I feel the need to clarify, that this article is concerned with relationships that had time and effort invested, not the unserious, just-for-fun ones that ended. I notice that people who go through genuine breakups often have a tough time dealing with them. Some allow that one event define who they are for the rest of their lives. In some cases it goes well, and in others… not so much. So, consider this your breakup bible; your guide to life after the breakup.
WHAT TO DO AFTER THE BREAKUP.
LET EMOTION OUT
Ugly-cry if you have to. Stay in bed if you like. You deserve some alone time. Don’t keep your emotions pent up for long, because no matter how long you keep them locked up, soon enough they’re going to spill out and it’s not gonna be pretty. Allow yourself to feel what you’re supposed to be feeling. Accept that it’s over and there’s nothing you can do about it. This is the first and most important step to take fresh after a breakup; accepting the situation and expressing the emotion… quote me anywhere 🙂
It’s scientifically proven that it is therapeutic to cry in distressing situations; And I can’t believe I have to say this, but I’m not talking about the girls alone. Men can cry too you know? It’s perfectly okay for males to cry. I personally feel society has put men in a box with their unhealthy standards of what men are “expected” to do, so men are forced to put on a show of machismo, not fully expressing their emotions. But I guess that’s a topic for another day.
After the breakup, you’re most likely feeling a lot of sadness, so it’s important to express these emotions, because it makes you feel better afterwards, a step closer to healing emotionally.
TELL PEOPLE YOU TRUST
You need to let those closest to you know what you’re going through. Everyone needs a support system. Some people try to handle the pain of breakups all by themselves and it becomes overbearing at a point; some even go through depression because of this.
If you have a friend or circle of friends you trust, you could confide in them. It takes some of the emotional burden off you. There’s a saying that goes “A problem shared is a problem half-solved“, so telling those closest to you helps you in the long run. They don’t have to know; but it’s better for you if they do. It feels like they’re sharing your pain with you; and it’s great knowing you have people who are there for you.
I know for a fact people feel like they are placing their burdens on others when they decide to tell them what’s going wrong in their lives, but that ain’t it really. Sometimes friends want you to talk to them, share your problems, allow them to be there for you. It’s not right to suffer alone in silence and send fake smiles when you’re among people. Help peoplehelp you… Learn to share your problems with others.
You don’t have to carry the weight of the whole world on your shoulders every time. That’s God’s job.
Instead of feeling like shit, or to put it more appropriately, instead of drowning in self-pity the whole time, buy yourself some ice cream, get a hairdo, buy some new clothes, something. You’re going through it, so treating yourself is self-appreciation in action. Like telling yourself, “I know it’s not all roses and bloom right now, but it’s gonna be okay b”. I know for a fact that sometimes, or most times, breakups bring out the worst in people. They can leave people feeling lost, out of place and awkward even. Treating yourself is just a way to ensure that you keep feeling good about yourself, even if the breakup threatened your self-esteem.
What you have to note however, is that treating yourself is not to be done with the intention of blocking your emotions, or distracting yourself from what has happened. Rather do it because you know you deserve the pampering you’re giving yourself.
Hold off however, on the life-altering decisions for now, because after a breakup, one is usually not mentally fit to make such impulsive decisions. So don’t get that tattoo just yet, don’t cut your hair right now, hold it off till later. But in all your efforts to be happy again, know that you deserve to appreciated, even if it is by yourself.
Choose self-appreciation over self-pity ALWAYS.
DON’T REINFORCE THE PAIN
I know some people are really into the idea of self-punishment and all that, but it’s unnecessary to look at old photos, read old texts, listen to sad music (unless sad music soothes you) just to make yourself feel more pain.
Obviously, right after the breakup, seeing things that remind you of the one you were with, can trigger an emotional response. It’s just like trying to touch a fresh knife wound, it only fetters the wound more. But the primary aim after breakups is to heal. If you really want to heal, you need to steer clear of things that trigger you. It may be a specific scent, a place, photos, old texts between you two, it could be anything. Choose to heal by avoiding potential pain triggers.
If it helps (and this is not to be petty, like at all), delete your ex’s number, block or unfollow on social media. If you feel that seeing them or hearing of them triggers emotional distress, then doing this is the right thing; for the sake of your own mental and emotional health.
The heartache after breakups is inevitable, whatever happens it’ll come. What you have to do however is find things that will minimize the pain or at least, make it bearable for yourself. Do what makes you happy.
Time heals wounds. You may have heard this statement a billion times and not really thought twice about it. Sure, the breakup has happened but it’s not the end of the world, it’s gonna get better. You’re not gonna snap your fingers and everything will be back to normal; that’s not how life works.
After the breakup, you need to be patient, to wait for your heart to heal, to wait until you feel better, to wait until things start looking up again. Understand that for things to go back to “normal”, patience is necessary.
Don’t be quick to jump into another relationship so soon. Allow yourself time to heal, to better yourself, to work on some hidden talents. Before you can be a good companion, you should be a good individual, one that is standing on their own. After the breakup, focus on you. Ask yourself the important questions: How can I be better as an individual? Which of my talents can I work on? What did I do well today and what can I do differently next time? These question types, they are the ones that lead to personal growth, and that is what you want after a breakup. No one wants to remain stagnant, never-changing, plain, same old; everyone loves to see change, because change is beautiful. Personally decide to make yourself the best version of you there can ever be but not just because of the breakup, oh honey no, do it for you.
Breakups are hard, no two ways about it, but what you do after is what really matters. It’s important to note that a breakup is certainly not the end of the world; that no matter how painful it can be, you can get through it. You will heal and you will genuinely smile again.
