Thursday 6 September 2018

My Guide to Getting Through Your Breakup

So your relationship has ended. You're probably sitting there crying, wondering if you'll ever meet anyone else as amazing/ good looking/ funny as the person that's just unceremoniously walked out of your life. You've been scouring the internet Google searching "what are the odds on couples getting back together after they split up?" You've stocked up on relationship advice books and have been re reading the pages that talk about "how to get over him as quickly as possible". You've stopped eating or alternatively, you've filled your fridge up with Babybel, Cheese Strings, Mini Peperami and so many packs of Dairy Milk chocolate buttons that you're genuinely concerned people are going to think you've opened a tuck shop in the comfort of your own home. I mean you need to make some kind of money as you can barely get off the sofa let alone make it into work. 

If I told you right now that in two weeks you'll feel like a completely different person you'd never believe me. I know that because two weeks ago I wouldn't of believed me. Breakups are shit. There's no getting away from it and there's nothing anyone can do at the time to make you feel better about the fact you're heartbroken. It doesn't matter if it was a 3 month relationship, a mutual parting of ways or a total shock to the system. It doesn't change the fact it will always be a really shitty time. But it won't be like that forever. 

Everything in life has to come to an end. And from my own personal experience, it's how you deal with those endings that shapes the kind of person you are. Pretty deep I know, but the first rule of breakup club is try to maintain your self respect. That means no angry texts, no 3am begging phone calls and absolutely no stalking. Switch your phone off, put it on "time out" upstairs and sob on the sofa if you need to. Ride that emotional wave and let yourself grieve for the loss of the relationship but don't share your pain with your ex partner. You can't help each other through this. That's what your friends and family are for. 

By day 3 or 4 the tears will have subsided. Don't get me wrong you'll still have those moments when that pain rises (personally I found the mornings the worst) but I can assure you the worst has, more or less, gone. You've started to kick the habit of checking when they were last online (I still recommend putting your phone on time out at least once a day for a few hours to give yourself a break from the obsessive checking of social media) and you feel like you might be able to make it out of the house and socialise. Here's the next shock to the system; human interaction. Having to speak to people outside of your immediate support network is a necessity I'm afraid. One you may not be entirely ready for but treat it like a plaster; rip that fucker off. People might be a bit shocked by your behavior (holla at the friend who witnessed me hysterically crying in the middle of the town I work in) but that's life. We're all human and people who can't deal with you at your worst certainly don't deserve you at your best. Don't ever be embarrassed of your emotions.

A week or so into the break up and it's time to cleanse. Make a new Spotify playlist. Clear out your wardrobe. Take down the photos if you haven't done so already. If you want to bin them, do it. If you feel like you'd like to remember the relationship at a later date, put them in a memory box and shove that box so far under your bed you won't be tempted to revisit it anytime soon, unless it's to laugh at your soppy letters and ask yourself why you ever used the word "sweetie" so often. It might seem harsh but you need your own personal space to feel like exactly that; YOURS. Not yours and your partners or some kind of weird memorial to the relationship that's gone. It's time to move on. This is the start of the rest of your life and I can assure you with 100% certainty you will not regret taking last years valentines day card off your windowsill.  

One of the things I found really therapeutic was talking to my friends about all the things I wanted from a new relationship. It made it so clear to me just how wrong the past one actually was for me. This isn't about slagging off your ex, but about reminding yourself of what you actually need. At one of my first ever counselling sessions I remember telling my therapist how everyone else seemed like they were able to handle things much better than me. I'd always talk about how I was too "needy" or "high maintenance". He said that needs and desires are personal; it doesn't matter what someone else needs from a partner, what's important is what YOU need. Start tuning into your own feelings and desires and own them. And more importantly, don't be ashamed of them. You will meet someone who is in tune with you and the relationship will flourish as a consequence. 

Finally it's time to move on. Maybe don't dive into Tinder quite yet (one of my best friends calls it the small muddy puddle of the dating world and I think she has a point) but start reaching out. Had a crush on someone? Message them. You deserve an ego boost and now is the best time to take advantage of new beginnings. Take time for yourself, indulge in the things you know will make you happy whether that's a hobby you've left by the wayside or a series you stopped watching because your ex didn't like it (see where I'm going here?...) Life is for living and right now you need to take charge. Say yes to fun plans and start making new memories. 

 Everything happens for a reason. I mean what friends do you know that have told you they regret a break up and are desperate to get back with an ex? It just doesn't happen all that often. The best times in life often follow on from some of the most painful so allow yourself to grieve. Don't be ashamed of your emotions and by the time the two weeks are up, you'll be looking back and wondering why you didn't end things sooner.

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