I stayed with my ex way past our relationship’s expiration date because I didn’t want to feel lonely. I was afraid that once we ended things, I’d fall into a pit of despair that I’d never be able to escape from. To my surprise, I actually snapped back pretty quickly after our breakup and I’m pretty sure it was because I did these things.
I cut off all contact.
Out of sight, out of mind—or in this case, out of phone contacts, out of mind. I deleted my ex’s number and unfollowed him on social media. I didn’t want to see him or any of his friends. Why would I? We were broken up, which meant we didn’t need to be part of each other’s lives anymore in any way.
I filled up my schedule and kept busy.
The worst thing you can do after a breakup is nothing. I didn’t want to go outside but I didn’t want to wallow in self-pity longer than I had to. I forced myself to spend time with friends and keep busy. Having a full schedule actually helped. It made feel like I had a life without my ex-boyfriend.
I gave myself time to grieve.
I didn’t rush the process. If I felt like crying, I’d let myself cry—and I didn’t feel bad about it. I used to hate feeling vulnerable, but I realized that’s natural. To get over my ex, I had to feel all the emotions, no matter how depressing they were.
I didn’t blame myself.
It would’ve been easier to place the blame on myself for everything that went wrong with us but I didn’t want to take the easy way out. The truth was, we fell out of love. Maybe we weren’t compatible or maybe we didn’t try hard enough. Whatever the reason, it was over and it wasn’t my fault or his. Sometimes life just pulls people apart.
I only talked to strangers.
I didn’t ask my BFFs for advice. I spoke to strangers, mostly on the internet, about my breakup. I knew they’d help because they didn’t know me or my ex. They gave advice that wasn’t biased and while there were certainly some sketchy people, I did get some good advice.
I tried not to be dramatic.
“He was the only guy in the world for me.” He wasn’t, even though it felt like it. I didn’t think we were soulmates but he was nice and thoughtful. He had all the qualities I wanted in a forever partner. Still, that didn’t mean he was the only guy in the world I’d be attracted to. I tried to keep perspective.
I focused on myself.
I made the mistake of focusing on my relationship too much and taking on my boyfriend’s goals instead of focusing on my own. After we broke up, I decided to create a life plan for myself. I reflected on my goals, saved money, traveled, and tried new things. I didn’t become a brand new person, but I learned sh*t about myself.
I flirted a lot.
I knew I couldn’t keep in contact with my ex-boyfriend but I still needed constant attention. I wanted to feel pretty, funny, and just plain wanted. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty damn promiscuous, but it worked. I felt confident during a time when I really needed to.
I didn’t look for closure.
Our breakup wasn’t a great experience. We both had a lot of questions that neither of us could answer in that specific moment. My friends said I needed closure. Personally, I think closure is a myth. I was confused, but what could he say to help? And what could I say to help him? Nothing.
I wrote it out.
A few days after my breakup, I wrote my thoughts down. I wrote why it ended, what I learned, and what I won’t do again. I wanted to make sure I didn’t make the same mistakes going forward. Now, I’ll never forget.
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