How long does it take you to get over a break-up? It used to take me months! Now it can take me as little as couple of days. If you’ve ever been through a break-up, that time frame probably sounds ridiculously short, but learning to deal with break-ups more easily is all about understanding yourself and learning to see the situation from a different and positive perspective.
When I break up with someone, I don’t waste my time focusing on what I could have said or done in the past to make the relationship work. Instead, I give myself an allocated timeframe in which to be sad, focus on nothing but my emotions, and take the time to understand my feelings. And then I get on with my life.
The Logic – It’s a Numbers Game
Consider this. There approximately 6.75 billion people in the world. For argument’s sake, let’s say I have met 10000 people throughout my life. That means I haven’t met over 99.99999% of the population yet! Alright, I’ll stop boring you with numbers. My point is that the percentage of the world’s population you have actually encountered is infinitesimal, so the chances of meeting others with whom you share a tie are pretty high.
Emotions and Physiology – Understanding Your Desires
Our emotions are nothing but chemical reactions in our bodies. When we are in love our bodies release ‘feel-good’ chemicals into our bloodstream. We become addicted to the rush that these chemicals provide, and we associate this ‘addiction’ to the person who is deemed to provide them. We feel ‘withdrawal symptoms’ when we break up with this person, because the source of our ‘drug’ has been cut off.
Does a recovering alcoholic pull into the pub, saying “oh, one little beer isn’t going to hurt me?” Of course not! Before he knew it, he’d be wasted, stumbling out of the pub at 4am, and trying to drive home. Addiction can make you do stupid things.
An ‘addiction’ to a person is no different to any other drug. When you break up with someone, should you give them one little call or text just to see how they’re doing or if they want to chat? Absolutely not! And please stop lying to yourself. You don’t want to call for the aforementioned reasons at all. The only reason you want to call is because you’re not over them and you need an ‘excuse’ to bring them back into your life, even if it only is for a short time so you can get your ‘hit’ again. Addiction can make you do stupid things.
Fine, You Busted Me – So How Do I Get Over Him Then?
I’m glad you asked. That means you’re actually ready to take the first step along the path of moving on. Here’s how I do it:
I give myself however long I need to cry, be alone, journal, think myself into a frenzy, whine incessantly to my friends, watch chick flicks, get hugs from people, eat junk food, cry some more, and generally feel like shit. This stage is important. Telling yourself to not feel anything is somewhat akin to lighting a stick of dynamite and telling it not to blow up. It’s a chemical reaction, and it’s going to happen whether you like it or not. Don’t deny or ignore your feelings. It’s okay to be vulnerable and feel pain. Whatever you try to quash will only bubble up with a vengeance at a later stage if you don’t take care of it here and now. Don’t call/message/email/stalk him.
You’re still allowed to think about it, but not as much as yesterday. Whine about it to the friends who you haven’t already whined to if you must. If you have to go to work, go there and focus on your job, not him. Do not get home and flop in front of the TV with a tub of ice-cream. Go for a good run, swim, or hit the gym. Yes, I know it’s the absolute last thing you feel like doing right now, but the chemicals released into your bloodstream after a bout of heavy exercise have a similar effect on the brain as the chemicals released when you are in love. You’re still getting your ‘hit’, but this time from a healthy source which will benefit you rather than one that will drain you. Don’t call/message/email/stalk him.
Enough! You’ve spent more then ample time thinking about this. You’re getting perilously close to exhausting your break-up talking quota with your friends, and quite frankly you have other, more important things to fill out your day than to be thinking or talking about him. Organise something fun for the weekend so you have something to look forward to. Surround yourself with happy, positive people. What did you enjoy doing before a relationship took up your time? Do you paint? Play music? Are you athletic? Do you love to cook? Do what makes you happy! Now is the perfect time to rekindle an interest in the things that may have fallen by the wayside when you were dating or in a relationship. Don’t call/message/email/stalk him.
Day 4 onwards:
- Go to work and focus. This will keep your mind off him.
- Do some hard exercise. This will give you your endorphin (drug) rush.
- Immerse yourself in one of your hobbies for an hour or two. Doing an activity you enjoy will raise your spirits.
- Surround yourself with positive, happy people. It’s hard to be sad when you’re surrounded by smiles!
- Take time out for yourself. Allocate some time for the world to revolve around you!
- Don’t call/message/email/stalk him. Yes, I keep repeating it. Communication makes distancing yourself from the situation more difficult, and the last thing you want to be is a soppy, psycho ex.
- Repeat until feelings dissipate.
The Lesson – You Live, You Learn, You Move On
Every relationship we have, whether romantic or otherwise, has something to teach us. If you ever experience another break-up, I challenge you to keep your eyes, ears, and mind open. Don’t waste time focusing on the negatives – your paths have crossed to teach you something important, so look for the lesson. Unbeknownst to them, I have learned something important from every person I’ve ever been in a relationship with or dated. These lessons have been of paramount importance to my own personal development, but I would never have learned them without the emotional stimulation and first-hand experience that close romantic ties provide.
What lessons have you learned from your past relationships and how have they helped shape you as a person? What lessons do you feel you should be learning right now?
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