Breaking up is hard under any circumstances, but ending a crappy relationship is even worse. Don’t dismay — there are ways that you can handle it gracefully and emerge from the breakup stronger and more confident. Channel your grief into a positive outlet and use the experience to figure out the important life lessons that you can only learn from a bad breakup:
Don’t let a bad relationship die a slow death. End it quickly.
Before a relationship ends, there’s usually this looming feeling of doom that hangs around in the air for longer than you’d like to admit. You can try to prolong it or to drag it out, but why would you really want to drag out those dark storm clouds, passive aggressive fights, and backhanded compliments? You both know it’s ending. Just end it.
Never ignore the gut instincts of the friends and family who know you best.
When everything is going well, we’re so eager to defend our boyfriends and tell everyone that they’re our knights in shining armor, even when they’re just a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Your friends aren’t losers, and they’re not trying to ruin your happiness; they’re trying to warn you that you’re an idiot and you’re being totally blindsided by love (or lust). Listen to them, or ignore them at your own peril.
If you have friends in common, you may want to stay away from them for a little while.
I know you want to rally them to your cause, or at the very least assure yourself that just because you lost a boyfriend doesn’t mean you have to lose friends, too. But in general, it’s really not a good idea. Whenever you’re with them, you’ll be thinking of him. Whenever you talk to them, you’ll be wondering if your messages are getting passed back to him. You’ll be too busy putting on a show to really be a good friend, or to allow them to be good friends. Give it some time and space, and then pick up the friendship when your feelings aren’t so raw.
Resist the temptation to rebound too quickly.
I know, your amazingly hot but totally platonic (you swear) friend and neighbor is ready to come over on a moment’s notice to help you drink away your sorrows. Don’t do it. You need time to get over your breakup, otherwise your decisions will be fueled by emotions instead of logic.
Don’t get a pet on a whim to make you less lonely.
I know you think that dog at the pound is cute, but in actuality, all it will do is introduce a lot more stuff into your life at a time when you need less. It’s a nice idea to consider, but now really isn’t the right time.
No matter how much of a loser your ex was, it’s not your job to warn his next girlfriend away.
You tell yourself that you’re helping the cause of women everywhere by warning her about what a jerk he is, but no matter how good your intentions are, it won’t come off that way. You’ll seem like the jealous, vengeful ex-girlfriend. She’ll figure it out for herself soon enough.
There’s nothing you need to change about yourself.
I know all of those glossy magazines are telling you that you need to take a good, hard, look at yourself and figure out what responsibility you had for the relationship going sour. Sometimes, though, it really isn’t you. It’s him. I promise. If this is the case, you’ll know it.
He’s not The One. He’s not, he’s not, he’s not.
HE’S NOT. Stop telling yourself he is, or he could have been. It wasn’t fate that brought you together. It was fate that split you apart.
Not all guys are losers.
Yes, your specific guy was a loser. But don’t start going on a rampage about how all guys are. It’s sexist and unfair when guys claim all women are bitches because of one or two bad experiences, and the same principles apply when you generalize all men. Don’t punish all guys for the crappy things your ex did.
No matter how daunting it seems, you eventually need to get back on your feet and try again.
Not right away, but don’t go writing off men forever. You’ll find your Prince Charming, I promise.
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