How to Pick Up the Pieces of Your Broken Heart

Spring-cleaning doesn’t stop at the dustpan and mop. The New Year’s feeling of resolution and starting over with a clean slate is enhanced with sunshine and chirping birds. This mentality seems to run through to all aspects of our lives including relationships leaving some to only feel the seasonal rain and stinging bees when the aforementioned clean freaks have done away with not only last year’s wardrobe and expired coupons, but also their significant others.

“I want to break up.”

Like that sweater Aunt Lily knitted six Christmases ago, your partner (henceforth known as Asshole) looked you over, pondered future use, and threw you out despite the sentimental value and their parents’ partiality.

Breakups are always hard, even on the breakuper. But it’s particularly hard on the breakupee especially if they don’t see it coming. It’s the equivalent to being laid off. You didn’t quit; you were let go due to some cutbacks. Or maybe you were fired for some unbecoming work ethic. Who knew his brother would tell him about the hand job under the table at Thanksgiving?

Whatever the case you are unemployed in the relationship aspect. But keep in mind, so is he. It really doesn’t matter who broke up with whom (despite your friends asking that nagging question) since you’re both in the same situation. You’re both heart-broken, whether he shows it or not, and you both are going to have to deal with picking up the pieces of the shattered love you once had. Don’t cut yourself trying to put it back together.

Advice: Don’t take it personally. I know, I know how that sounds. But just because you’re not his perfect girl, doesn’t mean you’re not someone else’s perfect girl. You are now free to take resumes of suitors better suited to your needs. Make a list of all the things you want in a partner; job, car, big swinging dick, etc. Separate this list into Requirements and Preferences. The former being deal breakers and the latter being bonuses. Trust me. You never know what you want more in a significant other than after a breakup. Just don’t write some stupid shit like, “Eyes like Asshole” and “Makes dinner like Asshole did.” Asshole broke up with you. Not exactly the model for your new boy toy.

“It’s just a break.” 

No, it’s not. I have never seen any couple take a break and get back together. Now I’m sure there are exceptions, but if we’ve learned anything from Greg Behrendt, author of “He’s Just Not That Into You,” it’s that…

“We’re taught that in life, we should try to look on the bright side. Not in this case. In this case, assume rejection first. Assume you’re the rule, not the exception. It’s liberating. But we also know it’s not an easy concept.”

He’s not coming back. He’s especially not coming back to the woman who sat there pouting waiting for him to realize that “We’re meant to be.” Let me squash that idea right there. No one, and I mean no one, is meant to be anything. Even Romeo and Juliet weren’t meant to be, hence the star-crossed double suicide pact. Relationships are work from both people. If someone is not willing to work on it, it’s over.

Advice: Take some time to mourn your relationship. You need some time to find yourself again. You may not even be the same person as when you met your former boyfriend. Keep yourself busy with all the things you’ve wanted to do but never had the time. Turn the lonely nights into productive endeavors. Write that book, update your resume, or find the cure for muffin top. Don’t forget to have fun! Do the things Asshole said were stupid like going to watch Magic Mike. Hang out with your girlfriends again; they miss you and they’re a great support in times like these.

“Is there someone else?”

In the wake of a breakup it’s easy to become jealous of every girl who likes your ex’s status. “Who is that skank in the picture?” There are 7 billion people on this planet and more than half are female. There are women that are going to be prettier, more successful, smarter, and have a tighter pussy and perkier tits than you. It’s inevitable. It’s easy to look at others in our gender and think, “She’s fucking perfect! How can I compete?” and stew in your post-relationship depression while you cry yourself to sleep thinking about her flawless thighs. Particularly in Los Angeles where almost everyone is gorgeous. And easy. And your ex is in a band… and every bitch is a fucking groupie.

I’ve seen two of my exes hook up with mattresses (model + actress), corporate business types that make more in a month than I do in a year, and every other female in the spectrum between sexually suggestive rocker chick to maternal nurturer that gives into their every whim. It’s enough to make a girl slice her throat.

The truth is she is absolutely jealous of you. After all, he officially dated you. You have mutual friends. You two may have lived together. Shared a kid or puppy. How many of us have looked at pictures of our boyfriends with their exes and thought “HE STILL LOVES HER!” This is now the new girl’s personal hell.

