Whoever coined the phrase that being the one to end the relationship is “just as hard as being broken up with” has obviously never been dumped. For the rest of us, life and love can be a bit of a roller coaster… and as far as relationships go, there’s nothing that hurts quite like the sting of rejection. The good news is that we don’t have to go through it alone: as a group of women, team CS has collectively survived over 35 breakups (and a few of them were the gut-wrenching, but-that-was-my-soul-mate type.) We pooled our past heartbreaks into eight smart tips for getting over a breakup, and we have to admit — this is solid advice. We didn’t do it alone, though. Producer Darren Star, creator of Sex and the City, has had our backs on breakups for years — we’re totally hooked on his addictive series Younger (the new season premieres on Wednesday, September 28 at 10/9c on TV Land!). Watching main characters Josh and Liza split was like watching our own hearts break on cable tv, and we were left feeling inspired to share our own reflections on surviving breakups here. Presented by TV Land’s Younger, keep scrolling for our eight essential rules for surviving a breakup.
1. Observe the 40 day rule.
Breaking up doesn’t mean that you can never speak to your ex again. But when people keep talking and seeing each other directly after a breakup… things tend to get even worse. Accept the fact that your relationship has reached an impasse: if there’s ANY hope for a reconciliation, some significant time apart is the only path to it. Commit yourself to no communication with your ex for at least 40 days. By that time, you may have a new perspective on the relationship and your ex may have one as well.
TIP: This goes for texting and social media as well. Don’t look at your ex’s facebook or instagram. If you don’t have the self-discipline to resist, deactivate your own account for awhile or (as a last resort) unfriend them if you must. Whatever it takes — just don’t look at it.
photo by india earl
2. Be kind.
One of our favorite quotes from the Dalai Lama is this:
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
You may have to dig deep to be kind during a breakup, but you can do it and you won’t ever regret it. (NOTE: Being kind doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat. It just means that you’re not doing/saying things intended to hurt or belittle your ex.) Even if you feel incredibly wounded or betrayed by your ex, it’s best to express those feelings without attacking him/her.
photo by india earl
3. Stay mute around mutuals.
Mutual friends are tempting to turn to during a breakup — after all, they know both of you really well. But trust us when we say that they’ll be relieved and you’ll be playing your cards right by NOT confessing every detail to your mutual friends. If any of them pressure you for details, it’s always okay to say, “Let’s talk about something else.”
image via hercampus
4. Hit the gym.
There is no better motivation in the gym than revenge. And we’re only halfway joking: exercise is actually a GREAT way to channel post-breakup anger as well as being a strong defense against depression. Taking care of yourself is key during breakup recovery and working out is a wonderful place to start.
image by nelly
5. Find the right person to talk to.
Expressing your feelings after a breakup is important, but you need to find a confidant who’s both discreet and fully in your corner. (We’ve already talked about avoiding using mutual friends for this.) Lots of us lean on our mothers to fill this role, but we would encourage you to consider others as well. Sometimes our mothers are so full of their own ideas about us and our lives that they can’t really be good unbiased listeners! Look to friends who are fully in your camp and don’t be afraid to seek out professional help. Breaking up is one the hardest things we deal with as humans — seriously, it’s up there with death and long term illness in terms of emotional toll. So there’s absolutely NO shame in seeking out a good counselor or psychologist to help you through the process.
photo by becky bunz
6. Plan a trip.
Remember how you always wanted to go the beach but he always wanted to ski? Well now is the time to book that trip that YOU always wanted to take. Take a friend, take your mom, or go alone. Just go. You’ll be in an exciting place that doesn’t remind you of your ex at all, but will remind you a lot of yourself — you know, the person who got lost inside of that relationship that wasn’t working.
photo by a pair and a spare
7. Fake it ’til you make it.
Some people are born knowing this rule, and others have to learn it. One of our favorite quotes from Liz Taylor (who lived through more than a few high-profile splits) is this: “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.” Your emotions may run wild during a breakup, you may feel completely out of control and desperately depressed… but it’s crucial to carry on with your daily life, especially when you don’t want to. Allow yourself one weekend of pajamas and ice cream, then put on your lipstick and go to work. Show up for book club. Make it to the concert. You’re a survivor, and you’re strong. (You’re a woman, after all.)
8. Keep your heart open.
We’ve all been there: “I’m just done with dating.” It’s completely natural to feel this way, and it’s okay to take an extended break from dating. Your heart needs time to heal, and we all know the pitfalls of rebound relationships. That said, keep your heart open to life in general: new ideas, new experiences, new friends. If you commit yourself to this attitude, who knows, you may eventually find yourself falling in love again (this time with the right person).
Presented by Younger – new season premiering September 28 at 10/9c on TV Land