Getting Back out There After a Long-Term Relationship

I’ll start by saying that everyone’s road to recovery is different. Some need longer, while others require a good pint of ice cream and a good cry. But no matter how you need to cope, this is what I did to get back out there and eventually move on.

Leaving for college is a very bittersweet experience. On one hand, you are excited about the freedom and adventures you’ll get to have, but on the other, it means you have to say goodbye to a lot of people you’ve grown to love. And when you get into FSU and your boyfriend of a year and a half gets into UCF, it presents a couple of problems you don’t want to deal with. I made the executive decision to end it because I felt it would help us both in the long run. Although the reasoning didn’t help much with the initial pain I felt, I then packed up and left for my new future, feeling hopeful, and then it hit me.

People always talk about the crying and the reminiscing of memories when speaking about a break-up. What people fail to mention is that when you do go through a relationship ending, everyone else’s seems to thrive. And if you’re lucky like me, all your roommates will be in long-term committed relationships, making you feel like the loneliest person in the world at some points. This then led me to spiral down into a pit of “What can I do to suppress my problems?” Blatantly put, I was lonely. I went from having someone to talk to all day, every day to having my dad be the only person I call when I want to have a conversation, and all my friends were with their significant others. Then came Tinder.

I used Tinder to find friends because one of my buddies said multiple people were on there for the same reason. I crafted a witty bio and added some pictures of me I thought were cute, and soon after that, I was scrolling my way through FSU, not caring about anything other than the attention I was getting. And at that point, that’s really all I wanted. That’s all anybody wants after a relationship: attention. Humans crave attention, and therefore, when you go from having someone be there 24/7 to nobody, it’s a bit of a shell shock. So, you’ll do whatever you can to get that attention back, and it comes in multiple forms, not just Tinder. You might join more clubs or organizations, go out partying or have a stronger urge to “reconnect” and hang out with friends. This is a perfectly fine coping mechanism because at least it’s giving you positive attention, not negative attention. Negative attention is when the “want” for attention turns into a “need” for care, which will lead you to do self-destructive things i.e., text your ex at 3 a.m. that you miss him, not just once but three times. The “need” for attention and affection is something that must be dealt with internally, and as soon as possible, don’t suppress those problems for a later day because then it will bite you back harder.

So, what should I do when I break-up with someone you ask? You can start by taking them off your social for a bit. No matter who broke up with who, the saying “out of sight, out of mind” is very applicable. This forces each person to move on in their own way, outside of your view, meaning less pain and three-hour stalking sessions of that one girl you saw on his story at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday. Next, be OK with what you are feeling. It’s OK to be sad or want to be around other people for a taste of attention or affection, just don’t let it lead to you being self-destructive. Lastly, and yes, I know this is everyone’s favorite phrase after a break-up, but work on yourself. The great thing about the endless pool of dating apps and social media is that you can figure out exactly what you like, and what you don’t. You can make hundreds of friends and learn so many things. It’s your life, and you don’t have time to be sad over a break-up when you can be a boss instead.

Courtesy: Miguel Bruna

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