October 15, 2012

Attention Single Ladies: A Survival Break-Up Guide. ~ Tanya Maria Mah

Things are heating up as it cools down; it’s almost winter and that means that couples are either shacking-up or breaking-up.

If you’re in the latter, I’ve put together a lil’ ten step survival break-up guide to help mend your unhappy heart. I trialed this out a few years ago after a cracker of a break-up and ticked off everything on this list.

1. Cry hysterically. Nothing feels as good as a hysterical, loud, outta-control sob. Scream. Loose it. Cry. Let it go. Bonus points if you yell profanities. I’ve always admired people who can go completely mental and just wail. I have a giant fear of conflict and get scared at loud noises, so this one was hard for me—but goddamn it felt great.

2. Hate on everything. Bitching and moaning is good for the soul. Get your “emo” on and just see the world as sunny-side down. Don’t even bother with positive thinking or any form of gratitude right now. You have nothing to be grateful for, so I suggest you hide under a blanket in the darkest corner of your room and curse Jesus, Buddha and Krishna for putting you in this shitty situation.

3. Watch really bad TV. I love the Kardashians, The Housewife’s of…, Chelsea, Dance Moms, Toddlers dressed as Hookers, oh wait Tiaras. Shit TV is the best. I’m also a fan of girl movies and action flicks. Don’t shower, eat pizza for breakfast, stuff yourself full off chocolate and don’t get up of the couch until you’ve watched a season of your favorite show.

4. Pick your poison. Sometimes you have to loose yourself to find yourself. What’s that line “Something ’bout those little pills unreal, the thrills, they yield, until they kill, a million brain cells”…yep that’s it. I spent a decent chunk of time lost on the dance floor and had too many fun nights out that I can hardly remember. So pick your poison—just remember to play it safe.

5. Just say yes. Accept every social offer that comes your way. I just started saying yes to everything I was invited to. I saw my girlfriends, went to random dinner parties (where I knew no one), art openings, charity events, concerts, parties, BBQ’s, wine tasting and camping trips. You also need to leave the house now—that dark spot you’ve been sitting in is starting to get moldy and smell. Its time to expand your social circle; you might even make some new friends or even better, reconnect with some old ones.

6. Move your tush. Go to the gym, get outside or go to yoga everyday. After all the crying, whining, partying and socializing, exercise is going to make you feel a whole lot better. Bonus points for getting to the beach, walks in nature, ocean swims, meditation or for just getting some time in the sun and soaking up some Vitamin D.

7. Sleep around. Look, it kind of goes without saying that you have to get back on that horse again (or join a nunnery). Sex in a long-term relationship is familiar and has the added benefit that you always know what you’re getting. Sex with strangers is often awkward, strange and with lots of fumbling around. It can be completely disastrous or awesome and fun. When you’re ready, try it (but remember to use a condom; I said have sex, just don’t be a careless idiot about it!)

8. Write down want you want. This is a biggie because now that you’ve ditched the douche you clearly have more time to start thinking about where you want your life to take you. You can write out your health, career or personal life goals. Maybe write a list of things you want? Or think about the little treats that you can to do more off; a massage, facial, mani/pedi? I don’t know—this is your list, but it is important to think about the things that you want, no matter how big or small.

9. Meet a spiritual teacher and go on a “find yourself” holiday. This was my favorite part of this whole process. I liked it so much that I went on two in one year. The first was my Yoga Teacher Training in Bali. All I did was yoga (obviously), swim, sunbake, read, have massages and drink coconuts. The second was a metaphysical retreat with my mentors in South Africa. This was not a fun trip and they kicked my ass every step of the way—and I am forever grateful.

10. Get over it. Moving on is hard. It takes time and often when you think you’re “there” you’re not. Don’t expect any miracles because it truly is a process of unraveling and rebuilding, of learning and letting go. You’ll just have to accept that and get on with things anyway. Don’t allow anyone else’s process or expectations to get in the way of yours either.

There‘s no formula, no magic amount of time and no cut-off date for the healing to stop or the process to be over. You’ll know when you “get there” and you’ll be so grateful for giving yourself the time, for accepting the process and for getting rid of that d*ckhead boyfriend in the first place!


Tanya Maria Mah is a designer, the occasional seeker of all things true, a yogi, she can be creative, is frequently inappropriate, aspires for inspiration, a hippie (not a hipster), a teeny tiny disco dancer, a sometimes cook and eternally optimistic. When asked for a bio, she Facebook-polled her friends for one word that describes her and they came up with the following: love, hearts, crazy (this was mentioned a few times), sunshine, bubbly, meatball, mcskank (personal joke), excitable, spunky monkey, delicious, pixie and charismatically crazy (a new spin on an old favorite!) You can contact her at [email protected].


Editor: Jamie Morgan

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