All Articles Tagged "getting over a breakup"
Breakups. We’ve all been through them. If you haven’t, that means you’ve either never dated, or you’re on your first ever relationship. Either way, your turn is coming (unless you’re one of the lucky few who actually live happily ever after with your first EVERYTHING). Not likely.
Breaking up with someone, or being dumped, is never fun and most breakups are hard to get over. One of the reasons it’s difficult to let go and move on is wondering if you made the right decision to end it. I mean, if someone broke up with you, then there’s nothing you can really do about it. But if you did the dumping, or if the guy who dumped you wants you back…then what? Do you give it another try?
For some, getting back with an ex is a no-no. If it’s over, it’s over. No backsies. But for others, the heartache can be so agonizing that you want to run back into the arms of the guy or girl who left you crying yourself to sleep at night. You know that you broke up for a reason, but that reason becomes real foggy when you’re watching tear jerker movies with a tub of ice cream in your lap. Suddenly you’re thinking, “he wasn’t THAT bad”…when in the back of your mind you know he really was.
So why is getting over him so hard to do? It could be that you actually miss him and made a mistake in letting him go. But in a lot of cases – more often than not actually – you miss the relationship…not the man.
If you’ve been dating for over 6 months, it’s very easy to get into a relationship routine. And if you lived together, then the comfort of having someone to come home to can make us feel a sense of security that, once gone, startles us once we find ourselves suddenly single again. After all, you had an automatic cheerleader, comforter, snuggle buddy, sex partner, chef, homemaker and handy man all in one place waiting to greet you as you walked through the door after a long day at work. Now that you’ve broken up, your apartment seems eerily empty and cold. You miss having someone there.
But do you miss him being there…or just someone being there? Saying good-bye to him was like getting rid of your security blanket, and it’s scary. If you’re one of those people who have no problem being single and enjoy your own company, then maybe this doesn’t apply to you. But if you thrive in relationships and long for the company of a man, then becoming single again can leave you feeling so vulnerable and lonely that you go running back to your ex begging him to take you back…even though you know he’s a jerk and it’ll never work. You’re willing to be with him just to say you have a man. Until you break up again.
So what to do? Try to give yourself some time to figure out if it’s really HIM you miss, or the relationship. Depending on the reason you broke up, if it was a friendly split or nasty one, you might have to assess if you’ve given yourself enough distance from him and the situation to determine if you miss him or the “thought” of him. If the break up was really just a bad fight that warrants a “cooling off” period where all you’re doing is taking a break, that’s one thing. But if you know in your heart of hearts that you were in a dead end relationship and he wasn’t the One, then give yourself permission to mourn the relationship while resisting the urge to call or text him in the middle of the night because you have to get used to sleeping alone again. I know it’s hard, but as time goes on, you’ll discover that it wasn’t really him you were missing, it’s the thought of the relationship that you could have had that leaves you longing. There is a difference between love and comfort and being alone vs. being lonely. And even if you’re lonely for a little while, it’s better than being unhappy IN a relationship. Time heals most wounds, so give yourself plenty of it to discover what you really want.
You tried and it was not a match. There were good times, great times even, but the both of you were too incompatible for a stable future. The incompatibilities were blatant, in your face, even unwavering, but you may have tried to gloss over them or convinced yourself that they weren’t there.
Finally, you decided to sit yourself down and have a personal intervention. You carefully weighed the pros and cons. You may have cried, prayed, or devised a plan to try to make things okay so you could keep him, but at the end of the day, the jury came back with the same verdict you always knew.
You’re not right for one another.
So, you buck up and break it off. It hurts, no doubt, and because of the pain you cry and mope around. Time passes though and you are reassured that you made the correct decision. You’re laughing again. You’re thinking of him here and there and you feel no sadness or longing. But then there comes a day when any one of a number of triggers causes you to reminisce. Reminiscing turns into craving and craving turns into longing. The reasons for moving on have grown a bit dim and you’re thinking, “Well, things weren’t so bad between us. Maybe I should call him.”
When you’re teetering on the edge of that fragile moment, it’s important not to make decisions based on fleeting emotion. You don’t want to do or say anything that will cause regret (like sending that emotional text). So, put your phone down. Close that Google window you were about to use to stalk his life through social media. Here are five ways to ensure you make the best decision for yourself when you miss him that badly:
1. Objectively revisit why it wasn’t working. – This seems like a no-brainer, but we often try to smooth over very serious inconsistencies and incompatibilities in our past relationships when our emotions lead us to miss the good times with that person. Look at your old journals. What was it about being in a relationship with that person that kept you up at night and stressed you out? What patterns only worsened over time? What fundamental beliefs didn’t you share? What values did you feel you might have to compromise to keep them? Go there. Be honest with yourself and measure the truth against your emotions.
2. Grab your bucket list and go! – Though new, exciting and interesting experiences don’t completely erase the hurt of the past, they sure are a great way to keep your mind and spirit in a positive place. You have no time to reminisce to the point of obsession and misery because you are out spending your time doing new and wonderful things. By doing something you’ve never done, you’re indirectly affirming yourself and building your self-confidence.
