Getting over the person you thought was the one can be an absolutely train wreck. It's especially true if it's your first big romance. Over the past 10 or 15 years I've seen so many people be absolutely gutted by their first relationship, whether that happens at 15 or 35. It takes a major toll. But it's true of any relationship that you thought might end in marriage or, if you're like me and not really into the marriage idea, any kind of long term commitment. There's no formula for how to get over someone. When it goes wrong it can really mess with your head and, depending on how intertwined your lives has become, it can feel like you need to start your life over from scratch.
But the truth is, you will be fine. I mean, you just will. As Robert Frost says: "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.". And although it's true, I know it doesn't necessarily seem really helpful in the short term. It can be hard to imagine your future when you've been imagining it with someone else.
So here are eight things to tell yourself when you lose the person you think was the one, because sometimes you need to focus on the short term:
1. Remember How Many People Have Been There
Everyone has been through a major heartbreak. It's what all those songs are about. Some people have had engagements fall apart or been left at the alter. One of the weird things about heartbreak is that you're so convinced of the singularity of your situation, but it can be helpful to remember that your pain isn't unique.
2. Remember When You've Been There Before
I know. This feels different. But unless this was your first big breakup, chances are this has happened before. There was probably another breakup that felt insurmountable and a person who consumed your thoughts all of the time. And probably they don't matter to you at all anymore. I've got at least 2 breakups where I laugh at myself and can't imagine what I was thinking being so cut up about it. It gives some perspective (and humor) to the situation when you realize how things can turn around.
3. Remember Pizza Exists
And ice cream. And yoga. And gin. And whatever else is going to make you feel better short term. Grab a friend and dig in.
4. Statistically, You Were Probably Wrong Anyway (Sorry.)
OK, I am way more logical then romantic, but whenever people talk about how they know they've found "the one" I can't help but think how many marriages end in divorce and how statically, they are probably incorrect. It may seem a little cold and detached, but it's a fact.
5. Sex With New People, Ahoy!
You've got first kisses, first-time sex, first everything. They're awesome, and now it's all ahead of you. It might seem unrealistic that you'll enjoy those things now, but you will. Trust me.
6. Who Else Makes Me Happy?
Your relationship shouldn't be the be all and end all. Friends, family, even colleagues— there are other people around who care about you and are an absolute joy to be around. Remember them. Do things with them.
7. What Else Makes Me Happy?
You've got some you time coming up, so enjoy it. Once you get over the Ben & Jerry's stage (or in the UK, the tea stage, because they are monsters), get back out in the world and do your favorite thing. I normally start with a run if I need to be cheered up, but I'm a psychopath. Go to the cinema, or a museum, or pilates, or a night out. Remind yourself of what you love and whatever makes you feel better, then do a lot of it.
8. "I Like Me."
My flatmate and I have a little habit when we're feeling low or don't have plans. I'll sort of chirp "I like me. I'm my friend. I like me.". It cheers me up. But I also sing the "Pizza Bagel" jingle replacing the word "pizza" with "titties", so don't necessarily copy me. The point stands anyway. Everyone should be able to exist happily out of a relationship. Maybe you're feeling a bit wobbly on that front, but just use take it as a chance to prove it to yourself.
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