This Is How You Avoid Being Bitter After A Break Up
They say the only way out of a bad relationship is to go all the way through it. But haven’t you been through enough already? You might have gotten that left-field text from your significant other’s significant other, been greeted with the “who’s this b*tch?” and warped into a classic episode of Cheater’s or, even worse, you have the STD that ushered in flaming clouds, turning your Disney fairytale into a nightmare.
If this applies to you, the process of coming out of a bad relationship without having a general scorn for the opposite sex might be easier said than done. And even if none if the above applies to you, your heartbreak still deserves recognition and you owe it to yourself to minimize the unnecessary baggage and move on with your life.
Break-ups are a hard pill to swallow, words get stuck in your throat and your chest can feel as if it’s ready to collapse. Take the time to find your breath. Silence your thoughts. Inhale. Then exhale. Emotions can make you erratic and irrational and slow breathing will keep you from acting on impulse or out of character. Stay composed and count to 10. When you find yourself getting teary-eyed in public spaces or contemplating busting the windows out of his car, take a few seconds and breathe through it.
Look at it as an experience
There’s no such thing as wasted time. Play Erykah Badu’s “Bag Lady” and get your life. This is the perfect time to reevaluate where you are spiritually, physically and emotionally. Ask yourself these questions: What did I take from this experience that I can stand to apply in all other areas of my life? How did this experience help me grow? Am I open to new experiences as a result of this relationship? We should always be pushing forward, embracing the flow of life and appreciating our obstacles. Obstacles are opportunities to grow stronger and become wiser.
Reminisce on the good times
No matter what the outcome, try and find the good in the situation. At some point, you shared something special with this person. Think about the times you were the happiest, those awkward moments that make you smile when you think about them. Don’t get caught up in the anger or resentment, it’ll only fuel hatred and bitterness.
Recognize that you might’ve ignored the signs
But be careful not to romanticize the shortcomings that your ex had. We all have them. And everything isn’t for everybody. You tried it out, you live and you learn. The signs are always there! But when you want something bad enough, you compromise your needs and forego good judgment. Being honest with yourself about your role and taking responsibility for your part of the problem is also an important part of moving on.
Accept that it wasn’t meant to be
Break-ups happen and people switch up every day. It’s OK. We all experience pain, you’re human. But don’t throw yourself a pity party, giving someone else power over you. Recognize what it is that caused this relationship not to work out and make an effort to not repeat that behavior in your future relationships.
When you’re ready, let go
People grow and change. Some don’t, but that’s not your concern. It’s your responsibility to grow and change for you. Again, life is just a series of ups and downs and obstacles put in your path for you to overcome. When you’re truly ready to let go and progress, anger and resentment will melt away. You’ll evolve. A simple change in perspective can make this possible. Instead of thinking of the break-up as something someone did to you, look at it as something they did for you.
…yourself and then your ex, before the apology comes (if it ever does).
Know your worth
This is the perfect opportunity to do you. Get back to loving yourself, exclusively. What are those qualities that you love about yourself? We could always be growing spiritually, evolving mentally and pushing ourselves physically. This is how you increase your worth — by taking care of yourself. Glo up.
Wish your ex all the best, and genuinely mean it
It might be hard to do at first, but trust me, you’ll feel better about it later. Wish your ex the best because they deserve it, and so do you. Hope that they’re happy and working through their issues the same way you are. That’s how people grow and become cordial in public settings, and avoid serial dating mutual friends or trying to put a smack down on their ex-lover’s new bae.
Mind your business
Don’t check his/her Facebook relationship status once you call it quits. Don’t stalk their Snapchat or Instagram to see where they’re hanging out or if it’s close enough to wander in, coincidentally. Focus on you and what you’re doing, should be doing, or could be doing that is no way concerning yourself with your now past-lover. Take on a new project or hobby. Anything to keep you from becoming an obsessive wreck.
Some relationships can leave you feeling like you have nothing else to offer. But that’s sonot true. Find ways to be generous. Try donating all of your ex’s clothes and gifts to the less fortunate or volunteer with your church or a local outreach group. These things will make you feel like you’re serving a higher good. It’s kind of hard to be in a funk once you realize you have so much to be grateful for.
It’s a process
You’ll have your pits and peaks. One day you’ll be totally fine, totally open to love, and accepting of the flow of life. And other days, it’ll be a lot of crying, ice cream, possibly wine and alone time. Give yourself the time you need to navigate through your emotions and recover fully.
This article was originally written for Blavity.com by DeJanae Evins.