t done it sooner. Unfortunately, that’s the way break-ups go. You have to go through the pain, to come out a stronger and a better person.

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    sarita_f April 27, 2011, 11:27 pm

    LW, keep on keeping on. I like all the answeres people have given for distraction techniques – these are ESPECIALLY great during those times you have to physically face him.

    But I’d like to advocate a bit more for really letting yourself delve into the pain. This advice probably comes from me because there’s always this niggling fear that I’m not capable of feeling as much as I should. But I’ve been through a rough couple of years recently (let’s not enumerate). It was my best friend’s death and funeral that really made me FEEL again, and that experience was oddly life-affirming. I let myself really, truly grieve and taking that time to do so has eventually been the best gift. No, it’s not fun but it feels so necessary and healthy.

    Don’t bottle your grief. Don’t go cray-cray, either – continue to keep it classy and don’t act out. Just really recognize and welcome in the pain for a bit, when you’re on your own or with people you trust. You’ll eventually amaze yourself at your resilience, and this will ad to your bank of confidence, resolve and guts.

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    Fairhaired Child April 28, 2011, 4:00 am

    I had a pretty crappy break up similar to yours in college (I never dated anyone in the same school in HS) while it wasn’t nearly as long of a relationship as yours, it was a very very aweful ending. I had 3 classes with him, and in 1 of them I could not manage to switch seats with anyone so I had to still sit next to him (this was also in a smaller class and we had a “round class” setting since it was mostly a discussion led class). One of the worse things was that my teacher had known we were dating but did not realize the breakup had occured (and this may apply to you now). So for one project we were paired for a “trust exercise” – needless to say we failed our trust for each other and the teacher joked about how that someone was going to the doghouse in our relationship (and of course I wasnt going to say in the middle of class that we had broken up).

    Anyway, while it hurt not only to have to share the same space as him, see him, have to work with him on projects etc. I tried my hardest to be the “better” of the two and to hold my head high and not let anyone see how much it affected me. It helped that I had a great friend support and that I had found a quote I don’t remember who its by but I live by it every day now “Never frown because you never know who is falling in love with your smile.”

    Just remember that quote – listen to some of the music suggested by the readers, and have fun for YOU and cherish you and spoil yourself. Spend time with the girls. Plan wonderful get togethers. Get a pedicure, find a new dress thats absolutely beautiful on you, and go out and enjoy yourself. Because, right now you are the only one that should matter.

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    MsMisery April 28, 2011, 1:32 pm

    I had a terrible break up with my first real love well into my 20s, so you’re displaying uncommon maturity about the situation for still being in high school (and it took me a year to get over his crappy ass).

    Just know that it takes time. There isn’t a lot to do but wait it out and distract yourself (but not with other boys- that’s not healthy or nice for them). And try, try, try, not not be all up on his Facebook. Especially if he’s got another girl. It’s about as healthy as punching yourself in the face.

    You also don’t have to be friends with him. Friendly, maybe, but only if he deserves it. Even if you have common friends, that doesn’t mean you have to be in each other’s lives. It didn’t work out. Learn from it and grooooowwww.

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