I am not a man possessed of a nuanced understanding of human courtship. Like, I feel I get the nuts and bolts of it, the fundamentals if you will, but I have not been wildly successful in terms of romance. That’s no one’s fault but my own, and I wanna make it clear I’m not shooting for a pity party here; in my experience when you go fishing for reassurance you usually catch a boot, I’m just laying down a groundwork so we understand who’s giving advice on love. Take this lesson with a grain of salt.
So listen up loverboys, lovergals, and lovers of all shades in between, because today we aren’t talking about wooing, no sir, today it’s all about getting over a relationship once things have gone belly-up. Firstly, let’s establish that this is what has worked for me, and that the things that might alleviate pangs of loneliness for me, might not ring so true for you, I’m just trying to put out what I have, in hopes it might offer someone a little bit of assistance. Let’s break it down into 3 steps:
Identify your vices, make’em work for you.
This is gonna be key. If there’s a time to indulge, its now. Your freshly alone, the world seems grayer than it did before, your a miserable wreck(c’mon admit it), and you need find a little bit of light. Your gonna want to reach for alcohol or some other emotional numbing agent. Do it. But not for too long. While that can be nice, it’s not the kinda vice we’re shooting for here, and if you find yourself drinking from that well too long, it’s just gonna drag the process out.
Nah, what we’re looking for are the little truths about yourself you were trying to hide from the person you were in the (now ended)relationship with. For me, that’s wallowing in self-pity, and an over inflated sense of the dramatic. Admitting is the first step. But you wanna channel that. Convert it into art. Lawrence Durrell once said:
“There are only three things to be done with a woman. You can love her, suffer for her, or turn her into literature.”
Assuming we ignore the abject sexism strung throughout that message, there is a nugget of truth to be gleaned; the best way to begin your healing process is gonna be to get creative.
Whether your an artist, writer, or none of the above, taking whatever emotions your feeling about the person you were with, and how your feeling now, and channeling them into something is gonna be big. Pick up a hobby and actually do something with your new found angst.
Be, just, like, soooooo fucking petty.
This self-explanatory. When you break up with somebody, you can think of them in two ways: You can fawn over every one of their details until you’ve invented the human equivalent of utopia, or you can suddenly find every little thing about them repulsive, turn all those quirks that used to be adorable, into fingernails-on-a-chalkboard style annoyance. It ain’t pretty, but going down the latter is gonna smooth out allot of the wrinkles formed from your break. Embrace the hater, love the hater, be the hater. Just keep all this inside your noggin, I’m not saying go be an asshole, but make sure that your school of thought surrounding the person isn’t idealized, because that is gonna suuuuuuuuck. Be polite, be courteous, but be forming a new unbiased(ish) opinion about your person so that you can avoid dwelling on fantasized memories.
Reclaim. Your. Shit.
I don’t mean physically take stuff back from your Ex. If they took your sweatshirt, you’re out a sweatshirt(I still miss that crewneck). That’s probably for the best, because those items are just gonna stink of that person every time you see’em. What you’re looking to do is take back activities, songs, movies, anything that has become interlaced with them in your head. It’s easy to section off things you used to love because they dredge up something uncomfortable, don’t let the now grotesque image of your ex(assuming you followed step 2), have the satisfaction. Enjoy eating Jell-o again. Go watch The Expendables*. Listen to Otis Redding again, and cry not because of lost love, but because that’s what you do when you listen to Otis Redding.
Re-normalizing your life is what’s gonna turn an open wound into a scar. Steering back onto your course, and doing you, is what is ultimately going to make you feel better again. Reclaiming these little things is going to help bring the larger stuff back into focus by presenting a nostalgic back-drop.
So that’s my advice. Results may vary, but historically these things are sound principles, at least in my own personal experience. I might be putting a polish on how well I’ve acclimated to sudden shifts in relationship status, as I think we all do when looking back on our less-than-savory experiences, but that’s neither here nor there. Hopefully this was, in some way, helpful.