Best Breakup Ever

Posted on in Healthy Living by April Hirschman

50 Ways to Get Over a Lover

How did I end up in front of a mirror sampling bridal dresses while single? It was my experiment to discover whether shopping for the iconic dress would remedy my breakup blues. It helped. I tried many things including floating in a sensory deprivation tank, vacationing in Bali, and nonstop crazy journaling. There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but are there 50 ways to get over a lover leaving you? There are.

White wedding dress

Many milestones in life celebrate union: first dates, moving in together, getting married, and having children. While weddings unite the community, most people scurry from the lovelorn. There are no sanctioned breakup ceremonies. The very things that lovers celebrate can cause heartache and longing for those without. When love is lost we feel lost—leaving us unexcited to celebrate Valentine’s Day or The Holidays. A wedding can make a heartbroken person feel ten times worse.

It’s important to find a way to commemorate the end of a relationship. You could tear a photo of you and your ex in half, take a dunk in the ocean, perform a grief circle ritual. The tactile, innocent, childlike part of yourself needs something tangible to let go. Not all our breakups are with lovers. Some are with friends, jobs, bosses, or family members.

Breakups can be especially hard on women because women are traditionally taught to link self-esteem with their relationship status. Sometimes when a first date starts well we find ourselves daydreaming about the wedding! This is crazy but it’s what we learn to do. Our culture overemphasizes being coupled and underemphasizes the gains of truly being ourselves again. Chances are that if the relationship ended there was a good reason—something of essence needed restoring. Now it’s time to reclaim your full self.

A relationship’s end can be the ultimate opportunity for spiritual growth if you can cultivate detachment and discover deeper alignment within yourself. When a girlfriend I was madly in love with broke up with me out of the clear blue I was crushed. Over time I learned to become less relationship focused. I began to do self-love mantras. I journaled in a healthy way about my emotions and learned to fall deeply in love with myself—the lover that will never abandon me. Through practicing self-awareness, discrimination, and conscious detachment I found self-love and stability in life.

Will I ever again have the crazy punch-drunk love I relished in my twenties and thirties? Who knows? But I know my self-esteem won’t fluctuate only to be crushed like autumn’s grapes. The harvest—of self-love—bestowed upon me is greater comfort. I am more thankful for what I experience in the oh-so essential now and am less fixated on the unknowable future.

In a breakup we grapple with losing the infinite prospects and fantasies of a conjugal future. This leaves us to build our future castles on our own solid ground. And yes, the protective moat may become a tad wider! Breakup is the time to do extreme self-care, to love yourself better then any other human possibly could. After my last painful breakup, I found that there were limited humorous books on the subject and even fewer that didn’t just involve straight couples’ divorces. So I wrote my own. When things fall apart, we reach for a fix to alleviate the pain. Here is a list of uplifting things to consider:

The Diary of You Keep a diary. Write all your thoughts, feelings, worries, and joys.

The Fever of Creation Find your art. Dive into an art project, gather with friends to make art, or join an art class.

The Geographic Cure Plan a killer solo travel or friend trip. Taking a journey gets you out of your routine and creates open space in your heart.

Go Bridal Dress Shopping (While Single). Either level with the store that it’s shopping therapy or make up a story that you are getting married. Be a princess for a day. Enjoy the glamor of your own beauty.

Float! Try a soothing float in a flotation pod. You float in warm womb-like water either silently in darkness or with soft light and music.

Make Your Breakup Playlist Choose epic self-love anthems like “The Greatest Love of All,” “My Way,” and “I Touch Myself.”

Make a Happy Basket Fill a basket with cards from friends and family, candles, herbal tea bags, mementos, incense/sage, etc. Pull it out any time you get the blues.

Tear a Picture in Half Tear a picture of you and your ex in half. Discard the half with your ex and keep the half that’s you somewhere you can view it. This gives you a tactile experience of letting go.

I didn’t buy that dress at the bridal shop but trying it on felt fantastic. I loved being princess for a day. Then I came home to myself. You don’t need 50 ways to get over a life transition. But I hope you will try one or two from the above list. The best is yet to come.

April Hirschman is a life coach and the author of Best Breakup Ever! Bouncing Back from Your Breakup with Humor and Dignity. Available on Amazon and in some independent bookstores.

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