I remember sitting down after my first break up and googling things like “how to get over someone” and “what to do after your break up”. If you’re clicking on this post because this blog came up in one of those searches, I’m really sorry. I wish I could offer you a hug and some Kleenex. I can offer you my experience in this blog and a good phone call if you want to hit that contact page, though! Anyway, let me explain a little bit here.
I spent one year and three months dating my first boyfriend. I thought I was the happiest version of myself possible. I thought we’d get married someday and have cute kids and maybe even a cute dog or two. Now, don’t get me wrong – I was the happiest version of myself for a good while. (and I haven’t given up on the dream of a good man and some cute dogs and kids.) However, I slowly fell into a deeper depression as time went on. Suddenly we started to hit rough patches. The basic beliefs we disagreed on slowly crept along the foundation of our relationship like weeds growing under the sidewalk. We spent more time fighting or tiptoeing around certain subjects to avoid conflict. (Disclaimer: This is not to say that relationship problems aren’t worth working out. But when you know, you know.)
Eventually, I began to hate myself because I let this continue on. I quickly put a stop to the relationship. It was hands down the hardest thing I’ve ever done but also freeing in a way. You know that feeling where you’ve just made a big decision that you initially felt really strongly about, but now it’s hit you that a major aspect of your life has been thrown off kilter? You kind of feel stupid and just keep asking yourself, “so now what?” Yeah, that was me.
Immediately I fought off my initial reaction to isolate myself. I took a trip to a family member’s house so I could be away from the constant reminders of the relationship that seemed to litter my home. The root beer bottle on my side table. The flower sitting on my desk. I couldn’t control my tears for a good while after. I would sporadically start crying again due to something minuscule, which was actually quite obnoxious for someone who doesn’t often cry in front of other people.
After I spent some time watching cheesy Hallmark movies and dealing with the long phone calls and goodbye texts, I was ready to start my new life as a single woman. Or at least, that’s what I thought. I figured I’d follow Cosmo’s ten easy steps and be on my way, or something. (Pro tip: NEVER follow Cosmo’s advice on anything.) When the hair cuts and the makeup didn’t work, I realized this was going to be a long internal battle.
You see, I had to change the priorities in my life. I used to have somebody to call, text, or invite over when I was bored. I enjoyed that familiarity. However, I had stopped putting my faith first. Suddenly this breakup became one of the most important advances in my relationship with God. I had to start praying again. I prayed all of the time; every time I wanted to send a text or call, I prayed. It’s a good thing God is not like us because I talked God’s ear off all the time. Even a counselor would have been rolling their eyes.
That’s the first thing I recommend. Take a look at where your priorities have shifted. I had stopped putting as much energy into my relationships with family and in my faith. I started spending more time with them and allowing them to take care of me. I still felt miserable most of the time, but I was finally able to smile again.
Then, I began to “date myself”. No, not in the pathetic “I’m-Recently-Single-And-I’m-NEVER-Wasting-My-Time-On-A-Man-Again” way. I began to spend time and money on myself so I could learn more about who I had become during the time I was pouring into someone else. I liked some things and disliked others. I started working on the things I didn’t like. I started forcing myself to go to bed at a decent time and tried to be patient with myself. I took myself out to the movies about 8 times so I could go see La La Land over and over. I pulled over to cry when I needed to and sat on the floor playing cheesy love songs when I needed that.
I started taking drives by myself. I would drive to my favorite store to buy flowers and sushi. I started to listen to my favorite music again on those drives. I went out for dinner with my favorite book and forced myself to spend time with friends when I didn’t want to. I found a new crush and when that fizzled in part due to the fact that I wasn’t ready to put in the time, I was okay with that. I prayed even more. I worked hard at my school and career. If you’re going through a breakup or dealing with depression, I’m truly sorry that you’re wading in those depths. However, you don’t have to stay there. I had to rely on those I loved to get me started and keep me in check. I had to force myself to accept their help even when I wanted to scream at them to go away. I had to force myself to talk about what hurt instead of lodging it all inside. I had to become my own friend. I began to take care of myself like I used to take care of my boyfriend. I learned about who I was and it’s made my relationships since then so much better.
I encourage you to do the same. Find some things that make you happy and do them. Resist the urge to run back to what hurt you and restart the cycle. Begin to work on things that will improve your future. Don’t let yourself get held back. Be patient and kind to yourself. Talk to God more. It might be a slow process, but it pays off. Believe me.
P.S. – that contact button is still up for grabs 😉 Feel free to send me a message. Lord knows I’ve been there, too.