Because sometimes life can throw you some unexpected surprises.
BY FRAN HAYDEN
Sometimes life can throw you some unexpected surprises. One minute you’re settled in a committed, wonderful, long term relationship and the next, boom, everything you thought you knew is thrown into the air (metaphorically or literally, depending on how angry you get). This happened to me very recently.
In the last week I’ve gone from having my life planned out with said partner, to not – basically. Bye bye four years of commitment and solidity, hello future of uncertainty and unbalance. However, don’t get me wrong I’m very upset about this new, strange situation I’ve found myself in, but I’m also slightly excited. Rather than shying away from this new found independence, I’m attempting to embrace it. No matter how alien it seems at first.
Think about it: to go from sharing decisions with someone to making them on your own. To go from considering someone else’s opinion, to just valuing your own. To go from making yourself look good for someone else, to making yourself look good for you. To go from sharing late night activities with someone, to sharing them with yourself. It’s a pretty big change to get used to, especially after four years. Ready meals for one, here I come.
But I’m trying to deal with it all in the best ways possible. So, if you’re in a similar situation to me, don’t be afraid. Go with it. Use my Top Ten Break-Up Survival Skills to try and come out of it the other side… God knows I’m trying!
1. Support network
Make sure that you have an amazing support network of friends and family around you. Not only can they help you resist the temptation to contact your ex, but they can offer hugs in moments of loneliness, laughter in times of drunkenness and a lift when you find yourself in a less than satisfactory situation.
2. Go with it
So it’s expected that you’re going to feel sad, happy, angry, pissed off and messed up, but you need to learn to go with the cocktail of emotions, not resist them. If you want to shout and scream, do it! If you want to cry into old photos of the two of you, do it. Losing a relationship is horrible, you need to grieve for it.
3. Be kind to yourself
You’re bound to be a little vulnerable, a little delicate, so be kind to yourself. If you want to spend all day in front of the telly (PJs are optional) then do it. If you want to go out and get drunk, do it. Allow yourself that extra half an hour in bed, that extra piece of chocolate. You’re having a crap time and you deserve it.
4. Don’t bottle it up
So, I have two amazing friends who are in a relationship together. At first it was kind of hard to open up about my relationship ending when theirs was just beginning but I found that talking things through helped a lot. People can surprise you, some are a lot more wise than you might first think. Listen and absorb their advice.
5. Don’t listen to hearsay
We all know what the lesbian and bi circle is like and we all know how much certain people love to gossip. Don’t listen to it, it’s not worth it. People will try and tell you that they saw your ex and whoever together, doing whatever they were doing. Don’t listen, it’ll hurt more if you do.
6. Be the bigger person
It’s very tempting to text/call/Facebook/stalk your ex, but don’t do it. Whether you want to send them an “I miss you, I still love you” message or a “you ruined my life, I hate you” message, it wouldn’t be worth it. Accept that your relationship has ended and any declarations of this kind won’t help one little bit.
7. Believe in yourself
Deep down, below those red puffy eyes and snotty nose, there is a beautiful person with a whole lotta love to give. Do not, I repeat, do not allow your ex to knock your confidence. No matter how your relationship ended, everybody has the potential to love again, and indeed the potential to be loved again.
8. Go wild, but not too wild
Of course you’re allowed to let your hair down. Go out, drink, party, have fun but make sure you get home and into bed (your bed) in one piece. You’ll be tempted to go that little bit too wild, but I’m sure your previously established support network will look after you.
9. Have lots of fun
You’re single again… you’re an individual… you can do whatever the hell you want! No-one to tell you not to go somewhere or do something. You’re the master of your own life right now, so why not so something different? Something you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t before? Go on, you know you want to!
10. Be positive
Get in a positive mind set. There is someone out there for you if you want them. When you’re ready, get out there and find them.
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