1. Don’t go Lorena Bobbitt on your ex’s ass (or cock). I know a woman who peed on her ex’s car when she saw him at a bar with another girl. I know a guy who put buckets of fish between his ex’s mattress and box spring while she was out of town when he found out she’d gotten “spiritually married” within months of their breakup. Don’t be that guy! Breakups are rough, especially when your ex moves onto their next before you’re over them (or broken up). But if you go all psycho-bitch, you’ll only validate their instinct to move on to someone who won’t slash their tires or sleep with their friends out of spite. Put down the machete and exercise your impulse control. Deep breaths, girl. You got this.
2. Use, but, don’t abuse your support system. Chose appropriate friends or family members for your varied phases of break-up-dom. Some of your friends experienced similar breakups with grace. Others, not so much. Some talk to themselves in “this is about you” speak, and others are natural empathizers. Rely upon friends accordingly, and spread it around—don’t wear anyone out to the point of annoyance or dismissal. Remember, the most beautiful thing about tragedy is that it allows loved ones to show up for you, and it allows you to witness the love you deserve.
3. Go tell it on the mountain. Ground yourself in the Oakland hills by exploring Joaquin Miller Park or Redwood Regional Park. The endorphins will boost your mood, and you can process your experience. Trails not your style? Stick to paved roads inside Mountain View Cemetery. Wherever you go, hike or walk your way to a lookout point for literal and figurative perspective.
4. Keep the tech in check. Technological advancements changed the face of breakups, and updating your Facebook status to “single” is the least of it. Pictures linked to accounts and lurking on your computer, their number throbbing through your phone when you’re drunk, maybe you even know their passwords. Don’t indulge. Hide them from your newsfeed or de-friend, if necessary. You can keep some pictures, but tuck them in a hidden folder or jump drive for a bit. Don’t trash them on Facebook or Twitter—it’ll just make you look like the mess. If need be, download an app designed to help you deal with your newly single status.
5. Make a playlist. Or a few. How about one for each of the Kubler Ross stages of grief, and another to get you movin’! A friend of mine once said, “I always forget, the difference between me feeling depressed and not is pressing play.” It can be so true. Cue the mood you need to soak in, just make sure you end with something that makes you dance. And do it in the mirror, because you are one fine-ass bitch.
6. Get your laugh on. Keep serotonin levels up with comedies and hang out with hilarious friends. Watch standup—especially by comics you find attractive. Moving on starts in your mind.
7. Keep it clean. Rarely do on-again-off-again relationships go the distance. It’s one thing to break-up, have a come to Jesus moment or see that your ex has finally come around, and get back together—once. But if you broke up once, it was probably for good reason. Once a dynamic is set, it takes a huge commitment from both parties to shift it. Plus, it’s hard for bystanders to take your relationship seriously. Frustrating as it may be, your ex will likely become a better version of themselves after they move on from you, but the good news is, you’ll also be able to break free of gross habits you may have exercised.
8. Work it out. Endorphines. Serotonin. Confidence. Sexy. Gym. Jog. Dance. Pose. Box. Walk. Breathe. Love.
9. Remember—this breakup is clearing the way for you to become your best self. You needed the relationship to become the person you are today. The world needs you to be the person you are today. You are right on track. These cracks are letting the light through. Shine on.