If you’re recovering from a breakup right now, what does your life involve?
- Waking up and wondering if the day will bring contact from him?
- Closing your eyes again and wondering what work will say if you call in sick again?
- Going to work and either underperforming because you’re distracted or going hell for leather working long hours in an effort to avoid home?
- Checking your mobile every 5 minutes for texts?
- Sifting through your junk folder to make sure you haven’t missed an email?
- Double checking that the answering machine is still working?
- Crying when you hear ‘your song’?
- Crying on your friends shoulder at the girls night out?
I could go on…
I know it’s broke, I know it hurts, I know it’s gradually healing (hopefully), I know you might even have a little hope in there that he might come back, but thou need to get a life! Literally.
People who feel happy and content within who in turn attract positive relationships, have rounded, fairly full lives because they have an existence that is independent of the status of their relationship.
This is about redefining who you are, what you like, what you dislike, and ensuring that you have balanced interactions on all fronts.
It’s about making sure that you have a life and that you’re not just turning up to each day with a purpose of finding a man to make you feel whole and to in fact, make your life.
Women who habitually engage with, for instance, Mr Unavailables, tend to let the ball drop with either work, friendship, family, or all of them, when they have a man in their life, or have broken up with them.
You have to base your existence on you. You have to live your life. Trust me, if you do this, when you’re in a relationship, you’ll avoid ending up being co-dependent – letting the sun, moon, and stars rise and fall on this one man and being reliant on him for everything. You lose yourself, you forget your personality, you forget your values, and you essentially exist out of him.
In a breakup where you are still clinging to hope, obsessing about him much of the time, and effectively putting your life on hold, you are essentially living out your relationship with him,…with yourself.
While I appreciate that it’s painful breaking up with someone, is it really healthy or appropriate to live in a haze for months, sleepwalking through life, whilst everyone else’s lives (including his) continues on regardless?
Don’t create unnecessary drama. Yeah I know it can be therapeutic to go into mourning and let everything go, wailing, crying, screaming, whatever, but don’t let it drag on because you’re specialising in Drama Seeking, or even worse drama creation. On your own.
Get up. If all you’ve been doing is sleeping, start getting up an hour/half hour earlier earlier each day than you have been. So if you’ve managed to blag time off work and have been sleeping till 1pm, knock an hour off a day till you get back to your normal time.
Fix up, look sharp. Get your hair trimmed, get yourself waxed or nails done, start wearing normal clothes again or if you can afford it, invest in some new clothes. Or if you’re like me, buy yourself a pair of shoes or a handbag to commemorate breaking the cycle and being true to you. Tidy up your home and get back on track.
Hang with your friends. True friends will be sympathetic and they are allowed to tell you when you’ve dragged the breakup out for too long. If you have neglected your friends, own up and apologise, and say that you will learn to balance your love life with your friendships better in future. You may have a bit of brown-nosing to do though…
Have a break or holiday. Or vacation as Americans call it. I got a cheap deal to Antigua for a week on my own. It was scary doing something so big but once I was there, I had a whale of a time doing exactly what I felt like doing and recharging my batteries. I had time to think and clear out some thoughts and gain perspective. Take a few days even, whether it’s on your own or with a trusted friend.
Venture to new places. Rather than keep going to the same places you used to where there is a possibility of bumping into him, don’t. Try new bars, clubs, galleries, whatever. New places bring new people.
Take up a class. Corny but I know so many women that do it, who have grown their confidence, met new friends, created new passions, or even kickstarted a career. It doesn’t have to be a masters – you might decide to do a wine tasting course or something.
Do the things you’re afraid of. Stay home alone for the weekend. You might feel stir crazy initially but it’s actually a great way to understand what makes you tick. It’s also an opportunity to start loving your own company. I did this regularly and after the first couple of times, I couldn’t get enough of them! Read, lie in the bath and listen to Maxwell (God that brings back memories), watch your favourite movies, go for a walk, redecorate, dance on your own like a lunatic, or get out your vibrator – don’t go getting addicted to the plastic! Once I got the hang of doing things for me, I became very protective of my time and it helped me to gauge when I wasn’t comfortable around people.
Exercise. Quite a few readers swear by this. It’s therapeutic plus it’s healthy. A good half hour on the treadmill could help you let off steam.
Sort out your work. If you’ve been neglecting it, go in with new vigour. If you’re overdoing it, pull back and assess how much you really need to do. Need a change? Get involved on some new projects, apply for a new role internally or externally, and inject some life and enthusiasm into your work. You spend 40 hours a week minimum there (if you’re full-time) so if you’re miserable there, it impacts greatly and can affect your sense of self.
Many readers I come across don’t know what they like and dislike after they break up because the focus of their energies has been the men in their lives. They don’t remember their interests, what their motivations are, or anything.
Make your life about you. Not in a way that closes you off from opportunity because you don’t let anyone in, but you vibrate positive energy to those around you when you are a happy, fulfilled person. Walking around with something missing in search of that elusive feeling sets you up for dodgy relationships and painful breakups.
Check out Commandment 1: Thou shalt cut off this ‘Let’s be friends’ mallarky
Check out Commandment 2: Thou shalt not obsess
Check out Commandment 3: Thou shalt stop fearing the pain of breaking up and confront it.
Check out Commandment 4: Thou shalt stop doubting yourself and get angry.
Check out Commandment 5: Thou shalt be accountable
Check out Commandment 6: Thou shalt understand WHY and do something with the knowledge
Check out Commandment 7: Thou shalt forgive…but not forget…but don’t cling.
Check out Commandment 8: Thou need to get a life!
Check out Commandment 9: Thou mustn’t give up on love.
Check out Commandment 10: Thou must close the door and move forward