Breaking up is hard to do, and in certain cases, not going back is even harder.
While loneliness and the initial shock that comes with suddenly flying solo can sometimes work to lure you back into a relationship that has proven itself unsuitable, the reality is that there are far healthier ways to access a second chance than to rewind old romances.
1. Got something to say? Write on.
I know it sounds a little high school, but I can tell you from firsthand experience that keeping a diary was one of the best things I ever did for myself. Not only was I able to share everything I felt without the fear of judgment, but my scribbles offered me a real time reference to facts that counteracted those memories that were basking in the glow of my nostalgic recreations.
While lovely and fashionable, rose colored glasses can't conceal the truth staring back at you from the page.
2. Get the hell out of there.
It sounds like the opening of a cliched rom-com but hear me out: getting away from the locations that you "shared" with your guy and exploring a new place solo or with a friend is good idea. Not only is it a great way to unwind, but you'll have plenty of proof that the world is a much bigger place than it seems when you're falling down the break up rabbit hole.
3. Do you for awhile.
Some people would call it selfish, but I refuse to bow down to the idea that focusing on yourself is a bad thing, especially when flying solo. Let's assume you'll meet someone new in awhile (because you will). You won't always have the opportunity to indulge your passions and whims with no explanation, compromise or guilt.
So, do your thing! Spend your Sundays exploring local exhibitions, host picnics with your gay bae, or spend all of your splurge money on something ridiculous without having to hear a word about it. Basically, do whatever the hell you want.
4. Go see a professional.
Not because you're "crazy" or "desperate" or "losing it," but because breakups are really friggen hard and super-confusing. And if you want to go back to someone who is clearly not right for you, it's worth it to find out why you're willing to sell yourself out like that.
5. Commit to getting healthy.
OK, you could indulge in too much wine, down ice cream, sleep with your playboy friend and/or party every night and lose sleep, but that's not going to do much to serve you in the long run. Consider this that moment in your life movie where the music starts and you get your proverbial sh*t together. Bring on the booty barre, hot yoga, meditation, salsa lessons and green juice.
6. Scale down and let it go.
Instead of filling your days in an attempt to "keep busy," practice a few softer methods of relaxation such as mediation and yoga or even just literally "shaking it off." Use this time to reconnect with yourself, learn how to breathe and just be again.
7. Identify patterns in your past relationships.
We are not suggesting he's a bad guy, as some people just aren't right for each other, but if he is wrong for you and you're aching to go back, there's a reason that stems beyond loving him. Write down the similarities in all of your past relationships and boyfriends. Be prepared to have a major wake-up call.
8. Start working on that bucket list.
Whether you have always wanted to see Morocco, get your pilot license or enroll in an art class, there is no time like the present to start crossing off your dream list. You have one life and you're living in real time. Get to it!
9. Rebuild your life with you front and center.
One of the many reasons breakups are so challenging is because so many of us begin to attach our identity to our role in the relationship. Moving from "we" to "me" isn't always easy, even when you want to. It's time to put yourself front and center and decide where you want to go from here.
Maybe you want to do all of the things you put on hold because he wasn't into it. Maybe you want to paint more. Maybe you want to sell everything and move to London, or maybe you simply want to watch The Voice, order Seamless and not have anyone talk over Adam Levine.
10. Be open to new things.
When you come to the end of a relationship, it's easy to close off and make hyperbolic statements that reinforce a false idea that you will "never" meet someone else or that you will "always" be alone. Take it day-by-day and remember that life doesn't work that way. Definitive statements are based on fear, not fact.