First of all lets be honest, it’s not you, it’s him, right?
Even the friendliest of breakups can leave a girl feeling pretty down, and really, how often are breakups actually friendly? Maybe it was a summer romance that fizzled in the fall or a high school sweetheart that just wasn’t measuring up to your new college girl standards. Whether there was name calling or the dramatic smashing of personal possessions, the point is suddenly you find yourself lacking a plus one. A breakup can sometimes feel like a death. It’s a painful loss and can be very distracting from your day to day routine. It’s always best to just deal and move on, and even if you aren’t currently crying into a vat of rocky road ice cream, being even a little sad over anything sucks!
I find it does actually help me to think of a break up as a death. This might be a little morbid perhaps, but it’s not like I’m thinking about my ex being dead, it’s more the death of our relationship. There are 5 stages of grief when dealing with a loss, and being aware of these and recognizing them can really help you cope!
Denial is the first stage. I find this is usually when I spend all my time consumed with other things while I try not to think about him at all. I go about my day to day business pretending that he never even existed. This stage usually ends without warning when I’m forced to acknowledge the fact that my life now has one less person in it, usually by a harmless comment or some little reminder of him. Then I hit the anger stage. Anger can actually be a pretty fun and helpful stage, as long as you keep it under control. This is the stage where I start cursing their name, pointing out all their flaws to my friends, and I start working on taking the power out of all the memories we shared. How I do that is just by making a list of all the places I remember going with my ex, and then I go there with better people and do better things, or at least I try to. Then whenever I end up there again, my first thought is never “Aw, the last time I was here was with him!”
As anger fades, I start wanting to call him. I start thinking I can fix things and that I should fix things and that I need to get him back! This is the bargaining phase and believe me you’ll get through it way faster and you’ll feel so much better about yourself in the end if you can resist the urge and not try to talk to him at all. You broke up for a reason, try to remember that, and if you were the one who was broken up with, definitely don’t call him! Having a support group of good friends around at this phase can be invaluable because they can keep reminding you of all the reasons you shouldn’t talk to him and they can even confiscate your cell phone if necessary. Anytime you cave and make contact, it’s like hitting the reset button, so if you want to get through it and get through it fast, just endure the longings and know they will pass!
The longer you go without talking to him, the sadder you’re going to feel. This leads to the 4th and least pleasant phase, Depression. You can’t really escape at least a little bit of sad when dealing with a significant loss, so just try to remember that it really will get better. Exercise helps, it releases endorphins which make you feel good and it can help counter all those late night trips to the freezer for ice cream! Just keep trudging along, be sad, deal with it, and eventually you’ll reach the final stage, Acceptance.
Acceptance is a wonderful stage because it’s when you finally realize that it’s over. I don’t know if I’m necessarily over my ex when I do get to this point and come to terms with the fact that we won’t be getting back together, but I’m well on my way. It no longer hurts to hear his name, and if I pass him on the street I might even be friendly and smile, though I’d maybe be faking it. I do think it’s possible to be friends with an ex, but only in some situations and only if both partners have truly dealt with the loss of the relationship and genuinely moved on. Your main concern should just be getting yourself through this hard time, don’t spend all day laying in bed, go to class, go out with your friends, and even if you’re too sad to concentrate or have a good time, try to remember it’s still helping! Keep moving, keep dealing and know that everything that happens, good or bad, is just another experience that will help you learn and grow.
What Do You Think?
What are some ways that you’ve developed to deal with a breakup? Have any great getting over him stories you want to share with us?