Remember when Lily broke up with Marshall in How I Met Your Mother? Man, I really felt for that guy.
Today I was supposed to post a guest blog about how to approach intimidating women.
But the truth is, my life is a mess right now. A past relationship has gradually taken much emotional toll on me, and I’m sitting right in the middle of the aftermath.
Picking yourself up after a failed relationship—especially an abusive one—is a lot like picking yourself up by your own bootstraps. It seems impossible.
But it’s not.
It can take a long time to get over someone you loved and lost. But I have some tips that have helped me over the past 3 weeks.
Breakups are hard. But they don’t have to be that hard. Here are ways you can ease the process a little.
1. Evaluate Your Value—DAILY
One of the reasons you miss your ex is because you remember the good times. Perhaps you really loved that person and gave your all to make the relationship work.
Your efforts and your expectations have now been dashed. It’s not easy to let go of an emotional investment.
But relationships end. Many of them should end to make way for the right person.
You may not feel like it right now, but you are worth more than all your failed relationships put together. Remind yourself of that.
Here are some dos and don’ts when evaluating yourself. Practice them daily and you’ll see yourself through this breakup a lot easier.
Talk Yourself Through it
Remind yourself out loud why the relationship didn’t work out. It’s not always easy to be introspective about a past relationship. But if you don’t tell yourself that the other person doesn’t deserve you, then you’ll end up believing it’s best to go back.
Give yourself a pep talk whenever you get feelings of doubt for initiating the breakup, or rejection for being broken up with. Either way remind yourself that you deserve better.
And it will come.
Show Appreciation for Your Friends
You may not be worth much to your ex, but you are worth a whole lot to your friends.
Let them know how much they mean to you, or simply show them a bit of kindness. Your friends are likely to reciprocate and show you how much they value YOU.
And this will mitigate any feelings of unworthiness brought on by the breakup.
Avoid Attention Hogging
One way you should NOT evaluate your worth is by attention hogging.
Playing the victim on social media and posting a bunch of selfies all over the internet won’t make you feel better in the long run.
If you need people to compliment you on your looks to feel good about yourself, you’re looking for happiness in all the wrong places.
2. Make Time to Be Alone
Let’s get back to Marshall. That poor guy went through weeks of depression, binge eating and excessive TV watching.
And I’ll be honest with you: I think there’s a place for that.
Self-evaluation is a process best done on your own. There are many mind-numbing things you could do while you work through your breakup.
But don’t stay in that darkness for too long.
My favorite song of all time is See the Sun Again by Dido. It’s about visiting a heartbroken friend and forcing them to go outside to face the world. At some point you must get over the depression and move on to the healing.
But take some time to be alone. A few days of Netflix and cookie dough may be just what you need to make that difficult transition from living without someone to being alone. Just don’t let that become your perpetual reality like Marshall did.
3. Say ‘Yes’ to Everything
A comedy that changed my perspective on life was Yes Man.
You need to be Jim Carrey’s character in this movie.
Invited out somewhere? Say YES!
Asked out on a date? Say YES!
Asked to attend an event? Say YES!
These offers will present themselves at the most unexpected times. Be ready with your answer.
Why? Because you’re in a comfort zone—and you need to get out of it right NOW!
You may not always enjoy yourself when going out, but most of the time you’ll be glad you did. Don’t sit at home rejecting all invitations that come your way. Say yes and go experience people.
It’s not comfortable—believe me, as an introvert I know this—but it’s good for you. So just suck it up and say YES!
4. Notice the Fire in Others
Since my breakup I’ve met 3 amazing women at parties, events and during my daily running routine. I’m not interested in dating any of them further, but I’ve gotten to know them, and—more importantly—learned to appreciate them for who they are.
People have an inherent fire within them. I’ve been blessed to experience 3 unique personalities. These women don’t know who they are or what a positive impact they’ve had on me. And I’m pretty sure they’re reading this too.
Meeting them has brought on healing for me because:
- Getting to know them made me realize that there are super special personalities out there. It makes me look forward to meeting more of them.
- All 3 of them recognized and appreciated something in me that my ex never mentioned. This made me realize that I am a multi-dimensional person with more to offer than I thought.
- Enjoying the platonic company of someone of the opposite sex can be very comforting. A compliment from an attractive person is enough to get your confidence way up. And confidence is everything.
5. Work on Self-Improvement
Like my friend, Irene likes to say, “You have nothing better to do with your time than to improve yourself.”