3. Create a positive playlist. – Need I say more? Mix up a list of the most upbeat and inspiring songs you can think of – enough for an hour or two. Listen to that mix when you wake up, in your down time, while you’re driving and when you’re working out. Don’t let yourself sink to a morose place.
4. Make something! – I promise, if you type “affordable DIY projects” into the search bar on Pinterest, your life will change. Whatever your personal interests are, engage yourself in creating things specific to it. Into cosmetics? Try this DIY magnetic makeup board. Into natural bath and body products? Try this list of homemade body butters. Into fashion? Look at this easy way to upcycle an old T-shirt. Get creative!
5. Become one with nature. – This might not be everyone’s cup of tea but being outdoors has proven to have calming effects on the body, mind and spirit. Go for a walk around your neighborhood. Go hiking. Read a book sitting by the lake. Pot or plant some flowers (or a garden) depending on where you live. Have a picnic in your backyard or at the park. Notice the trees, the birds and the insects flying about. Really be present and mindful of how amazing life is and what beauty surrounds you. You’ll be amazed at how it improves not only your emotional well-being but also your health!
Notice that these are all ways you can reel yourself back in. You can do it. You got this, girl.
La Truly is a writer, college professor and young women’s empowerment enthusiast. She mixes her interest in social and cultural issues with her life experiences to encourage thought, discussion and positive change among young Women of Color. Follow her on Twitter: @ashleylatruly and check out her site: www.hersoulinc.com.
Sometimes it’s not the boyfriend that’s hard to say goodbye to, or the consistent sex, or the person you could text all day long. Sometimes it’s his family. As a good girlfriend, you integrated yourself into your now-ex’s family. You learned about them, let them learn about you, made yourself helpful, accepted their help, maybe even traveled with them and were privy to some of their most intimate moments and issues. They became your family, and family is a hard thing to let go of. But you have to if you’re going to take care of the most important person: yourself. Here’s how.
For the most part after a breakup, you’re a big ball of mush. You just want to cry, stay in bed and feel sorry for yourself. And that’s a natural and important part of the healing process. However, there’s a little part of you that’s mad—the ever strong, sassy, “who the h*ll did he think he was?” part of you that needs to get out once in a while! You need to nurture her too, you know? Here’s how.
When you’re going through a breakup, sometimes you want to cry, sometimes you want to scream, and sometimes you want to break things or drive past your ex’s house, and there’s only one thing that makes any of those things feel a little less crazy: a complimentary song. These are our top picks for best post-breakup songs.
Everyone who comes into your life is either a blessing or a lesson. I’ve had my share of both, and in essence, everyone was a blessing since the lesson is the blessing. I never regret a relationship. I do sometimes regret my own actions that may have hurt another person, but in any relationship that goes sour, if nothing else, it has taught me what I don’t want in a mate.
I’ve learned a bunch of lessons that when applied make me much happier and at peace in my interactions, yet one of the most simple, and least followed pieces of advice I’ve heard is this.
Things that leave you feeling bad, do less of. Things that leave you feeling good, do more of.
Many of us live in the moment. We convince ourselves that even though the relationship has brought us more bad than good, Mr. or Mrs. Right Now will suffice for the night, or the month, or the year. And when we do end the dreaded fiasco, we find ourselves back in his or her life one Friday night when we had nothing better to do. We convince ourselves that although nothing good has ever happened after 2am, tonight will be different and so instead of going home to bed, we have one more drink, locate the number that should have long ago been deleted, and send that text.
I’m guilty of falling victim to past loves like a drug addiction I just can’t shake. But any recovering addict will tell you, the greatest struggle is in the mind. In order to get over an old habit, you have to replace it with an equally satisfying good habit.
It’s not enough to simply learn a lesson. We have to find practical ways to apply it if we really want to see change in our behaviors. My last love affair ended because I didn’t see a long term future in the works for us. Let’s call him Omar. I enjoyed him in the present, but I knew the present was all we would ever have. My problem was that when the weekend rolled around, as much as I wanted to be the woman who had plans since Tuesday, I simply wasn’t, and boredom often got the best of me. I would call Omar, spend the evening with him and wind up feeling drained and let down after it was all said and done. “What? I did this again?” was a recurring question I asked myself. Whether the question referred to dinner, a movie, or sex, I scolded myself for allowing him to linger in my life.
So like a good parent, I took away my own privileges. I call when I’m vulnerable, lonely, or bored, so the quick and easy way to eliminate that possibility was to delete his number. Done.
Secondly, I decided to make a list of the bad qualities in Omar and all of the reasons I decided to end my relationship with him as a reminder to not go back. I tucked that list under my pillow and read it every night before I went to bed. After time, the bad things were all I could remember and those feelings of desire subsided.
Lastly, I made plans for myself to fill my downtime doing things I loved and was interested in doing. I signed up for a free class to hone my creative side. I found fun events to attend in the city, even solo. I made time to reconnect with old friends and family who really had my best interests at heart.
