Alright, I talked a little bit in my last post about the 10 Truths about Breakups that are going to be critical for you to know as you try to get closure for yourself. Today’s post is about the 10 absolutely essential actions you need to take to move forward. You may notice how many of the Truths you learned in Part I play a huge part in these steps.
As with all things, I love to research and I’ve shared some additional resources and inspirations on these thoughts in the links before.
- No Contact is best – and I mean ALL no contact. You block his phone, no texts, block his Facebook, block his emails and avoid hanging out with friends you know spend time with him. (With FEW exceptions, mutual friends can just become this “potential way of information flow” either you hope they will tell you about them, or they will mention how AMAZING you look/are doing, or even WORSE that someday this mutual friend will tell you how much they regret the breakup and want you back). Learn how to block his instragram at your network level so you can’t even search for his account that you’re totally not following. As much as you can, you need to amputate. You can’t move on if you always feel like there is a door he can walk through or a window you can watch him from. No contact also means removing triggers that remind you of the past (delete or store photos of him where you can’t easily see them… that means OFF your phone and social media. Mementos should be tossed or stored in a box in the back of a corner of the attic you never go in…hopefully guarded by spiders or something) I PROMISE you this is the best way to start to get closure. NOT by contacting him. Remember truth #1? You’re not going to get closure from HIM you will get it from YOU.
- Do NOT use the relationship as an Ugly Broken Mirror (Why You Can’t Get Over Him – Amy Young)
- Fake it Before you Make it – right now the LAST thing you want to do is party, go dancing, join a club, volunteer or generally be around anyone or anything that is remotely happy. You feel like you’d be “bad company” or you just “not in the mood” but right now is when you need to do those things the MOST. View it as taking medication; yes it tastes disgusting at first and you HATE that cough syrup breath but it WILL make you feel better in the long run.
- Make Your Own Closure. This means so many things I’ve mentioned above and will mention below. Making your own closure means cutting off contact, making yourself reframe your thoughts when they wander to your ex or your relationship, and creating a new life for yourself in which you are busy. See truth #2 above; you can make yourself feel better, not him/her. You have control over your emotional state and YOU CAN GIVE YOURSELF CLOSURE regardless of the other person’s actions. This starts with self care; eat right (don’t binge eat or drink), take care of hygiene and chores, take therapy, engage in hobbies and activities you like even if you don’t feel like it at the time.
- Identify when you’re trying to get control by thinking about the whys and whatifs and label it as not helpful and think about something else (How to Let Go When He Doesn’t Like or Love You Back – Amy Young)
- A breakup is like withdrawing from a drug you’re addicted to. Take your recovery plan from recommendations for addicts. Lookup “how to get over a breakup” and “how to stay sober” and you will be shocked at the similarities. Exercise, eat right, avoid triggers, avoid friends that may trigger you, practice forgiveness, don’t substitute one addiction for another (avoid drinking, drugs), do new things even if you don’t feel like it (see #3).
- Remember all the ways he was not so great. Particularly when you start thinking about the past (like in #5 of the commandments) label it and think about at least one thing that you didn’t like about him. Make a list, write it down and ADD to it. You’ll be surprised how long that list gets. It DOES help
- Talk it over and over until you are bored. Talk to an empty chair, text your friends, go online to chat rooms, write letters you will never send. Eventually you’ll have said there is all to say. You’ll feel a little emotionally hallowed out, but that feeling is making room for good things.
- Practice gratitude. Once a day write down or post about something you are grateful for. It can be anything, and it may not feel sincere at first but it does help. Use the “only me” feature on Facebook and post one every day.
- What did you learn? This sounds strange but you will feel better and be able to move if you can answer this. This is NOT to say you did anything wrong. You may need to say “what I learned is that I can love someone very much but that doesn’t mean they feel that way about me”. You could have learned that it is possible to have a complete lack of control or input into the situation that hurts so badly. Or, owning your part maybe simply “I gave too many fucks too soon.” Once you can say “this is what I learned from that” you will be that much closer to moving on.