Advice: Don’t be Facebook friends, follow him on Twitter or Instagram, and remove all possible “Let me see what he’s up too…” avenues. You’re torturing yourself. You’re feeding into your inner crazy bitch and perpetuating the “My crazy ex-girlfriend” credence.  Block him. Make him at least not exist in your Internet world.

And as for the new girl(s) in his life… They will ultimately find the same flaws you saw. Just like his ex before you. And look at her now! Happy with her new man she found when she moved on from Asshole. The smart thing to do is wish them the best. Seriously. Being cool, confident, and mature is sexy as hell.

“Let’s stay friends.”

If you were friends before, the relationship wasn’t a milestone, and the breakup was mutual, then you have a decent chance at remaining friends. If you don’t meet those conditions be prepared to lose both the boy and the friend in your former boyfriend.

Advice: The only way to save your friendship and your sanity is to take a HUGE step back. Separation after a break up is an absolute key factor. It’s ripping the band-aid off instead of painfully tugging at it slowly. Finalize any outstanding tasks; moving out, giving each other’s belongings back, and paying or setting up a payment plan for any moneys that were shared or owed. Then take his number out of your phone. It will be tempting to call or text and it will be flat-out impossible to avoid when intoxicated. Do your sober and drunk self a favor and get rid of the ease of the “I miss you” messages. If you are determined to stay friends then you both need time to separate the reality of “we” into “you and me.” Otherwise he might feel that friendship with you means constantly being reminded that you are an ex instead of a girl friend.

“Can we still hook up?” 

OOOHHHH! So the sex with Asshole is mind-blowing, or you’re not ready to try a new dick, or you think you can get him back if you pull out those old sexual tricks you use to do.

Fucking your ex is like drinking milk past the sales date. It’s been there, it’s familiar, but it’s going to expire and leave a bad taste in your mouth. Even if you try to spice it up with some sexual chocolate you’re still going to have to face the penalties of consuming something with a time limit. And the same goes both ways. He might have another carton in the fridge and he’s just waiting to use the old one up before he opens the new jug. Metaphor aside, you don’t want to be the sexual release while he’s working on being the “sweet and patient” guy to some other girl.

Advice: Like keeping in contact, sex with an ex should be reserved and avoided until a later, more rational time in your association. Invest in some sex toys. Don’t use them? Try! While you should eventually find a new dick to fulfill your needs, jumping into bed with someone else within a short period of time is the equivalent of reaching for a drink to dull the pain. Don’t use a dude as revenge sex. Or think the next guy you bang will make your ex jealous. If you are going to fuck, do it because you want to. Your pussy doesn’t belong to him anymore and he has no toll on her decision-making process. This is a personal choice. You know you and what you are able to handle.

“But I want someone to hold/cuddle/fuck/love.”

I get this. We all get this. When you go from touching, hugging, and generally being affection with someone every day to nothing you’re body can go through shock. Personally, I start to get really weird within two weeks of a breakup asking my friends for hugs that last a little too long.

Our exes have put us in the ‘donation’ pile for someone else to rifle through and determine if we are in good enough for another handler. Sometimes when we find a new boy toy the pain from the past subsides. They become the methadone to our heroin withdrawal; easing the pain with a kissable distraction. But when you use one thing to ease the burden of another, you are perpetuating the cycle of agony. If the new one leaves, you’re back at where you started. You don’t want to be the girl who needs a man to be happy. They don’t need us. We don’t need them.

Advice: Physically you need attention. You have a couple of options. You can rub up against people in the subway. You can get hugs from friends and family. Or you can find someone with the same intentions as you. I’ve taken to collecting nerdy guys that are sweet and harmless. They like to watch movies and cuddle without pressing for you to touch their dick. They are genuinely happy to cuddle. Los Angeles is filled with lonely people. Find one that understands you just got out of a relationship.

“When does it stop hurting?”

My exes, as most men do, run into the legs of another woman immediately. Then within three months they are texting me how lonely they feel. They have filled the physical void but not the emotional one that needed just as much tending. They postponed the inevitable lament of the breakup.

When emotions are vested but the situation just doesn’t work heartache is the unavoidable consequence. How you deal with your personal heartache will correlate with the length of time you feel sad and hurt. There are no formulas to when you will stop feeling that pit in your stomach. “Isn’t it twice the time you spent with him? Or was it half?” It’s however long it takes for you to realize you’re worth being loved as much as you love.

Everyday may feel like an eternity without them, but each day is just another day to move forward in your life.

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