Breakups are one of the worst kinds of emotional trauma a person can go through—hands down. I’ve had my fair share of experience in this department. My last big breakup, however, was different than the others. Shockingly, I was able to pull through it in a matter of about two weeks. You may be wondering, ‘how on Earth did she do that?’ or ‘she must not have actually cared about the relationship too much to begin with.’ To these statements, I must say I honestly didn’t even realize I had gotten over the relationship as fast as I did until my friends pointed it out to me. I want to make it very clear that I was head-over-heels in love with the last guy and had my heart broken into a million pieces when things ended, so this transition was not at all easy for me.
This post is not going to be about me bashing my ex. What’s done is done. I would like to preface it with a few things, however: we had been together for 13+ months (a little over a year,) I was beginning to envision our future together (moving, marriage, kids, etc.,) and the breakup happened over the phone…from the other side of the country. Hopefully all of these things help to paint a picture of just how difficult this was for me.
With all that being said, let’s get into how I was able to move on from my last big break-up in two weeks.
There are no guidelines for healing from a breakup, but here’s what I did
I allowed myself time to really feel my feelings
Those first two weeks following my breakup were so SO hard for me. It felt like my heart had literally been torn from my chest. I felt sick all the time and I didn’t eat much. All I wanted to do was sleep, but I would find myself unable to do so whenever it came time to close my eyes. There was a very real hole in my life and I felt extremely lost and confused by everything.
In telling myself it was okay to feel every emotion I was experiencing at the time, it helped me to get those feelings out of my system. I was able to drain the majority of the negativity about the situation from my life (aside from the lingering emotions I’m sure I will hold on to for quite some time about how it all went down. These are normal feelings to carry with you after experiencing a trauma. But I digress.)
In any process of healing (i.e. getting a failing grade on a homework assignment, grieving the loss of a pet, stubbing your toe for the umpteenth time in a day, etc.,) allowing yourself to feel the emotions that are building inside of you is so incredibly important. Going through a breakup is no different. Science has shown that we experience emotional pain from a breakup in much the same way we do physical pain from a broken bone because they are both felt in the same part of the brain (drsoph.com.) That’s why it hurts so much to go through something as traumatic as ending a relationship, especially if it was unexpected.
I spent time with loved ones
From the moment the phone call ended at about 2:30 in the morning, my friends have been incredibly supportive. Shout out to T, J, M, and H—you know who you are.
Leaning on friends and family when you’re going through hard times is one of the greatest things you can do in the healing process. Making plans to go out to get your nails done, see a movie, or even just to go for a walk around the block with a friend will force you to put on clothes and leave the house for a bit. It will be hard, but it is so necessary. Plus, the fresh air will do you some good. Oh, and seeing that there are other people in the world will help remind you that you’re not alone in what you’re going through.
Your family and friends care about you, and seeing you hurt so badly from a breakup hurts them almost as much. They love you and want to help, so don’t be afraid to reach out when you need them.
I spent even more time alone
Being alone during the two week breakup period allowed me to do a lot of reflection, both on the relationship and on myself. The greatest thing I realized during my time alone was that if my ex was willing to end things so easily, like I simply didn’t matter anymore, then why would I waste anymore of my time thinking up ways to fix things? There was nothing to fix. The relationship had become one-sided and it was useless to put anymore energy into trying to figure it out.
Many people find it hard to come to this kind of conclusion. When your heart is broken, but you’re still in love with the person, it’s not uncommon to become infatuated with the idea of fixing things. You begin living in the past, constantly reminding yourself of all the good things about your relationship, instead of reflecting on where things weren’t working.
Don’t dwell on what could’ve been…and please don’t ever chase someone who clearly doesn’t feel the same way as you. If you two were meant to be together, you would be. So many people get hurt by thinking that the other person will change and things will work out. They don’t realize that they’re missing out on being truly happy. Know your worth and know that it should not be dependent on what anyone else thinks of you. Set your own standards and don’t ever settle for anything less.
I began focusing on my future
Once I made the realization that I was worth more than how my ex made me feel, I was able to start making plans for my future. Being in my last year of my undergrad during this time, I was planning on hanging around Orlando until he graduated a semester or two after me. I was going to find a job to get some experience that I could take with me when we were ready to move together. Towards the end of those two weeks, however, I realized that I now had the freedom to do whatever I wanted after graduation. I could drop everything to travel, I could move to the other side of the country—to the other side of the world, I could join the Peace Corps. The sky was seriously the limit, since I only had myself to think about moving forward.
Being selfish after experiencing a breakup is totally acceptable. Do what will make you happiest. Try new things, meet new people, expand your horizons. Refocusing your time and energy on reaching your goals and making your dreams come true will get you excited for the future and will help you pull through those post-breakup blues sooner than you may think.
Although I didn’t share the deep, intimate details of my relationship and breakup experience, this post has been the most personal and most vulnerable one I’ve ever written. It is my truth and I truly hope you find it helpful in some way. No one’s journey is the same and people will always cope with trauma and grief differently.
Remember: you are strong, you are worth it, and you are not alone. You’ll get through this and you’ll be happy again, I promise.
Related content: How to Balance Achieving Your Dreams & Dating