Making Sense of a Break Up
I’ve had big breakups, and I’ve had small ones. I’ve had “please don’t ever mention his name again under any circumstances,” and I’ve had “hey, didn’t you used to do me” in coffee shops. What I hadn’t had—until this past Autumn, at least—was a heart-shattering one that left me feeling frozen and afraid.
I had been sleeping, smiling, and spending Saturdays with this guy for so long that I had forgotten who I was without him. Sure — I was Flo, who liked scary movies and getting my nails done, — but I forgot what to do without texting him daily. I forgot how to make plans on a weekday night. I forgot how to feel love from my friends.
What I needed — and what you need if you are reading this–is some insight into how to find clarity about yourself once you part ways. Try these simple steps to find who you are — after the dust settles and the books are sorted.
Tidy Up Your Tech
Often, relationships today can have a large online presence. Do your best to tend to that — whether it involves deleting photos off Instagram, unfollowing his buddies that you don’t talk to, or uploading a great, solo photo of yourself that you’ve always liked. Don’t feel guilty about making these updates — see them as an opportunity to rest, reflect, and relax. Change your home screen photo, delete unwanted notifications, close tabs, and download fun new apps. Change your dating app photos (or what apps you are using). Offload whatever is overwhelming you.
Let Yourself Feel.
Sure, you might have the temptation to say you’re OK or swan dive into the next relationship. But taking a day, as I did, with take-out and rom-coms on the couch, can be a game changer. Feeling the hurt can make it easier to fully move on.
Remember Who You Are
Reconnect with things you love through intentional, immersive actions. Just because you and him went on a date to the aquarium doesn’t mean that he has a monopoly on fish. Reassociate places you love with positive experiences–whether that be through new dates, old friends, solo outings, or a bundle of sage (but maybe don’t burn sage at the aquarium).
Get Back Out There Through Mutual Attraction
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Do All the Things He Hated
You might not get exhilaration from being annoying, but you will from indulging yourself in what was once forbidden. Did he hate greasy food? Go for a drive-thru run. Did he despise dancing? Go out with your friends. Was he always falling asleep during Bridgerton? Watch every single episode on repeat. Smoke those cigars, dance to that music, and enjoy all the pleasure that you forgot about while dating him.