The Breakup Manual

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to deal with a breakup.
by Ines Bautista-Yao   |  Jan 30, 2010
photo courtesy of Fox and Solar Entertainment/ETC/Jack TV
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After a breakup, the last thing you have is control over your emotions or your actions. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to get it, and your happiness, back.

Dear Diary,

It's so hard for me to write because I don't like to think about what I'm going through. I guess now's the time to write so that I can deal—since it's what all these psychologists keep recommending anyway. I miss him so very much. I miss everything about him. But I know that I can't talk to him or see him. I think of him all the time. It's just so painful because I feel as if my memories—all those years I devoted to him made up such a big part of who I am, and now I have to let go of not just him but of all my memories. Our relationship is over and I feel like my life support system has been taken away. I am now just one half of the person I used to be. I don't even know if I know myself anymore because a large part of who I am was tied up with loving him.

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A few months ago, my boyfriend and I broke up. I knew it was coming, but that didn't prepare me for the sleepless nights, the puffy red eyes, the unrivaled pain, and the nagging self-doubt. What I did to keep sane was hound my friends for support, drink in magazine articles on how to deal, and numb my brain with as many cartoons as possible. Although that worked, I still kept bugging my friends 24/7 about what to do when it came to him. Can I call him? Can I invite him to a movie? Can I talk to him everyday? If they could have printed out their answers and tacked them on my bulletin board (and probably bathroom mirror, too!), they would have. So as a tribute to my friends (my pillars of patience!), to getting over my pain, and to all of us who deserve to be happy again, I have put together a breakup manual. Hopefully, it can make things easier—and maybe even less painful.


One Foot In Front of the Other

The words to that stupid song about how the sun can go on shining when it's the end of the world suddenly become so poignant after he leaves you. (Eew!) But the best thing to do is just get on with your day one step at a time.

  1. Don't Break Routine. It's so easy to stay in bed when you're physically ill, but when you're emotionally battered, you can't ask your mom for an excuse letter saying you need to stay home because your relationship just ended. Stick to your schedule. You are feeling lost and confused, so following your daily routine will give you a sense of order and even a distraction from thinking about him.

  2. Get Tons of Rest. Have you noticed that it's easier for you to catch a cold when you're stressed? This is why you need lots of rest. You're emotionally weak, and your body needs to recover. It's so tempting to party all night and come home at dawn every weekend, but you don't want to break down. Your emotions need to rest too.

  3. Eat Normally. Make sure you eat healthy. Don't crash diet and do not use food to comfort you either. Chocolates can only make you feel better for a while—they, or any kind of food for that matter, cannot and will not fill that void he left.

  4. Flex Those Muscles! We've all heard it somewhere—exercise releases endorphins in your system, which somehow lift your spirits (we just aren't sure how, but we know it works!) That should be reason enough to get moving! But another great reason to exercise is because you feel stronger after. And when your body gets pumped, your heart does too!

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About the author
Ines Bautista-Yao
Former Editor in Chief, Candy
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