How to survive a heart-wrenching breakup

It’s curious that wedding season (now) and breakup season (now) always seem to come hand-in-hand.

I was invited to three weddings this summer and have witnessed countless others. There has been a parade of dresses, dancing couples, flowers and cakes marching down my Facebook newsfeed. And I have also seen the aftermath of three awful breakups: friends divided, air thick with guilt, Facebook photos removed, and relationship statuses changed.

Interestingly, marriages and breakups inspire similar behavior: excessive food and alcohol consumption, unusual clothing choices, a penchant for accessories (hats), isolation from society, and the redefining of identities.

Alas, all (or at least most) good things must come to end. So what to do when you find yourself stuck with the short end of the relationship stick? Punch something? Trash-talk your ex? Both are viable options, but unfortunately they won’t make you feel better.

Here’s what will. (Trust me; I’ve been here a few times.)

1) Get drunk and have one to two one-night-stands.

Find people like you, who are looking for easy sex. Try a mobile dating app, like Blendr, AreYouInterested, OKCupid Locals.

And then stop.

You’re probably saying to Siri, “What kind of advice is this?!” The above accomplishes three things: It temporarily distracts you from the horrible situation in which you are entrenched, it makes you feel a teensy bit desirable again, and it makes you realize that sleeping with a bunch of people is not what you need right now. I could simply tell you that meaningless sex won’t make you feel better, but you wouldn’t believe me.

2) Romance-proof your social networks.

If you haven’t already, take photos of your ex off Facebook and unfriend him/her (or at least change your privacy settings). Put all of your rom-coms, love song records, and sad trombones entertainment in a box and then tuck that box in the back of your closet. You’re only allowed neutral stuff for a few months (South Park, Iron Chef, etc.).

3) Rebuild your social life.

Remember those friends you had way back when before you went gaga for Mr. or Miss so-and-so? Reconnect online. Plan a fun outing (baseball game, girls’ night out, museum field trip) and keep your sob story to a minimum.

4) Treat yourself well.

Hit the gym or a yoga class. Find the perfect massage on Yelp. Cook yourself delicious healthy dinners.

5) Get outta town.

Take a trip to wine country, a road trip through Vermont, or fly to Chicago for the weekend. Physically removing yourself from your situation will make you feel better and likely give you some perspective on the situation.

WARNING: You’re not gonna like these last two.

6) Admit that you were wrong.

When breakups happen, both parties are guilty of something. Realize how you were contributing to the unsuccessful situation. If you can’t think of anything, think harder.

7) Be patient.

Time is the ONLY thing that heals a broken heart. Sorry, I wish it weren’t so. While your heart is on the mend, get yourself back in the zone. Do what you love: read, camp, tweet, sing in the shower, etc.

You will be back on your feet again, and you will find love again. I promise.

Photo by kusmierz