So you’ve just been dumped. How do you feel? Angry? Depressed? Embarrassed? Worthless? Like you’ll never feel happy again? Like you’ve been thrown into the deep end of a pool with your hands tied together? Know this: it get’s better. I promise! We’ve all been there, we’ve all felt this way, and we’ve all moved on…eventually. How do you get from here (feeling like crap) to there (feeling like a real person again)? Three steps:
- Get Mad. When someone who you care about hurts you, it’s normal to feel angry at them. “I trusted you, how could you do this to me?” Maybe you feel they acted rudely, were selfish, or are being immature. In the first few days after a break up, feel free to give in to this feeling. Go somewhere and scream if you have to. Go for a run, to a kickboxing class, or play a sport where you can take out your anger on an inanimate object. It might help to write a letter to your ex about all the things they did that you’re upset about (I would advise, however, to wait at least a few days and really think about if you actually want to send it…and if so, perhaps you want to edit it a bit first). But let yourself be mad for a while because being angry is part of the healing process.
- Get Sad. Step 2, cry your eyes out. (Side note: it’s completely fine to alternate between steps 1 and step 2.) Have a pity party. Dig into a pint of ice cream if you feel like it. Look through photos, listen to songs that make your think of your ex, or watch cheesy movies. The important thing is that you face your feelings. Make yourself do all the difficult things at once to prove to yourself that you can handle them. This way, you don’t have to be dreading the day your song comes on the radio, a photo of your ex pops up in your Facebook feed, or you walk past the spot you had your first kiss.
- Get Over it. Finally, it’s time to scoop yourself up and move on. Easier said than done, I know, and admittedly, this step is the big one. But it’s got to be done at some point or another, so I broke it down for you:
- First, lean on your friends and family. Remember all the love you have in your life apart from your relationship. Let them be your crutches at this time, just like you will be theirs when something traumatic happens in their life.\
- Second, throw yourself into your hobbies, your schoolwork, your old passions, or take up new ones. Being in a relationship takes a lot of time and energy. Now you have that time and energy back to direct elsewhere. Think about yourself now: what do you want to get better at? What books have you wanted to read? Movies you wanted to see? Hobbies you wanted to be more involved in? Now that you don’t have a relationship to worry about, you can just worry about making yourself happy.
- Third, physically remove your ex from your life. Unfortunately, not only do you have to break up with someone in person, you have to break up with them electronically. Get out of a relationship on Facebook, take down any pictures of the two of you, and take their pet name/their number out of your phone.
Getting dumped hurts. But at the same time, it makes you stronger. After getting through it, you’ll have new faith in yourself: if I could get through this…I can get through anything.