How to Survive a Breakup

It was hard losing him. I often wondered if it was him I missed, or maybe it was the idea of a promising and fulfilling romance that I missed. In all my years in the school of ‘hard knocks’ I didn’t learn how to survive the loss of love until I learned something very radical. I learned to embrace the loss.

It is not easy to accept a broken heart. My first thought was to repair it. I started looking for ways to fill the void. I joined a macabre class, I took yoga and I went to nightclubs. My girlfriends were also accommodating with my need to replace him. I was readily taken to backyard barbeques to meet everybody’s cousin, uncle and neighbor. One friend even introduced me to her unattached old boyfriend which made me feel uneasy for the unattached old boyfriend. I imagine my unattached old boyfriend doing the same thing to me. I wondered what he would say about me, ‘Hey this is Susan  –you’ll love her. She makes the best meatloaf, a great dancer and she kisses swell too.” What a weasel. Why did I love him so much? Why did my broken heart hurt so much?

Oh but he still wanted to be friends. I didn’t. I wanted to kill him. I had heard of friends with benefits, but what about friends who wanted to kill you. I wondered if that would fit under the category of benefits.

After months of resisting and battling with what he had done to me I realized I had lost. I found myself in unknown territory and I was tired of feeling like a train wreck. So, I gave up. I surrendered. I agreed I lost the battle. And then something amazing happened. I suddenly realized it was my job to fix my broken heart. It was no one else’s job. There was no Prince Charming coming to slay my self-hating dragons. It was me I was waiting for. I needed to step up to the plate and slay my own dragons. Once I accepted that, I began to find ways to heal. Once the resistance was gone, the substance came rushing in. I began to find ways not only to survive but to come out the winner.

Below are my seven tips on how to survive a breakup:

1. Decide if he is what you really want. Once I was honest I realized I really didn’t like that he always forgot my birthday and Valentines Day. I didn’t like the way he danced. I didn’t like his family. I think it is important that you not settle for a life of suffering. If you are going to commit to a man make sure he is what you really want. What do you want in a life partner? Don’t kid yourself. Take into consideration what you have to offer. If you want Mr. Right you must first be Ms. Right. How do you do that? I decided to self-improve. I did everything possible to raise my self- value. I learned to get my emotions under control. I learned to have more self-discipline and to educate myself on world events to improve my conversation.

2. Don’t be afraid to be alone. Let the independence give you confidence instead of fear. Some say confidence is sexy. That seems to be the reason why younger men like older women. He feels safe with her confident attitude towards life. I didn’t necessarily want a younger man but I did want to be more independent. So, I learned to do things myself. Instead of needing someone else to rescue me; I pursued my interests instead. They gave quality to my life. I began to like me and my accomplishments. I was appreciating the new me. But most important, I was rescuing myself.

3. Take the opportunity to get to know yourself better.  Listen to your intuition. Feel the strength inside of you. Feel it trying to support you. I learned to communication with myself and to reach for the highest version of me. Inside of me, I knew there was more than just a jilted girl.

4. Keep your head and attitude right – think about your part in the breakup. Were you too needy, too demanding, arrogant, submissive or distant? I self-explored and discovered that I was too needy. I was afraid if I didn’t find someone to call my own I would go through life alone, afraid, and unwanted.

5. Don’t let yourself believe that love will never happen to you again. It will. It always does if you let it. I learned love will always come but first you must have a relationship with it. Start by learning to love yourself. That can be your introductory experience with the real thing. Once you know how to do that you will begin to truly love others. True love is very forgiving. Learn to give yourself and others a break and not to judge. That in itself is love at its best.

6. Create a system to prevent this from happening again. Let your intuition and knowledge (remember you are smarter now) team up and find a way to tell if you like a guy in the first few minutes of meeting him. I got to where I knew if I liked him or not in the first 15 minutes. I wondered how I did not know that before. I realized it was because I was desperate and couldn’t look past the fear of being alone. I didn’t know my inner self very well; I had no way of knowing it was trying to red-flag this guy. As my relationship with my inner self grew so did my wisdom. My self-building was paying off. I was selective in who I dated.

7. Be prepared for pleasant surprise gifts in the middle of the crisis. After it was all said and done, I realized the experience was a blessing. In the process of trying to survive what I thought was my biggest challenge; I learned I was my own hero. It was I, and only I, who built myself up to be Ms. Right. Later I learned I could be selective because I became a good catch. I realized, I was no longer after the promise of romance and adventure. I was after a life-partner where romance and adventure could be found in any area of our lives together; even while cooking dinner, setting the table or washing dishes. I learned what love truly means. It means it is everywhere once you recognized it because I learned to recognize it in myself. I realize now it was not a romance novel I wanted. What I wanted was more of me. I wanted to become the one person I could always depend on. The man I love today is the second person I can most depend on. Now that’s love.

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