This January, it’s all about welcoming everything new with a bang. Preen is looking at the changing tides and how they sweep over us to reveal better stories and bigger adventures.
At some point in our lives we’re going to experience a breakup or two (or more), and believe me, it’s going to suck especially if you’ve been in a relatively long-term relationship with someone who has become a “daily routine” of sorts for you. Unless you’re still single and never had a boyfriend yet, then you are quite lucky not to have experienced something that’s as emotionally shitty.
I’m warning you now: It will be.
I myself experienced a bad breakup of my own almost three years ago(if you count getting broken up with under a waiting shed on Valentine’s Day as bad, that is) and it took time to figure out how to cope with this change. And I don’t mean just in terms of my relationship status, but figuring out how to be single again in general. Luckily, I managed after more than a year, thanks to some of my brutally honest friends (who I felt were thisclose to slapping me in the face to get over it).
But before anyone starts belting out Celine Dion’s “All By Myself” while getting wasted left and right and other stupid things you’ll soon regret, here are some ways you can cope with being single after a long, or even short-term, relationship:
#1 Pursue something you’ve never done before
When you’re in a relationship, admit it: you end up putting off some of the things you’ve always wanted to do because of the time and money we mostly want to spend with or on your significant other. Ideally, your partner shouldn’t be a hindrance to doing these kinds of things because they should be our own personal cheerleaders, but after a breakup, you’ll need all the productive distractions you can get.
A friend of mine, Victor, who was in a six-year relationship, told me that being involved in activities such as music, sports, traveling, even getting a Master’s degree can help with the process of starting over with your newly single life. “Striving to be happy, being preoccupied [with] more stimulating thoughts, and socializing with a lot of people helped me realize that there were a lot of important and fun things to do [as long as they’re not illegal or dangerous],” he said.
#2 Make up for neglected time
Your friends, and maybe even your family, are probably pissed at you for not making time for them while you were still in a relationship. (Note to couples: Please don’t do this.) They’re going to be by your side listening to you whine all day, ready with a box of Kleenex to wipe your snotty face, and their shirts ready to absorb a liter of mascara-stained tears. The least you could do is hang out with them from time to time. And hey, seeing different faces instead of staring blankly at a wall might help remove your fixation on that ex of yours.
#3 Don’t dwell
No matter what the circumstances were, you must move forward. You can’t keep entertaining the ghost/s of your past—you’re not Cristina Ricci in Casper, and I’m pretty sure your ghost ain’t friendly. Otherwise, you’ll never get out of your emotional rut until the next relationship you’re going to be in. As Victor said, “Everything is temporary…Don’t be so hard on yourself [and just] do what you need to do [to survive and move forward]. If you dwell too much on a mistake, the possibility for it to be fixed or be improved [later on] will [only] get blurrier.”
#4 It’s not the end of the world
Think about this: you managed being single for a good portion of your life, why think that ends now? Like I said earlier, there are loads of activities to do and opportunities to achieve. Don’t try to chug down a bottle of shampoo like Popoy’s (played by John Lloyd Cruz) friend in One More Chance(a scene that was a blatantly stolen plotline from early aughts film Down to You starring Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Julia Stiles) just because it’s over. Even worse, don’t force yourself into a relationship just to fill that ugly void your relationship left you with because you’re probably lacking in self-worth.
Another friend of mine, Marie, who lost her boyfriend to a heart attack while they were still together back in high school, took about five years before she entered a new relationship. “Sometimes there are some things that aren’t meant to stay, and sometimes the changes we don’t want are the changes we need to grow,” she reflects.
Also, heed what our resident everyman John Lloyd Cruzsaid at the end of that sceneabout losing people because the right one will come along someday. Until that day comes, you’re going to have more time to improve on things for yourself.