How to Deal With a Breakup

Dating / Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018
Reading Time: 4 minutes

It was the day before my 19th birthday, I hadn’t heard from my boyfriend in some 24-hours, which was strange considering we were constantly in contact. I called him and got no answer. So, I called the bar his family owned. He was managing it that day so I figured he would be in. His uncle picked up the phone and said:

I’m sorry to tell you this, but you guys are not dating anymore.

That was my movie break-up scene, me alone in the back of the liquor store I was working at less than 24-hours before my 19th birthday bawling my eyes out. My parents were out of town visiting family, and it was the middle of the summer so naturally, all my friends were busy off camping or doing whatever you do.

I spent my 19th birthday alone with a broken heart honestly believing my life was over, I would never find love and I would never get over him. I tried for a while what seemed like a long while, but was probably only a week or two to “talk” it out, desperate to fix whatever was broken. It never occurred to me that nothing was actually broken.

breakup lyrics

Avoiding the breakup

Determined to never have this experience again, I’ve basically not dated anyone. Not seriously enough that a relationship end would end up in a devastating breakup anyway. I get that this isn’t a great way to deal with problems or fears. I’m the first to tell people to go face your fears and the first to run from my problems.

But, 10 years later, and genuinely over it, I have come to the conclusion that that breakup was probably one of the best things to happen to me. I can’t imagine my life now had the relationship continued, but I can imagine that it would look nothing like it does today. And I’ll be honest, I kind of like my life.

It took me longer than I like to admit to realize that the end of a relationship is not the end of the world. It’s the beginning of a new one. And that being dumped doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you.

So, how do you deal with a breakup?

Now that’s all fine flowery mumbo jumbo, but a breakup still hurts. So how do you deal with it?

Wallow in self pity

We’d all like to think we’re simply better than wallowing in self-pity, but a good romp in it can be quite cathartic. So, immediately proceeding a breakup, drown your sorrow with food and/or beverages.

Look this is an immediate reactionary thing and should not be excessive, nor should it go past the initial 48-hour window (and, to be clear, milkshakes count as beverages).

You are allowed to have a pity party for you for exactly one day (max two), then you need to start moving on. I highly recommend that you pity party with a friend and/or your mom, as they’ll let you wallow in sorrow for a bit but they’ll catch you before you actually drown in it.

Seek an external opinion of your ex

Immediately after a breakup, we definitely see things through rose-tinted glasses. It’s easy to miss the bad where you’re focused on mourning the good.

So, ask your mom (or dad if you prefer) if she liked your significant other and/or all things she disliked about them. Their answers might surprise you. I found out my mom had some not so great feelings towards my former boyfriend after we broke up. Don’t forget that your mom knows best (in some cases) and her opinion is legit. If your mom isn’t into a significant other that’s not a good sign.

You can also seek the opinions of your trusted friends. Chances are they watched your relationship from the sideline and can tell you what’s really up. Plus, even if they thought he was a charmer, good friends are always on your side, so they’ll assure you that he sucked.

Make a list

Find yourself a pen and a piece of paper or if you’re like me, an electronic notebook and write yourself a list of every little thing you disliked about them, everything that pissed you off or made you roll your eyes.

Then, re-read that list over (two or three times, even) giving yourself significant “hell yeahs” and “you go girls” and “yeah that dude was a duds” along the way.

Return to your life

Go back to your life prior to significant other, find a goal you wanted to achieve and start achieving it. Always wanted to learn French but then you got involved with so-and-so and didn’t have the time? Well now’s the time! This serves two-fold to both help you take your mind off your break up and to help you see a future beyond that relationship.

Get your hair done

I genuinely don’t care if your psychologist or psychiatrist disagrees with this, but I recommend an appearance change. It doesn’t have to be huge, just something for yourself.This isn’t something you do because you need to change yourself, this is something you do because you want to. You need a change and you’ve always wanted to give yourself a bob, go get yourself one? You want a pair of those funky blue glasses, have att’er.

Most of us have a hard time adapting to change, and that change is easier to adapt to if you had some say in it. So throwing something like a physical appearance change in there helps you to adapt to it. Plus, in the case that you run into your ex you want to give yourself that extra confidence boost of daymn, I look good.

I will survive

Breakups happen all the time, and they really suck but at the end of the day you’re going to be better for it. Use this opportunity as a mini reset button. You can’t stop your entire life and start it again, but you can take the next turn up ahead and see where that road takes you.

The funny thing about my story is I’ve seen that former boyfriend several times since that breakup years ago, and he is the exact same. He hasn’t changed a bit, and my life is completely different. Good different, and seeing him reminds me how much I’ve grown and how far I’ve gone.

Breakups really suck, but at the end of the day, they are often blessings in disguise.