While I’d like to believe that I’ll never have to experience a breakup again, that’s as likely as couples finding lifelong love on The Bachelor. I’m young enough that I still have plenty of time to date and break up with plenty of guys before finding “The One” and settling down, but luckily I know how to handle it now.
I won’t wallow.
Although Lorelei Gilmore famously advised her daughter to take time to wallow after breaking up with her high school sweetheart, I don’t think that’s the most productive way to move on. That’s not to say I won’t give myself time to cry and accept the pain of losing a meaningful relationship, but you won’t find me huddled in bed wearing the same clothes for days on end and allowing my dignity to pile up along with my tissues on the bedroom floor.
I won’t break anything.
Catharsis is good; broken glass is dangerous. Don’t get me wrong, I totally get needing to let off some steam by smashing the vase an ex gave you for Christmas or even the picture frame holding your first selfie together—but based on experience, both are far more messy than useful. Next time I’ll channel my anger into a spin class workout. Or, more realistically, a venting session over a carton of Ben & Jerry’s.
I won’t make it public.
Maybe it’s my compulsive need to get closure or prove to myself that I’m the victim when a relationship crashes and burns, but I’ve been known to drag private affairs into the public eye. (Seriously, who do I think I am? Taylor Swift?) Next time, for both of our sakes, I’ll leave the drama at the door.
I won’t make our friends choose sides.
However wonderful it is to date amongst mutual friends, it’s that much more awkward when the relationship ends. Forcing friends to choose sides is the quickest way to inflate drama, exacerbate the pain, and lose meaningful friendships. Next time I experience a breakup, I won’t drag our friends down with us. Instead, I’ll focus solely on one-on-one friendships and allow him to do the same until we’re both ready to be in the same room—or at least the same bar—together.
I won’t stalk my ex on social media.
In fact, I’ll instantly unfollow him on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and any other social media app I acquire before my next breakup. “Out of sight, out of mind” doesn’t only apply to hoarding sentimental crap in a junk drawer but is also a great tactic for moving on from a broken relationship. Creating this digital distance both protects our privacy and my heart should he start posting pictures with another girl.
I won’t neglect my health.
I’ll allow myself a few minutes of quality time with that Ben & Jerry’s carton, but then I’ll get my butt in gear. I’ll prioritize my physical and mental health (looking at you, hypothetical spin class) and force myself to dress up and look my best every day. After all, living well is the best revenge, is it not?
I won’t try to get the last word.
There’s a difference between getting closure and getting even, but honestly, both are largely overrated. Since I struggle to articulate my frustrations in the moment, I have a history of following breakups with long, Rachel Green-esque letters to my exes telling them why I believe they’re in the wrong. As you might have guessed, this only serves to strengthen a guy’s resolve to keep some distance from me.
I won’t write about it.
Well, at least not in an obvious “let me tell you why my ex sucks” kind of way (remember, I’m no Taylor Swift). While I may use the experience to inspire future articles or columns, I’ll respect his privacy by guarding personal details and focusing on what I’ve learned from the breakup instead of why it shouldn’t have happened.
I won’t lament being single.
I’ve spent most of my life as a proud, single woman and it honestly rocks! Sure it takes a while to get used to spending more time alone once a relationship ends, but I’ll focus on the positive aspects of my newfound freedom: more time to commit to the things I love to do and no one to answer to. I’ll use this time to improve and love myself.
I won’t become cynical about love.
No matter how much he hurts me, I refuse to give up on love. I’ll recognize the faults in the failed relationship and use the lessons I learned from it to prepare myself for the next relationship. Because one of them is bound to last, right?
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