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The 12 Step Guide To Getting Over A Breakup

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Posted by Girls Guide To on March 29, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Heartbreak sticks around like a bad hangover. You wake up, but don't want to move. Your head is spinning. Sometimes you need the greasiest junk food you can find, and sometimes you can't eat at all. The only thing that sounds appealing is crawling back into bed and staying away from anything (ok, everything) that reminds you how freaking awful you feel. I get it. And we've all been there. Sorry to say it, but the only real cure for heartbreak is time. Good news though! There are definitely ways to spend that time to hurry the process and at least numb the symptoms.

We women are often tormented with thoughts and questions like, "What did I do wrong? Why was I not good enough?" Insecurity and self-doubt completely consume our minds as we replay every conversation we ever had over and over again in our heads. We have the ability to take on full responsibility when something goes wrong in a relationship. But guess what? He wasn't perfect either. You have full permission to believe that he sucks way more than you do in the initial stages of a break up (it's probably true anyway).

It takes two to make and break a relationship; don’t blame yourself. And don’t even start with the thoughts like, “If I were more like X, he would of treated me better.” You’re wrong. He’s going to treat every woman in his life like that, and he may just be lucky enough to find someone who puts up with his issues, but I promise that that girl is no one you want to be. Maybe your guy wasn’t a douche, and it just didn’t work out between you. It’s still not all your fault. There are multiple reasons that the two of you didn’t work independent of you as an individual.

The most important thing to do post break up is to rebuild your self esteem. You got along just fine before you met your ex. You had your own life, your own friends, your own existence completely independent of his. Follow our 12-step program and re-enter the world again as just you… because you’re worth it (yeah, I just quoted L’Oréal).

1. Cut Off All Communication

This is the hardest thing to do. But also the best. There is no way to get on with your life if you still attempt to use your ex as an emotional crutch. Can you be friends eventually? Sure, but you need to wait until you're certain your feelings are strictly platonic. Give yourself a chance to rebuild your life without him. You were awesome before you met, remember?

2. Cry It Out For A Week

You have permission to just get it out. It's not a bad idea to give yourself a week to be a total mess. Cry when you want, eat ice cream when you want, and watch all of your favorite chick flicks with a bottle of wine. Your good friends will give you this grace period and join in the festivities. You’ve done the same for them. This is your one week pass to wallow.

3. Write Down The Reasons You + Him Didn't Work

When dealing with heartache, it is very easy to look back and long for the good times. Take some time and write down everything that went wrong in the relationship. Focus on the negative. Focus on his shortcomings. Every time you start to miss him, read the list and miss him a little less.

4. Find an Ego Booster

The hardest part about getting through a break up is rebuilding your self-esteem. No matter how strong or confident you are, feelings of self-doubt have a tendency to creep up. Before you start letting thoughts of "Why wasn't I good enough?" creep into your head, call your designated ego boosters and have them remind you why you're awesome and better off.

5. Start Taking Care of Yourself

It's great to have friends to tell you that you're wonderful, but it's even better to rebuild that assurance in yourself. Who doesn't feel accomplished after a good work out? You’re going to look hotter and you're going to feel hotter, and that makes all the difference. Let this good energy spread into all other elements in your life.

6. Get a little Makeover

Ever wonder why you notice celebs changing their hair color or getting bangs after a break up? It’s because no one feels sexy wearing sweats and hair that hasn't been washed in 4 days. Go to the spa, get a massage, trim your hair, the works. Make yourself over and walk out with a strut in your step. It's much easier to feel confident when you look good.

7. Go Dancing

Maybe you're not ready to meet another guy, but you should definitely remind yourself that fun exists in the world -- without the ex. Plus, it's a crime to waste a good make over. You have full permission to make a complete fool of yourself on the dance floor.

8. Avoid His Friends

Remember rule #1? You need to separate yourself from his entire social sphere for a little while. Communicating with his friends about him can be just as harmful as communicating with him directly. You don't have to avoid his crew or your mutual friends forever, but give yourself the appropriate amount of space.

9. Get a Hobby

An idle mind is never good thing when going through a break up. Throw yourself into a new project or hobby full force. All of the energy and time you used to spend with the ex can now be devoted to a passion of your choice. Paint your room, take up knitting, learn the guitar. Whatever. Just do it.

10. Acquire A Good Man Distraction

Nothing bad ever came from a bit of good ol' fashioned flirting, but you have to know your limits with the "rebound" guy. First, you need to be fair to the new man. Let him know your situation and that you're only looking for some casual fun. If he's down, let him take your mind off things. Who knows what it could turn into! (Note: I don't suggest jumping from one relationship to another)

11. Write Down The Reasons You're Awesome

Getting over something like this comes in waves. You often take a step forward and then a few back. It's a slow process. Write another list of all the reasons you're awesome. Focus on the good. Focus on what what's great about you and just you. Read when necessary.

12. Lots and Lots of Happy Hours

Going to happy hours with the girls is probably the greatest therapy currently in existence. Vent, laugh, bitch, alcohol = therapy.

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