This is that ‘personal blogging’ thing I’ve talked about. You know, that thing I sometimes do when I try to write about my real life and feelings beyond cute and pastel fashion. I recently broke up with my now-ex boyfriend of almost three years, and guys and gals, it is not easy. For the best? Yes. Strange and sad? Yes. So I got out my diary and wrote my 25 rules for soothing a lost love and taking good care of the one you really need to love – you. I’m feeling healed now, but I thought I would write this for anyone who could use this hard-won advice in the future.
1. Watch your trash TV. Welcome back, Honey Boo Boo, America’s Next Top Model, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I’ve missed you.
2. Go out with you friends. Constantly if necessary. Maybe even ones you don’t know well. You have tons of new free time to fill, so why not call up your pals and book all your weekends. Have friends you wish you knew better? Arrange one-on-one dates and get dressed up – better than ‘date night’ with the ex any day.
3. Buy new underwear. And throw out your old underwear. Am I the only one who remembers underwear in moments? Throw out your old panties. Especially ones with romantic history. Especially if you picked ones they might like. Go to the store and buy yourself any panties that you would like.
4. Eat those obnoxious foods they hated. Get that weird cuisine they never liked. Eat those chips that smell weird. Take yourself out to your favorite cafe or eat your same favorite meal for dinner every night.
5. No sad songs. In fact, you are hereby banned from the Venn Diagram of both country music radio and Taylor Swift. Download a new playlist full of upbeat jams. My currents: anything Rupaul, Marina and the Diamonds, and Nicki Minaj.
6. No driving in silence. Long, quiet drives alone are prime cryfest time. That’s what your new playlist is for. Better play it loud.
7. Retail therapy, take two and call me in the morning. Okay, in moderation- don’t max out your credit cards over a break-up. If you’re really broke, window-shop and Polyvore the night away.
8. You can rant to your best friend. But no one else. Talking bad about your ex doesn’t just stop the healing process, it doesn’t reflect well on you. And it will turn off any potential dates you may want when the initial break-up feeling fades. Don’t be that girl who wants to sling mud about her ex anytime someone mentions ‘lacross’ or anything else that reminds you of them.
9. Stop talking about them, period. Seriously, just pick a day and go cold turkey. In conversation, someone will mention something that reminds you of your ex. Try not to wistfully mention, ‘Oh, my ex loved shuffleboard…’. If you want to move on, it’s time to let go of your significant other status (in my case, ‘girlfriend status’). You don’t have to chat for them at parties anymore or talk up their new Internet start-up with strangers.
10. If you must obsess, write it down. If you really have a deluge of things left unsaid or things you wish you could yell, write them letters (never to be sent) or a diary of this time in your life. You can let it out without pulling them back into the equation.
11. If you haven’t already, get rid of the stuff that reminds you of them. You can keep that clock-radio they gave you if it’s really just functional. Those heart-shaped earrings? Box them up somewhere you won’t look at them for ten or twenty years. If you feel naked with out a piece of jewelry you’ve worn for years, buy yourself a new one to replace it. I’m seriously considering buying myself a new lolita ring to take away that ‘amputated’ feeling where my promise ring used to be.
12. Wear crystals. This might sound hokey, but as a Pagan I really believe in talismans and charms.I was out shopping with a friend and found a tumbled amethyst crystal necklace on sale. Amethyst is the stone for clarity, calmness, and wisdom. Whenever I feel anxious or upset, I toy with it and hope its energy is having a positive effect on me. Rose quartz is good for kindness and self-love; quartz with rainbow factions is good for hope, the protection of angels, and energy.
13. “Our song” can be another song again. Just like that show you used to watch together and have all the in-jokes about, or your favorite restaurant. Maybe it will hurt at first, but try to remember what you loved about it, just you. It won’t always remind you of your former love.
14. Change your hair. I know this is a classic, but it’s really true. Changing something about yourself physically can help you process an emotional change. Get your hair cut or colored – but if you’re really mopey, ask your friends to weigh in first. Nothing is worse than a break-up, except a break-up and an unflattering perm.
15. Get your stuff done. Remember how you used to be too busy mooning or out at movies with your ex to get that stuff done? Like… studying, writing that novel, cleaning out your closet, learning ballroom dance? Get that stuff done. If you must spend gray weekends alone alphabetizing your soup cans, refer to rules #5 and #6. No silent time with rain dripping down the window pane; blast your favorite new upbeat song.
16. Do not devolve into sweatpants (much). A break-up is not your excuse to go all People of Walmart on the world. In fact, you’ll probably feel better if you brush your teeth, put on a little lipstick and wear your favorite cashmere sweater. Looking good will make you feel good, and you’ll be a lot more confident. And cashmere still feels like pajamas.
17. Flirt. While I don’t recommend you go out and hop right into another big relationship, there is nothing like a flirtation or a date or two to take the edge off and feel like you’re interesting and desirable. Besides, think of all the new adventures and stories you can amass on dates or just meeting new people.
18. Online dating. It’s hilarious. Even if you do meet your future spouse online, you have to admit trying is hilarious. Most recent pick-up line: “Which of your name is your favorite?” Uh… For more of what I mean, check out the Tumblr okweirdo.
19. Visualize what you can’t stand most about your ex whenever you feel particularly down or missing your previous relationship. For me, it’s the way my ex would let the dog eat kibble in bed and it would get stuck to the sheets. Ew.
20. Positive self-talk. Don’t listen to the voices in your head that tell you won’t you meet anyone else again. You will. Tell yourself that you is kind, you is smart, you is important. Or don’t quote The Help, your choice.
21. Take care of your body. Feed it good things (okay, and those junk foods you love, as prescribed above), give it bubble baths, and new face creams. My new regimen involves peach anti-aging hand cream from Korea, and my hands are loving it!
22. Get a pet. Okay, obviously you need to really think over your circumstances before you adopt an animal (they’re for life). But if you don’t want to run out looking for someone human to snuggle with, you can save a life by adopting a dog or cat at your local shelter.
23. Don’t e-stalk. Even if you have to delete their number, block their Facebook, send their emails to spam, whatever. The whole issue is that you need to let go and accept the future. You’re not really moving on with your life is you’re refreshing their Twitter every hour.
24. Don’t try to be friends. At least, not now. I would recommend at least six months before you and your ex can platonicly hang out. Besides, when the wound is raw, do you want to see them dating other people?
25. Don’t get back together. I know it’s really tempting. I’ve done it. You’re lonely, you miss them, you want to fix things… Even if you don’t believe it now, you broke up for a reason. If you get back together, those things may feel better for a while and perhaps you’ll both try harder to salvage your relationship. But under the surface, the same issues will still be there, and you’ll have to go through the pain of the break-up all over again.
Breaking up is hard. But you don’t need to let your latest love be your last, nor do you need to hate your ex. Every person we meet in life has something to teach us, to help us grow into the people we are meant to be. No matter how or when you part ways with the people who will come and go in your life, know you can always be better for having met them. And sometimes, that’s enough.
Okay, go – your top advice for getting over a break-up. Gratuitous frozen yogurt stops count.