By: Shannon Hawkins
Let me set the scene: it was a year into our relationship and I was utterly in love with him. He was tall, educated, and heading to law school in the fall. It was the date of our anniversary and I assumed he was going to propose…you can see where this is going. Elle Woods, I’ve been there too. Luckily, I didn’t chase the jerk to law school. Instead, I took 3 steps that minimized the pain, elevated my self-esteem, and embraced my singleness.
Let Yourself Feel
It goes against the grain of how society tells us to handle break ups, but I am a full believer in giving yourself the time to be an absolute mess. I’m talking Nicholas Sparks movies, crying every other hour, caramel M&Ms, and Taylor Swift songs. Give yourself permission to be shattered. We’re so often told to simply push the feelings away and try to not think about them. The problem is, feelings don’t just go away. Instead, they get repressed and can come back weeks, months, or even years later. Take 3 days to feel every feeling and cry every tear. Get it all out. Because after that third day, the real work begins.
Embrace Zero Compromise
In your relationship, what were the things your significant other hated but you loved? What things could you not do, or did you have to compromise on? Make a list of 3-5 activities that you love that your ex never showed any interest in and you didn’t get to enjoy as much when you were together. Did they hate sushi? Round up your girlfriends and head out for spicy tuna rolls. Were rom-coms never an option for movie night? Schedule a Netflix marathon for yourself! Take this time to do whatever you want. Now, it’s all about you!
Make New Memories
It’s hard to replace months or years of memories with a former love, but making new memories can diminish the sting. Set up upcoming plans for yourself. Arrange a weekend getaway with a family member or group of girlfriends, call up an old friend you haven’t seen in a while and head to happy hour together. Fill your plate with new experiences, thoughts, and celebrations.
It’s painful, I know. But I promise that with time and effort, eventually you’ll be racking your brain trying to even remember what their name was. They’ll be a crisis-averted, and you’ll be on your way to your next great moment.
Oh, and P.S: Don’t. You. Dare. Text. Them. Hang in there, girl. You’ve got this.
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Shannon is a resident of Columbus and has re-built her life after her break up with her love. She enjoys hiking and fills her time with family and friends. Shannon is passionate about writing and graphic design and teaching herself that she will find love again.
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