We all have that friend who can never seem to go more than 10 days without a love interest, yet every 3 or 4 weeks you find him in a puddle of tears, knee deep in chocolate pudding, clutching an old t-shirt while listening to “Your Love” by The Outfield.
“This was our song, man! She was the one!”
You force some expression resembling sympathy, but inside you’re smirking and shaking your head. Far too mature for that type of behavior, you’re secure in your singleness and prepared to handle whatever curve ball a relationship somewhere down the road might throw at you. (You probably read SingleRoots daily, too.)
Suddenly the planets align and without even searching, you find that rare, special person who makes you think, “Hmmm…there could be something here…” After a matter of a couple of months and an unfortunate turn of events, you wake up wearing the same sweat-stained undershirt 3 days in a row while maintaining a daily diet consisting of Rice Krispie treats, Flaming Hot Cheetos, and grape soda. You’re just hoping the inevitable indigestion will numb the growing pain pulsating from the hole where your heart once resided as it now sinks lower and lower into your small intestine.
“I MISS HER! She was the…”
And then it hits you. You’re that guy. Friends try to talk about everything from the weather to stocks to their new recipe for pot roasts and yet it always gets redirected to discussion of your ex. It all seemed so easy to get over when it was happening to everyone else but now that it’s up close and personal, it’s not so easy. For future reference, might I suggest some healthier strategies for when a relationship doesn’t go as planned:
1. Cry It Out
Shed some tears. Throw something. (Be selective.) Run to a mountain top, drop to your knees and scream out to the sky, “WHY?!?” Spend a day and vent. If you bottle it up, it will only hurt worse for longer.
2. Separate Yourself
Locking yourself in your room and staring at pictures of the ex on Facebook with Coldplay’s “Trouble” on repeat will not make you feel better. Make necessary social media adjustments and avoid calling, texting, or being around him or her for a while if possible. If you have to communicate with him or her, give it 24 hours or run it by a friend before you send something driven by emotion rather than wisdom.
3. Find a Filler
So there’s a temporary hole in your heart, now what? Booze and rebound relationships are popular alternatives but will inevitably leave an even bigger hole. Find positive ways to fill it. Whether it’s exercise, reading, writing, journaling, or just a good time with platonic friends, find consistent fulfilling activities to take your mind away from all the “what ifs” and your heart will begin to mend.
4. Choose Wise Counsel
Everybody has the friend who won’t shut up about his or her ex. It can be just as destructive for you as it is annoying for your friends. God’s love doesn’t change. Envelop yourself in that truth rather than moaning to everyone. Choose 1 or 2 close, wise friends or family members for support but don’t talk to everyone who will listen.
5. Learn Something
In the past, I have actually written out a list of things I learned from my relationships after they didn’t turn out the way I originally planned. Rather than focusing on “what if” or “why,” focus on what you have learned about yourself and the type of person you want to be with. Take it with you into the next relationship.
The emotions that that led you to purchase seven dozen roses and a singing telegram for your special someone are the same ones that are pumping through you while you contemplate sending a four page email. Slow down. Take a breath. Put down the pudding. Consult reason.
Everything is going to be okay.
*Photo credit: Please!Don’t Smile