I was reading Anna Faris’ new memoir Unqualified today. It was something I had picked up on a whim at the airport. I wasn’t engaged in her life in any way before I bought the book. But for the past two days, I haven’t been able to put it down. It was heartfelt, honest and personal. I have always loved memoirs. I am glad I found another good one. One of the chapters was on how to get over a breakup. It was a collection of advice from different people who had responded to a Facebook survey by her. And boy, it was good. It got me reflecting on how universal this experience is. Everyone goes through heartbreak at one time or the other. That puts a different perspective on my predicament. It helps to know I am not alone in my loneliness. That chapter got me searching for similar advice on the Internet. Here is what I found:
Note: None of this is mine. This is simply a consolidation of things that I found particularly helpful from Anna’s book and elsewhere, so that I have a reference to go to at times of weakness.
1. There is no timeline. It may take three weeks or three years depending on what that relationship meant to you or how invested you were. So don’t beat yourself up for your inability to move on.
2. Fill your life and mind with other things that you love.
3. Don’t be in a hurry to date again. It is not fair to whoever you are dating if you are still hung up on your ex. Give yourself time.
4. Make as many friends as possible.
5. The no contact rule. This is one I particularly struggle with. It does not mean you can never talk again. It does not have to be a set number of days. It is for however long you need to heal. And it is essential to healing. So do it.
6. Again, there is no timeline. You don’t have to get married by the time you are 30 and have 2.5 kids by 35. It may still happen. Even if it doesn’t, you’ll be just fine. Don’t sweat it.
7. Go on hikes.
8. Tidy up things in your life. Your apartment, computer screen, closet. It requires just enough focus to give your mind a rest.
9. Volunteer. Focus on things bigger than yourself.
10. Write about your feelings.
Well, check on that last one.