While you are single you will have a lot of time to work on yourself. Take the opportunity to do so. Your self-esteem has taken a knock, so the best way to pick yourself up is to work on one thing at a time to become better.
What are your vices? What do you really want to improve about yourself for when you meet the right person?
- Losing weight
- Improving your mind by learning something new
- Forming a healthy habit like running or swimming
- Eating healthier
- Breaking a bad habit
- Getting your finances in order
Feel good about yourself again and work hard to improve yourself in preparation for meeting someone new.
6. Be Mindful
Meditation has helped many people with a lot of issues in my life.
Breakups are no different. There are tons of mindfulness apps for Android and iOS. Download one and learn how to be mindful of your surroundings and your inner self.
This will generate appreciation for your life and give you more perspective regarding the breakup.
7. Hang Out with Old People
The break up you just went through is just a part of life. And there’s no better person to relay this to you than an old person who has been through life and experienced love.
We find it hard to imagine that an old person was once young. But they were. And they fell in love too—often more than once during their lifetimes.
If you ask nicely enough, an old person might tell you stories about failed relationships. And do you know what? They always do so with a smile!
This makes me realize that the pain, regret and anger I feel now will one day fade away. In fact, it will turn into appreciation for the experiences I went through.
Breakups are just a part of life. And when you realize that, the healing can begin.
8. Do NOT Put Yourself Back Out There—Yet
Your first instinct will be to end the loneliness.
This is a mistake.
Loneliness is something you must deal with. It’s harder for some than others, I know. But learning to be alone and selfish with your time is a long term investment I urge you to make.
There are multiple pitfalls to registering on a dating site too soon after a breakup:
- You will end up comparing the new person to your ex
- You’ll be thinking (and maybe even talking) about your ex a lot
- Your new relationship will be built on the foundation of you not wanting to be alone (rebounds are not healthy at all)
That being said, don’t hesitate to meet and date people if the opportunity arises. If you meet someone in your daily routine, at work or at an event, feel free to mingle. But be honest with yourself and others about where you are emotionally.
9. Create Something
When something dies, something else should take its place.
Create something. A blog. A painting. A meal you haven’t quite perfected. ANYTHING!
Go one step further and finish reading that book you’ve neglected. Sort out that paperwork that’s been hanging over your head for months.
Get your life organized and find a clean canvass where you can create something awesome. This will take your mind off the breakup and help you heal faster.
10. Keep Up Your Energy
Unless you want to fall into a deeper depression than you’re in now, you must get enough nutrition during a breakup.
I have discovered a bunch of high-energy foods that keep my spirits up and help me attend to my daily tasks without that sluggish feeling brought on by depression.
Check out my nutritional recommendations and let me know if they worked for you.
11. Help Someone
This is by far the most effective tip in this entire article. So if you’ve made it this far, you’re about to be rewarded for your patience.
Doing something for someone else is incredibly healing. It doesn’t have to be something big. But making a positive impact on someone’s life is powerful.
There are tons of people who need our help. Their lives are much harder than ours. When you think about things that way, your heartbreak will seem less significant.
There’s a lot of poverty and suffering in this world, and those of us who can help in any way should do so without hesitation.
My heartbreak dating advice to you is to find a good cause and change someone’s life with your time, money or skills. Here are some ideas:
- Sponsor an orphan child online and make an impact in their education and living conditions
- ‘Adopt’ a street beggar and keep loose change with you for whenever you pass them by
- Reach out to family members who are strained with emotional support, cooking a meal or simply visiting
- Visit an animal shelter. Being around animals is extremely healing, and they’ll love the visit
- Dedicate some time to helping your community at old age homes, animal shelters and orphanages. If you don’t have money, spend your time on those who need you
This has had a huge effect on how I see things. Suddenly my breakup is a small, selfish problem compared to the REAL problems people have out there.
Helping someone—REALLY helping them—changes your perspective completely.
Do it today.
12. Be Kind to Yourself
Okay wait. I want you to remember something: You’ve just gone through a breakup.
That stuff is HARD!
Listen to your body, your mind and your heart. If you need to rest, take a nap. If you need to cry, cry as hard as you can. If you need to binge on cookie dough, go right ahead. Game of Thrones Marathon? GO FOR IT!
But again, don’t stay in the darkness. You will see the sun again. This is only temporary.
You’re going to be okay.