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Breaking Up Is Hard To Do Well

breaking up photo

Breaking Up: Or, Who’s My Emergency Contact Now?

So, you’ve broken up.

You’ve taken their number out of your phone so you don’t text in moments of weakness.

When you drop your cat off at the groomer’s and they ask for an emergency contact you say, “I guess if I don’t come back, you have to set the cat free.”

Best case scenario: you came together, you challenged each other to be your best, inspired each other, then evolved so much you grew apart and mutually decided to uncouple.

Worst case scenario: everything else.

Here are some tips to help you deal:

Mourn Your Plans

Mourn the plans you made together. It could be that annual trip to Batfest in Austin, TX, it could be your aunt’s wedding in Boston, it could just be the new Iron Man movie. Notice and release your disappointment in each thing you won’t be doing together. You’re creating a new reality map in your brain without that person in it.

Unhook

Disconnect electronically. This might be the hardest part, because we all want to be supercool adult people. That doesn’t mean you need to see when this dude is out to dinner with a girl whose haircut is very similar to your own. He doesn’t need to know when you’re out at karaoke singing the Stevie Nicks songs that he used to hear in the shower. You don’t have to delete them, but certainly turn their feed off for a couple of months while you get your head together. Even though it sometimes feels good to dwell on the object of your affection, scratching that itch will just delay your healing.

Cut off communication. One of the hardest parts of a breakup, especially of a long relationship, is that you find that the person you used to get comfort from is the last person you should speak to. Talk to friends. Chat to family. Reach out to your pastor. Don’t talk to each other. Part of your job right now is to get this person’s smell out of your nostrils, literally and figuratively. Once you stop hanging out with them, you’ll stop saying things like “but we’re so good together!”

Clean House

Ditch the Knick-knacks: If you have stuff of theirs that reminds you of them, and it bothers you, put it away. You can even throw it away, if you want. If something is in your house that makes you sad, get rid of it, unless he gave you a couch or something, in that case throw a blanket over it until it doesn’t make you feel sad anymore, because that’s a nice couch.

Celebrate

Celebrate your freedom. You are now living an autonomous lifestyle! If you want to listen to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” thirty times in a row, nobody’s there to tell you that you can’t. You can watch all the movies they didn’t want to watch, eat at restaurants they didn’t care for, and operate as the ruler of your own domain.

Do take care of yourself- even if all you want to do is wallow in your misery and drink Scotch, it’ll be better for your body and brain if you get up and get moving sometimes. Make some endorphins to flush out the sadness!

Be Selfish- Take time for yourself. Make plans with girlfriends but you want to stay home and watch So You Think You Can Dance? Do it. A recent breakup is one of a few Get Out Of Plans Free cards. Use as needed.

Heal

Remember that you will heal. That’s what we do, as humans. Your emotions are just chemicals your brain makes. As badly as you hurt, next week it will be less, and the next week, even less!

The cells in your body are constantly dying and and being replaced by new ones, and those cells didn’t even know that guy! Someday soon you’ll see him buying wine at Von’s and hardly want to spit on him at all. Until then, don’t spit on anyone!

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