While catching up with friends on Facebook recently, I stumbled upon a link someone shared on a friend’s wall. The said friend is going through a divorce, and this article came at the right time for several people I know, and I felt it was worth sharing.
Abigail Wick wrote a thoughtful, and incredibly helpful article on 10 Secrets to a Healthy Breakup. Further, while talking to a good friend recently, he said, “That’s a divorce. If it’s a happy fun go-time, you’re probably doing it wrong”. While this friend (hi, Ferrett!) hasn’t gone through a divorce, he has had his fair share of rough break ups (who hasn’t?) and knew his now-wife while she was dealing with her own divorce. Personally, I tend to put many breakups in the same category as divorces, for several reasons. So, while rarely are breakups easy, Wick’s article is a good reminder that you can still keep it healthy.
Wick’s first “secret” is to “write it down” – and I agree. For some people, it might be easier to write themselves a letter, and for others it might be a handy list. I know I’ve done this and kept the list on my phone in it’s notes section. There’s a reason (or reasons) why every breakup that I’ve been in happened, and while there may be many comfortable and nice things about that person and our relationship, it’s over and I personally need that reminding sometimes. Plus sometimes venting, even if it’s only to yourself, can be helpful and therapeutic. Depending on the breakup and its details, friends aren’t always the easiest or even the best to go to, so being able to have paper to turn to can help.
Wick’s second suggestion is to “get out of town”, and sometimes just a change of scenery can make a huge difference in your head space (sometimes in the middle of my day, just taking my lap top outside to work for a bit can help). Obviously not everyone can afford an overseas luxury trip for them and their best friend, but even staying over night somewhere or a road trip can be helpful, as long as you can save up a bit. Last summer, I drove about five hours to visit a friend and had a blast just sitting around and taking a day to visit an aquarium. If you do opt to road trip, might I suggest planning a good mix for your drive (or if you can do a cheap bus fare, for your bus trip)? I’m also a fan of sites such as Priceline and Kayak for seeking out travel deals (one such site helped make my recent trip to San Francisco much more affordable).
I do have some minor issues with this article – such as Wick assuming that only women who date men are reading this article (or maybe it’s just a generalization). I do think her suggestion to get a haircut can cause problems. Minor changes? Great! Get a trim, maybe add a color glaze, or heck, try a new shirt. However, I have been guilty of doing drastic changes while under the breakup fog (a major change caused me to assume that blonde works on me – turns out, it totally doesn’t. And it left my locks rather dry and damaged). When she mentions “nobody will complain” – um, do we know the same people? I don’t know. But I don’t know if I fully support her idea that in the post-breakup haze that you should drag your booty on into the gym or the yoga class – do what makes you happy. While I do feel good about myself when I’m in better shape, and I fully admit that being around an ex partner when I’m looking better than when I was with them gives me a nice little bounce to my step, I’d rather people work out because they want to.
In the end, a lot of breakups remind me of a lyric from one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands, “I’m not sorry I met you. I’m not sorry it’s over. I’m not sorry there’s nothing to save.” (Stars, “Your Ex-Lover is Dead”). While not every break up is going to be easy, or even amicable, I like articles like this if no other reason than they remind you that you’re not alone and you can get through this. There’s times in many breakups when I’ve sat there (potentially eating chocolate and weeping) and thought I’d never be in love again, or that I would never be happy again. Sometimes, though, it turns out that there is something better waiting around the next corner.
Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor.