Doing it Right: Moving On

In order to move on from the breakup, it is necessary to take responsibility for the breakup.  That doesn’t mean that you are blaming yourself for the breakup, it means that you are taking responsibility to do everything that you can to do the right thing in your current situation.  If like me, your stress level skyrockets every time your ex texts you,  or you dread going to the next social where your ex will be there – the right thing to do for yourself might be to avoid these situations as much as possible.  Why put yourself in high stress situations?  Get yourself out of overly dramatic situations.  You need to put yourself first.

This is the part of the breakup where your out of control feeling have started to subside.  Do what you can to make sure you are continuing to move forward in your life and not backwards.  Think about your life goals and what you will need to prioritize in your life in order to get what you want.  Now, if you were the one that did the breaking up and after considerations of your life goals, you 100% feel like you’ve made the wrong choice then open up this dialogue with your ex, but don’t expect them to take you back.  Maybe you were irrational and needed some time to think about your relationship problems.  If your partner left you and you are hurt about it, then the best advice that I can give is never to initiate a reconciliation.  They decided to leave you.  Your partner has the right to make the decision to leave you, and you’re better off without them if they made this decision.  If you want the best chance for them to come back, the best gift that you can give them is the gift of missing you. Do not initiate.

Typically by this point, I would have had a clearer and more logical decision that the break-up was for the best.  Breakups don’t just happen.  There is a reason for it, and usually it’s a good one.  

Think of this phase as a new start for you.  Pick something healthy to focus on, and go out and do it.  Understandably, if you decide that taking a break from dating is what you want then focus on other aspects of your life.  If you are like me and decided that you value a romantic relationship, try to take a step back before diving back head first.

Coming out of a relationship is difficult.  You may have had a regular sex life, and now that is gone.  It may seem like a rebound hookup is what you need.  I’ve gone that route before, and I’m not going to lie, it can feel good except there is no meaning in it and it doesn’t further you along in your life goals.  If you really value having a meaningful romantic relationship, focus on what you can do to better yourself for your next partner.  Improving yourself on the outside and inside will most certainly be appreciated by your future potential partners.  If you’re not feeling so extroverted yet, vow to adopt a healthier diet and maybe hit the gym.  A fitter body and extra confidence in your physique isn’t going to hurt, especially now that you’re single.  Friends of mine have suggested picking up a new hobby, and if your goal is to eventually find someone new I suggest picking a hobby where there is a potential to meet someone you may be interested in.

The idea is not to get yourself back out on the dating market immediately.  It is to fill that space that was created by the end of the relationship.  The time to wallow in your self-pity is over and you need to pull yourself together.  Something else that I find to be a confidence booster is to hang out with a platonic friend of the opposite gender that makes you feel awesome.  A friend of yours that opens the door for you, that makes you feel beautiful and appreciated.  Make sure that said friend is not someone that you are considering hooking up with or that said friend isn’t interested in you in a non-platonic way.

I’ve made the mistake of exploring a new romance before I was completely over my ex before.  I even tried to be open about the situation, but in the end, it is not fair for this new person who has a romantic interest in you.  In fact, this made me feel even more empty because in my mind they could never live up to my ex – and of course they couldn’t compete with someone that I’ve built an emotional connection with for months or years.  Try to think of this phase as the “window shopping” phase.  Imagine just sitting at a hip cafe and people watching and realizing how many potential partners there are.  This can be a virtual exercise by just signing up for a dating profile.  If you feel like it, chatting is okay, but do not actively pursue.  Again, you are just that patron sitting at the cafe and people watching.  In another analogy, it’s like watching the stock market but not actually buying or selling – speculation is okay.

The overarching idea here is that you are taking responsibility for your own life.  You do not want to be that friend that is forever sad over your breakup.  Coming out of this phase, you should feel more aware of what you want to focus on in life.  You would have better yourself as a person (whether that is improving your physique, becoming a better cook or just having an improved golf swing).

In my most recent relationship, I came out of it feeling like I was not feminine enough.  This was something that I became insecure about because it was something my ex criticized of me.  As I thought about it more, I realized that I wanted to be more feminine, not for my ex but for me.  Now, I’m not going to change the get up and go kind of person that I am, but I wanted to affirm that I can be feminine when I needed to be.  So, I invested some money into some nicer clothes and make-up and glammed myself up, and brought my A-game to a holiday party.  Damn, I can tell you that I felt so good.  I’m still the get up and roll out of bed kind of girl, but it feels damn good to dress up to the tens.  I encourage you to face your insecurities, whether that means doing something about it or just accepting who you are.  On that note, don’t do anything permanently irreversible.  I can assure you that even though you are feeling much better, that you aren’t completely your logical self yet.  Drastic changes like changing jobs, making a large purchase should wait for later – consult you close family and friends if you are unsure.

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