When you find yourself in that, “Grab a pint of ice cream, eat the whole thing, and watch a million movies” funk after a bad breakup, it might just seem like the world is crumbling around you — especially if the relationship didn’t end on your terms.
Many young women find it difficult to put the seemingly endless pain to rest, and they resort to assuming all men are the same. But the truth is: young love can be tricky, and heartbreak stinks. However, it’s a necessary part of growing up.
Now I can’t say this time span will work for everyone; the moving on process could definitely take more than seven days. Here is a day-by-day guide on how to get over him, start moving on, and come out of the experience stronger than ever. You can spread this step-by-step guide among however many days you need, but trust me, Ben and Jerry have nothing on this.
Day 1: Cry. Cry yourself a river.
There’s no denying he hurt your feelings, and how things ended will determine your first move. You could be angry; you could be sad; or, you could be both. Regardless, you’ll want to try to avoid acting on impulse. Hold off on burning his pictures and deleting him from every social network you have, especially if there is any chance you might fix things and try again. Take this time to start letting out your emotions in a way that won’t have irreversible consequences. Instead, scream in a pillow, write him a letter (you don’t have to give it to him unless you want to), or, just have a good cry. Although it may not seem like it’s helping at the time, if things are over for sure, it will avoid late realizations in the future.
Day 2: Cry some more. Become your own best friend.
Get in your most comfortable sweatpants, and grab a nice spot on the couch (or just stay in bed). Spend the day or night watching some movies and eating junk food and ice cream. Have some Kleenex handy and watch the trashy rom-coms we all hate to love. They’ve been invented for a reason, and you’re allowed to wallow for a little while. If you want a real tear-jerker, I suggest “The Notebook” or “A Walk to Remember.” Gotta love Nicholas Sparks! If you are ready for a few laughs, try “Bridesmaids” and “White Chicks.” If that’s the case and you’re running out of tears, that’s a good sign! You’re making progress!
Day 3: Keep yourself busy. This is the last day of tears.
If you’re anything like me, the hardest part of this process so far has been not looking at his pictures on Facebook, not stalking his status updates, and not checking your phone every 30 seconds to see if he has called or texted. Chances are he hasn’t, and anything you try doing will remind you of him in some way. That being said, get off your butt and do something for you! Go to the gym and work off that stress (not to mention the ridiculous amount of poundage you’ll be adding if you eat anymore junk food)! If there are two things that can make any girl feel the least bit better when she finds herself in a rut, it’s shopping and dressing up nice. Whatever you do, don’t do it alone. Grab a few girlfriends and head to the mall or dress to the nines and spend a night on the town. You’ll be well on your way to being you again.
Day 4: Set the rules.
It’s been a few days, and that means you need to start considering what will happen if you see him around campus or out and about. If you live in a small town or have mutual friends, the probability will be high. If things aren’t exactly peachy cream between you guys, you’ll want to avoid acknowledging him at all. However, you’ll want to prepare for him to act as if nothing is wrong if the two of you mutually ended the relationship. Regardless, no contact is usually best in these situations. It will not only enable your feelings to dissipate quicker, but it will also help you gain more confidence. Once you’re around him without technically spending time with him, it will get easier. Not to mention, he will probably expect you to try talking to him, and it’ll take him by surprise when you do the exact opposite.
Day 5: Bag it and Tag it. Out of sight, out of mind.
Time to start taking action! Gather everything he gave you and anything he left at your place. Put all of the memories into a box and put it somewhere you won’t see on a regular basis. Some of you may decide to burn the items; however, I think this is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. You might find yourself wanting to remember the fun times you had together and have no way of doing so because you set all of it on fire. But then again, it’s up to you. If you want to take the return-his-things route, I suggest putting all of it in a black trash bag or cardboard box and leaving it at his door. Again, don’t make any type of contact with him, and don’t reach out to him via phone or social media. It will only make things harder.
Day 6: Start letting go. Think about the good times, and learn from the bad.
All the things that remind you of him are now out of reach, and you can finally start learning from this experience. Obviously, you’ll want to first figure out what went wrong. Was there a lack of communication? Did either of you get caught in a lie? Why did the relationship end? This realization may hurt regardless of who is at fault for the breakup. However, it is a necessary part of the process. You need to acknowledge what failed in this relationship in order to avoid similar obstacles in the next. That being said, you need to remember what went right, too. He was part of your life for a reason, and you should give yourself an opportunity to let some good come out this sticky situation.
Day 7: Graduation Day. Put yourself first.
Congratulations! You made it a week! Although you may still have feelings for the guy, you are well on your way to embracing what single life has to offer. If you haven’t done so already, delete his number, unfriend him on Facebook, and cut off as many, if not all, methods of communication as possible. If you don’t feel strong enough to delete every aspect of him just yet, at least rename him in your phone to avoid any drunken dialing. Keep doing things for you. Try something you’ve never done before. Go on a spontaneous adventure. Day No. 7 is about washing your hands of the worries and the pain; you’re washing your hands clean of him. Today, you’re turning from one page to another, a new chapter. And this chapter is about you.
Although it feels terrible now, try to remember that heartbreak, especially your first, is a learning experience. As women, we sometimes lose ourselves in relationships. We allow our significant others to consume our lives and thoughts so much that we end up losing our own self-identity. Then, we are caught off guard when it all falls apart, and we don’t know how to cope with our newfound freedom — in most cases, you’d probably refer to it as solitude. Whether the breakup was amicable or messy, it all hurts the same. But, not matter how long it takes, if you follow these steps, you will rediscover (or discover) who you are and come out confident enough to find Mr. Right in no time.
Truth be told: being single isn’t all that bad, especially in college. I’ve learned over the last few years that having faith and trusting oneself plays a huge role in not only the way others perceive them, but also the way they perceive themselves. And following these steps helped me realize that.
In my experience, things tend to happen when people least expect them. As a single girl, you get to explore the many amazing things life (and college) have to offer without having to worry about any commitment or drama. Now, I’m not saying it isn’t nice to have a significant other by your side. There are certainly pros and cons to each; but, if you do find yourself in the singles section, take advantage. Take risks. Have fun. Focus on yourself — your family, your friends, your goals — and enjoy life knowing that Mr. Right is probably somewhere out there focusing on himself, too.
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