There comes a time in some relationships when someone gets their heart broken. Lying, infidelity, addictions or simple incompatibility—anything can shatter an otherwise beautiful romance. When this happens and you’re left feeling hollowed out inside, it’s crucial to take a few necessary steps in order to heal yourself and move on as a better individual than before.
First, allow yourself to wallow in your emotions.
Feel all the feels. Let them overpower you. Stay home for an entire weekend eating nothing but pretzels and ice cream. At least one phone call to a best friend in which you spend the majority of the time sobbing is mandatory. Bonus points if part of it is a semi-public call; nothing is more empowering than allowing all your neighbors and half the people on your street to overhear all the ways you were wronged. Listen to a few sad songs, like Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball,” “Lost It All” by Black Veil Brides, or “You” by The Pretty Reckless are all suitable options. And then get furious and listen to Bullet for My Valentine’s “Alone” or “I Hope You Suffer” by AFI while beating a pillow against the wall and plotting on how to humiliate your ex at his or her workplace.
The next step is to let yourself go…and let your friends take care of you.
Text them every day in confusion over what you did wrong, Skype with them and watch each other cry because of how used you feel, meet up with them only to stare wistfully into your coffee and whimper that you miss your ex. Eventually your friends will stop tolerating this mopey attitude and force you to get your act together. They’ll send you Tumblr and Pinterest links of Elizabeth Taylor’s wisdom: “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.” The best of friends will take you out dancing or to a party or just stay home with you and get very, very drunk. They’ll bring you food and news of the outside world, they’ll comment on how damn fine you look with red lipstick on, they’ll share with you their own stories of heartache to make you feel less alone. Even though you’ll feel like a baby deer trying to walk, your friends will encourage you to go see a movie with a new date or to sign up for pole dancing classes. Your friends will even share their own revenge plots with you, and you’ll be absolutely delighted when they too suggest workplace humiliation—great minds think alike.
The final phase is to see the light.
You’ll realize your ex didn’t have ideal teeth, or that he never really held your hand in public and that he was terrible at making date night plans. A wise friend will point out that you no longer have to deal with his problems; you get to move on. You’ll have more time and energy to focus on your work, school, hobbies…and those pole dancing lessons your friends convinced you to sign up for. Better yet, make a list of all the things you’ve always wanted to do and go wild. You’ll have all the time in the world to explore your passions and interests.
Nobody ever said breakups are easy. They hurt like hell and make you doubt everything you are. However, at the end of everything you’ll find yourself a stronger individual. You’ll better understand yourself because you confronted and expressed your emotions. You’ll have improved friendships because a few fantastic people reminded you of all the reasons why you’re so spectacular. And when you’re honest with yourself and have unwavering support from people who love you unconditionally, you’ll feel confident to try new things and find experiences in life that make you happy. You’ll quit playing “Princess of China” on repeat and put on “Bad Karma” instead. Perhaps you’ll even find someone new. But make sure you’ve found yourself again first. As the ever-wise RuPaul said, “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
Can I get an amen?