The Break Up Formula

I recently shared with you all that I’m in the mist of a fresh break up. I’m navigating waters that, sadly, aren’t totally unfamiliar to me. Each time seems oddly easier, it’s as if I’ve found the formula that work for me. The ending of each relationship has taught me lessons in how to move forward with my dignity and some sanity still intact.

DO NOT make contact. Regardless if he ended the relationship or if you did, do not contact your new ex. Don’t call, don’t text. It will not help the situation. You both need space, you need to let things breathe. Delete him from your phone if you need to. I’ve even changed ex boyfriends’ names to “Don’t Do It” in my contacts. I also delete his text thread, voice mails and my call history. I literally don’t want to see his name in my phone.

DO purge his stuff and get yours back. If he has stuff at your place give him a time frame in which it needs to be picked up. If he fails to pick up his stuff by the date you gave him, toss it, donate it or sell it on Craig’s List. I’m not trying to be a bitch, but having the physical stuff around will only hold you back. It can also become a way that you can manipulate each other. If he has things of yours, try to arrange a pick up. Honestly, if the break up was messy and the stuff wasn’t that important I don’t sweat it. Go ahead and keep my crockpot, I’d rather buy a new one at Target, thanks.

DO NOT tell everyone the messy details. Trust me, most people don’t give two shits and they just want the gossip. Confide in a few close friends who you trust, you know they’ll have your back. If your friends or his friends ask you questions, just keep it simple. Come up with a go to line. I typically say something like “You know, “Jack” and I aren’t together anymore. The details aren’t really important, but I hope he’s well.” You’ll look mature and graceful. I hope that my ex is using a similar line and not spreading the details all over town. Somethings just don’t need to be discussed over and over.

DO take care of your body. I struggle with this one every single time my life goes through transition, especially a break up. Make sure you’re eating correct portions. Don’t binge eat junk food and don’t starve yourself. Neither are going to help you. Avoid binge drinking or drinking at all to numb your pain. Make sure you’re sleeping. Everything emotional is harder to process when you’re sleep deprived.

DO NOT stalk his social media. It’s emotional cutting. It’s like putting your hand back on the stove and wondering why your burn won’t heal. If you can’t resist, delete him. Block him. I’ve had to do it, not because I didn’t want him to see my posts but because I couldn’t not look at his. It wasn’t passive aggressive, it was self protective. Stop looking at his Twitter and Instagram. Nothing, nothing positive can come from that. He is never going to post that he misses you and that his life is miserable without you. He’s not posting sad J. Raymond poems, trust me. He will post that he’s on vacation or having beer with his bros and it will piss you off. Delete and unfollow any of his friends and family if need be. Don’t worry about what people will think, this is about you healing.

DO ask for help if you start to feel helpless or hopeless. Personally, I have sought professional therapy after a particular painful breakup. I needed someone to shine a light at the end of my dark tunnel. Depression is a bitch and sometimes you need a pro to help you navigate it. Fuck people who might judge you or think you’re weak. This is heavy shit to deal with sometimes. Just know there is always hope and sometimes we just need help finding it. Take things one day at a time, allowing yourself to grieve, process and eventually heal.

Layla

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