by Daniela Garcia
*KTSW consists of and respects varying opinions within its staff. Opinion articles do not reflect the opinion of KTSW as a whole
1.) Store away the things that remind you of them.
The reason why I suggest to store instead of throw or burn or break, is because you never know how you will feel towards this person in a year, or maybe a couple months. Maybe you and your boyfriend/girlfriend of five years broke up for a couple of months but have just gotten back together and it’s actually working out very well. Now you’re definitely regretting burning all of the pictures you collected…It isn’t necessarily false hope, and maybe even isn’t hope all but instead a mature way of acceptance. We can’t always just throw away our anger or burn it in a trash can. Sometimes we have to see the things that made our life a little bit harder in order to keep moving on. You start growing a sense of immunity to the things that hurt you and they will no longer affect you the way they did if you just cut it up in an angry heist only to regret it later. You don’t even ever have to pull these things back up. Simply being aware of their existence, of these pictures, teddy bears, bracelets, a flattened petal, a letter, is a step towards your peace.
2.) Don’t Feel Like you Have to Satisfy the Conventional ‘Single’ Standards
There’s a stigma towards people that get out of a relationship promoted by friends, family or maybe even a personal awareness of these rules. Maybe you think you have to go out and interact with other people. Or you think you have to get into another relationship. This is a lie. You don’t live for other people. You can live for other people. But you’re in a fragile state and you don’t have to subject yourself to any interaction. If you aren’t ready to meet other people, or even if you don’t ever think you want to, you put your foot down. Eventually, you find yourself in a situation that will make you happy.
3.) Let your Friends and Family Comfort You But not Contort You
It’s important to remember that just because we’ve been hurt by this painful break-up does not mean that we have to deal with the pain of being alone. So if you enjoy the company, allow it to embrace you in times of need. This goes hand in hand with the previous tip and may sound contradictory, but really it all depends on how you feel. If you feel as though your friends and family are giving you some warm advice and maybe even the sole company for comfort you’ll want to accept it. However, your perspective of the person you’ve broken up with or vice versa is different than their own. Your friends and family’s perspective of the situation and even you will also be different than how you see it. So if you feel good about the company/advice, keep it. If you feel that it’s contorting your own perspective to a hateful state, you know you’ve stepped away from inner peace.
4.) Don’t forget who you are.
We tend to get saddened in a situation like or maybe even angry. Maybe we even act in denial and avoid the emotions that follow with the break-up. When we once wore all vivid colors we now refuse to. We once made three hearty meals a day and our health was in good if not great condition. But now we’re buying frozen mini pizzas, chips and a twelve-pack of soda. Or maybe you’re hardly eating at all. A painful break-up can affect us in many ways and the way we take care of ourselves is one of them. If you were someone who cared about their health before or during the relationship then don’t let a heartbreak such as this change that aspect of your life. If during the relationship you were going out to eat to Jack-in-the-Box and pizza every other day, that’s when you want to consider making a change for yourself. You will feel great about yourself and if you taught it was your fault before, when you start seeing change, you might start to realize that maybe it was just not the time for that relationship to fully-function. This is applicable to deteriorating habits such as drinking if not well-balanced.
5.) Cry your heart out.
It’s okay to cry. Cry to whoever you want to or cry by yourself. Cry on your pillow or cry in the restroom. It’s understandable. You may feel badly while you’re at it but suppressing your emotions can possibly lead to an unnecessary resentment. This resentment can lead to further attachment. Instead, we want a simple acceptance and steps forward.
6.) Avoid the Guilt
It’s going to feel like this was all of your fault. Truly, this depends on the situation. But even if you did get emotionally or physically involved with someone else while you were in a relationship, it still not be your fault. Maybe the attraction to your partner just wasn’t there anymore. This isn’t mere justification for cheating, none whatsoever. We have to come to terms with our actions. If this happened to us, it definitely doesn’t have to feel like it’s your fault. Even if your partner lost interest in you, it doesn’t mean you are less interesting than when they did have interest in you. It could have been lost for several reasons. A loss of attraction, respect, attention, ot understanding could all be signifiers for a breakup but they don’t have to be signifiers for the way we see ourselves.
7.) Spend some time with yourself.
Immediately relying on someone else can really start to form a dependency on other people that can prevent you from knowing how to be alone. A wise friend once told me, “I think that’s the loneliest kind of person…someone who doesn’t know how to be alone.”
Make a sad playlist, or a happy one, whichever will inspire you to move forward. Spoil yourself with a nice bottle of wine. Do whatever it takes that will allow you to see who you really are and take some time to contemplate the whys and what nows. Maybe that’s writing a song or skipping rocks. Have dinner with yourself a fancy restaurant. Write in a journal or on a napkin whatever it is that you’re feeling. It could make for a great story. Or it could just make you feel better, instead of texting the person. Which brings me to tip #8.
8.) Don’t Reach Out To Your Ex, unless You’re Aware You’re Both in Good-Standing.
If you’re going to reach to them because the break-up was obviously something you proposed, you may only want to apologize then. Consider this, even if it would have meant the world to the other person to have you apologize and fix the relationship then, it might just ruin their progress now. Or if the situation is reverse, you may ruin your own progress. It’s hard, I know. You think that you can fix things but if the relationship was going well then out of nowhere the other person broke it off, don’t text them. Don’t email them. Don’t facebook them. Don’t snapchat them or like their pics on instagram. Odds are if they haven’t done so towards you, they don’t intend to, which brings me to tip #9.
9.) Have social media dignity.
You may want to delete yourself or delete your ex off of social media platforms for the purpose of making things easier. So you’ve stored away your physical reminders of them but don’t know whether to delete your pictures together. You don’t have to. All you have to do for now is make them private. Because this isn’t a part that really exists anymore. It doesn’t mean you have to forget. Also, calling them out via social media is probably not the wisest choice to make. It’s kind of like taking on a Mariah Carey karaoke song after drinking five tequila shots at a packed bar.
No one truly has to divulge in the personal aspects of your life because not everyone will be supportive or understanding. Here is best to confide in good friends or write in a personal journal.
10.) Forgive because we don’t always forget.
It’s perfectly understandable to be angry and feel spiteful. To some extent, we have a right to be. And by all means go that route if you feel most comfortable. However, think about your future self, your future emotions, your future in its entirety. You haven’t met the world yet, so don’t act like you’ve lost it.
We’ll carry these moments with us. The pain. Maybe we’ll come to accept what has happened and perhaps when we’ve done all of these things we can say we’ve found the peace that we deserve.