When you go through a breakup, it can feel like the end of the world.
Your other half is gone, your heart is broken, and your ego is in shambles. Humiliation and shock are all common feelings after a breakup, and that is one depressing emotional cocktail.
Fortunately, getting over a breakup requires only two things: the ABCs and time.
The A in ABC is Accept.
You need to accept the breakup immediately as it happens—no protestations or pleading. It should go something like this:
“Mary, we need to talk. I don’t want to hurt you, but I want to break up.”
Mary takes a minute to process and control her emotions.
“Okay, John, that’s fair. I’ll deliver your Michael Jackson Greatest Hits CD back to you tomorrow, and I want my leopard-print Snuggie back. Have a nice life.”
See how easily Mary accepted that? Even if she is feeling confused and betrayed, she doesn’t show it. In fact, the ease with which she processes and handles the breakup announcement makes it clear how mature and easygoing she is. John is expecting a messy breakup, and Mary’s measured response takes him completely by surprise—pleasantly.
Imagine how differently the scenario would have ended if Mary had begged, threatened or cried. She would have looked desperate and clingy.
By quickly and easily accepting the breakup, you assert your independence and reassert control over the situation.
Of course, it’s not just initial acceptance. This means accepting there are no more late-night movies or cuddle sessions and no more stolen kisses. Any rituals you might have held with this person, such as Thursday night dancing or Saturday bowling, have ended. Accept that.
Accept that there will be lots of depression and even boredom. All the time that you once dedicated to your significant other is now available, and there’s only one person to spend it with: you.
That leads us to the B in ABC: Branch out.
All that extra time is hard to handle, and the loss of self-esteem is too. Take some time for you. Remember all the things you liked to do before the relationship, and start focusing on those things again.
Trying things that you’ve never done before makes you feel more confident and helps you get back in the dating game quickly.
Start small. Get a book from the library, feed the ducks, or walk around your neighborhood. These excursions will help you get outside of your own head for a while and distract you from the heartache.
These are stepping stones to bigger changes like taking a self-defense class, learning to speak German, or starting a garden.
Right after a breakup is also a great time to start exercising. Exercise is a great way to burn off all of your negative emotions while simultaneously getting more fit.
If you don’t like routines, you’re like me. I go running when I am on an emotional overload and need an outlet. This is great because it keeps me out of jail and my ex out of the morgue. I come home feeling energized and empowered.
The more you focus on the future and self-improvement, the better you feel and the less the past can bog you down.
Leaving the past in the past leads us to the C of my ABCs: Cut all contact with the exes. Seriously.
Don’t call, text or look at their Facebook walls.
Don’t talk to or about them. As far as you are concerned, they fell off the face of the earth and were wiped from your memory. This cements your status as independent, which is important in a speedy recovery
After your heart has healed and a few months have passed, it’s OK to talk to them.
To keep yourself from getting involved again, treat them as very light and casual acquaintances.
Don’t try to get back together. They had their shot at something serious, and they blew it. There are so many people in the world to meet and date that when someone fouls up and is eliminated, there is no time to waste in giving him or her an extra chance. It’s that simple.
After three to six months, it is time to start dating again. If the relationship was not very serious, you might start dating even sooner.
There should be time between serious relationships. You need time to heal.
A serious relationship is made of compromises where you blend your personalities. After the relationship ends, you need to decide what is you and what was them. You rebuild yourself after serious relationships end.
The ABCs must be utilized immediately and without cessation. They are absolutely necessary to a smooth breakup and should become a way of post-breakup life.
Live the ABCs and I promise that breakups will be smooth and easy like they never have been before.