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It doesn’t matter if we just got dumped by our husband or summer fling or if that current crush is unrequited. It sucks, and it hurts…really bad.
Breakups are brutal.
Miley Cyrus sang it perfectly, “Nothing breaks like a heart.” She knows. We all know. Heartbreak isn’t something reserved for the cursed. It can sneak up on anyone at any time.
So what do we do? How can we ease that relentless and throbbing ache that won’t subside? Unfortunately, nothing will give us a pass from feeling it.
Often with no relief, we can turn to unhealthy crutches. Though, that can momentarily ease our pain, alas, they are ultimately unfulfilling.
But there is hope.
Getting through heartbreak is much easier if we take some simple steps to help us heal. They have helped me and many other women get through this anguishing window of time. And that is what it is: a window, which means it’s not here to stay.
That’s important to remember as we navigate the storm.
Here are seven things you can do to get through a breakup:
During this painful phase, we need a breakup buddy by our side. This person—or persons—may actually not be our bestie or sister but someone unexpected.
We need to look for the person who understands our need to feel then lessens our pain—the person who sympathizes and responds with “I understand” and perhaps the needed “What a jerk!”
We do not want the person who will try to snap us out of it, rush us, or inform us that “he clearly doesn’t care.” Women need to get what they’re feeling up and out, and the last thing that’s needed is feeling like we have to do it perfectly.
If there’s one thing we can do during the breakup nightmare, it’s this: do not call them.
Hey, “I’m a strong woman…I go after what I want.” We hear you. We know you are and cheer that on, but if your partner broke up with you, that means they are saying no. Hopefully, it’s temporary, but it’s still a no.
Therefore trying to override that is trying to force things. We want what’s meant to be and what’s healthy for us. So we have to let the relationship goddesses do their magic. We want people who want us.
This may be the most powerful lesson of all. We do not beg for anyone. “But I don’t beg,” you say. Let’s rephrase it then. We don’t need to remind anyone that we are the best catch ever. If that person can’t see that, they need to go.
We can still have faith that they will miss us and come back while holding to this. It might take us a long time to remember our own power, but until then, this is something we can do about it. How do we do that? We just don’t remind anyone of our existence. We are amazing, and if someone does not see that magnificence…bye-bye.
Hope plays an important role. We need hope. We really, really want this person to be the one. Wishing for this relationship is okay. It’s more than okay. It is necessary. Women need time to make sense of things, and getting punched in the gut with all the “he doesn’t like you” rhetoric isn’t always helpful.
Note: if that works, fantastic. It just doesn’t work for everyone, and often we need to have hope for a period of time after the breakup. Sometimes they come back, and sometimes they don’t, but having faith can get us through the gnarly pain—but we need to move on eventually.
Let’s challenge ourselves with something that may be difficult.
Can we take their gorgeous face out of the equation? We know, they are so cute. Now that we’re all thinking clearly, we need to focus on what we want.
Are they really it? If we can step back from them and all the exceptions we may be making, are they up to par? How about their character? We don’t know the breakup specifics, but let’s look at the full picture. Here are some hypotheticals. Would your partner blow you off without a call? Would your partner flirt with others? Would your partner ghost you hard and not call for a week or three? We need to ask ourselves what kind of partner we want, and is this person it?
We all want that perfect relationship. Agreed? What if the person we are crying over was standing in the way of it? What if the relationship goddesses know something we don’t and they need to move that person out of the way? Maybe it is the perfect relationship, but we have to let go first so our previous partners can realize what they missed.
It doesn’t matter what we believe about who/what controls our relationships, but something seems to maneuver our love life. Wouldn’t we all still be with our high school crushes if not? Think about that.
7. The gift.
There’s freedom in knowing we can’t control love, and there’s comfort in understanding that we can’t lose the person we’re meant for.
Turns out, we don’t need to do anything but be ourselves. It’s uncomfortable waiting out a breakup, but it’s a relief to know that heartbreak can lead to a huge gift. We don’t have to do it gracefully either. We can cry in our ice cream, watch “Sex and the City” in our sweatpants, or use them to work out like crazy. Whatever gets us through.
Whether or not we end up back together with our ex is out of our hands, and though it’s brutal now, it will end up benefiting us. Either way, when we look back on our life, wasn’t there always a gift that came out of a rerouting of our plans?