Breakup Survival

Step 2: What to expect

How long is this going to take? The only answer to this question is, it takes as long as it takes. For some women that means months; for others it takes years. It all depends on the length and nature of the relationship, the way the relationship ended and the kind of person you are. Be patient with yourself and try to learn the difference between giving yourself time for recuperation and reflection and becoming stuck in a pattern that doesn't allow for growth.

Breakup First Aid
As you go through the turbulence of ground zero, you may find that you feel like a stranger to yourself. It's important to take the time to listen to yourself and see how you're really feeling. Keep these things in mind:

  • Treat yourself gently.
  • Don't make any big decisions.
  • You'll lose keys, money and time without knowing where they went. That's okay.
  • Lean into the pain. It's not bottomless. There's no getting out of the pain, there's just getting through. And you will, eventually -- that's guaranteed.
  • Take long baths.
  • Cry when you want to, and don't care what other people say or think.
  • Be very selfish.
  • Be with people who make you laugh, even if that leads to tears.
  • Ask for a lot of hugs.
  • Dress warmly.
  • Get a dog or cat, or cuddle the ones you have.
  • Write really awful, bitchy, irate letters to your ex and burn them, releasing those ideas to the air.
  • Love yourself, no matter how hard that is.
  • Compliment yourself.
  • Write your way through the feelings.
  • Get grief counseling.
  • Eat well.

Next: Survey the (Newly) Single You.

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