Guest columnists and contributors are generously sharing their talents and insights while I’m taking some time to care for my new baby. Today’s post comes from Heather, who blogs over at Just Another Day.
Breakups suck. No way to sugar coat it. So how is one supposed to pick up and face the world again after being dumped? First things first, put down the Ben and Jerry’s Schweddy Balls and read this list of 10 Things To Help You Move on from a Breakup, after the jump.
1. Pick up a new hobby.
After a breakup, finding things to occupy your once-companion-filled-time is difficult. After the eating-ice-cream and crying-at-the-drop-of-a-hat stage, starting a new hobby can be just the thing to get your juices going again. Cooking, projects around the house, reading or starting a new book club, and/or joining a new local sports team (kickball is all the rage now) are all great ways to pick yourself up and begin a whole new you.
2. Read a breakup book.
I know this seems a little lame, but it works. There are some really great breakup books out there (30 Day Breakup Guide Challenge, It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken, The Between Boyfriends Book) and they all throw in a little humor, which never hurts. These books offer advice on typical occurrences after breakups: the crying, the anger, the obsessive calling/emailing/texting, the first run-in, etc. They offer real-life stories and examples and give tips on how to cope. Even if only one tip helps, it’s worth it!
3. Make a list of the things you didn’t like about the relationship and your ex.
It’s always painful to remember the great ooey-gooey moments of a relationship after it’s over, but looking back and remembering the things that weren’t so great may be just the thing you need to do to remind yourself that perhaps your ex wasn’t all that great.
4. Delete all contact information, texts, emails, etc.
This one is hard, but crucial. It doesn’t do anyone any good to sit at home in the dark, re-reading old lovey texts and emails. Clean breaks are so much better in the end, and this is one of the best ways to preserve your sanity after a breakup. Oh, and if you can’t do it, hand your phone or whatever to a friend and make them do it for you.
This one is a no-brainer for me. Exercise gets endorphins (also known as feel good hormones) flowin’. It gives you energy, fights off depression, boosts confidence, and can be a very social activity. You could even make your next love connection while getting your body in great shape.
6. Accept it for what it is.
Don’t try to convince yourself that your ex didn’t mean to break up with you, or that he’ll change his mind. You will only waste precious time wondering if he might come back. Don’t cling to your hope that it will go back to being the way it was. You won’t feel better until you close that door.
7. Spend time with family and friends.
These are the people that love you the most and will be there for you. Take advantage of that. Try to put a smile on and spend some quality time doing fun things. And when it gets tough, they will be there to let you sit on the couch and cry.
8. Keep an optimistic outlook.
There is nothing worse than a heartbroken person constantly wailing about how this only happens to them and they will never find anyone. Puh-lease. It has happened to all of us. Keep your head up, and remember that you won’t always feel this way. The hurt will go away with time. Plus, you don’t want to alienate the people who are supporting you through this breakup by acting like the first person on the face of the plant to go through a breakup.
9. Treat yourself.
Cute new outfit? Yes, please. Frozen yogurt with a ridiculous amount of toppings? The ex never liked froyo anyway. Vacation? Pack your bags.
10. Learn from it.
This may be the most important one. Learn from what happened. Try to learn at least one thing from every failed relationship, and build on those as you experience new relationships. Taking a look into what could have attributed to the breakup will help you avoid dealing with similar relationships that may lead to future breakups.
* Heather is fashion and fitness-loving Oklahoma blogger who is passionate about competitive sports, Oklahoma State University, her pup Sophie, children, and sustaining positive and healthy relationships. Check out her lifestyle blog, Just Another Day.
Carolynasaurus November 25, 2011, 5:03 pm
While I think these are good tips, I have to say I’m fairly disappointed. Several of them are cliched and vague. I would have enjoyed it so much more if specifics were listed, like “List all the things you can and want to do now that you’re single” rather than “Keep an optimistic outlook”.
Carolynasaurus November 26, 2011, 2:30 am
Ok, I wrote my own! BAM!
Carmel Kisses November 28, 2011, 10:57 am
I wouldn’t say your list was that innovative either. And I think “keeping an optimistic outlook” can be whatever you want it to be. Since this can apply to all types of people, I’m sure that one was generalized instead of specific.
taylor November 28, 2011, 3:06 pm
Great list Carol! I think the “box all the stuff that he gave you” one is important. I did that when I broke up with my ex… You can’t move on from someone if visual reminders are everywhere.
Anna November 25, 2011, 5:20 pm
I would have to agree, this list is pretty cliched. It assumes that while you were in your relationship, you had no interests or hobbies of your own and never got to enjoy things your way due to the partner being there. Also, mentally trashing your ex (focusing on the occasional bad moment you had with him rather than all the good ones) is pretty immature. I can’t see how reading a breakup book is going to help seeing as how it would just keep you thinking about it rather than distracting you. I would suggest reading fiction instead, as to take your mind to a completely different place.
magnet November 28, 2011, 8:49 am
I had the same thought about break-up books…until my last big breakup. A friend passed one along to me, and despite being very skeptical, I started to read it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was actually very helpful (I read It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken) – it basically told me a lot of what I knew, but don’t want to admit to when you’re feeling like crap. Plus, I could reread parts of it whenever I found myself slipping.
jane November 25, 2011, 6:25 pm
Good tips! My advice is to force yourself to go out, even if you feel like staying in bed and eating ice cream all day long. When I broke up with my ex, I felt like that 99% of the time, but I found that forcing myself to go out was good for me. While you won’t forget about the breakup completely while you’re out, you might also have fun…. which is not something you’ll be having if you’re home alone listening to depressing music.
AnotherWendy November 26, 2011, 5:45 pm
I kept on a list in my phone of the negative parts of our relationship. When I started to feel the urge to contact him I would read it and it always kept me from calling/texting.
thyme November 28, 2011, 6:31 pm
I find that believing that he might change and maybe someday we’ll be able to get back together is something I need to do to get through the first couple weeks of a breakup. I know in the back of my mind that it’s not true, but I need to believe it’s possible when the thought of our love being gone forever is too painful to fathom. However, after the first two weeks, which I think are the hardest, those feelings start to subside gradually on their own, and you start to remember why you broke up in the first place.
But then, in all the breakups I’ve had, I knew that it was time when it happened, regardless of who pulled the trigger. It might be a whole different ball of wax when somebody you really thought was perfect for you dumps you out of the blue.
thyme November 28, 2011, 6:36 pm
Take baby steps. Seeing your whole life gaping before you without the man in it can be so overwhelming. So try not to think about what tomorrow will be like, or even later today. Just focus on the goal of getting out of bed and brushing your teeth, then when that’s done, focus on breakfast, then driving to work, etc.
HBomb November 29, 2011, 10:33 am
So so true. I have told many friends this and tried to practice it myself. Take it one moment at a time.