Recovery – How to get over a break up

After Gemma from How To Make Friends wrote her guide on getting over a break up in the last post, I decided to write my own guide based on how I’ve done it and how I’ve managed to move on from having my heart well and truly shattered to pieces. With a little glue and the steps below, I’ve pieced my old ticker back together and I’m looking forward to meeting someone better.

This is just the way I’ve got over the break up. It’s not necessarily the right way. It’s definitely not the only way, but I’ve decided to share the steps I took to get over my heart break and hopefully get me ready for the next one (fingers crossed it’s not another heart ache). I’ll break it down into easy steps. You might decide to try them in the order I did them. You might switch them up a bit and customise the list to suit you! No dramas. You do you.

 

1) Cry!
Cry as much as you want, for as long as you want and whenever you want. Get it all out of your system; God knows I did. Cry on your own or to someone else. I mean, I cried to a complete stranger on a plane so nothing is off limits here. After a while, you’ll cry less and less. Then eventually you won’t need to cry at all but get it out of your system while it’s there. You’re grieving. Not only are you grieving your little heart break but you’re grieving the loss of a relationship you thought would be forever. You’re grieving the loss of the future he or she promised you would have together. You’re grieving the house visits you did and the talk from them of the kids you’d have (Yep, we looked at houses together). You’re grieving the family you’ve lost and all the annual leave you booked for holidays away with him and his family. You’re mourning the broken promises and the lies. You’re 100% allowed to cry, no matter who you are! So please, do it.

 

2) Go to the Gym
I never thought this would be something I would do but after being dumped, I got a gym membership. A few weeks after the break up, I joined the gym and started going a lot. I was in the gym at least 5 times a week. If I was abroad on work trips I was in the hotel gym, sometimes twice a day. I signed up for some personal training sessions with a PT at the gym called Naomi. She was an angel. I told her about my recent heart break and my need for the focus. She was warm, open and honest with me. She trained me and gave me workout routines I could do in the gym and also ones to do in my hotel rooms away. Naomi didn’t just give me fitness advice. She gave me life advice on getting over the break up. She promised me things would get better. She really was just an angel for me then, and she was badass! She might not even know just how much she helped. I had a focus, a distraction; fitness. I can’t recommend getting yourself to the gym enough to help start to get over a break up. It really does give you something else to keep you busy, distracted and focussed. Also, people will tell you how amazing you look and your confidence will start climbing again. If going to the gym isn’t your thing, join classes and try something new. Alongside the gym, my friend Emily encouraged me to go to kick boxing classes with her which I did. I love it! The two trainers Scott and Josh kicked my arse into gear and got me punching out my frustration and anger. Between them, Emily, Scott and Josh pushed me to work harder even when I was tired. They got me going further even when I was hurting. The three of them joined the angel hall of fame alongside Naomi and I started to get myself back again. I was smiling constantly during classes because I was enjoying myself so much.

So, get yourself to the gym. If you don’t like gyms, join a class. Even if kick boxing isn’t your thing, go to yoga classes or pilates or even pole dancing! If you’re not sure then do all of them like I did until I settled on just a few to keep me fit. You’ll meet new people, you’ll start smiling again and you’ll start boosting that confidence you lost. If you don’t like working out with people then go for a run. Start small. I started getting up at 6am and just going for a 10 minute run every morning. Each time, you’ll get further. Each time, you’ll feel less out of breath. Each time you run, you’ll feel your feet hit the pavement, music in your ear (just one headphone in for safety please) and you’ll start to get yourself back again.

 

3) You do You
I said this already in the intro for this post. A few months into recovery one of my closest friends said to me “you do you” and it kind of stuck with me since then. She was right! Being on your own again means you get to just do you for a bit. My free time is just mine again to use as I want to. In my relationship, we barely ever saw my friends. We always spent more time with his friends and his family. I like walking outdoors but he doesn’t so we wouldn’t. We’d spend our days doing what he wanted to do and going where he wanted to go. I was now allowed to go wherever I wanted and do whatever I wanted without answering to anyone. I started seeing my friends more and doing things I wanted to do. I was rekindling old friendships with people I hadn’t seen in years and starting new friendships with girls from work I got on with. Spending this time doing what I wanted made me feel happy again. I signed up for a Tough Mudder Full which I’d always wanted to do. I went with my friends I work in the pub with and loved every minute of it. We smashed it round that 10 mile course and it felt like such an achievement for me. We laughed, helped each other, got wet, muddy and then had a cider at the end. The whole day was so amazing that I want to sign up again for another one! In September 2018 I completed the 24 hour three peak challenge. I went up alone and trekked Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon with people who started as complete strangers. It was amazing! It was hard, really hard but it felt amazing to complete. I raised over £1,000 for Mind mental health charity while doing it. Finally taking some time over the summer to do me was amazing.

