No beating around the bush here: Breakups Suck. They are terrible when you’re 16 and terrible at 26. I’ve found myself somewhere in the middle of that spectrum: 22 years old and newly single. After giving myself some time to wallow and cry and eat chocolate, I’ve realized that I could have used a guidebook on how to handle all these mood swings.So I wrote one myself based on all the things I tried that just DON’T work (mostly wallowing and especially lots of chocolate).
Sometimes you just have to learn the hard way, but my hope is, if you find yourself in a similar situation, you can learn from some of my mistakes!
So here we go…. HOW NOT TO USE YOUR BREAK-UP:
#1. Don’t Be Plastic
“Oh no, you guys broke up? I’m so sorry. How are you?” asked a close friend of mine….
“Oh you know, I’m actually doing fine, surprisingly enough.” I replied with a smile.
“Yeah, you look it!”
…And just like that, the conversation ended. I went home feeling even more alone, because the truth was I felt NOWHERE close to fine! Me? FINE?? No way!
Of course, you may be blessed with friends who can see through your façade, but still, it doesn’t hurt to help them out and be honest with them. Here’s a good tip: take the word “FINE” out of your Vocabulary! It’s okay to be vulnerable sometimes.
#2. Don’t Send Out A Newsletter
The truth is that once you decide to venture out into society, you are going to have to answer some awkward questions. They include:
“How’s your beau?”
“I saw your boyfriend today! He is so funny!”
“So when are you guys getting married?”
Be prepared to respond, but you don’t need to tell everyone everything.
Pick and choose the people closest to you to tell the details, and then don’t overshare with everyone else. Trust me, it won’t make you feel better and venting to everybody will only fuel your pain.
#3. Don’t Skip Your Shower
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is simply take a shower and put on some mascara. It does wonders. Don’t believe me? Try it the next time you’re feeling depressed.
#4. Don’t choose Gossip Girl over God
What you choose to consume during your breakup time is going to dictate everything. My hurt feelings turned into a permanent rain cloud when I decided to numb myself with trashy TV. I spent days watching an entire season of Gossip Girl – what was I thinking??? This left me feeling inadequate, unsatisfied, and really depressed.
One day I was scrolling through Twitter and I read a verse someone posted. Immediately, I felt like someone had breathed life into me. This didn’t make everything magically okay, but believe me when I say there is a stark contrast between the draining-effects of pop-culture and the life-giving hope from Scripture. Please take my advice and do not sedate yourself with lifeless entertainment, but choose life-giving truth instead.
#5. Don’t Be a Couch Potato
To quote the famous theologian Elle Woods of Legally Blonde,
“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t!”
Moral of the story: Put on your sneakers and go for a walk. Take a Zumba class. Do some yoga, or ANYTHING that will get you out of the house (or in my case, out of bed). God created our bodies to MOVE, and created them to react to exercise. Honor God and allow Him to put some hope in your life by breathing some fresh air and getting some blood pumping through that heart of yours. You’ll soon find it won’t feel broken when you’re sweating on the treadmill.
#6. Don’t Tell God What To Do
“Well God, I’ll be single for a year and a half and then I’ll start dating someone and then we’ll get married when I’m 25 so that I can start having kids no later than 28. You got that?”
Am I the only girl who tries to have this conversation with God? It’s hard dealing with the raw uncertainties of changed plans, failed relationships, an unknown future. But we don’t have to explain our plans to God – He already has magnificent plans for US!
So instead of dictating, let’s try listening. Instead of demanding an answer or explanation, try to just enjoy His presence. God is with you in this time (and all the time), and just like a Father wants to give gifts to His children, so He wants to lavish His love upon us. It’s hard to be still and try to accept His peace, but I can assure you if you keep your focus on seeking God’s face, the rest of it will fall in line in the future. You’ll see.