Sometimes, in order to protect yourself, you have to lie to yourself… at least for a little while. You have to ignore your own feelings and tell yourself, “You’re strong and amazing. This horrible feeling in your gut will pass.” Because it will. In order to get over my ex, I pretended like I didn’t have feelings for him anymore and it totally worked.
- I pretended we weren’t friends on social media. My ex-boyfriend didn’t post many photos on Instagram. He was, however, a huge fan of Instagram stories. When we were together he’d document pretty much everything he saw in person on his story, which meant constant pictures of the “abstract” sky and videos of whatever show he was watching on Netflix. When we broke up, I immediately stopped looking at his stories, partially because they were crap but mainly because I knew it was better that way. In order to get over him, I had to pretend like I didn’t care about him or his social media presence.
- I pretended I didn’t need my friends. Friends always want to rally when someone’s going through a breakup, and while I did want to be around my friends, I pretended like I didn’t. I knew I needed to spend time alone. I didn’t want to hear how much my ex-boyfriend sucked and I didn’t want to hear how I needed to get back out there and find someone new. I didn’t want to hear any outside opinions. I wanted to focus on my thoughts and emotions without biased conversation.
- I pretended I liked jogging. Jogging sucks. Fact. Something about running outside and smelling the fresh, earthy air is almost repulsive. I know some people like the outdoors but I don’t. Nonetheless, I jogged every single day and it helped. I know some of you might be rolling your eyes but I’m being serious. Running made me feel good and the faster I was able to run, the better I felt about myself. I was working towards something which helped me focus on something other than my ex-boyfriend.
- I pretended like I didn’t care when he flirted with me. Exes can be absolute a-holes. I don’t know why, but it’s like they do things on purpose to screw with you. My ex would talk about me to our friends and he would compliment me when we were together. I knew for a fact that he didn’t want to get back together with me but I think he wanted me to remain an option to him. I think he wanted me to still think, “What if?”
- I pretended I was OK with him still being around. My ex-boyfriend wasn’t in my face all the time but we had mutual friends so I saw him pretty regularly at parties and get-togethers. Anyone who’s ever had to spend time with their ex after a breakup knows how messy that can get! I wanted to seem aloof but I also didn’t want him to think I was over him. I also wanted to be supermodel gorgeous whenever our paths crossed. However, I didn’t play any mind games. I pretended to be as normal as humanly possible.
- I pretended I was a fan of masturbation. As someone who doesn’t masturbate a lot, I was pretty new to the game. Sure, I tried it out a few times in my life, but the vibe was never 100. I never took the time to really focus on pleasuring myself, which is why I forced myself to finally do it. I experimented with different lighting (did you know lighting can really impact masturbation? I didn’t), time of days (morning, afternoon, evening), music (I started with Lana del Rey and ended with Usher), tools (dare I say more?), imagery (having sex with Nick Jonas, having sex with the guy I wish I had slept with in college, Chris Hemsworth), etc. I was single but I was still horny and having sex with a dude wasn’t an option because that would’ve only complicated things.
- I pretended my new future didn’t bother me. Breakups aren’t just devastating because you no longer get to spend time with someone you love, they’re devastating because your life is pretty much ruined—or at least that’s how it feels. The future you had in mind for yourself and the person you were dating are gone and you’re left to rebuild. I didn’t have a huge, detailed plan for our life together but I had an idea. That was shattered and I had to act like I was perfectly fine planning my own future without him.
- I pretended I was like every other person that had ever been dumped. We’re not all the same but there are common things people do when they get dumped. They change something about themselves, whether that’s their hair, their wardrobe, their daily routine, whatever. People try something different in an attempt to start over and leave behind the person they were while in their relationship. I pretended I didn’t think it was dumb to change my hairstyle because of a guy and I got extensions. I’m not going to lie, it sort of worked. I felt Beyonce AF.
- I pretended I was OK with him seeing other people. I wasn’t OK with him dating, especially so quickly after we broke up, but I couldn’t/wouldn’t say anything to him about that. Instead, I acted like it didn’t bother me. I pretended like I wasn’t dying on the inside over the idea of him having sex with someone who wasn’t me. The thing with pretending is that when you do long enough, you eventually stop pretending—the lies become your truth.