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 don’t have one. 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, learned from each other, then evolved so much you grew apart and mutually decided to consciously uncouple. Worst case scenario: everything else.
Here are some tips to help you deal:
1. 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.
2. 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, and 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 contribute to an obsession and will delay your healing.
3. 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. Talk to family. Talk 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!”
4. 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.
5. 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.
6.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, and feel better about your body!
7. Be Selfish- Take time for yourself. Make plans with girlfriends but you want to stay home and watch a whole season of 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.
8. Remember that you will heal. That’s what we do, as humans. Your emotions are just chemicals your brain makes, and 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!