Cuffing season is coming to an end and so are a lot of relationships. Some of y'all didn’t want to be lonely for the New Year, Valentine's Day etc. and are getting around the breaking up with people that you thought could have been special and folk you knew weren’t. Either way, breaking up with someone is never easy and still can hurt. As a sex and relationship therapist in the Washington D.C. metro area, I see lots of people who are in transition: breaking up, getting back together, tryna fix it, etc. For now, we focus on breaking up and how to get through.
Here are 3 tips if you are in the phase of “We Just Broke Up!”
It’s Okay to be sad. Please stop rushing. It can take a bunch of time to build a relationship and for some, it takes more time to figure out something is wrong. Why are we always in such a rush to be happy bad asses singing Sorry Not Sorry by Demi Lovato? Take your time to FEEL YOUR FEELINGS. Those emotions will change, vary, and decrease in intensity over time. And before you say that being in your feelings is somehow beneath you, I want to remind you the Lemonade was the album it was BECAUSE Beyonce went through her feelings, not around them. To do this properly, I usually suggest that my clients take a time out. This is a point in your day when you are allowed to feel and accept every emotion rolling through you. To cry, scream, and throw things (metaphorically--like a tantrum, and literally, like paper and pillows---don’t break nothing).
Cancel Social Media!!! This one seems easy but a lot of folk find this hard. You done broke up with someone and turn into an episode of Relationship CSI! What are you trying to find? What are you hoping to see? Chances are you want to know if they are already happy with someone else OR you are hoping they are as sad as you are to not be together anymore. Please, just STAHP! I know what I said and how I spelled it! Looking at them on social media almost always makes someone feel worse not better. If they have moved on and started being bunned up on their social media, you start feeling even more like poo and wondering if you ever meant anything to them. Don't check to see if they are on that Obama Glow Up! If they look like they are sad, you are likely to think its okay to reach out. For what? Closure? To get back together and repeat the same mistakes that made y'all walk away? I really am not sure why you are looking. BUT that’s not a question for me, that’s a question for you. What are you hoping to find by cyberstalking them on social media? What are you trying to see on the back end, if you have their passwords? Take a moment to check in with yourself.
Finally, the last tip: Come Back to You. You were part of a “we” for at least a little bit of time. Now is the time to come back to you. Who you are, what you like, what you want to do. No checking in necessary. Schedule time to hang with your friends, and actually go. I know that some of us introverts like invitations and like plans, but don't like to really go anywhere. Take yourself out to the movies and to dinner-- yes, I recommend dating yourself. This is your time to be alone again. To do what you want without compromise. Reconnect with self, friends and family. Now is your moment.
Obviously these tips are suggestions and can be hard without an accountability partner. BUT the next time someone comes around, you are gonna know yourself even better. AND hopefully because you would have gone through your feelings and really experienced them, and taken the time to come back to Y-O-U, you won't be holding on to fear and grudges with the next one. Don’t let your last relationship ruin you next relationship. Let’s get it together.
What are some of your tips for the folks who are breaking up?
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