I’m treating this article as sort of an icebreaker, you know. I see this as a way for you, my totally fab readers, to really “get” me (whatever that means LOL).
Whether we like to admit it or not, our past has a lot to do with who we are today; which is why I think it’s important for me to show you where I’m from, so you can understand where I’m at right now (I’m reeeally hoping this makes sense). It’s why I’ve chosen to revisit my memories of my first year in college. And, also because my awesome friend gave me the idea in the first place (hey Maria!).
This walk down memory lane has me tripping, because I remember all these great moments I had, and then all the not-so-great ones I had and it’s all just jumbled up in my head. College was all so new to me and to be honest, I’m still trying to figure it out (I know I’m not alone in this one LOL). With this said, I’m gonna get right to it; my first year in college!
It was so much fun seeing old friends, some from as far back as kindergarten, primary school, some from high school, and many others I’d lost contact with over the years. The rush of emotions, recalling memories, exchanging contacts, promising to keep in touch… I didn’t even know how much I’d missed them till I actually saw them!
I remember when I met my ex-boyfriend (he was just a longtime friend then) after losing contact for about three whole years (we’d been friends since primary school and I hadn’t heard from him the whole period of senior high school); it was great. We recalled good times in primary school, the teachers we laughed at, how we celebrated our birthdays together and all the good memories we could remember; it was very refreshing.
I’ve always cherished friendships so definitely, seeing my old friends was memorable in my first year of college. I was able to reconnect with friends from when I was younger and that’s one thing I’ll never forget.
Meeting new people has always been a thrill to me and in my first year of college, I did a LOT of that. They were EVERYWHERE: my lecture halls, library (when I DID manage to go there), on the roads, on the stairs in the hostel I was living in, in the bus and even in my room.
The first ever new faces I had to get acquainted to were my roommates’, and I was excited (not that I openly showed though, okay I WAS smiling a lot so there’s that). Total strangers and I was supposed to be living with them for the rest of the year. Quickly enough though, we became the best of friends. We stayed up late into the night watching horror movies(we still do), playing Monopoly, and basically being there for each other. That last part was a relief for me, because everyone needs a support system of a kind, when you’re in college… so having my roommates as friends helped and still helps a ton.
Apart from my roommates, I met lots of other fun people, some of whom have become very good friends of mine today, and all of this I’m grateful for.
Where do I even start? Those who know me well, know I have parents who were very “particular” about my whereabouts, who I hang out with, and basically everything I do, especially before I came to the university. You would call them… “overprotective”; I didn’t, you did. But coming to college, opened me up to different experiences in different places and with different people. It basically helped me make decisions for myself, choose who I hung out with and what I did. So you can say college made me independent 🙂
The freedom I talk about here isn’t just freedom to go places, but freedom to decide what exactly I wanted to do, and at what time. That’s what really mattered to me. It’s like my parents said “okay b your life is in your hands now, live it well” and I had to make all the “life-changing” decisions. It was exciting as it was scary. Eventually I got the hang of it and it was smooth from there. I started to really appreciate myself for what I was doing.
I had tons of fun, going to my friends’ birthday parties, meet-ups, and even official events, networking, meeting new people and learning how to communicate with them.
GOALS AND NO GOALS
Only God knows how many times I set goals in just a month of my first year in college. I loved them (still do), because they gave me a sense of purpose, something to work towards and to look forward to. I set long-term and short-term goals. I said I’d do this, I’d do that, and some of the goals I’m able to realize and others, not so much. That’s what makes us human, right?
I set the bar so high when I’m setting my goals, because I’m lowkey obsessed with perfection; but we’ll talk about that some other day. I set a lot of goals in my first year of college, some related to academics, and some to my life in general. I did it with a lot of enthusiasm… you know how humans like to plan their lives ahead of time and all that? Yeah I was doing a lot of that. Like I plan to get to class on time, and I’m 20 minutes late when I finally arrive. I heard this saying once,
“Life is what happens, when you’re busy making plans”
I was so much into excelling in school, that having a little fun felt like I was derailing from the purpose for which I came to school in the first place. It’s not, just wanna make that clear. A little fun never killed anybody. I’ve always been more of an introvert than an extrovert, so staying indoors to study after a long day at school came naturally to me.
Over the course of time though, I learnt to open up, went out with friends, met new people, and it was always one great experience after the other. Yes I set goals, yes I tried to achieve them and yes I had fun while doing it. No regrets.
Even though I loved setting goals and all that good stuff, I also enjoyed “going with the flow”. I understood that I didn’t always have to set goals, that it was okay to live life one step at a time, and that it was fine to “be in the moment”. My first year in college taught me not to tie myself up in all my plans and goals, that I forget to have a good time.
So, my first year in college was pretty much a roller-coaster ride, cause whose life isn’t, right? But through and through it was a great year for me and I relished every second of it.
If it wasn’t a good time to be enjoyed, then it was a lesson to be learnt. And that’s all life should be, truly.
I’m writing this with so much excitement right now because I put a lot of thought into this… well, thought and time and food (I like eating while processing information). Too much food was expended in the making of this first blog post, but who’s taking note? All things aside I’ve finally followed through and started my very own blog. What to expect from this blog: untwisted, sugarcoat-free truth, discussing topics people avoid, with relation to my experiences and encounters with people; but who knows? I might swing a different way on other occasions, visiting a whole new world of ideas altogether… Unpredictability is pretty. Why exactly am I starting a blog? The reason is simple. I just think I have a lot to share, a lot in this brain of mine that people would want to hear and so I’m excited to begin this journey. Cheers to new beginnings!