How To Move On After A Break Up

by - May 06, 2019

I don't always choose what I write, sometimes the ideas come to me and haunt me until I cave. This is one of those. I've never actually delve into relationship stuff and so I’ll preface this by saying I have no authority on this topic but for whatever reason the writers’ faeries have granted me permission to speak on the topic so here goes: 


I've had 2 or 3 real breakups and this might be a biased observation but I generally handle this stuff well (enough -ish). When a relationship runs its course, I accept it and (make all efforts to) move on with my life as best as I can. Maybe it's pride, wanting to pacify the feeling of unwantedness by turning the page or my intuition that prepared me weeks or even months in advance with the knowing that it was only a matter of time before the chapter would close out. Either way, like anyone else I do feel sadness, sometimes loads but I try not to feed it too much. Admittedly this isn't always easy when suppressed feelings in my waking hours are replaced with annoyingly realistic dreams at nights about my ex (which happens a lot more frequently than I’d like to admit.) Beyond this, I choose to channel most of my energy into adapting to my new normal, which is likely credited to my optimism that something or someone better is ”out there” waiting for me. I know wishful thinking alone isnt enough for some and that optimism on its own won't get you through this rough patch so here are a few things that I believe will help you move on after a breakup:


Many break-ups become a lot more tumultous than they need to be because there are no established boundaries. You have the uncomfortable talk and you say you're done but your actions are saying otherwise. The messages continues and so do the calls, prolonging stress and toxicity. Listen, your Cinderealla story didn't quite pan out as you imagined so it's time to channel a new Disney princess and ”Let it go.” Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should become an ice princess and retreat to the mountains (though this isn't a bad idea) nor should you be bitter and completely cut the person out of your life however you have to create some breathing space to assess your mess. Some people are worth fighting for and others just aren't but you’ll never gain true clarity about this until the smoke clears. Grant yourself some headspace. 
People are like cities
You live in them so long
You begin to get comfortable
And forget
How beautiful they are
Sometimes you have to leave
In order to learn
How much you'll miss them
And to understand
How they live in you.
- Unknown

You know the old adage, if that person is the one for you, they’ll find their way back. If they aren't then happy riddance. Things always work themselves out so don't waste your time trying to resuscitate a dead situation. Move towards the tides of your new blessings. 

Make a "Dream" list.

Now that you’ve stopped talking to him and you have a little time to think, make yourself a cocktail and then a list of all the things you want in your dream partner. It's therapy, I promise. This will put a lot into perspective for you. Either you will realize your ex was tailor-made by the soulmate gods just for you or that he is probably not the person you thought you wanted or deserve (very likely the case). People love to get in their knickers about this kind of list but I strongly believe there is value in it. You will never find the perfect man but it's nice to have a reference of those non-negotiable qualities you want in a partner based on what you value. It's okay to set a standard for yourself.
N.B: do not become attached to the specifics but rather use it as a guide.

Work on Yourself (Character Check)

When our heart is lost we look for happiness in all sorts of places. Understand this: nothing outside of you will help in any lasting way. Joy is an inside job. No matter how much booze you buy, how many people you get under to get over your situation or how much therapy sessions you attend, you are the only one who can heal you. Get to the root of your grievance by doing a little introspection. There might be things about you that contributed to the demise of your relationship and since we learn the most about ourselves and others when we are uncomfortable, what are some things that keep showing up for you? Please, do not make this into a self loathing session. Instead, be really honest with yourself and make small gestures towards self-improvement. My cousin shared a quote with me that perfectly sums this up: Dont focus on who you are today but have hope in who you will become tomorrow.

If you are being honest with yourself, the person you want to be isn't compatible with the person you were dating anyway. Sometimes break-ups are a blessing in disguise since, whether unintentionally or otherwise, your ex was holding you back from seeing your greatness. Think about things in your life today that happened because of a major shift that you once thought of as negative but actually guided you to a better version of your life. Personally if my ex boyfriend didn't break up with me I wouldn't have taken a risk and move to another country after quiting a job that was slowly killing me. I didn't realise how comfortable I was with mediocrity and it really took that low point for me to see how high up I could be climbing. I know you want more for yourself so don't block your blessing baby girl, bless and release.
Listen: Thank You Next - Arianna
(you know I had to) 

Make Your Life Your Focus (Visioning)

"There is a crack, a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in." - Leonard Cohen. 

Have you ever heard of Kintsugi? It's the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer that is mixed with gold powder. Centuries ago craftsmen came up with this concept of the ”golden repair” to give new life to what many would consider worthless. Right now you may feel like what Jamaicans describe as ”mash-up” but you owe it to yourself to piece yourself back together. Things might not be perfect but that doesn't stop it from becoming beautiful again. Start filling the gaps in your life with golden action plans. 

