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How To Survive A Breakup

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How To Survive A Breakup

What are you supposed to do now?

The person you counted on, the one you thought could be “the one,” just ditched you. You’re devastated, of course. Though you’ll admit you’ve had your ups and downs as a couple, you and he (or you and she) didn’t seem to get along any worse than other couples you know. Those relationships, however, continue on. Yours is history.

First, take a deep breath. You’re not the first person to be walked out on and you won’t be the last. Your beloved might be the first person to make you feel warm and happy (and now angry and sad) but there will be others to love. This is a blow, no doubt about it. But you’ll weather this blow and go on to other people, other happy days.

So get a grip, then take action. Here are some ways to do that.

  1. Get out of your room. You used to go places with your ex and now there’s no one to do things with. So you’ve got to make an effort. But getting out and hanging out with other people will cheer you up and remind you that fun still exists.
  2. Slap a smile on your face. There’s an old saying, “Living well is the best revenge.” Take that to heart. If word gets out to your ex that you’re moping around, all gloomy and depressed, you hand that person even more power over your life. So concentrate on having a good time. Let it seem like you’re doing just fine.
  3. When you see your ex or talk about him or her, be nice. This person meant a lot to you. There’s no need to trash those memories by being vindictive and ugly. Even if this person is now being ugly to you, be above it all. Some might believe the lies that are getting told but your friends won’t.
  4. Don’t do anything to trash your own reputation. Sometimes people who’ve been ditched react so badly that they make it easy to believe why someone would leave them. They stalk, they spread rumors, they ridicule their former sweetheart, and even publish private pictures. They act out their anger and humiliation but wind up making things worse – for themselves. Don’t be a loser.
  5. Don’t get hit by the rebound. The dark side of that “living well” saying is that sometimes people who’ve been ditched link up with the first living person they see, without thinking. They’re so used to having that connection and they’re so embarrassed to be left on their own or they’re so bent on making their ex jealous, that they fall into a relationship that turns out to be disastrous. Take your time. You don’t want to get entangled in something you’ll soon wish would end.

If you can’t manage, then get help. Talk to someone you trust and let them know if you feel you can’t cope with the breakup. Sometimes it takes another person’s perspective to get us back on track. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness, to ask for help when you need it.

But look forward. Take the long view. One of the tasks of being a teen is figuring out how to have a serious relationship. Most teens and young adults date lots of people before settling on one person. Figuring out how to get along with another human being takes practice. You have a long life ahead of you, with adventures and opportunities you can’t imagine right now. You’ll find other people and other people will find you. Trust the future.

Dr. Patricia Nan Anderson Dr. Patricia Anderson is a nationally acclaimed educational psychologist and the author of Parenting: A Field Guide. Dr. Anderson is on the Early Childhood faculty at Walden University and she is a Contributing Editor for Advantage4Parents. Learn more about Dr. Anderson at www.patricianananderson.com
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