How Do I Get Over Him??
Posted by Jenn Clark on July 14, 2011 at 5:06 PM
Without question, the #1 most popular topic you all ask about is how to move past a failed relationship. I'm not joking when I tell you that I receive at least ten emails a week about this problem alone. I guess it's really not that surprising. Moving past heartbreak is a bona fide bummer. It sucks big time. And 99.99% of us will experience it at some point in our lives. So how do you get over that man who split your heart in two? I've got some suggestions for you...
1. You grieve - God invented cookie dough ice cream and the $1 menu at McDonald's for a reason. Use them. I suggest taking a one week period of laying in bed (as much as your work or school schedule will permit), crying your eyes out, and writing down your emotions (which will be CRAY-ZAAY) in a journal. A break up survival kit is not a bad idea. Make sure to have the following items close by at all times: Kleenex, take-out menus, a pint of Ben n Jerry's (don't forget a spoon), and your BFF on speed dial. Don't hate yourself for feeling miserable, but try to resist the following: Pulling up his Facebook page (you won't be happy with anything you see), checking your phone every 20 seconds to see if he's called/texted (he hasn't), or doing anything that reminds you of him. But whatever you do, DO NOT contact him. This will never go well. Try to stay away from all social media outlets (no snarky status updates allowed) and email accounts. Immediately remove his contact info from your phone. If you've followed one of my cardinal dating rules - DON'T memorize his number until your cars share a garage or there's a ring on your finger - not contacting him shouldn't be that difficult.
This "grieving period" is the time you'll feel your worst. Allow yourself that time. Don't bother with makeup; that mascara's only going to run, sister. And try to avoid going out and getting drunk with your girls. More than likely you'll end up falling in the middle of the street, making out with a complete troll, and waking up feeling even worse. So put your hair in a ponytail, wear your pajamas like they're the latest fashion, and be very very thankful that Lifetime Movie Network has programming 24/7.
So one week of sheer misery. But no more than that! Any longer and you'll be adding 10 pounds of break up weight to the list of things you're depressed about.
2. You decide to feel better - You've gotten to the point where you have no tears left, you're beginning to get bed sores, and the mere thought of eating a double cheeseburger makes you nauseous. Good! So put a comb through that rat's nest, trade your fuzzy slippers for some running shoes, and rejoin the land of the living! So much of our lives is determined by our attitude and perspective. Start believing that your life will go on (it will), you will heal (you will), and someone will love you again (they will). I believe physical exercise is a great mood elevator (and it will help shed that ice cream weight). So take long walks, go for a jog, or pull that dusty gym membership card out of your wallet. Train you body and your mind. When you find yourself thinking (obsessing) about him - stop. Just stop. Replace those thoughts with something positive. Let him go to boyfriend heaven and determine to move on.
3. You lean on your girlfriends - There are many reasons why losing touch with your friends during a relationship is a bad idea. And, as any girl who's done exactly that and then gone through a break up will tell you, surviving heartbreak without strong female support is a very lonely experience. So after a break up, it's imperative that you gather what I like to call your "army of bitches." Here's what you are looking for in your troops:
* A Sergeant - She's the one who will tell you straight up he was a loser/ugly/not worthy of you. She'll give you tough love when you find yourself wanting to slip back into the "grieving period."
* A Chaplain - This is the girl who will say profound and spiritual things. She should have the ability to guide you to your Zen place with her wisdom.
* A Private - Don't let the fact she has the "lowest" rank fool you. Your Private is (maybe) your biggest defense. She'll let you go on non-stop about every bad thing your bad guy did. She won't offer a lot of advice, but she will give a lot of sympathy. And as a result, you'll end up working through a lot of your misery just by talking her ear off.
4. You rediscover (or discover) you - Have you ever noticed how we women often lose ourselves in our relationships? It is much too common that we melt into a man to the point that we have little remaining self-identity. I think this is why break ups are often so hard on us girls. Once he's gone, he's probably left a pretty big void, right? So now is your opportunity to find yourself - maybe even for the first time. I had to do this nearly a year ago. After my divorce (and subsequent dating disasters), I made a list of all those dreams I'd put on hold or tried to forget; all those things I'd always wanted for my life. It was not only amazing writing this down, but it's also been awesome seeing them come to fruition. Be a professional writer? Done it. Feel what it's like to have a man truly love me? Done it. Be a good and faithful friend? Try to do it every day. See the Grand Canyon? Haven't done it - yet.
What do YOU want YOUR life to look like? What's important to YOU? Who do YOU want to be? Figuring it out - and pursuing it - will help you to come alive. It will renew your purpose. And it will help strengthen future relationships. Being whole and complete as a person (or as whole and complete as any of us can ever be) is a good thing. A man can't fix and fill our broken or missing pieces. We have to do that ourselves.
5. You get back out there - Alright, girlfriend. It's time to put back on your party dress and stilettos. Update your profile page. Start online dating (if you are so inclined). Let people know you are ready to be set up and accept any and all dates. Smile. Seriously, smile. Guys are much more likely to approach you if you give off the "single and friendly" vibe. I've called it turning on your "available light." You've probably heard the saying that "the best way to get over a man is to get under a new one." I'm not suggesting you use sex for sex's sake (it won't work), but meeting an interesting new prospect is exciting. (Side note: It never hurts if he's cuter, funnier, smarter, richer, etc than your last guy.) And it helps to put your ex where he belongs - in the past. At the very least, it will give you hope for the future. It's pretty hard to imagine yourself as the crazy cat lady who spends her days sitting on the bus stop while wearing a plastic shower cap when you're dating up a storm.
Here's the reality of it: Getting over heartbreak takes time. How long, you ask? I wish I knew. Some break ups are brutal while others aren't so bad. Some people leave scars that will - over time - heal, but will possibly never fully fade. (I have two myself.) What I do know is that the horrible pain eventually becomes a dull ache which - at worst - turns into a minor pang every so often. And no matter how badly you feel in this present moment, it does indeed get much, much better.
Jenn Clark is a relationship advice expert and author of the book “How to Be a Goddess (A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Woman Men Dream About…).” You can find it on her Facebook page or on Amazon.com.