The doom and gloom is waiting to set in so you have to act quickly. Break-ups are great at robbing you of your sense of control so here's what you have to do. Get a notebook and write down all the things you don't love about your life then make a column beside that with the ideal situation (the contrast). From there create goals connected to these and draft an action plan/ road map. Treat your life like a project, identifying what needs to get done and by when then go for it! It's easy to get into pity party mode and dwell on how much your life sucks but that won't change a thing. 

Fall in love with yourself 

Radical self care is quantum - Anne Lamott 
Usually break ups are also the ultimate self-esteem crushers and you have to be proactive about shaking this. Some women change their hair, some enrol in pole dancing and others do a wardrobe overhaul to boost their confidence. What are the things you can do to tap into your sexy? Your bounce back game is only as good as how you feel about yourself. Take the time to celebrate the queen you are and centre your crown. Since we teach people how to love us it means we have to take care of ourselves mentally and physically so feed yourself positivity, love and compassion. It sets the tone for whoever you’ll date next. 

Read/ Listen: 
Create Your Own Happiness

The first step to creating happiness in your life is forgiving yourself and also your ex. Holding on the grudge that comes with a breakup usually keeps you sad for a really long time. We don't own people, we can only experience them and so if they choose to go we have to separate from our selfish desires to keep them around and be grateful for the time you had together. Still, no matter who comes and goes, you will always have yourself. As I said earlier, if your happiness is derived from an outside source, you're going to be in trouble so look within.

When was the last time you felt genuinely happy? I mean the kind of joy that really made your heart smile. This was a bit of a challenge for me. In my blog post about Self Awareness I shared that I now keep a list of things that make me happy but what I didnt say is that this came about because after my last break up I genuinely didn't remember. I spent most of my time in couple mode and lost connection with myself. I literally had to start paying attention to the little things again so every time I did, watched or ate something or went somewhere that I enjoyed I would make notes so I could invite more of those experiences in my life.

If you're struggling with this too, you might want to start taking some notes friend. 
Watch: Eat Pray Love

Go out

I work in marketing and kind of went overboard with this. At the time of my last breakup one of my main clients was an alcohol company and I made it my duty to go to every single one of their events. This was a horrible idea since it only distracted me for a few months. I don't recommend running from your emotions and partying every night. But, while post break up is a great time for reflection and introspection, you absolutely have to leave your house to get out of your head a little. Over analysing and reliving the hurt is traumatizing so venture out, link your friends, go eat at your favourite restaurant or whatever it is that will get you back into the real world and pass the drama that you're creating in your head.

FYI this doesn't mean you should go cozying up with the first person who gives you attention but you should be open to the possibility of dating again (eventually). If you stay cooped up at home you’ll never find new prospects when you're in the state of mind to accept potential suitors.

Be vulnerable

(I'm not very good at this but I'm working on it.) 
Cry, get therapy and ask your friend permission to vent. Let it all out. Built up sadness/ grief is dangerous because when that pipe cracks it might never stop leaking. If you're not ready to share your pain with someone else, keep a journal, write all the things that are clouding your mind. Whatever you do, just do not keep that pain festering inside you with no medium for release. You're human, with feelings and you do not have to be okay all the time. Take your time and allow yourself to go through the motions. Everything takes time, including healing so give yourself permission to sit in that discomfort a bit. You’ll discover things about yourself that will help you the next time you decide to open your heart to someone else. Just please don't make suffering your permanent state of existence. 

Decide to move on (when you're ready) 

I had so many whys and felt stuck because I realized I was actually sitting waiting and hoping my old love would bring me closure. It doesn't work like that. We have to gift it to ourselves, with or without explanation of where things went wrong. You don't have control over making the person stay but you do have control over whether or not you stay in grief. Be like a Phoenix and rise again. It will be difficult at first but life goes on. You gave as much as you could but it didn't work out. Remember that you can never be too much for someone who can't get enough of you or too little for someone who sees your worth. 

The main reason a breakup is so hard is that it disrupts life as we know it. We usually plan life around our partner and so its hard to readjust. Those first few weeks or month (even years for some of us) will suck because we can't go back to what we know. But look at it as an opportunity. Life happens for us and even though we might not understand it in the moment, we have to believe that this setback is a set up for something major.

I think I'll close with this video about the Relationship with the Unknown on Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu:  (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS.)

until next time......
Do Good, Dress Well

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