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Rated: E · Column · How-To/Advice · #1093024
A brief how-to manual for moving on from a broken relationship.
We have all been there, and we have all thought we would never get through it – never, no way, not ever. Of course, we all did get through it. Then, we all forgot about how painful it was, until the next time it happened. It is called falling out of love for a reason. Falling hurts.

The first thing you have to remember to do is to give yourself time to grieve. Be kind to yourself. No matter what, the initial break-up is never fun. Whether you are on the receiving or the giving end of the dump, you will probably go into shock from the loss, and you will withdraw out of the world and into yourself. You are going to have to readjust your life to not include someone who has become a significant part of it. This is no small feat. Let yourself feel that fear. Do not try to fight off the feelings you have, or they will just pop up at inconvenient times. Allow yourself to be weak, to cry, to think, even to be lonely. Not only is this perfectly normal, it is perfectly healthy.

Soon you will want to return to the real world. Do not get stuck in stage one, or you will find yourself wallowing in self-pity. Grieve, but do not be lazy about it. Now it is time for you to take your life back. It will not be the same life that you had before; instead of the duo, it will be a life for one. Feel free to leave your dirty underwear lying around, or to sing in the shower at the top of your lungs. Recreate yourself, and be selfish about it. You get to do whatever you want, with whomever you want, whenever you want. If this seems like a challenge because you are so used to a built-in buddy, a good thing to do is to take a class; this is a great way to meet people who share your interests. Even if it is hard to assimilate back into society, just start going through the motions. Eventually the motions will start to become habit, and you will find that before you know it you recognize your life, and more importantly yourself, again.

Now you should be ready to meet somebody new. If you drop your ice cream on the sidewalk, you might cry for awhile. But if someone hands you a new ice cream cone, I bet you will forget all about the old one. Do not let the painful part of your last relationship prevent you from going for another ride on the relationship merry-go-round. Remind yourself how great it felt to be in love in the first place. You are ready to do this again, only better, because this time you are so much more prepared and experienced.

What goes up must come down. Falling out of love is not easy or fun, but since more than likely you are going to have to do it, you might as well do it right. Take it easy on yourself. Remember your sense of humour. Humans come equipped with remarkable ability to bounce back from incredible circumstances. So even if you do not believe in yourself, believe in biology. You will be back to normal before you know it.
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