If you come to this site a lot, like if you’re a regular reader here, you’ve read all types of great advice.
How to meet people, how to talk to them, how to keep them… but something I haven’t seen a lot of is how to deal with losing someone.
Maybe those of us who write these things for you think that, as long as you read what we have to say, there’s no way that will ever been an issue for you. I know I hope that for myself, anyway. But the truth is that it’s going to happen to you a few times, and maybe it already has… I’m talking about the bad breakup.
Specifically the bad. There are always going to be “good terms” breakups, and “let’s stay friends” breakups. I’m actually really close with a couple of my own exes, so I know it’s not impossible, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the emotionally devastating breakups, the ones that leave you an inconsolable wreck for days on end. We all have our coping mechanisms. Ice cream, alcohol, you name it, but you should never use a substance of any kind as your post-breakup crutch.
Here’s a few tips to avoid dragging yourself to the bottom of the emotional well after saying goodbye.
1. Be Social
Most men I know who’ve gone though a nasty breakup like to spend a lot of time to themselves. Some women do, too, but really it’s mostly men. A friend of mine told me once it’s because he likes to clear his head, almost like purging thoughts of “her” from his brain.
I can tell you, though, this can be dangerous. When you’re in an emotionally vulnerable state, spending too much time in your own head is one of the worst places you can be. You start to reinforce any anger, bitterness or sadness you might be feeling at the time. That’s why it’s so, so important to try and be social.
It can be tough, and maybe you lost a handful of close friends in the breakup, but odds are you have some left. And you don’t have to go out partying or anything like that. Just take some time to hang out with friends. Crack a few drinks, watch a movie, hear some stories about what your friends really thought about your ex all this time. It’s just good to have positive reinforcement after serious heartbreak.
2. Keep the Defense Mechanisms Low
You’ve just been hurt. You don’t want to be hurt again. You’ve sworn off the opposite sex. Pursuing them, talking to them, even looking at them is out of the question, at least for a while. That impulse is understandable, we’ve all been there, but I’m here to tell you it’s not the best idea.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you should go home with everyone who approaches you, but it can never hurt to make sure you still know how to communicate. If the breakup was bad, then that means it was probably serious, which also means it’s been awhile since you’ve been on the “flirt” side of the dating spectrum.
You need to make sure you still know this stuff so you’ll be prepared when you are ready to dive back into dating. After a serious split of my own, I made the horrible mistake of shutting myself off from men for months, and by the time I was ready to meet one again, I had completely forgotten what I was doing. I was awkward and clumsy and a little bit of a mess. It’s not a mistake I’d make again, since it took way too long to get into the swing of things.
So, keep those in mind and just remember the old saying about fish in the sea. It’s true, and I know you’re hurting now, but it’s actually really easy to get back out there. Once you do, you’ll wonder why you were so broken up about your breakup in the first place.
Until next time,