By now, I'm sure you know how the dating scene goes—and if your track record is anything like mine, it's the equivalent of being stuck in a never-ending Tay Swift breakup song. So if you are currently riding that heartbreak struggle bus right now, it can be hard to see things beyond the tears and pain. We get it, girl! Here's some truth to head into the new year with to get you back on to your single recovery. #NewYearNewYouForgetBreakups
1. The thought of having feels for someone else makes you want to quite literally barf. I know you've just had your heart ripped out of your chest, but you will find someone who you will enjoy spending your lazy Sunday with.
2. You might find yourself thinking your ex's roommates, best friends, or siblings are hot. Don't give into this. This is your mind's way of messing with you by trying to tell you vengeance is cute. It's not.
3. Breakups are inevitable. And real talk? You're probably not going to spend forever with your first ever bae—but that's okay! Breakups happen, they're a part of life unfortunately. Know that they help you know what to look for in the future.
4. Lean on your friends, but not forever. The pain of a break up heals when it heals, and you can't rush that. You get about a solid month of non-stop attention-seeking behavior for your friends, but then you have to start to scale back. They should be there for you with the support and the ice creamas much as possible at the beginning, but if it starts to dominate every single conversation you have for weeks on end, that's not super fair to them either.
5. There is no time limit in which you "have to" be over someone. Everyone has that one obnoxious friend with an ice heart who insists that you must be over them in approximately half the time that you dated them. People insist on these arbitrary deadlines for the #feels because having someone take a big dump on your heart seems endless, and it's easier to deal with it if an end is in sight. But really, if you try to force it to end too early, it'll just be worse. Let your sadness breathe and go away in its own time.
6. Apathy is a real emotion. You may feel just, like, nothing at all. It's a perfectly normal stage of a breakup and your way of coping with the rush of emotions.
7. Also, that's not wallowing. It's healthy. Anyone who calls that "wallowing" has forgotten what breaking up with someone is like.
8. It's totally fine to hate your ex for a minute. But try not to hold onto that anger forever. Denying how you feel in the moment is pointless — if they cheated or hurt you, it's going to elicit an emotional response. Don't pretend you're not fantasising about switching their shampoo with Nair if you are. Just try and let go of those feelings once the pain stops being so raw.
9. It is incredibly easy to lie to yourself repeatedly about being over them, but if you keep saying it to yourself over and over, you probably aren't. Otherwise known as the "I'M SO CHILL. WE'RE JUST FRIENDS NOW, TELL ME ALL ABOUT YOUR NEW GIRLFRIEND, I'M SO CHILL, SO SHE'S AN AMERICAN APPAREL MODEL, WOW, THAT'S GREAT, I CAN'T FEEL MY HANDS" dance.
10. Sometimes you need to sever all social and social media ties with the person (at least for a while) in order to fully move on. I know that makes it look like you "care too much" or whatever, but trust me, it's better than IG-stalking them when you're lonely.
11. Speaking of which: Keeping tabs on them, even occasionally, is highly likely to rip off your emotional scab. There they are on Instagram, holding a baby, that's nice. Does anyone have any liquor?
12. It's not your fault. It wasn't that you weren't good enough for them in any way. There is no such thing. That is false.
13. Sometimes it's not their fault, either. The ability to zoom out of your hurt and acknowledge that a relationship ended for gray reasons, rather than black or white reasons (one of you was a dick face, the other one was a saint), is very helpful, although that might initially be even more painful to process.
14. No communication — no texting, no GChatting, no nothing. Maybe you've memorised their number, in which case you give your phone to your friend every time you get drunk. Unfortunately, you might have to learn this the hard way, after repeatedly having stomach-churning emotionally charged conversations that you will regret in the morning.
15. Most of the time, closure is a myth. You probably won't have that perfect closing-of-the-book moment that you see on TV. Don't let Hollywood trick you into continuing to communicate with this person until there's some deus ex machina that lets you Finally Be Done For Good. Make yourself be Done For Good.
16. Don't take your wrath out on their new girlfriend, who is a complete stranger to you. It's Mean Girl-ish and it's bad karma. If you must have the two-second thought that her hair looks flat and her Twitter isn't funny, fine, I know sometimes you need to. But lashing out at women who has done nothing wrong, even just obsessing about his new girlfriend with your friends, is not who you are.
17. If you spent most of your time upset, nervous, or concerned about this person while you were dating, it's much, much better that it's over. People should be congratulating you for getting out of an unhealthy relationship, and you should feel sort of relieved, really.
18. The horrible gut-wrenching process of getting over the first person you ever really dated and/or had a horrible on-and-off relationship with will make you #wiser. You will realise what you want and don't want for your next relationship.
19. Your worth is not tied to another person. No matter who they are.
20. And your ex is not as amazing and unforgettable as you think they are. He's not Armie Hammer. He's a cute-enough grad school dropout who works at Build-a-Bear and likes dubstep.
21. Sometimes you can't stay friends, and that's OK. I am of the personal opinion that anyone who can stay friends with their ex is either the Dalai Lama or didn't really love them that much as a significant other to begin with. Not being able to make small talk about the keto diet does not make you a petty and immature person.
22. Turning the breakup emotions into a positive drive (e.g., working out, excelling at work, cleaning your home) rather than a negative drive is so much better in the long run. The latter is basically a self-destructive punishment/immature "I'll Show You (By Making Bad Decisions)!" taunt at Life and will only make you feel worse.
23. It didn't work because it wasn't right. This is the most important lesson, because it'll help you move on and find a partner who is right for you.
This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated.
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