How you handle a break-up is testimony about your true character.
We're all familiar with the song "Love Don't Live Here Anymore." The lyrics tell us that there's a vacancy because love has left. We often don't fall out of love so much as get pushed out, evicted, or asked to leave in not so many words.
Sometimes there aren't words at all; just silence or subtle differences in the way he used to touch you, talk to you and make you feel. The love-leaving feeling is just that: a feeling. A knowing in the heart that the end stages are near.
It would be nice if there were a hospice worker and pamphlet to guide you through this end journey and show you the death rattle signs. The thing is, we see the signs but we do a denial dance hoping they will dissipate so we can live in the love longer.
But if we listen to our gift of fear and intuitive leads, we truly know that eviction is imminent. How we handle a break-up is a testimony about one's character.
It's important that when being evicted from love and a relationship, you do so with grace and trust. Trust that it isn't the right fit for you.
Yes, it was right for a while and you may think that you can still make it right — that you can change, or be the way you used to be, or be a new way he wants you to be, or just hold him so tight that he can't leave, which is akin to imprisonment. And we all know that's not love so much as felony kidnapping.
You need courage on both sides of a break-up. The courage to see another day and the courage to stay away from your ex.
Music has been proven to help people deal with illness. I know cancer patients who have playlists for chemo. Music can also help you through a break-up. Make yourself a break-up play list.
Miranda Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart" is the battle hymn of the republic for jilted ladies. If love knocks you off your feet, Kelly Clarkson has fight songs to get you back into the game: "Stronger" and "Since U Been Gone." Queen Bey will embolden and empower you with her lyrics and her dancing.
Breaking up is sh*tty and you need a village of friends to get you through. The pain will be different from day to day.
It's the moments after an earthquake that are the scariest and most fragile. But months later, after the rebuilding has begun, the shock of the event rests easier inside of us and life has continued.
And somewhere around the fifth month, the pain of those first post-love eviction days will be a distant memory. You will fall in love again and you may even get evicted from love again, but the cost benefit analysis will always prove it's a risk worth taking.
It's the ultimate, singular human experience that makes us feel alive and wanted. When one is fully present in the love, it is EVERYTHING.
So if you've been evicted from love, gracefully step down as Miss America does every year. Wave goodbye, shed a few tears, and trust and believe that this won't be the last time you wear the crown. Now there is a vacancy, but believe that your heart will be filled again.
Listen to your playlist, learn from your mistakes, and dare to love again. Become your own encourager in dating and life. Stay strong and stay away from your ex to avoid a backsliding break-up.
In those hours, days and weeks following the end of a relationship, both parties are vulnerable and weak. Like newly sober addicts who long for their drug, people who get dumped long for one last fix with their ex.
I'm talking break-up sex. I know many people who partake in it as a means to cut the cord. Now, that doesn't make any sense. If you think about it practically speaking, how can you cut the cord when it's inserted in you again?
I advise against break-up sex. I'm not sitting in judgment; it happens. But sex with the ex is a gateway drug that leads you back into the throws of a bad or mediocre relationship.
T.I. raps so eloquently in "No Mediocre." Well, we shouldn't want mediocre, either. None of us should want a mediocre anything, especially love. Our love goals should be those Stevie Wonder sings about. Break-up sex just leads to compromise.
If you broke up with your man because he couldn't commit, but now find yourself having sex with him again and in a quasi-relationship, you have compromised. You convince yourself that you don't want a ring anymore, but that's a lie. Do not go down the break-up sex road. Phone a friend or call a lifeline if you need help resisting.
The thing about break-up sex is that it's usually secret. We have no real accountability with break-up behavior. Unlike when you leave a job, there is no exit interview to analyze the relationship with a neutral third party who can shed some light on why you have to uncouple and find something new. Unless you have a therapist, you're left analyzing with girlfriends, or just mulling it over in your head a million times.
Here's my remedy for that: Imagine your relationship exit interview with Charlie Rose, or a Charlie Rose-like anchor. Charlie Rose will analyze your dating career like he would a movie or an international crisis. He'll ask the tough questions and expose the ugly underbelly to the relationship and why leaving is the only solution.
Once you've gone through the analytics and closed the door on that chapter of your life and love remember to keep your heart open.
An excerpt from Get Your Butt Off My Couch (And Your Hand Outta My Wallet) by Sonja Warfield, available on Amazon.
This article was originally published at Excerpt from 'Get Your Butt Off My Couch (And Your Hand Outta My Wallet)'. Reprinted with permission from the author.