It sucks to watch the whole world celebrate love when you’re still in a phase of mourning your last relationship. More than ever it’s easy to feel like some pathetic lost soul who is the only person in the world too broken to be in a relationship. It’s not true! Mourning the loss of a breakup means that you are willing to take advantage of romantic opportunities when they come your way. Valentine’s is just another day and if the timing doesn’t work for you this year, you will have many more chances to have the classic lover’s valentine’s of your dreams. Luckily, I’ve just written a gentle guided journal for getting over breakups (and it comes in this cute Valentine’s gift set with a candle, crystal, and sage) so in the meantime, I can give you a few methods for de-emphasizing your ex and feeling good about your fav long term partner (yourself):
Feel your feelings.
The most important thing to remember about getting over a breakup is that the only way to get rid of your feelings for your ex is to feel them. The way out is through. One method I have found particularly helpful to get it all out is to keep a tab open on my computer for a google doc that’s a “letter” to my ex. You can set an intention to actually send something or just to experience a catharsis, but leave it open and keep adding to it for at least a week. You want to have time to remember everything they did that makes you feel any strong emotion whether its heartache, pain, rejection, anger, fear, jealousy, or even regret. Try to say everything that pops into your head and don’t worry about editing it to make it sound better or make more sense. The purpose here isn’t to be perfect, it’s to be thorough and give yourself time and space to work through your emotions.
Remember your values.
One way to get context on your breakup is to think about your values and what you want in your ideal healthy relationship. No matter how good your ex was, no relationship is perfect. This is a great time to think about how you can check for red flags on the next person and avoid the same pitfall. This will also help you think clearly about why you are separating from your ex. It will help drill into your head that they are fallible and moving on from them is the best thing you can do. Your ex is not a mythological being who is the only romantic partner you can be happy with. Think about all your historical crushes, real and fictional. What did you love about them? Make a list and contrast it with another list of things you didn’t like about your most recent ex (and big things that stick out from other past loves). Use this to guide your thinking about what kind of person you want, and how they look different than your ex.
Remember that you have a 100% success rate of getting over breakups.
All you have to do is breathe, cry, and make it until tomorrow. You will feel better eventually and it will happen all on it’s own, even if you don’t think positive or try to do anything productive to help get through your breakup. No matter what, each day you are getting closer to being able to think about your ex without any particular feeling floating to the surface while you do it.
Try not to be frustrated with yourself for taking the time you need to take.
There is no correct timeline for getting over a breakup. In fact, much of the hurt from a breakup comes from not “measuring up” to how quickly you feel you should be able to get over your breakup. If you are beating yourself up because you think you should be over it by now, take this opportunity to take a few deep breaths and forgive yourself for having normal human emotions.
Assign one of your friends to be in charge of social media stalking if you can’t stay away on your own.
Please, please, please don’t spend your night getting drunk and stalking your exes on social media. Sometimes, there is something to be gained by stalking, but this is definitely not the time to do something so high stakes. You run the risk of stumbling across a lovey message to someone new or worse — an engagement announcement. If you can’t live without seeing what your ex is up to, ask a friend to keep tabs on them. You can set a guide for what information you’d like to know, and what you don’t want to know. Then you can get a download from your friend after the V-day weekend is over and your emotions aren’t ramped up.
Write it out.
Using a guided journal to help get over your breakup has a few main advantages: it gives you something to occupy your time and it puts someone else in charge. You can sit back and be coddled as someone else slowly, gently guides you through a daily practice. You’ll also have something active to do when you’re feeling restless or tempted to send a risky text to your ex. Knowing that every day you have something active and within your control you can do to get a little bit closer to feeling freedom from your ex can make your post-breakup existence feel manageable.
You can always use a scrap of paper and pen to journal, but a guided one means that someone else has thought through the process and created something that’s meant to help you and remind you that you aren’t alone. Everyone struggles with breakups, everyone thinks they are uniquely bad at some aspect of breakup up. Having some context to remember you aren’t alone and that your feelings are valid and normal will help you keep moving forward.
Remember that it’s just a day.
The biggest fans of Valentine’s day are all the people who make money off of it: jewelry companies, restaurants, people who make cheap tchotchkes for drugstores… but it really is just another day. It doesn’t say anything about your value as a person if you have a partner or are single on this day. People with partners are also being set up to feel let down unless their partner spends a bunch of money on them, that’s the design. Remember to resist the idea of a perfect Valentine’s day and lean into thinking about what kind of (free) activities you can do to celebrate love of all kinds. Make a list of things you love about yourself. Write a few nice notes to your best friends. Just like having a boyfriend or girlfriend won’t suddenly make your Valentine’s perfect, being single doesn’t mean your day has to suck.
If you wish you had a trust friend to hold your hand and walk you through your breakup without getting annoyed, try my gentle, guided journal for getting over anyone. It’s full of short daily practices you can use to move on, even when you feel like dragging your feet. It’s available on Shop Catalog here as a limited gift set with a candle, crystal, and sage.