You know what? Losing love, breaking off a relationship, splitting up – it sucks. Big time. Not only do you lose that person in your life, but you lose a little bit of yourself. However brief the time you spent together was, it still will have affected you and changed you, helped to shape the type of person you are now.
There are a few steps the professionals will ramble on about, citing ‘degree of loss’ and ‘getting past it’. We at Free and Single agree with them, to an extent. In the face of it though, getting over a break up is hard, however you try and minimise the pain with steps. Still, when you are sat alone, wondering what happened and trying to figure out a way to blame yourself, it can seriously help to have a few well-meaning goals to work towards, to help you out of the bubble of self-pity.
So here are the Free and Single steps to surviving a break-up and getting back out into the world.
1. Mourn it
Ok, so first you have to put some time aside to simply feel the emotions. You can try and repress them, but they’ll just come bubbling to the surface when you least expect it – usually in public, like in a new job interview or as you pull into your train station. Take a few days to just wallow. Curl up in bed, don’t change your PJs, eat a steady diet of ice cream, you know, whatever helps. Just feel it.
2. Re-invest in yourself
Once the sobbing is over, take a shower and clean up your space. No-one is going to feel better surrounded by three days worth of empty takeout boxes. Now, take a moment to list all the things you would like to be. Cut out pictures or inspirational words. Join Pinterest. Once you have an image in your head, start moving towards it. Always wanted to see if blondes have more fun? Head to the salon. All that misery pizza causing a few extra pounds? Pop along to the park for a run. Enjoy some proper me-time and get yourself back on top form.
3. Join / start something new
Now you’re ready to experience something new, but your emotions are still a little fragile to dive straight back into dating territory. Now is the time to pick up an evening class or new hobby. It will fill the time you used to spend together, so you won’t be sat at home thinking about what you used to do when you were in a relationship and it will give you something exciting to think about and focus on. Always felt arty? Try a life drawing class. Confused about golf? Check out a club open day and some lessons. Like to go fast? Join a racing track.
4. Be open to socialising
Now that you have semi-recovered, you need to do the final and hardest thing: get back out into the world, for real. You’re looking great, you have a fabulous new hobby to talk about and you have a bunch of friends who would love to see you smiling again. So head out for dinner with the girls, or pop to the pub with your mates. No pressure to go looking for love, you are just readjusting to a world without your relationship. Enjoy it. Have a few beers, or buy those shoes, knowing you don’t need to explain yourself to anyone when you get home.
5. Try dating again
Once you feel whole again, let your friends know. They can set you up with people for a no-pressure reintroduction to dating. Log onto Free and Single and start browsing profiles. You never know who you might meet. Keep going to your evening class or hobby, or gym, or local park and be open to smiling and saying hi to other people you come across. Feel good about yourself, and the rest will follow.