Three little words could be what's keeping you from moving on.
Surviving a breakup can be an arduous task. It takes resilience, optimism, and time. Of course, the latter is the thing that is the trickiest — it’s the one thing we can’t control. If we could, we’d all still be in our twenties with six-pack abs and wrinkle-free skin. And we’d also probably change it so that the last two minutes of an NFL game didn’t actually last 16 and a half hours.
The importance of time can’t really be understated when it comes to surviving a breakup. We wake up each morning to find our heart still hurts until that one day when we realize it hurts a little bit less. We desire to simply skip to that part — fast forward through the heartache — but we have yet to find a way.
Still, while time may not be something we can control, avoiding three words can make time — and the recovery process — pass a little bit faster, making the concept of surviving a breakup a little more doable.
Surviving a Breakup: Ditch this Diction
The first word worthy of omitting is the word “if.” In regards to gaining closure, “if” may be the most dangerous word in the English language. This is largely because asking yourself “if” keeps you in the past, stunting your ability to move onto the future.
Surviving a breakup isn’t the only time we use this word; it’s human nature to use it whenever tragedy strikes. We wonder “What if I hadn’t been on the road at that very moment?”; “What if our loved one had never smoked?”; “What if I hadn’t ever started drinking?.” We use it to imagine a more pleasant future, which does us no favors: it merely makes us long for what could have been instead of dealing with what is. And, quite frankly, that’s enough to bring even the strongest of us to our knees: there just might be a reason “if” is found near “insane” in the dictionary.
The second word you should remove when surviving a breakup is the word “why.” Like “if,” “why” also keeps you focused on what happened and prevents you from moving on. It’s natural to ask “why” at first — most people want to know why a relationship ended. And, knowing this can actually better prepare you for future relationships. But, obsessing over the word “why” isn’t healthy nor conducive to survival.
The exception to this may be when trying to get an ex back: then the word “why” can be your ally rather than your enemy. Asking what went wrong and why your relationship failed can help you figure out what part you played and what flaw you need to fix. Still, asking “why” for too long can leave you stuck in the cause of the problem, instead of the solution.
The final word worth omitting from the Surviving a Breakup Handbook is the word “maybe.” The reason “maybe” is dangerous is because it is dripping with inaction. In fact, people use this word all the time to pose things they’ll never actually do: maybe I’ll start working out, maybe I’ll quit drinking so much, maybe I’ll start a diet on Monday cause people are physically unable to start a diet any other day than Monday.
When you are dealing with a breakup, focusing on the “maybes” are a good way to keep you stuck in your rut. So, instead of saying “maybe I’ll do this" or "maybe I’ll do that," be like a Nike slogan and Just Do It. There’s should be no maybes about it.
To learn more about surviving a breakup, click here.