Credit: Nicolas Raymond: http://www.flickr.com/photos/80497449@N04/8679286467/Know what sucks? Breaking up. Know what sucks more? Being the one who gets dumped. But the getting over a break up part sucks the most. You obsess over what went wrong, trying to figure out the cause. When the reason for the break up is intangible, like “feelings change,” we turn on ourselves, blaming our looks, personalities and more. Your ex who wasn’t perfect is now firmly perched on a pedestal free of flaws. Yep, it sucks. Below are seven reasons why it really does and some tips to move on:
Not Having a Special Someone to Share the Good Times With
Sure we have family and friends, but nothing quite matches the feeling of sharing your joy with your one and only. When that is taken away we feel lost, helpless, sad, and pitiful. We can feel like we’re the only ones in the world who don’t have someone, and worse, we wonder if we’ll ever have anyone again. If we were neglectful of our friends because we spent all our good times with our honey (which happens a lot) they may not be so open to us re-joining their group. After all, no one wants to be second choice. It does suck, but it’s not the end of the world.
Reframe your view of what it means to share good times and start having them with your friends and family again. Even if it means apologizing for your neglect, do it. Even if all you want to do is curl up in a ball and hibernate, do it. Those who love you will work hard to keep your spirits up and give you a good kick in the pants if needed. They will also keep you from spending all of your time obsessing over your ex and your relationship. Incidentally, learning (or re-learning) to have good times on your own has its rewards. It’s an opportunity to try new things and go new places and only have to please yourself.
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Not Having that Special Someone to Help You Through the Bad Times
Just as it felt awesome to have that special someone to share the good times with, it was even better to have someone during the tough times. The person you opened your soul up to, more than you ever did with anyone else. The one you could make your ugly face with when you cried and it was totally okay. Sure friends are and will be there for you and they love andCredit: morguefile care for you, but the truth is they have their own lives, with their own challenges. When push comes to shove, their issues will take precedent over yours. What’s a person to do? Well, here I come mom and dad!
Seriously, just like sharing good times with friends and family will feel good, sharing tough times will help too. No, it may not be at the same level of intimacy that you had with your ex, but it can still be beneficial. If your issues are so big that you can’t handle them on your own, and communicating with friends and family isn’t enough, consider professional help. Yes, it costs money, but you can make your ugly cry face AND it stays between the two of you.
Everything (EVERYTHING) Reminds You of Your Ex
A bench. That Korean restaurant that you went to once. The pepper shaker. That song. Whatever it is that your lover ate, drank or sat on reminds you of them, maddeningly, mockingly, painfully. Why the heck is that? You didn’t even like that particular Korean restaurant and didn’t give it a second thought the million times you drove past it when you were together. But all of a sudden it’s become a sacred place. Never will you ever have as romantic a night as you did at that restaurant, that you didn’t like, and said you would never visit again. That’s how it works, I suppose.
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Push through it and it will get better. That stabbing pain you feel when you look at the pepper shaker that somehow embodies everything your ex was and did will become a dull ache, then numbness, and finally, blessedly it won’t remind you of that person at all. In the meantime it may help to get rid of your ex’s mementos, pictures and possessions. I don’t mean throwing them away necessarily (but certainly do so if you want and it helps), but putting them someplace where you won’t stumble upon the stuff. Yes, inevitably the absence of the stuff may initially make you cry and you’ll be inexplicably drawn to that dark musty corner of the basement where you stored their belongings (and never ventured before), but before you know it you won’t miss it or think about it.
Returning Their Junk
Credit: MorguefileThis is especially sucky because everyone knows that the returning of the stuff, when you are the one who has been dumped is nothing more than an attempt to get that person back. What else explains how you look when they come by to collect? You know what I mean. Fresh hair-cut, clothes you know they like, and a smile plastered on your face so they remember how awesome things were when you were together. You hope that they’ll recognize their mistake of dumping you and beg you to take them back. Instead what ensues is awkward conversation, hugs at arms-length and no eye contact. Don’t torture yourself. Put it in all in a box and ship it to them. Better yet, put it in a box, take it someplace inconvenient for your ex, text your ex the location and then delete and block their number. Because that’s not immature at all.
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You’re Fake Friends
Like the returning their junk farce when you’ve been dumped, the whole “let’s be friends” pretense is an act of masochism when you’re dealing with a tough break up. Whether your new ex offers this out of pity or you beg ask, it’s rarely a good idea initially. You’ll be waiting around for your ex to contact you, getting upset when s/he doesn’t. If your ex does contact you, it only keeps hope alive that you’ll get back together. Let’s think about this. If you really wanted to be “friends,” you wouldn’t be obsessively checking your voice mail, text or facebook accounts to see if they contacted you. If contact is causing you pain, as hard as it is, put an end to it. It does close the door on the reunion fantasy, but it will help you heal and move on. There will come a time when it no longer hurts and if you’re still interested in being friends, reach out then.
Your Eating Habits are a Disaster
You’ve just downed your fifth pint of Ben and Jerry’s today. Nice! Or are you wasting away, Credit: D. Sharon Pruitt: http://www.flickr.com/photos/40645538@N00/2251863367/barely able to keep your head up due to the one cup of yogurt you’ve eaten all week. Either way it’s a sign that breaking up is wreaking havoc on your eating habits. When getting over a break up, many people eat too much, or too little, eat the wrong things, drink the wrong things (martini breakfasts anyone?), but it tends to right itself after a while. Sometimes, however, the break up eating can become a bad habit in itself which is then just one more reason to feel bad. If your eating hasn’t gone back to more or less normal within a week or two, it may be time to actively do something about it. Plan and schedule healthy meals to insure that you are getting enough and the right kind of nutrition. It can even be an opportunity for a better eating lifestyle.
Break Up Advice… Sucks!
Stop telling me I’m better off without him! And no more of the “she wasn’t right for me,” and then a minute later telling me if it’s meant to be she’ll come back. I don’t believe you! And no I don’t want to be set up on a date with your hot friend. Another not so fun thing about getting over a break up is listening to advice and relationship philosophies of well-meaning friends. It’s not that it isn’t appreciated. Well, yeah, it is that it isn’t appreciated…right now. Even if you believe that everything happens for a reason, it’s hard to swallow and accept right then. Try to take it with a grain of salt as your friends and family are only trying to help you. They feel bad that you are in pain, and helpless because they don’t exactly know what to do. So they try to take action (setting you up) or help you move forward (things happen for a reason). Thank them, change the subject and talk about something that can help you get your mind off of your ex.
Getting over a break up sucks and unfortunately there’s only one way to get through it, and that is to experience it. Be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up or turn on yourself. Don’t make yourself feel worse because you think it’s taking too long. Let your feelings out. Don’t isolate yourself. Hang out with friends and family. Stay or get active with something. It really is hard to stay unhappy when you’re out enjoying life. That’s the best revenge and the best medicine of all.