How To Get Over A Break-Up (or two or three)

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"Get over it, you can do so much better than him!" is so much easier said than done...I have been through two very difficult break-ups in my lifetime. My high school boyfriend of five years and my next serious relationship that lasted over two years! Both relationships were on & off... never consistent. You know how the story goes: You get into a fight, breakup, and a few weeks later you're back together again because you can't imagine life actually being better without this person. This is not the ideal relationship! Life can be better! I will tell you right now that if your relationship sounds like what I described just now I might as well be waving a big red flag right in your face! For some reason, we put ourselves through hell as we follow these relationship cycles that don't lead anywhere. By sticking around in the name of "love", we break our own hearts over and over again. The cold hard truth is that this is the behavior of a desperate and needy person. I know how it feels to simultaneously know that you would be better off without a person and at the same time worry yourself sick over the thought of them moving on and forgetting about you. My first piece of advice to anyone struggling to break the break-up habit is that the farther you can get away from past habits the better! Don't settle back into a bad relationship just because it is familiar.

My high school relationship was the hardest for me to get over, but it is the relationship that taught me the most about myself. It was obviously very immature, I was super young and totally thought I was madly in love and thought I would NEVER find a love like that again...I was WRONG! To all my high school girls reading this...you can move on, you will move on & you WILL find someone so much better! I thought I knew what love was in high school...but I had NO idea.

I'm not trying to dash the dreams of any high school sweethearts out there, because for every rule there is an exception. There are definitely exceptions. I am just saying that in my case, I was too young to be involved in a relationship as serious as mine was. The only thing it did for me was force me to grow up a skeptic of genuine relationships.

I used to blow my ex up, begging for him to get back together with me whenever we would fight and break up. I would do anything to avoid being alone. First mistake. DO NOT BLOW HIM UP! I know, it's the most difficult thing to do... you want answers...and you want them NOW! But, the best thing you can do is give him space and allow yourself the time to think things over. Remember what I said earlier about getting as far away as possible from the habitual cycle? Distance allows you to think clearly and really weigh the pros and cons of your relationship. Independent thinking combined with the opinions and advice of your close friends and family are sometimes the best prescription. If he doesn't come crawling back after all, it's his loss... and quite possibly your win! If he does come back begging, at least you've had some time to really think about if this is something worth giving yet another shot.

At the end of the day, breaking up just means closing one chapter of your life and starting the next! Our "book of life" consists of many, many chapters. Unfortunately, not all end nicely. Just remember, God is the author and He has something better in mind for you when you are ready for it.

The last little group of advice I can give about dealing with a break up: Make sure you have a lot of ice cream (Ben & Jerry's preferably), great friends, and patience. Time heals all wounds. In time, your thoughts about him will calm down and you will feel more at peace about moving on. Every single romantic movie or song won't remind you of him forever... I promise. It took me a year to get over my first relationship! Being independent and figuratively falling in love with myself made me happy and at the end of the day, that is what helped me move on!

In the meantime, tell yourself that it's okay to be thinking about him often even when you try to fight it. It's only natural for us humans to overthink things and reflect on the past. The task is trying to realistically reflect on past relationships, rather than seeing them through rose-colored glasses. The good doesn't come without the bad and convincing yourself of the lie that you will never make quality memories again will only take you longer to get over a break up!

It helped me to make a pros and cons list of my ex-boyfriend. This allowed me to see that yes, there are a ton of things I adored about this person... but there were also a lot of huge red flags. This is something I recommend before jumping into a serious relationship as well to avoid an eventual crash and burn before you even take off!

Taking down photos of my ex and "unfollowing" his life was difficult, but it was also really therapeutic and necessary. Distance is your friend! It helps your heart feel like it's okay to start over and begin to allow yourself to feel those butterflies with someone new! Once you meet someone new, it will all make sense why it didn't work out with anyone else.

One last thing: The hardest thing for me is not bringing past insecurities into a new relationship. I am a very guarded person, so when I first meet someone I see potential in I start to back off immediately, thinking it might be too good to be true... There's gotta be something wrong with them right!? It's a work in progress for me. I am learning to be a little more open to allowing myself to get to know someone before I run. While I am constantly trying to improve myself and my mannerisms, I will also always stand by the statement that being slow to warm up is a sign of intelligence! For me, I believe trust has to be earned. I also believe it's okay to love someone and get your heart broken, it teaches you a lot about yourself. So...Embrace the heartbreak! You might not feel okay today, but with time you will be better than you started!

xoxo,

Haley