Breakups suck. There’s no nice way of putting it. Worse, all the breakup advice you hear out there (no matter how well-meaning) is complete garbage and made for the weak-willed. If you want to handle a breakup like a warrior and come out even better and stronger, forget the pint of Ben & Jerry’s, forget the cheap sex/rebound relationships, definitely forget the pathetic late-night booty calls to your ex, forget the liquor, and most of all, forget about self-loathing. While this is a really crappy time in your life, being hard on yourself and abusing your body will get you exactly nowhere. The pain, anger, and regret will still be there; it will just be buried under a pile of temporary bandaids, a hangover, and possibly a STD. We also advise gracefully giving your ex the boot. Unless you have a child together and you must keep them in your life, they gotta go. Breakups happen for a reason, and it’s likely this person was not all that great to you. It doesn’t mean you have to hate them or go all Carrie-Underwood-before-he-cheats, but this person no longer has a place in your life and keeping them around will only prolong the pain and healing process. Simply bow out with respect and class, no drama necessary. Do not be left holding the crap bag. Always maintain your dignity.
Instead, bring the focus 100% back to yourself and treat your mind and body with more care and kindness than you ever have. Eat even healthier, workout even more. Instead of drinking and sexing away your pain, allow yourself to really feel it. Force yourself to heal cold turkey, without the typical crutches. Because we’ll tell you one thing, if you can get through a breakup on your own without falling victim to vices and typical mind numbing behaviors, you will come out a total ninja. You will rise up so strong, nothing will ever be able to break you. It is basically psychological judo and it takes master self-discipline. The training will hurt like hell, but by the end of it, you will be a bonafide warrior, and that is the best way to extract ultimate value out of terrible, potentially crushing situation.
Sure, you can still mourn and you should mourn deeply if this person meant anything at all to you. In fact, cry as much and as often as you need to; there is no shame, but set a time limit (10 minutes?) and after you’re through, get up and get on with your day. If you need to cry again, by all means get it out. Cry for months if you need to, but whatever you do, don’t stop moving forward and don’t cover your pain with bandaids -it will only prolong the healing process. In fact, the deeper and sharper you let the pain dig into you, the stronger you will become and the more you will be able extract it from your system. It’s like a poison that you need to get out and suppressing it will do nothing but stifle your growth and healing. The more you let the raw pain flow out in full, sober awareness, the closer you are to feeling good again.
Most of all, the ultimate psychological judo you can pull after being hurt, is to keep yourself more open and loving than ever. Never become hateful and bitter. Once you have taken time off from dating to heal yourself, go back out there and love like you’ve never loved before. It takes tremendous courage to get up, dust off your shoulders and love again after you’ve been hurt, but that is the beauty of it. To be able to maintain love in your heart after people have hurt you is the ultimate win. YOU win when you live well, become stronger, and do NOT allow those who have hurt you to take you down or change the goodness in your heart. That is how you deal with a breakup like a warrior.
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photo credit: Miramax Films/Kill Bill Vol. 1