You do you! Spend your time doing things you want to do. Do the things that your ex would never do with you but you always wanted to do. Go out with your friends. Spend time with new friends. Take back your life and your free time. It’s totally ok to share your time with someone. But rather than wallowing in being alone, enjoy your free time and do the things you want to do.

 

4) Look at all the People who Love you 
This is one you might not even realise straight away, but so many people love you! At 28 years old it does break my heart every time I think about the fact that not one single person has ever been in love with me. Even my ex who promised me a life together didn’t love me. After the break up I felt worthless and unloveable, until I started receiving messages. I was sent messages from so many people. People from my past and my present telling me how sorry they were, how amazing I am as a person, how thankful they were for my honest heartbreak blog posts and so many telling me how much they loved me. Girls at work were taking me out for girls’ night and doing my make up for me to make me feel good. Girls I went to college with but hadn’t spoken to in years were hugging me when I saw them randomly and telling me how lovely I am. Guys I had previously worked flights with saw me at work and told me they couldn’t believe someone was stupid enough to let me go. It all suddenly started to dawn on me that maybe I was focusing on the wrong kind of love all these years. Does it really matter that no man has ever loved me? Probably not when it turns out I have so many friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances who love me more than I ever believed possible. How can I be as worthless as I think because of what a few men have told me when the reality is, I’m more loved than any of them? Trust me, you’re the same (not you my ex. More people love me than they love you so in your face). To those reading this feeling how I felt… You’re loved by so many more people than you ever thought, so give yourself a break.

 

5) Do NOT, I repeat, do not go on Tinder too quickly!!
Trust me, your ex is already back on it a lot quicker than you thought he would be (I know mine was) and seeing his profile pop up will feel like a knife twisting deeper into your gut. Go on dating apps when you feel 100% ready with knowing he’s looking for someone else. You need to feel completely ok with knowing he lied about his reasons for breaking up with you. He doesn’t want to be on his own to sort his stuff out. He’s just too much of a coward to do it with you (As you can see, I’ve entered the stage where I’m angry at the ex but equally I know I’m better off without him for these reasons). Wow, apologies, I digressed. But there is truth in that for everyone! I know it’s tempting to log in quite soon after the break up, but take your time. If you really are ready to see what you feared at the beginning; that he is actively looking for someone new, then you get on and get swiping!

 

6) The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else
Don’t be such a prude! You all know this has some truth to it. Only do this step when you’re ready for it. Don’t rush it. It doesn’t have to be for a relationship or something. I’m talking about good old sex for the sake of sex! Shock, I’m 28 years old and in control of my own body. So are you. This is just something to help build your confidence and remind you what a god damn, sexy human being you are. No feelings or emotions involved. It’s purely for selfish reasons. Mine was a much younger (22!!! I know) guy I’d met a few times in a local pub. I had two nights with him about six weeks apart from each other. The first time, I was drunk and didn’t care. I was interested and it would seem so was he. I took him back to my friend’s sofa bed I had waiting and it was incredible! I had some alcohol dutch courage so just enjoyed the night for what it was. The next day, the owner of the sofa bed, one of my closest friends said that while I was chatting up Charles* (not his real name) she saw a level of confidence she had never seen in me. This girl has seen me through some dark times. She is one of a few people who know me better than anyone else in the world and she was so happy with my confidence the night before. She said it was amazing to see how confident I was chatting him up and then going in for the kiss before taking him back. The second night with Charlie boy was a night out where I’d bumped into him. He was drunker this time. I wasn’t bothered about spending another night with him. Some other girl was all over him and trying it on so I was completely unassuming when he left her side and came to me and gave me kiss in front of everybody. Hands on my back hugging me towards him he placed two, delicate kisses on my lips. He looked at me, smiled and just said straight outright “Shall we go?” I had to pause for a second. He could have taken any other girl back. He could have easily taken the blonde clingy girl back but he made the executive decision to come to me and ask me. I am hot. I am sexy. I am wanted. Damn, I’ve still got it! He must have enjoyed the first time as much as I did. Within minutes he had an Uber coming and we said goodbye to our friends. That second night was even better than the first! This temporary toy boy absolutely blew my mind (and body for that matter). I don’t know what they’re teaching the kids in University these days but HOLY CRAP!! You need it in your life. I am definitely not qualified to give someone the title of Sex God but… just saying. Not only was his penis wonderful and the sex amazing, he was also so relaxed and so fun that I didn’t feel any need to keep any of my body hang ups for the night. All those feelings of being worthless, ugly and not good enough that my ex made me feel about myself melted away into the mattress of this 22 year old guy. I don’t think Charlie will ever really know just what those two nights were for me. He’ll never fully understand how much it meant to me in moving me even further forward after the break up.

