A Guide To Breaking Up


I've broken up with a lot of different things this year: the types of men I don't want to date anymore (GTFO), old ideas that overstayed their welcome, and people and places I didn't need to be around. Some of these things broke up with me too.

Breakups SUCK, but they don't have to. Below is a guide to breaking up and how to have a good time while you're at it.

Make a playlist.
I don't care if you're not a music person, you need music. It will be your lifeline during a breakup and the thing that helps you start to feel everything you need to feel. Do it right now. Get on Spotify or Apple Music or Tidal and create a list of music with everything from "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division to "I Feel It All" by Feist. This playlist will be the thing that defines how you feel at this moment and the thing that guides you to how you will feel later. So, make sure to include "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen.

Get a haircut.
People make fun of breakup hair, but they aren't the ones in the middle of unexpected heartbreak or change. If you don't change something up about your appearance you'll go crazy. You need to look BOMB because you are in fact winning even though you feel like you aren't. Not interested in cutting off your hair? Get a new t-shirt that's the only thing you wear until you've mourned your loss. Find a pair of shoes that make you feel "Bad Girl" by M.I.A. every time you walk into a room. Buy a pink wig and wear it for a week straight. A friend of mine did that once and I still think it's genius. Whatever you do, make sure you look good. 

Binge it up.
Eat cookie dough. Find a TV show with a Sam and Dianne dynamic to remind you love is out there. Watch movies that make you cry. Drink bourbon chocolate milkshakes for breakfast. Read YA novels until you're brain hurts. Make voodoo doll cookies of your ex while you drink whiskey. Any kind of suppressed feeling is never good, so let yourself off the hook for a while to eat, drink and watch everything. Don't shy away from feeling sorry for yourself, just have a little fun while doing it.

But, also eat some kale and go for a run.
Make sure to take care of yourself too. It's easy to think you don't matter during any kind of breakup, layoff or change. Drink some green juice, go for a run while the sun is out and remember that your heart beats for reasons other than dating or work or whatever. You matter. Get your blood pumping to remind you of that.

Have plans.
After you've binged it up at home, have plans to go out. Sitting at home and feeling sad has it's place, but so does hanging out with the entire planet. Grab drinks with co-workers. See all your friends in one weekend. Go to the movies with someone you haven't seen in a while. Fill up every night on your calendar. Not all the time, but some of the time. This is your first step towards remembering that you can choose a new life even if this breakup wasn't something you chose.

Meet new people.
Now is the time to meet anyone and everyone. You don't have to become best friends with everyone, just start saying hey. That's all you have to do. The more new people in your life in any capacity, the more new things you can learn and times of change are times to learn. Plus the hot goss in your life will no longer be that you got dumped, it will now be that you know a lot of new people. And that will make your ex jealous. And you need to make you ex jealous at some point.

For the time being, get rid of all the things that remind you of your ex-love/job/friend/whatever. You need to get in a new head space and that's hard to do when you're surrounded by everything that reminds you of the person that is no longer in your life. Start cleaning out your physical and metaphorical closets. Read new books to give you new things to think about. Take a box of old clothes to Goodwill. Reorganize your coffee table. You can't make room in your life for new, better things when junk is still around. Get rid of that shit.

Don't stalk your ex.
Stop looking at your ex's Instagram. And Facebook. And whatever else they're on. Unfollow them. You have a new social (media) life to start living and you can't do that when you're reminded every 10 seconds of what your ex is busy doing without you. The last thing you need to do to your broken heart is torture it. Stop looking at their feed and start pretending your ex got fat and that they aren't dating a new hottie. Then, go live your life of things you're busy doing without them.

Get out of town.
Going somewhere new reminds you there's more out there than you and your breakup. Take a day trip, weekend trip or entire month sabbatical. It doesn't have to be expensive, it just has to be an experience that allows you to get away from everything and decompress. 

Have sex.
Have ALL the sex. Have sex with yourself. Have sex with a stranger. Have sex with one person. Have sex with every person. Have sex with the amount of people that is the appropriate amount of people for you to have sex with, but for the love of god use a condom. Your sexual health is vital and condoms may be uncomfortable, but so is syphilis. Anyone that doesn't want to use a condom either wants to get a stranger pregnant or doesn't care about others enough to elevate sexual health while having a good time. Either way, those idiots don't deserve to be in your bed/bod. Now, get out there and get some.

Or don't.
Let's be real, you don't have to jump in bed to have a proper breakup. Sex isn't required reading. Maybe you need the equally sacred act of not sleeping with people. You do you. (Or don't.)

Do something new.
I usually see people take the "try something new" track to mean take a cooking class which is so dumb because you could be doing anything else. Like rock climbing. Or longboarding. Or making small batch ice cream. Whatever you do may not last, but let it not last. Have something you do that's new and fun to help take your mind off things.

On to the next one.
We get stuck on the idea of loving only one person. I don't know where this started or why it's the thing that often drives us, but I do know there are a lot of people out there to love. My friend Nikki had a baby recently and all I can think when I see pictures of this new friend addition is that this little lady is surrounded by love. So are Nikki and her husband Derek and their family and friends. More people means more opportunities to love, always. You have a lot of people to love in your life so don't sell yourself short by thinking that you only need to give love to a person you're dating. Give love to everyone. Then move onto the next one because there are lots of them out there.