If you've ever been through a breakup, you know that it pretty much always sucks, for a variety of reasons. You may have some regrets. You may feel like a victim. You may feel like a jerk. You may feel angry. You may feel like crying. Your emotions range far and wide.
Some of your words or reactions may have felt good at the time, but looking back, you probably should not have said this or done that …
I definitely feel like I've made a fool out of myself (more than once) due to my emotional, post-breakup outbursts. With these experiences in mind, allow me to share some of the DO and DON'T lessons that I wished I could have applied to my own life ...
1. Rules for social media
DO: "Unplug" completely for at least 60 days.
In short, cut your ties to your ex on all digital communication platforms. This involves deleting his number, unfollowing him/her on Twitter and Instagram, and unfriending him/her on Facebook. For. At. Least. 60. Days.
Why 60 days? This will give you enough time to "detox" from the relationship and focus completely on YOU. It may even be a good idea not to try seriously dating others during this time as well — you need this time to direct focus, attention, care and love to yourself.
DO NOT: "Facebook stalk" your ex.
It's normal for you to feel curious about your ex's whereabouts after hanging out with him/her practically every single day. It feels totally unnatural to cut yourself off from someone who used to be your best friend, your partner in crime.
But it won't be comforting to try and make that connection by keeping up to date with your ex's daily life. Even if you've unfriended your ex, don't be sneaky by " Facebook stalking" him/her on your friend's account.
2. Rules for friendship
DO: Reach out to your close friends.
Remember these people? The ones who have been there for you throughout your entire relationship? They never left … and they want to be there for you during this time.
DO NOT: Try to remain as friends with your ex. At least not yet.
You were just head over heels for this person … like, five seconds ago. Your feelings for this person are still very strong and very raw. Now that you're dealing with a breakup, your boundaries have to reset. This is a challenge, and will feel very new.
Besides, after sixty days, people change. You may not even know who your ex is anymore. Yes, people change when they are in a relationship … but they may change even more after a breakup.
3. Rules for self-expression
DO: Vent EVERYTHING … in a journal.
Ah, journaling. You can say everything you need to say and want to say, and can do so totally away from public eyes! You are going through a grieving process. You need to let it all out — just not publicly. Writing can be very cathartic.
If journaling does not work out for you, then get a "breakup buddy". Breakup Buddy: noun. Someone who you can trust and agrees to listen to you, support you, and stand by you as you experience your grieving process after a breakup. They are also the one to hold you accountable to make sure that you do not do anything crazy. This can be a friend, family member, co-worker, just someone who cares about you!
DO NOT: Blast your emotions all over social media.
No one wants to read about your breakup woes on Facebook. Do you want people to be hiding you from their News Feed?
If you feel totally compelled to share something to the entire Internet because you are so hurt, that may be a signal that you should just deactivate your social media accounts altogether. It can be temporary.
4. Rules for lifestyle
DO: Focus on self-care.
Develop a workout routine, get a massage or a manicure, enjoy a fancy lunch. You need extra love and attention at this point to make you feel that you are still pretty amazing and worth the attention, time, and affection. Yes, yes, I understand that you want all that and more to come from someone else, but you need to give it to yourself first!
DO NOT: Drastically change your lifestyle.
If you didn't use to drink, or go out partying every single night, then do not do it now. This is not who you are. If you're friends are telling you to do something that you never did before, then they are not your real friends (they just want to party and have you as the reason for doing so). It can feel momentarily comforting to take "risks" at times of emotional unrest, but they usually don't serve us in the long run.
5. Rules for dating
DO: Keep your swag, your class, and your dignity.
You define who you are. It's not your relationships (past, present or future) that define your identity. If you want to live a life you absolutely love then you have to know who you are and what you stand for.
DO NOT: Flirt with every person that walks by with two legs.
You are really trying to tell yourself that you're "allowed" to, and that you are "free" to do as you please, but you're may just be trying to make your ex upset on some level. You will eventually find soul mate love, but clinging to the idea of a romantic relationship at every party you attend won't help.
At this point in your life, you need to focus on rebuilding your foundation so that when the next season comes along, you will be strong, secured, and ready for whatever comes your way.
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