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Dealing with break-ups (Part 2)

Most would probably say I am way too young to have gone through the number of breakups I have, but break-ups do not necessarily mean heartbreaks. Majority of my past relationships birthed various valuable lessons, lessons I hope to employ in making the love that is meant for me last forever (assuming I ever find it).

With each breakup, I learned that while there are no set rules in matters of the heart, the actions taken following a breakup can either slow down your progress, or speed it up. In this article, I will be sharing some of the actions that have impacted my progress after break-ups, both negatively and positively.

I will also be sharing how I have learned from these relationships, in hopes that someone dealing with the loss of a love is able to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s get right to it!

1. DON’T STALK YOUR EX.

After my long-term relationship ended, I was obsessed with my ex’s profile. It was a somewhat amiable separation, but not without lingering feelings (I can only speak for myself in this case), and so I was deeply affected by this separation. I stalked him on social media, digesting all his posts, taking note of the girls he went out with and stalking them too. It only wore me out and worsened the damage, as I felt like the years together were a waste. I was filled with self-righteous rage because apparently his world did not stop spinning after our relationship ended. Those weeks of stalking only worsened the damage until moving on seemed nearly impossible.

After my next relationship ended, however, I never went through that ex’s page, or any of his social media accounts. What changed?

If you find yourself obsessively worrying what your ex is up to, wondering if he/she is doing better than you are, ask yourself this; does it matter?

You cannot truly tell if your ex is happier without you through their social media, or even by asking mutual friends how they are doing, reason being that we put out the image we want the world to see, and sometimes that image is quite far from the truth. So, you may be beating yourself up over the fact that your ex is unaffected while in their alone time they are dealing with crushing depression.

Then again, what if your ex is truly fine? So what? The truth is, however, they feel about the breakup changes nothing, and obsessing over that will only make it more difficult to move on, so don’t do it.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:

Invest your time in worthwhile hobbies instead, work harder at your job, spend more time with friends and learn something new. Inch yourself further away from the source of your pain in order to allow yourself time to heal. Keeping yourself busy will help in distracting you from your grief.

2. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO THEIR NEW LOVE INTEREST.

I consider myself to be a beautiful, smart and successful young woman. This brings me confidence. However, after one breakup, I became obsessed with my looks, doubting my appeal and taking somewhat drastic measures to become more aesthetically pleasing. My confidence took a severe hit. Which is why I can tell you now that comparing yourself to whoever your ex is currently dating is a toxic and self-sabotaging habit.

If the person they are with appears to be ‘better’ than you, this may erode whatever confidence you have, or might send you into an unending spiral of destructive perfectionism, nothing you do, or have done, will be enough for you, it may end in depression. If on the other hand you think you are ‘better’ than whoever your ex is currently dating, then you may begin to question why you were not good enough to make him/her stay, and you find yourself drowning in resentment.

The truth is, no one is a better person than you, unless you aren’t a good person to begin with. The only competition you should be in, is with yourself. This may sound like some redundant line employed by motivational speakers but it’s the truth. You cannot win in a race with other people because your shoes are different, the circumstances are different, and you’ll constantly pick out flaws in yourself. The only terrain you are sure of is the one in which you live, so compete with that.

Also, trying to become better so you can show your ex that they were wrong for leaving you is not the right mindset, because if truly they did not recognize the value you presented in the past, they are unlikely to understand and appreciate it even now. And even if they do realise it, chances are you are better off without them; you do not want to be with someone who takes off at the possibility of ‘better’. You want someone who recognises that you are the best for them, and sacrifices are to be made to keep you.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:

Work on improving yourself for the sole purpose of making yourself feel better. Do things for you and recognise that you are worthy. Applaud you progress and take things at your own pace. It’s not possible to heal overnight. Relax. Breathe.

Breakups hurt; I would know. But most of what I learned in my past relationships can be summed up in those two lessons, as I’ve had to consistently remind myself of them for the sake of my sanity. In truth, it gets better. Love goes and it comes back around. Until it does, keep your chin up and keep yourself together, try to mend the heart that has been broken, so that the next time love comes knocking, you will be better equipped to handle it correctly.

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