My musician friend asked me about my experiences going through a break-up. I sent him a numbered list.
Recently, a musician friend of mine went through a break-up with his long-time girlfriend. This, he bemoaned, was his first time ending something in his life that had lasted for years.
In a manner that typifies our relationship, he asked me bluntly about my experiences with break-ups.
I sent him this numbered list.
#1) It’s okay to feel sad
To have the that tightening feeling in your chest. To remember her when you check your Netflix queue. To feel that nervous chill when you remember a joke she would have laughed at. To have that shortness of breath.
That just means your time together mattered. And time mattering means you’re alive.
If all that time didn’t matter and you felt no emotions, then you surely would be better off right now.
But that’s not living.
#2) Throwing yourself into your work is certainly a Band-Aid, but not a solution
You’re just delaying the inevitable. Don’t believe that you can operate completely devoid of your humanity. You can’t. It won’t work.
#3) Don’t divert the time you’ll discover into useless/dumb things
All good relationships take time and energy.
One fun part of the break-up is that you’ll have more time and theoretically more energy now. Don’t throw that newly discovered time purely into work or your routine. Go do something new with the time.
Draw, cook, eat, drink, party, sing, dance, etc. I don’t care what, but it’s your time now. Go use it.
#4) Ignore/Understand the haters
Some of your friends will say negative things about your ex-. They mean well, but don’t mind them. They just care about you and don’t know how to respond to your pain.
You don’t need to make your ex the villain to get through this.
#5) You’ll eventually need to start dating again.
You may wonder if you could ever feel the way you felt about someone else.
Ignore that voice in your head. Just do it. In doing so, you may be pleasantly surprised in what you find.
#6) It’s not easy
Your friends will tell you all sorts of things. “It gets better”. “You’re an awesome, charming guy and you’ll land on your feet.” “You’re such a great person, you’ll find someone new right away.” “Don’t worry about her, you’re single! The world is your oyster again!”
Ignore them. That’s just noise. It’s not easy. It’s never easy.
Again, it’s okay to be sad.
Every situation is different, but experience the presence of the pain and move forward.
Best of luck and let me know if you need to chat.