“I’m thinking about it, let it go, let it go, it’ll all fix itself. I’m thinking about it…” The chorus to one of my favorite songs, “Thinking About It” by Nathan Goshen, holds one of the most important messages of all times.
In life and in love, we often unravel in a downward spiral when we feel like we’ve lost. In life and in love, we often feel like we’ve lost. I’ve been around a lot of newly single friends lately. Some of them are heartbroken. Some are so empowered and ready to move on. Some, like me, don’t really know where their heads and hearts are at. Each breakup is a little different from the next, but nonetheless we are all in the same boat. We are all asking the same question: What now?
I remember giving a new friend some advice a few days ago. What I said exactly, I’m not quite sure. To put it in context, I was about six drinks deep within two hours at this point. However, I do remember the gist of it, which has inspired me to create the Ten Commandments of handling a breakup. Buckle up. It’s about to get real.
- You yourself are the only person you’re allowed to be obsessed with. Never love someone so much that you worship him/her, are obsessed with him/her, or forgo your well-being for him/her. That is the biggest red flag signaling toxicity. Let it go.
- You are not allowed to make excuses for you or your ex. I’m a firm believer that every relationship that ends falls apart because of both parties involved. Unless one person very blatantly ruined a relationship to the point that there is no argument that it is that person’s fault, it’s usually always a combination of both people’s actions or words that lead to a breakup. Regardless, you are not allowed to excuse any of those actions. It doesn’t if the circumstances or situations made the actions or breakup itself “acceptable,” you cannot excuse them or yourself if it was not acceptable. If something was shady, it be shady. End of story. The only way to move forward is to take everything for what it is, learn the lessons, and say Bye Felicia.
- You are not allowed to blame yourself. On the flip side of the previous Commandment, you cannot blame yourself for how things end. Things end for a very good reason, a reason which sometimes takes years or a whole lifetime to fully understand and see. It’s ok to admit you played a big role in how things transpired, but you have to let it go and move forward. Like I said, consider it as an experience with lessons learned.
- You can take as much time as you need. There is a big difference between getting over something and moving on. Getting over something is understanding the situation and letting it go. Moving on comes after you actually let go and no longer are overcome by emotions when you’re triggered. Don’t ever let someone tell you that you need to just “move on already.” Everyone processes on their own clock. However, this does not mean you get to pine and let your thoughts constantly linger around the breakup. That’s unhealthy. This just simply means you don’t need to immediately dive into a new relationship; you can dive whenever you’re ready even if it takes years. It’s ok to always love someone. It’s ok to fall in love with someone else when the time comes.
- No matter what, always take the high road. I can’t tell you how important this Commandment is. You can be upset, angry, frustrated, and hurt, but you absolutely cannot lash out at the other person. No matter what this person has done to you, things only take a turn for the worse when you react immaturely, overly emotionally, or aggressively. If your ex is out to maliciously hurt you, protect yourself and defend yourself. Do not fight back. I know it’s tempting. I’ve spent nights at bars trying to make sure there was always an empty cup in my hand so I didn’t punch a certain someone or throw a drink at a certain someone. I’ve felt targeted. I’ve felt disrespected. But no matter what I want to say or do, nothing feels better than taking the high road and letting karma do its thing. Trust me, you’ll earn so much more respect if you just turn away and continue walking. Let the ex be the childish one. Don’t give anyone anything negative to say about you by lashing back. After all, you can’t play a game if there’s only one player.
- Keep it confidential. I know that I’ve broken this Commandment many times. When you’re upset and mourning a loss, you can’t help but let it all out to your friends. You need support. It’s totally normal. But at the same time, watch who you talk to and where you talk to them. Eyes and ears are everywhere. I mean everywhere. I know because I’ve been them before. You’d be surprised as to what people see and hear when you don’t think they do. By keeping the details of your past relationship and breakup between you and your select support system, you deal with less rumors, gossip, and overall bullshit. Hoes ain’t loyal, fam.
- Don’t try to hurt your ex back. No sleeping with his best friends. No malicious sabotage. No social media exploits. Unless this person is a big fat cheater (which in my opinion, means he deserves all the public humiliation because that ain’t cute), don’t be petty. Trying to go out of your way to hurt people back is just as bad as them hurting you in the first place.
- Don’t plan for a future with your ex. Self-explanatory. Why do that to yourself? If it’s mean to be, it will absolutely be. There is a reason a break needed to happen. Let it happen. Planning a future is inhibiting growth on both sides.
- Don’t immediately jump back into the game. Why do people think sleeping around or serial dating or whining all day for the heavens to give them a new S.O. helps? Take this time to be by yourself. Try something new! Do something for you! Who are you to try and throw your love through every open door when you don’t even love yourself as much? When you are confident and practice self-love, you will radiate and be the best possible version of yourself. That alone will be so attractive that you will not know what to do with all your suitors. Get to where you need to be and your next relationship will follow accordingly.
- Don’t change who you are. Tweak some flaws, of course. Just don’t change who you are. Post breakup haircuts or piercings or tattoos or wardrobe changes can be fun and refreshing. But they cannot change who you are. If you really enjoy a new style and new look, go for it. However, don’t do something drastic that your ex loves or hates just so you can lash out or because you want to get rid of your old self. That old self is beautiful. Someone was just not able to hold onto it. Don’t give anyone the power to change who you are.
There are times when I look back and feel like I wasted so much time on people. I know that’s not true. Maybe I wasted a lot of extra energy, but I didn’t waste my time learning valuable things about people and myself. If you feel like you’ve wasted a lot of time on an ex, don’t beat yourself up for it. Every person that we come across has given us something and taken something. They help us grow. They make us who we are today.
Mes chéries, love is a mystery. Life is an adventure. Don’t let mystery derail you from getting to your next destination.