Get under someone else! Or on top. Either way, just get that first one out of the way after the break up. Do it for the fun. Do it with someone who you know you’d never have a relationship with (the age in this case. Plus he moved away for good). Do it just because you want it again.

 

7) Big Breath in… Date Again.
This shit will be hard. But it’ll also lead you to meet men (or women) who will actually show you how you should be treated. In return, it’ll also show you just how much better you can do and how much better you deserve than your ex. My ex always thought, and still does think, that he can do better than me. Now I realise it’s actually the reverse. I can do better. You can do better and one day, we will.

I had a few offers from guys for dates. At first I took a step back because I wasn’t ready. Now, I am. Watch this space for the dating start again.

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Lee* – Customer Service Advisor

This story isn’t so much about a romantic interest; well not on my part anyway. I went out for dinner with a friend of mine. I’ve known him for about 7 years and we’ve been those kinds of friends who don’t see each other very often but when we do, it’s like no time has passed. We have a good laugh together and just generally get on like the proverbial house on fire. On this fateful night at dinner our friendship would change however.

Dinner was as normal, we laughed and caught up on whatever we’d both been up to since our last encounter. Everything was as it always was. Just as desserts had been ordered, Lee* asks me about my blog (this one obviously) and jokes about whether he’ll make it on as a new story.  At this I laughed and said honestly “Well I only write about dates. I don’t write about my friends” (although here we are). Lee looked like his mood dampened at this. His reply was “Oh. So is this not a date then?” Well this is awkward. The silence between us both makes it feel even more awkward. I’m pretty sure the couple on the table next to us have heard the conversation and are now trying to cut the awkward tension with their bloody knives it’s that bad. We’ve been friends for 7 years! 7 years and Lee has never ever once mentioned about us being more than friends or going on a date. There’s never been so much as a hint of romance between us but suddenly on this night, he reckons a spark might just summon itself up. I feel so embarrassed for both of us.

“Umm, Lee I’m really sorry but I just thought we were friends. It’s been 7 years so I think we’re past the point of it being romantic.” At least I’m being honest about it. Lee’s next rhetorical question really wound me up though! You all know me well enough to know that I’ll explain why. “Oh, so you’ve friend zoned me?” God I hate that! He spat the words out like they tasted of sour milk. Why has the term ‘friend zone’ been coined as an insult? It also seems to mainly apply to women friend zoning men. You don’t hear so much of men friend zoning women. The amount of times over the years I’ve told a guy I like them and he’s said he just wants to be friends is ridiculously high. Did I get all insulted and sulky and accuse him of friend zoning me? No; not once. Instead I carried on being friends with them because that was better than nothing in my eyes. I enjoyed maintaining the friendships I had with the guys and still do with some of them.

I explained to Lee that I couldn’t understand why he was so insulted but I did want to carry on being friends with him. He, not so politely, declined the offer with the reasoning that he “has been nothing but nice” to me for all that time and yet he gets nothing. 7 years of friendship down the drain just because I had apparently done the unthinkable for a man and dun dun dun….. friend zoned him!! Apparently a punishment worse than death for the male species. I can only apologise. It also frustrates me that Lee had it in his head somewhere that him being nice to me and treating me with respect should be rewarded with sex or a relationship!! Where is this rule written somewhere? I really must have missed something growing up. What right does a man have to tell me that just because he was a decent human being to me and gave me friendship, he deserves to be rewarded with sex or something romantic. Again, I will happily exercise my right to say no on this account. Any man that believes this, deserves to be worse than friend zoned. I’m pretty sure that way of thinking is how men end up forcing themselves upon a woman (I’m not accusing or suggesting anything of Lee, but it is slightly worrying).

So, my friendship with Lee is no more. Ladies, be careful not to punish a man with the friend zone because apparently some just can’t accept it. Others, I can account for and say they are wonderful friends: some of the best friends I will ever have! Men, the friend zone isn’t the worse place in the world. Embrace it gents.