Breakups are of the top emotionally taxing events in our lives. In a relationship, you give a part of yourself to your partner. You open yourself up and allow yourself to live in the mentality that it might be forever. You root for that end-all. But when it turns out that it's not forever, you're left with a gaping hole and a much needed rewrite on the story of your life.
There are some things that come naturally after an emotional tragedy. In film, the character who just go out of a relationship is either on the couch in a pile of wet tissues eating ice cream, or out at the club grinding up on strangers. But it's not all black and white. And it's not always laced with filmic profundity. And most importantly, it doesn't matter what you do — it matters what you know and how you handle yourself.
A new relationship won't heal the one you're mourning, so you have to stand up, brush yourself off, and look back at that dark hole until you fill it back up. It's too easy to damage yourself and make it worse by taking bad advice or letting your feelings drive you. But being your own voice of reason is an invaluable skill. Friends can help and will help, but at the end of the day, when you're laying in bed alone and your mind is spinning and your heart is banging around and you can't stop replaying your relationship and over analyzing the last text messages, you're the only one who can save you. So here are six things that you should avoid telling yourself at this time:
"I need to do something radical."
This is not the time to dye your hair black or shave it off. It's not the time to get an Edgar Allen Poe tattoo on your ribcage and it's not the time to pierce your nipples. Fight the urge to make physical changes. Anything you do during this time will be linked to that very relationship you're trying to distance yourself from. Wait a few months before doing anything radical, that way you'll be able to trust your own intentions.
"I'm never going to find someone."
Don't sentence yourself to a grim future. Remember that all breakups hurt, but the heart is resilient. Your feelings will level out and your perspective will open back up. And remember that the relationship ended for a reason. It wasn't meant to be. So now that you have that obstacle out of the way, you're actually more likely to find the right person.
"I shoulda, coulda, woulda..."
It's pointless. Don't blame yourself or spend time thinking about how you could have done things differently. What's been done is done. It's okay to take note of your faults and keep them in mind for the future, but don't hold them over yourself. It's retroactive.
"I need to leave."
The urge to disappear is real. But skipping town is only putting a Band-Aid on it. The best thing you can do for yourself is stay where you are and figure out how to make it work.
"I need to know what they're up to."
Of course you're curious, but remember that curiosity killed the cat. Don't kill cats. Defriend, unfollow, delete. It's very necessary to break the habit of needing to know what someone is up to. It needs to not matter to you anymore.
"I'm going to get them back."
Even if there's a chance that the relationship ended prematurely, you still need to get your ducks in a row and move on. Something was not working, which is why it ended. So no matter what is in store in the future, the present needs to include space and silence. So step back, go quiet, and allow perspective to set in.
Look your heartache in the eye until it loses its strength. Stare your heart down until it cowers. All you need is time. Allow yourself to take it.
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