This week, we shared some advice on the podcast for a listener who wanted to know how to get over being dumped. Below, five tips on dealing with heartbreak
Getting dumped sucks. It sucks. There’s no way around this inconsolable fact. There are, however, coping tactics that are more productive than others (talk therapy, good! Developing a low-level Hot Cheetos addiction, bad!).
Style Girlfriend is here to help you survive getting dumped, and maybe even come out the other side a better, more healthy relationship-ready human. If you’ve been dumped, or even gone through a mutual-yet-still-painful breakup, take time to confront and process your feelings with the advice below.
Below, 5 tips on how to get over being dumped:
1) Get busy
And I don’t mean with a new lady. We’re all about taking the time to feel your feelings at SG HQ, not immediately putting another person in between you and those feelings. It might feel good for awhile, but eventually you’ll both get hurt when the other’s expectations about “what this is” (long-term potential v. short-term rebound) don’t match up.
Instead, get obsessively, enjoyably engrossed in an activity.
Ideally, a healthy one. At the very least, one that doesn’t hurt anyone (including you).
Tl;dr: Find what makes you really happy, and do that. A lot of that.Maybe that means taking a drawing class. Maybe it’s hanging out at your sister’s house with her kids who are at that good age where they think you’re the coolest person on the planet (pretty soon they’ll be too cool for you, so enjoy the window before it closes). Maybe it’s staying home and working on a 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle while the Hamilton soundtrack plays on repeat.
So long as the activity doesn’t endanger you, your loved ones, or your livelihood (“But I really like drinking cheap vodka alone until I black out every weeknight, Megan!”), lean into it. Yes, even if it’s dorky. Yes, even if it’s something like a new interest in art or music where you’re just finding your footing (aka, you suck at it…for now).
The key is for this activity to be a true interest, not a diversion. “Go to the gym for two hours and hope desperately that when you pull your phone out of your bag in the locker room, you’ll flip off airplane mode and hope she’s sent a text.” This is, getting so engrossed that you forget you have a phone, and that she exists.
Do it for you, and concentrate on being in the moment whenever you’re doing said-thing.
Rediscover enjoyment in activities that have nothing to do with her.
2) Talk it out
With your friends, for awhile. With a therapist, for sure. If the audience here was more women than men, I’d harp on the length of the grace period in that first point. Since y’all are primarily male, I’m going to focus on the second, instead.
If you have been waiting for permission to speak to a professional about the scary, sad, confusing tangle of thoughts in your head—breakup-induced or otherwise—here it is.
In New York, there’s less of a stigma around enlisting a professional to help you wade through your wallowing. If anything, retaining a therapist is almost like a bullet point you’d put on your resume under “Other Skills.”
I’m proficient in Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, and professionally-guided Self-Reflection.
Perhaps I’ve been living in this liberal elite coastal bubble of mine for too long, but I like it this way. I’d rather we all lay our crazy right out on the table. Acknowledge the socially anxious or slightly depressed elephant in the room.
Let me give you a super-personal example! An ongoing issue of mine in relationships is the concern that I’m doomed to reenact my own parents’ power dynamic, repeating that behavior until either a) I die, or b) I work my shit out and move on with my life, freed from the lessons (good and bad) I absorbed from them as a kid.
I’ve been doing that with a therapist for oh, ten years? And maybe one of these days I’ll actually start making smarter decisions!
Kidding aside (also working on deflecting uncomfortable situations with humor lololol), I definitely wouldn’t even be aware of the patterns I tend to fall into were I not talking with a licensed professional on a regular basis.
It’s 2018. Get a therapist. Don’t tell anyone if you don’t want to. It’s fine.
3) Figure out if you liked your ex or not
When someone breaks up with you, it’s easy to either a) pine desperately for that person and put him or her on a relationship pedestal, or b) irrationally hate every molecule of their being.
Usually, these knee jerk reactions don’t tell the whole story, and they’re certainly not useful in getting over being dumped. There’s not usually all good or all bad people (remember THIS post??), so let’s go a level deeper.
After you’ve turned a failed romance over and over like a relationship Rubik’s cube, you’ll discover what worked and what didn’t. The next step is to take those lessons and sort out what you want them to mean for your next relationship (because yes, despite what you may be feeling immediately post-being dumped, there will be a next relationship).
Maybe there were qualities about her you didn’t like. They don’t make her a monster, but you can and should make a mental note that if you notice those same qualities in someone you date next, they’ll set off red flags early in the game so you don’t wind up in a facsimile relationship of your last one.
Conversely, if you’re broken-hearted because she was perfect/The One/you’ll never find another like her, then get really clear on the qualities that made her so right for you, and keep your eyes peeled like a ripe banana for when the next woman waltzes into your life with the same great traits.
Take time to learn what you want and what you don’t want out of a relationship.
4) Give yourself a “Back Out There” Date
When my last boyfriend and I broke up, I gave myself three months to wallow, feel sad, miss him (but not call him..don’t call) and generally eat too many carbs alone while watching Netflix (I’m an isolationist when I’m sad…maybe you go out…whatever works).
Putting the date in my calendar of when I would “officially” be done with my mourning phase made me feel like I had good news on the horizon. Like circling in red on your calendar the date of your doctor’s appointment to get a cast off.
Sure enough, I met someone eleven days before my deadline. Were that date not in place, who knows if I would have felt “ready” to date, or have been worried that meeting this person would be a rebound. Instead, I felt ready for a new romance.
Give yourself an end date to keep wallowing time in check.
5) Never, ever, ever look at their social media.
This is not cruel; it’s cruel to yourself if you don’t. It’s SO important that you banish this person from every single one of your social media feeds.
You don’t want to see them being happy (How dare they? Without you?), and you don’t want to see them posting pensive missives with just a picture of a tree losing its leaves (Does this mean they miss me??), and you definitely don’t want to get caught out there accidentally liking an Instagram photo of theirs that’s 57 weeks old at 3am on a Saturday night.
Shout out to whatever self-care synapses fire when you enact this social media cutoff, because I swear there’s something definitive once you declare yourself free of your ex’s social media grip. It’s like those people with gluten allergies who simply skip the pizza in the breakroom and have a salad. It seems like they have so much self-control, and you could never. But you can! At some point, it’s just about making the decision for your own good.
It doesn’t feel like you’re exerting a huge amount of willpower once you decide to decide. So whatever you do, decide to unfollow your ex, and stick to it.
This person is out of your life. They should be out of your feed, too.
WHAT’S THE WORST BREAKUP YOU WENT THROUGH (DUMPED *OR* DUMPER), AND HOW DID YOU GET PAST IT?
(image: The Debrief)