Break-Up's & Straight Up's
I would never have really put myself down as the type to write about past happenings, as I believe the most important thing in life is to always keep moving and looking forward, never looking back. I definitely do not expertise in relationship advice, as I am, quite frankly, about as much use as a chocolate teapot as a girlfriend, but clearly, God had bigger and greater things in mind for me (like having a back-to-back Gavin and Stacey binge with a family pack of Twirl Bites in the company of only myself)....
But honestly, this blog will be like the blind leading the blind. I've been through break-ups, some easier dealt with than others. But when one of my readers brought to my attention, what actually are the steps you take in order to move on and grow as an individual after a break up? And what do you do if they move on before you?
Well, here are the steps I took in every break up I've ever experienced.
Step one: Contact
Whilst doing my research for this blog, apparently the first recommended step in getting over a break-up, is to completely cut ties and cut your ex off. Whilst I believe this is somewhat beneficial, I don't deem it to be a necessary action you need to take in order to get over your ex.
In fact, I think it's quite immature. I feel that this step depends on the nature of your break-up, if it wasn't a harsh break-up, then is there really any need to block you ex - (and most probably their family too, if you were in that deep) I feel that if an unfollow, unfriend, or block button is pressed, it screams petty. Personally, I am entirely fine with keeping my ex on social media, as I don't have any bad blood with any of them, and seeing their posts, pictures or locations doesn't effect me and doesn't get me "thinking about them".
On the other hand, I understand why people do it, especially if you are the kind of person that is always checking on your old flames socials, to see if they have moved on or doing better than you, then maybe it is a good idea to block or delete them - for the sake of your mental health.
Step two: Allow yourself time and "to feel"
I touched upon this in many of my previous blogs, but you must allow yourself to feel upset and recognise the fact that it is 100% okay to feel sad (as much as you may not want to give it a second thought) but it is a natural part of loss and being a human. You cannot rush your healing process, and you must take as much time as you need.
Step three: Stop fantasising
If you came to Blondepedia for advice but can't handle the cold, harsh truth - then look away now.
The harsh reality is this - your ex is not thinking about you AT ALL.
Not even in the slightest.
This is facts.
If he/she was thinking about you - you would've known about it, right?
Because they would've text or called you, or reached out to you in some way, shape or form, but they just haven't, have they? So don't hurt yourself and break your own heart by fantasising that you two are "meant to be" or kidding yourself that you "won't find someone like him" whilst sniffling into a pack of Tesco value tissues and catching tears in your Caramel Chew Chew. You HAVE to pick yourself and look to the future.
Step four: Keep yourself active
Keep yourself busy so you don't end up mistaking loneliness and inactivity as you "wanting your ex back" because me and you both know this isn't the case at all, not deep down inside. You know the relationship ended for a reason, so keep reminding yourself of that - there is always something out there better for you. It's dangerous to let your life hold a void where your ex used to be, because you can start "missing" them, when in reality, you really don't. I always say, and will always stand by the fact that if things did not work out the first time, the chances of it working the second time around, are incredibly slim. Once trust and boundaries have been betrayed, there is little you can do to undo the feeling.
Besides, you are young and the world is too much of a big place for you to be wishing for your ex back, because there are so many more amazing people out there for you who will make you far happier and tick way more boxes than your ex ever did.
Step five: Support systems
Recognise that you are blessed to have a strong support system of super caring and supportive friends and family members. If, like me, you are lucky enough to have parents you can talk to about anything and everything, then use them as your first port of call because you know that they have your best interests at heart. Therefore, it is inevitable that you can trust them with your thoughts and feelings and they offer A+ advice! Without having my Dad's advice I don't know what I would've done!
Step 6: Get rid of clutter
Have a major clear out. Get rid of those train tickets from your first date (why do you even still have those?!), blitz your photo album and camera roll, and leave space for someone amazing to come into your life, and do not settle for less. You can keep a few pictures if you'd like - maybe to laugh at in the future - but make sure they are out of sight until you genuinely believe you are over the break-up and have moved on.
Step seven: Being single
I have been single for most of my life and in all honesty, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I believe this is because I am quite an independent, and self-reliant person and I enjoy doing things alone. It's an important thing to be entirely comfortable with being single, because this way, when someone comes along that makes you want to change your relationship status, you know its real. Although you may not believe it now, it is entirely possible to be incredibly and thoroughly happy whilst being single and you can achieve happiness by practising self care and self love. (Take a read at my other blogs for help with self care and self love!) The positives about break ups is that it is a perfect opportunity to practice self love, self development and self improvement, you can spend significantly more time with your favourite people, and you can do the things that perhaps you ex didn't like you doing! Is that really so bad?
Step eight: Accept that you cannot change people
Realise that you cannot change people, but you can change how you react to them. As an example, you cannot change that your ex cheated but think of it as a foolish mistake on their behalf, not a malicious act. But also be aware that a "mistake" is no excuse to keep the relationship alive.
Step nine: Lesson learnt
Realise what you have learnt from your past relationship. Don't think of your ex as an enemy, that you bad mouth at any given opportunity, but as a teacher. Think about all the things that you've learnt from your ex and how this can help your next relationship to be everything you wished your past relationship would be.
Step ten: Forgiveness
Forgive yourself and your ex. An important part of growth after a break up, is evaluating the things you did wrong or things you could've done better. For example, in my next relationship I know that I need to communicate more, rather than just expecting the person I am with to possess a telepathic super power to read my mind and automatically know that there is something not right. It is so important to forgive yourself for your mistakes, but also recognise the reasons behind you acting the way you did, for example, I know now that I had quite poor communication skills in a relationship because I was so used to being on my own, therefore when I was in a relationship I wasn't used to expressing my feelings and sharing emotions with someone as I saw it as a vulnerability, but now I know that I will not allow that same mistake to happen in my next relationship, because I realise the damage that it causes.
What to do when your ex moves on and what NOT to do
Respect yourself at all costs
By this I mean, don't go throwing yourself about because you're hurt and upset. This is the worst thing you can possibly do when you see that your ex has moved on. Make sure to maintain your standards and expectations of yourself.
Practice self care
Love yourself, because nobody is going to do it for you. Get a new hair cut, get a massage, or start a new fitness programme and get started on your goals. You will feel like a new person, and will feel ready to start over again, with new found knowledge to help you along the way!
Initiate any contact with your ex
Leave them be. Don't be that ex that still messages their old flame even though it is extremely obvious to you (and everyone else around you) that they have moved on. You not only have a chance of being rejected, (awkward) but you'll also look like a dickhead who can't move on (when in reality there are so many people who would love to date you, you just don't know it yet).
Do not try to get "even" or use another person as a "rebound"
You will only feel worse and please don't hurt someone innocent just because you are hurt and upset from finding out that your ex has moved on before you.
Do not "stalk" the new girl
Stop checking her Instagram stories, you don't follow her and you are wasting your time on things that have long gone, instead of using your time on growing as an individual.
Do not compare yourself to anybody
You are an unique human being, and there is only one of you. There is someone out there for you - and things aren't working out for them either for a reason.
You don’t have to do everything in a day! Take your time to build a life that you love and celebrate each baby step you take to move on. Good luck!