Ah, fuck. Love sucks. Because at some point or another you will be crushed. Whether you are the dumpee or the dumper, you will find yourself alone, mourning a loss that feels like death. And it is a death, really: the death of your hopes that you will not die unnoticed in a dark house, your fetid body pecked at by hungry vermin.
Anyway. Take heart, dear heart. There are many things that you must do! At once!
In the immediate future:
You must do this fast, when the dead relationship is a fresh piece of roadkill, its guts glinting in the sun. Before the birds get to it. You MUST:
-Clear your place of all of his shit
Or anything that reminds you of him. The special towel you bought just for him, the cute photo booth pic of you two on the fridge. The shitty beer you kept in the fridge, for him. Dump it, toss it, get it out.
-Delete his number from your phone
Because drunk texting him is never a good idea. And you know you’ll do it.
-AND delete his texts from your phone
What’s the point of re-reading the past?
-Cut all social media ties
Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Snapchat. ALL OF IT. You don’t need to peek at his life and compare it to yours. And you don’t need to be showing off for him either. If your profiles are public, of course he can see you if he chooses. But if you disconnect, at least you know that when you’re sharing parts of your life online, you’re not doing it for him.
Not doing these things sets you up for failure.
At any given time:
Now that that’s over and you’ve buried the corpse, now you need to deal with the grief. This next set of instructions is to be completed in no particular order or timeline.
Be sad. Be blue. Baby yourself. Cry. Sleep. Eat. Watch shitty movies. Boycott showering if you’re too lazy, or take lavish 45-minute ones if you’re too lazy to get out. You can mope with your favorite friends or family, or you can do this alone. But you have to give yourself time to be sad. Be sad until you don’t want to be sad anymore and don’t feel bad for how long it takes. You’ll know when you’re tired of it.
-Make a list
Of all the things you hated about him. You know, those things you were really nice about and put up with and made yourself not hate so much? That he was boring in bed. His hairy feet. His beer belly. His unfortunate hairline. His snoring. When you’re feeling like reaching out to him, because you don’t want to be alone and what-if, what-if… read the list.
-Make a list
Of what you liked about him, and good times you had. It’s okay to recall the good things; after all, you were with this person for a reason. Remembering the happy moments helps you know this wasn’t a colossal waste of time. And this helps you know what you want and need in a relationship.
-Make a list
Of all the nice things people have ever said to you. The really good compliments. I read once that it takes 17 compliments to balance the effect of one negative comment. Write 17 nice things people have said to you. Even if it takes you an hour to remember, you have indeed heard at least 17 nice things about yourself. You don’t have to believe them (you’re a woman, why on Earth would you believe something flattering), but write them down. Validate their existence. Because people appreciated you. 17 times.
-Take in some kick-ass broads
You need some strong women in your life right now. Women who gave no fucks, did what they wanted, were joyous and gloriously un-boring. Women who didn’t need a man. I’ll tell you the women I need in my life, not just during a breakup, but when I’m feeling weak: Holly Golightly of Breakfast at Tiffany’s—the book is better than the movie, because in the book she (spoiler alert) escapes to her own wild desires. Veronica Mars—WATCH THIS SHOW. You will love her smarts, toughness and hilarious one-liners. The Good Wife. By God, The Good Wife is one of the best shows on TV, featuring a complicated and formidable main character and a host of endlessly entertaining supporting characters entangled in delicious, delicious plot lines. There are several strong female characters in this show, too, which you generally don’t see in TV.
Do whatever gets your heart pumping. Because you need a boost of endorphins, or just the pleasure of kicking/punching/throwing something. Sadness, despair and rage have a way of disappearing when your body is just plain tired.
-Watch the booze, k?
I’m all for a glass of wine (or two), but remember: alcohol is a depressant. Don’t overdo it. You’ll have a sadness hangover, in addition to a bodily hangover, and neither are fun.