1. Let it all out. All at once.* I think (and have experienced first hand) that crying, being upset, and venting is a crucial part of getting over a beak up; it’s cathartic. While some guys (and probably some girls) may be fine just drinking a beer and playing video games to get over a break up, some just want to scream into a pillow and eat raw cookie dough with their girlfriends. Whether your catharsis comes from eating a pint of rocky road ice cream, venting to your best friends, having a rom com marathon, throwing darts at a picture of your ex– go for it. An important part of moving on is getting all the anger and sadness out of your system. Don’t take too long in this stage though, (that’s why I said *all at once), because then it’s considered dwelling and obsessing, and that is definitely not good (or healthy)! Besides, you shouldn’t let your ex take away any more of your happiness. Quite frankly, the more time you spend crying over your ex, the less time you have to be happy. Always choose happiness because you deserve to be happy, and no one in the world (especially someone who has broken your heart) is worth your happiness.
2. Cleanse. You can’t get over a break up if you don’t cleanse yourself of all the reminders! It is likely that there will be anger and tears throughout this process, too– that’s okay, but don’t let those feelings get the best of you and delay your cleansing period. The best way to do it is to dive straight in and to not look back. Rip off that band-aid. Tear up the love letters, delete the photos, donate the stuffed animals, send back the sweatshirts. You don’t necessarily have to completely erase this person from your entire life (like in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which by the way is a good suggestion for a movie to watch in step 1, but I digress), but the most crucial part of this step is that you must must MUST remove all the daily reminders of your ex (you know what I’m talking about: the Facebook thread, the cellphone background, the neckless you were given on your anniversary…) from your daily life and your moving on process. If you’re constantly being reminded of the past, how are you supposed to move on to the future?
3. Realize that there is a reason that the break up happened. If you are the one that was broken up with, just remember that it was a decision that was made that you could not help and can not change. I know that often times there is a tendency to ask yourself, “what did I do wrong?” but relationships are not just a one way street. It’s not that you did something wrong, it’s that the relationship itself was wrong. If it felt wrong to the other person (or to you, if you were the one doing the breaking up) then something about that relationship was clearly not right. Be honest with yourself: would you really want to be with someone who felt that way about your relationship? Would you be happy in a relationship that didn’t feel right to one (or both) of you? If you don’t embrace the fact that you wouldn’t, and you dwell on trying to make everything right again, you are simply wasting your time, energy, and happiness on someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you. Another important thing to remember is that you can’t force someone to re-fall in love with you. You can’t just erase a gut feeling. Those feelings will still be there and they are there for a reason. They are meant to be telling you something, and now is the time to really listen. In order to save yourself from the pain of staying in a relationship that isn’t right, it’s time to move on from that relationship and realize that one day you will find the relationship that is.
4. Think of the clichés. I’m sure at this point in getting over a break up you are sick of hearing clichés, but they became clichés for a reason, right? If they’ve withstood the test of time, there must be some truth in them. There are other fish in the sea. There are, and this break up is only bringing you closer to finding the right one because . . . everything happens for a reason. This relationship has ended so that an even better one can happen. You know, when one door closes, another one opens . . . am I getting carried away here? Haha, probably. The point that I am trying to make is that there is a reason that this happened, and that is not something you can just ignore. Those clichés are not just there to annoy you, but to remind you of what others have learned after their break ups. This particular relationship may not have worked out for you, but that absolutely does not mean that you won’t find one that ultimately will. And that is exactly what all those annoying clichés are trying to tell you.
5. Learn to love yourself. It’s very hard to love someone else when you haven’t learned to love yourself. Be proud of who you are, be confident in your decisions, and realize that you are perfectly productive and powerful all on your own. You are so much stronger than you think, and, believe it or not, this break up has only made you stronger. You’ve learned lessons from this past relationship: lessons that can only benefit you in the future. Sure, maybe you’ve learned a lot about your ex, but you’ve also learned a lot about yourself. Take all of those lessons and use them to propel you forward and to help make your decisions in the future. Don’t think of yourself as a “lonely single girl” but instead see yourself as a powerful woman with lots of options. Exploit those options. Be yourself. And go back into the world with your newfound strength. You’ve been through a lot, and you’re stronger and more knowledgeable now. Be proud of yourself and what you’ve accomplished, and don’t forget to love yourself.