Last June, my four-year relationship with my then-boyfriend ended unexpectedly. It was difficult to digest the news that he no longer wanted me in his life, and even more difficult to arrive in Miami without knowing how the breakup would affect me. While on the plane, I tried to find the best wording to let my friends and family know. I promised myself that as soon as I stepped foot off the plane, I would check off crying and depression from the list of options. I wanted to enjoy my summer and strongly refused to stay in bed crying while watching romantic movies on Netflix and eating lots of ice cream.
Instead, I let out the hot summer girl version of me.
Two valuable tips that you must take into account after a breakup:
First, a positive mindset. Tell yourself constantly that you did nothing wrong and that no matter how destroyed you feel, you should move on. You can fall into the cycle of feeling insecure, worthless, unwanted and lonely. If you embrace those feelings, you will eventually have the courage and strength to move on.
You also need a breakout squad. As soon as my friends found out, they conspired together to entertain me and get me out of the house. Without them, I wouldn’t have made it. We did everything together, from staying home watching TV and TikToks while showing off each other’s finds, to going out for coffee, going to the mall, clubbing and making small trips around Florida.
Not as easy as it sounds…
I would do everything to feel better (and it kind of worked), but every night I went to bed with my heart broken into millions of pieces. Over time, I realized that holding back those feelings only made me feel worse in the long run. So, I started to feel what I needed to feel, whether anger, sadness, confusion or a weird mix of all. In the meantime, I did other things to try washing the pain away. I took dance classes, went back to journaling, started publishing more articles, got closer to my best friends, started exercising more and started living my life without anyone telling me what to do, without trying to impress anyone and just worrying about what I needed to do to feel good.
Other things you can do:
- Select all the photos from your photo gallery that remind you of your ex and put them all in a hidden album.
- Change your profile picture and wallpaper images. (Tip: before the last goodbye, try changing the photos with your ex, so you don’t have to do it alone.)
- Get all the stuff off the walls of your room, nightstand and literally everywhere, because if you, like me, stayed with that person for a few years, probably everything you have relates to your ex. As soon as I got back home, I put everything in a box under my bed to avoid seeing it frequently.
- Take off all the jewelry your ex gave you. You don’t have to use them (at least not yet).
- Go shopping. Buy clothes that make you feel empowered, pretty and sexy.
- Get books that can help you smooth the process. I highly recommend “Break Through the Breakup” by Erin Davidson.
Most importantly, you need to know that everyone comes up with their own coping mechanism. What works for me may not necessarily work for you and vice versa. If we categorize the seasons where breakups can feel less brutal, summer comes in at number one on the list. The weather just pushes you to put on a bikini and lie on the beach with a glass of cold sangria. You can also go clubbing with your friends to meet new people and just have fun. Warning: don’t start dating if you need more time, but keep in mind that meeting people really helps. During the summer, anything can happen…
But the pain of a breakup can sometimes make you wonder if you’ll ever survive it. Don’t worry, eventually, you will. And you will definitely grow from that pain. Just believe in yourself and trust that many positive things will come your way. And remember, don’t get impatient if you see that nothing works. Time (no matter how slow) heals.