If you ended a relationship this year — no matter how long or short it was — here are a few things that you should keep in mind as you head into the brand new year:
1. You are allowed to be as upset as you need to be.
Acknowledging your emotions instead of pushing them away does not make you weak. Heartbreak is no joke and everyone who’s been through it knows that. So don’t be ashamed to cry all the damn tears if you need to.
2. There is no right or wrong amount of time in which you ~should~ be moved on by.
Every relationship is different, so you can’t put a time frame on when you’re supposed to be over your ex. Focusing on the when, instead of taking each day at a time, is only going to leave you frustrated and feeling defeated.
3. Just because you’re in pain without them doesn’t mean the relationship was right for you.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to think that because you miss someone it means you’re meant to be with them. Even a bad relationship can come with a few good memories.
5. And no, you don’t need to stay friends.
You have so many memories and feelings attached to that person, which makes it almost impossible to switch to a platonic friendship that’s actually healthy for both parties, especially if you’re still mourning the relationship.
Don’t be angry with yourself for needing to end all communication and cut your ex out of the picture completely. This is your life and you need to do whatever is going to help you move on.
6. So spend time with people who make you laugh and feel good about yourself.
Laughing, smiling, and connecting with others also reminds you that you are valuable and important — in or out of a relationship. And you’re damn well still capable of enjoying yourself.
8. Remember, it’s not a competition. Stay focused on how YOU’RE doing and the progress that you’re making.
That’s what matters.
9. Getting rid of all the crap they left at your place is always a good idea.
Hanging on to their stuff is comforting, because it’s a reminder that the relationship actually happened. But, like trying to stay in contact with them, it only prevents you from moving on.
10. And some social media cleansing will probably do wonders for your well-being.
Like getting rid of their stuff, deleting your ex from all social media is only severing another tie that makes the breakup painfully real. But having mini–panic attacks every time they show up on your News Feed with someone you don’t know isn’t healthy and isn’t going to help you move on.
11. If they happen to move on quickly, know that it says absolutely nothing about you and your self-worth.
Whether your ex stays single for a year or turns around and marries someone in six months, that has nothing to do with your value and your awesomeness. And as hard as this part might be to accept, it also doesn’t necessarily mean that they cared about you any less.
12. Maybe don’t try to escape your emotions by immediately distracting yourself with someone else.
Yeah, hooking up with someone new may help take your mind off the breakup. But you might just end up pushing those feelings off until a later date, when you’ll eventually have to deal with them.
13. Instead, use this opportunity to focus on and reconnect with yourself.
Finally finish that book you’ve been meaning to read. Join that club you were interested in. Or go on that trip you were saving up for. Don’t miss out on this amazing time to remember who you are and what makes you happy.
14. Don’t let this experience make you jaded and bitter.
Yes, what happened is tragic and unfair. But there are so many other things in life to be thankful for. Remember all the good things that have happened to you and all the awesome people you have in your life.
And though it may not feel like it, you will find someone you care about again. Maybe even sooner than you think.
15. Don’t blame yourself for everything that went wrong.
A relationship is a two-way street, so chances are it wasn’t all your fault. But dwelling on all the what ifs — like “If I had just hung out with their friends more…” or “If I had just made more of an effort with their mother…” — often won’t help things.
In most cases, there was no one single event that caused the relationship to end. It just didn’t work out at the time, and that’s OK.
16. But you might want to take some time for a personal relationship postmortem.
It can be extremely painful to reflect on the relationship, especially when the breakup is fresh. But blocking all the memories and experiences from your mind will prevent you from taking a hard experience and learning and growing from it.
17. Think about the type of person you want and deserve to be with.
Look back at the things your ex did and take note of what made you feel great and what made you feel like shit. That way in the future you’ll know what qualities are important to you and what qualities might be deal breakers.
18. Remember: If you can love the wrong person that much, imagine how much you can love the right one.
It probably feels like that was it — like you could never possibly feel or love or trust the way you did with that person. But you will. And keep in mind that if you could feel that strongly about someone who you weren’t compatible with, imagine how you’ll feel when you find someone who is.
19. Understand that relationships and breakups give you the opportunity to build character and become a better person.
The only way to know how to deal with tough times is to have experienced them. Going through hardship thickens your skin, allows you to learn about yourself, and makes you even more appreciative of when things do work out.
20. Know that you are much stronger than you give yourself credit for.
There will be good and bad days. And sometimes the bad days will feel unbearable. But remember all of the bad days you’ve survived up until now and know that it will slowly get easier.
21. And as much as it hurts now, know that one day you WILL be OK again.
It will not hurt forever. As time goes by it will start to hurt less and less. Until one day you realize you’ve made it out the other side, an even better, stronger person.