“Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you- you love, well, that’s just fabulous.”
-Sex and the City
Not only do relationships vary, breakups also vary on a multitude of levels. There is the breakup that just kind of itches, the breakup that stings, the breakup that bleeds and the breakup where you feel your heart has been – literally – ripped from your chest.
How are you supposed to know how to deal with a breakup? What are the appropriate things to say; not to say? To do; not to do? Have you been called “crazy” or “psycho” or maybe even a “stalker?” Eh, it happens to the best of us.
For the most part, men rely on the left side of their brain when making imperative decisions, priding themselves on being “rational.” Women, however, tend to use the right side of their brain, which leads to a more emotional and intuitive reaction to the same situations.
Heard of the book, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus?” Think about it! Obviously there are going to be catastrophic differences between men and women, especially at our age! Combine restless emotions, endless freedom and alcohol- there are bound to be some blowouts!
So, don’t beat yourself up because your ex is telling his friends you are crazy. Take a deep breath and face it- you might be acting a little nutty! And that’s okay. But, it’s time to cut it out and move on!
There are five steps many of us go through during a breakup:
1. Denial, “No, not me! This isn’t really happening! You’ll be back!”
2. Resentment and Anger, “Why me? I hate you!”
3. Bargaining, “I’ll change, I’ll do anything!”
4. Depression, “He’s really gone, my life is over.”
5. Acceptance, “This is what happened.”
Throughout this emotional rollercoaster we often replay everything that was said and done –over and over and over again. Over analyzing every small detail, desperately trying to figure out what went wrong and how we could have avoided it.
What is the point? Initially, most women put the blame on themselves. First of all, that is only going to make you feel worse, because in reality, it takes two to tango. Don’t feel sorry for yourself- where is that going to get you? It certainly won’t bring him back.
Think back to who you were when the two of you first met. Chances are he was attracted to you because you came off as a strong and independent woman. He first saw you out, taking shots and dancing on the speakers with your girlfriends- hell, who wouldn’t be intrigued!
Time to deal with this mess and get back to what is really important in your life- YOU! The following are steps you can practice to help get over your breakup.
-Think things through thoroughly, but not obsessively. We all do it, but don’t over do it! Try to make sense of your breakup the best that you can, but don’t beat yourself up. Remember, it takes two to tango and you can’t bare all the weight on your shoulders.
-Accept it, and if you need to- ignore it. Time heals all wounds. Unfortunately, you can’t push fast forward in life. If you can’t quite accept the fact that your ex no longer wants to be with you, ignore it for awhile. If you need to put certain feelings on the backburner in order to get through your daily routine, then do it! You can deal with those emotions when you are ready.
-Keep your space. Don’t ask to hang out or “catch up.” If you see him on FB chat, log off. Take advantage of the space and time that has been given to you. Oh, and all you drunk dialers/texters: STOP! First of all, you know you will regret it in the morning. Keep your phone at home if you need to. And, if you are a serial drunk dialer, have a roommate or a friend take charge of your phone for the night. You will thank them in the morning. Just remember, what you “need” to say at 2:30 a.m. can wait. There are applications for Iphone and Blackberry like “Don’t drink and dial,” which blocks certain numbers your program in during late night hours.
-Build your confidence back up. Shower. Get ready for class. Get glamorous for YOU- even if you are not ready to go out for a night on the town. Not only will you look like a million bucks, but you’ll be one step closer to feeling like it too!
– Remove memory triggers. Take down the pictures, flowers, cards, and other reminders of your relationship, that are plastered throughout your room and apartment. There are going to be tons of things and places that remind you of him, but your humble abode shouldn’t be one of them. Also, avoid listening to sad songs on the radio and watching sappy love movies also, if you are in an especially fragile state.
-Do something for you! Find happiness in other areas of your life. Get involved with something new! Whether it is going to the gym a few times a week, putting that extra energy you never had into your homework, or even picking up a new hobby like tennis or jazz, get involved. Maybe something you did not have time for, or didn’t realize you were interested in, when you were with ‘you know who’. After all, you deserve it!
-Forgive yourself. No matter who broke up with who, or even why, women tend to bare most of the blame in their breakups. Being able to forgive yourself is going to make you much stronger. Deal with the pain, but remember you are an amazing woman and dwelling on the past is not going to fix anything.
– Deal with the hate phase. Write it down. It is natural to resent your ex. You have been hurt and possibly feel abandoned. WRITE IT DOWN! Include both the good and bad things about your relationship. We tend to only remember the good things, but you have to admit- there were things that bothered you! Keep a journal if you want, but don’t do anything with it. Keep it to yourself. Seeing it in black and white print leaves no room for gray interpretation, and can provide an outlet for your thoughts and emotions. Writing things down gives us good perspectives on situations.
-Talk to your friends. Everything you want to say to your ex, talk it out. There are going to be a lot of things “left unsaid” and this is another healthy way to get those emotions out. They are probably going to give advice, and clue you in on how to better yourself, rather than how to get him back.
-Just let go. Acceptance is key. When you are ready- you need to accept that it is over. In order to get over someone, you need to truly want to get over them. This is usually why it is so hard for women to get over their exes. There is no secret love spell or potion that is going to bring them back, or magically make you feel better. You need be ready. Make a conscious effort to reach the decision that, YES, you want to move on with your life!