As the 70s group Main Ingredient says, “Everybody Plays the Fool Sometimes.” Everybody knows it’s going to happen, but no one thinks it will happen to them when they are lost in the throes of true love. From another song, breaking up really is hard to do. You can’t imagine living your life without the other person, you begin to miss them immediately, and you wonder what is wrong about yourself that caused them to dump you in the first place. If this is you, here are a few ideas that can ease the pain.
Start An Exercise Program
In the movie “Legally Blonde”, Elle Woods insists her defendant is innocent. Her reasoning? She is defending an aerobics instructor, and aerobics creates endorphins which make you too happy to kill anyone. Although this legal reasoning will not give John Grisham any sleepless nights, Elle does have a point. Exercise makes you feel good in all sorts of stressful situations, particularly during a time of heartbreak. The endorphins act on the brain like opium, but without the addictive or other negative side effects. It is truly a natural high. In addition, tightening up the bod can’t hurt the self-esteem either.
Chocolate Or Ice Cream
For many, a breakup is like a punishment, and leaves a person with a negative feeling. Sometimes it makes the person sad about life, about the things they normally. This situation calls for a reward, and sweet snack certainly fits the bill. Some people work this strategy to the limit, throwing a freedom party and congratulating themselves on dodging a bullet. Just be careful not to overdo, or you will quickly have to start in with idea #1.
Get Back In The Saddle
The best way to avoid a ‘tude about missing your man or woman is to immediately ask someone out. Since you are already in the loser’s box, why not go for broke and ask out the most beautiful or handsome girl you know? Do this a couple of times if you need to. If you do so, you will quickly find that you are having fun, and you will realize that you base your esteem on your own effort and determination, not on the poor judgment of others (particularly the goof who cut you loose in the first place!) Note: there are a group of boorish people who play a version of this strategy where they ask someone out just so they can dump them and “get even with the opposite gender.” Just say no to being this kind of jerk.
Take A Break
This is a different tack then immediately jumping back in the game, but is good if you simply need a break. When you do this, take a page from weight lifters and choose yourself a “spotter.” This person’s job is to make sure you don’t turn your time-out into an endless period of wallowing in a morass of self-pity. You don’t really want to be like Karen Carpenter and “Say Goodbye to Love.” The most important part of this kind of break is the end, where you clear out all of your emotional baggage, and attack the dating scene with a vengeance (figuratively speaking.)
Throw Yourself Into Work Or Into A Hobby
This is a more proactive version of idea #4. Fill your time with something that will reward you career-wise or financially. On the other hand, consider taking the time to learn a new skill just for the fun of it. This strategy can be much more effective than taking a break because it gets your mind off other things. In addition, it’s a great way to improve your self-esteem. If that’s not enough, a person who works through their sorrow is very attractive to people, both in a social and a romantic way.
Although it may seem a little corny, take the focus off yourself and find someone else who also got dumped. The fact that “misery loves company” is not necessarily a bad thing. This is a tricky strategy, because you may turn it into a pity party, or worse, a game of who had the worst boyfriend/girlfriend. Before you end up going “Thelma and Louise” on your exes, it’s better to just play the “big sister” who lets the other person know that things will eventually work out. If you do this, it will quickly begin to work out for you as well.
Admittedly, all of these things are easy to say but hard to do. When you’re going through this period, you will definitely learn the adage “there is nothing better than being in love and nothing worse than being in love.” Hang in there, take comfort in the fact that you have a lot of company, and move forward until you find your perfect mate.