Uncomfortable Things You Have To Do To Get Through A Breakup
If you think about getting over a breakup the same way you think about going through physical therapy after a physical injury, then you can understand that you’ll have to do some uncomfortable, strenuous and challenging things if you want your heart to heal. There is no such thing as getting over a breakup—you get through one. Think of it like a messy, confusing, dark and winding forest. You can take the easy path around it, but you’ll somehow find yourself feeling like you cheated. There are some oddly satisfying and important growing pains inside the dark forest. You have to be tough to survive a breakup. Keep in mind, winding up bitter and cynical is not surviving. When we talk about surviving, we talk about feeling truly hopeful about love again, and ready to date. So here are uncomfortable things you have to do to get through a breakup.
Say no to being friends
Your ex might ask to just be friends. It feels so evil saying no, particularly when he didn’t do anything outright evil like cheat on you or steal from you. But you cannot be friends. You can’t turn a lover into a friend over night the same way you cannot turn a dog into a cat. You have feelings for this person and they are activated when he’s around. You don’t get to choose which feelings come up around him and the wrong ones will. Consider yourself severely allergic to him; you can’t even handle limited exposure.
Cut off communication
Every text, Facebook message, email, phone call or coffee date sets you back. A lot. It’s never “Just a text”; it’s an invitation to re-open the entire argument that caused the breakup. With every pleasant, short interaction, you’re left wondering if it’s worth giving this another try. The tiniest bit of communication is as dangerous to your broken heart as the tiniest amount of alcohol is to a small flame.
Avoid common friends…for now
You probably have a lot of common friends, which sucks. You’d like to go to those very friends for comfort during your breakup. Unfortunately, those friendships are tainted. When you see those friends, you’ll remember hanging out with them and the ex. They may even accidentally mention that they’ve seen the ex recently. While those friends mean well in asking you out for drinks, you’ll just have to explain to them that they’re no good for you right now.
Refrain from making him the bad guy
Turning pain into anger is a common tactic; anger is easier to deal with. Anger you can send out into the world. But refrain from sh*talking the ex and telling people every terrible thing he ever did. You’ll feel yourself feeling oddly sad after. Why? Because that sh*talking is a lie. You don’t actually think the ex is all evil, and you’ll feel bad for dragging his name through the mud.
Cry, cry and cry
Cry whenever and wherever you have to. Look at those tears like the mucus you have to get out after an infection. Grab a tissue and let it flow. If you hold it in, you’ll stay sick (heartbroken) longer. If you feel a cry coming on at work, go to the bathroom and handle it.
Have a breakdown
You’re going to try to tell people you are alright. You’re going to try to go on about your normal life as if this didn’t happen. This will result in a breakdown at the weirdest time, like in the middle of yoga class. Everyone will gather around you and you’ll have to admit I am not okay. You have to break completely until you can start to fix yourself. Don’t worry—we’ve all had a meltdown in an inappropriate place after a breakup. People tend to be pretty understanding.
Change your routine
You probably integrated your ex into your routine somehow. Maybe you always went to your favorite lunch spot together or you started watching your favorite show with him every Tuesday night. You need to change your routine as much as possible right now. The less your life looks the way it did when your ex was in it, the better. That just means less opportunity to remember certain things and live in the past.
Cool it on the alcohol
When was the last time drinking alcohol post-breakup lead to a good thing? Exactly. It only leads to Facebook stalking or going over to the ex’s house for sad breakup sex or making an irresponsible purchase you thought would bring you happiness. Give your booze collection to your friend for safekeeping for now.
Resist the urge to rebound
The attention and touch of a man may seem like just the ticket at first, but then you’ll end up crying. Here’s the thing; even though your brain understands you’re no longer with the ex, your hormones and subconscious still feel loyal to him. After having sex with a rebound, your body will revolt and tell you that you did something wrong—that you gave something to one man that just belonged to your ex.
Resist the urge to even flirt
Like I said, most of your subconscious is not yet on board with this breakup. If you get into a flirty conversation with someone at a bar, don’t be surprised if you start crying the second that man walks away. Your subconscious is not so ready to let go of the ex that it can connect to somebody new.
Be a bad*ss
Doing things like krav maga, karate, skydiving, boxing, and rock climbing feel remarkably good after a breakup. This is a time when you need to prove to yourself that you can put your mind over matter, and scaling a 30-foot wall can certainly help you do that.
Ask for a social media supervisor
If you must, ask your friend to change your social media passwords for you and don’t let her tell you what they are. If you want to do something on social media, you have to run it past her first. Perhaps you can’t even go on social media without your friend’s supervision. This will prevent a lot of regrettable activity.
Write down everything you must say. Then keep that.
You probably have a dozen speeches swirling around in your head that you want to give the ex. You know exactly what he did wrong, what you did wrong, and what you both need to learn. Unfortunately, delivering these speeches to the ex is never as rewarding as you may think. But writing them down, or recording yourself saying them, can do a world of good. Re-read or listen to those speeches any time you feel overwhelmed with emotions.
Research the science behind it
There is some pretty fascinating research out there about heartbreak. You’re suffering from a condition that nearly everyone in the world has suffered from. When you read up on what happens to your body’s brain chemistry and hormones during a breakup, and see how accurately that represents what you’re feeling, you may even laugh a little—you’re just an animal, after all.
Don’t do anything to avoid your pain. There are a lot of pain-avoidance tactics you may come up with—people can be very creative when they want to be. If you feel pain coming on just sit with it. Allow it to momentarily destroy you. Let it grow until you think you can’t take it anymore, and let it grow a little more. This is your heart rebuilding its broken sinews.