Breakups are hard. Full stop. We’ve all been there. (For those who haven’t, I wish you won’t have to.) For most of us, it’s absolute hell. During the initial stage, you’re in shock, your palms start sweating, you can’t breathe, you feel like your world is crashing down around you.
You can’t make sense of anything. Your ears are filled with the racing beat of your heart, and you feel like nothing will ever be right again.
But it’s all temporary.
A breakup doesn’t have to break you.
Throughout my short life and the few relationships I’ve been in, I’ve learned three simple ways on how to get over someone. It takes time, and effort, and you will be exhausted in every sense of the word, but it’s worth it.
In the end, you will realize that the only person you will ever need is yourself.
1. Remember the bad times
I know in that post-breakup confusion, your head will be filled with thoughts of how good they were to you, what they used to do that made you fall in love, all the sweet things they would text you and the seemingly never-ending declarations of forever love; the clothes that they wore, the smell of their hair and skin in the mid-day sun – those are all the good things that attempt to lie to you and tell you that this relationship was PERFECT.
But, nothing is perfect. You must take the good with the bad. And if the relationship is over, chances are, there was more bad than good.
When taking that big first step to move on, remember the times when they would irritate you to no end or when they didn’t bother to dress up for date night because they just got too comfortable.
Remember when they snapped at you for something that wasn’t under your control; when they didn’t care to give you a call when they knew you felt down or was sick or just needed someone to talk to because they were “just busy.”
Remember how unrecognisable they would become in arguments, their once sweet mouth morphing into a machine with which they used to spout insults at you, or the sarcastic remarks that was murmured under their breath when they thought you couldn’t hear them.
Now, remember all that, and know that there is someone out there who will fill the gaps that they left.
2. Take time for yourself
I know that there are commitments that need tending to. We get so caught up with life that we forget to take care of ourselves. It’s okay; it’s just life.
But when the aftermath of a break-up is taking a toll on you and you just can’t endure it anymore, there is no shame in putting your hands up and telling yourself “I can’t do this anymore, I can’t do this today, I need a moment.” There is no shame in taking care of your own mental and emotional well-being.
Call in sick to work or let your friends at college know so they can keep you updated on classes and assignments. Call trusted friends and just let it all out. Seek a therapist. Go for counselling. Stay in all day and binge-watch old movies and cry. Just do anything to help yourself get better.
But while doing so, you must also remember not to dwell in despair for too long. Time yourself. Be self-aware of how much time you’ve spent in sadness, and pick yourself up, force yourself if you have to, and build yourself back up again.
Recognize that this sadness will fade.
It may take days, months or even a year or two, but it will go away, and by then you will have grown into a stronger, better person.
3. Keep yourself busy
This is old advice but it remains to be one of the best. When you’re busy with things that you enjoy, time tends to pass by so quickly that before you know it, it’s the end of the day and you’ve barely felt any heartache.
It may be very difficult to drag yourself out of bed and do anything – trust me, I’ve been there so many times – but from the second step, you will have to remember to not immerse yourself in sadness for too long.
Life goes on, with or without your ex.
By now you should already feel exhausted from all the post-breakup anxiety.
Take time to rest, and then get up and do something you enjoy, something productive. It could be hitting the gym, reading an old favourite book or film (my go-to would forever be Harry Potter), writing, shopping, hanging out with your favourite people, walking the dog or cat, work – you name it.
As long as it gets your mind off the break-up and your ex, do it.
The first few times will be hard, but eventually you will fall into a routine and before long, you’ll laugh and wonder why you were ever sad over your ex in the first place.