I’m not an member of the independent woman, “I don’t need a man” club. I enjoy men. I prefer to have one in my life, if it’s a relationship that edifies me. But one last great piece of advice I heard from TD Jakes is this: When the man of your dreams does find you, let him find you …busy.
Herina Ayot is a freelance writer living in Jersey City by way of New York. She tweets @ReeExperience.
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By La Truly
Yes, I’ve been breaking my own heart over the years. Not that I’ve tumbled through a laundry list worth of relationships to come to this realization, because the first page wouldn’t even be complete in my Little Black Book. I chalk that up to being a shy, spastic, late-blooming bookworm. Having started dating at 19, most of the few relationships I did cultivate all shared one thing: at some point they ended with a wide range of heartbreak that went from “Hurt But Frontin’ Like It’s All Good” pain to “Ugly Crying For Two Weeks With Little To No Food, Replaying Every Sad Love Song Written In The Last Decade” sadness.
I didn’t notice a pattern back then and I had a group of girlfriends who coddled me and protected my feelings swearing that “He wasn’t worth my time,” whenever a courtship/relationship would combust in imaginary flames. I was never the problem in my narrow mind. Let’s be real, sometimes we walk around feeling as though there is something wrong with EVERY man we involve ourselves with, but just looking at that rationally, it makes absolutely no sense. There’s always a common thread that runs through all of our mistakes as well as our triumphs. The only common denominator in all… one, two, three, four, FIVE of my previous relationship distresses… was me.
After reviewing my early twenties – the weeping and/or cussing a little (OK, a LOT), the frustrated, sleepless, Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche-sponsored nights – it finally hit me like a ton of bricks exactly how I had gotten so far gone. Breaking my own heart has been one of the easiest things I’ve unknowingly learned how to do since I started dating all those years ago. It’s an easy practice if you build up extreme expectations before you even know each other’s last name; or if you overlook clear red flags of incompatibility; OR better yet, if you are more into the idea of a relationship than you are into the guy. Who’s guilty? *raises both hands*
I’ve ignored the fact that he had absolutely NONE of the same interests because I was enamored by his great job and how tidy he was. I’ve pushed aside the fact that he was a drunken party rat who only ever teetered on the edge of sobriety when he had to take his mother to church once or twice a year. And still, I’ve copied and pasted over that major flaw with the fact that he told me I was beautiful and he paid his bills on time. *Sigh and a shake of the head*
These men (sometimes, boys) were showing me who they were from the gate. But being the young, naïve, passionate Aries that I was, I ignored all clear warning signs making my heartbreak inevitable. Then, I would have the nerve to sulk and inhale whole pints of ice cream after I had – say it with me – broken my OWN heart. The fact that a man may not be the right one for me is nobody’s fault. Trying to MAKE him the one was MY fault, as an overly eager woman.
Looking back, I was so pressed to experience love that I would see a man with ONE good quality and run with that without any further investigation or forethought. I had one speed: Go. I set myself up for an unavoidable fall every single time.
Now, at 26-years-old with a deeper, more secure sense of self and a more honest/objective lens, inspecting my life and guarding my heart is Priority Numero Uno. I’m not so quick to get involved with any ol’ body for the sake of being involved. It’ll happen when it’s right. I am more aware of my emotions and I check all outrageous expectations at the door. I’ve had enough of self-inflicted heartbreak and when you’ve had enough and you know better, you do better.
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The problem with heartbreak is that, you have to feel the pain. There is no painkiller of heartbreak that doesn’t come with serious side effects. Alcohol, random sex or jumping into a new relationship all—as you’ve probably experienced—just leave you hurting ten times as much as you did before. Because of this inevitable pain, many women crawl into a hole after a heartbreak, and never go back out to find someone new. Here’s a little bit about that mentality, and why it just doesn’t work.
“I don’t want to get serious again until I want to get married”
That’s the only way to guarantee there will be no heartbreak, right? That’s why so many women say this. But, there are a number of reasons why this just doesn’t work out. There are plenty of people who’ve been separated or divorced, that will tell you, you can get hurt, and probably even more so, once you’re in a marriage.
“You’re my rebound.” Ever heard these words? No? That’s because no one says them. To say them would be in opposition to the whole point of rebounding, which is to deny and avoid your feelings about a breakup. No one will ever admit you’re their rebound boo, so sometimes you just have to look for the signs and in the end, decide if you’re okay with that status. For instance…
He encourages you to go away
You mention a trip you’ve been invited on, or a school or job you’re considering applying to in another city, and he enthusiastically encourages you to go. Essentially, he never wants you making any decisions based on him, nothing that will make you too attached—like staying in his town to be with him. Keep an eye out for signs that he clearly does not want to be a part of your long- term plans.
You are going to feel like a fool many, many times in your life when it comes to love. You’re going to lose sleep trying to decode the guy whose been dragging you along—who loved you one day and ignored you the next. Every guy will seem unique to you but, it’s actually easier if you know this: They’re all the same. Or rather, the men that break your heart will seem like the same and most likely fall into one of the following categories.