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Dating Articles      
  dating advice · articles · survival

The DUMPED! Break-up Survival Guide
by Lisa Daily

   Maybe you knew it was coming. Maybe you didn't.You've been dumped.

So, other than moping around in your pajamas, spending qualitytime with Ben & Jerry, what can you do? Well, clear away thatmountain of soggy tissues, and I'll tell you how to get throughthe worst of it, the first 30 days.

Three things:
Take care of yourself.
Give yourself time to mourn.
Move forward.

The first 48 hours.
The first 48 hours are the toughest. Give yourself at least onefull weekend to cry your eyes out, eat junk food and lie aroundon your couch in a broken-heart coma watching sappy movies ora kung-fu marathon. Try to throw a few comedies into the mixif you can, laughter is good for you. If you want to be alonenow, be alone. If you want to be with friends, by all means,invite them to console you. Whatever you do, don't call your ex.Don't e-mail your ex. Don't see your ex. Turn your answeringmachine on and screen your calls. I'm not saying you shouldnever talk to your ex again, but give yourself at least a monthor so to build up your ego again. If you think you might betempted, by all means, invite a friend over to run defense andkeep you away from the phone. Next, force yourself to think ofthe relationship as over. I know that's tough right now, butit truly is necessary. Grieve for what it was, and considerit dead and gone.

The first week.
After your first 48 hours, it is important to get off the couchand take a shower. Not just for hygiene reasons, (but trust me,by this time you'll really need it) but because it's now timeto start taking action. Take down all photos that include yourex. If you need to have a ceremonial snapshot torching, by allmeans, go ahead. Put all reminders of your ex (letters, gifts,photos, etc.) in a box and stuff it way in the back of yourcloset, or better yet, your garage - someplace you won't see iton a regular basis. If you feel yourself starting to idealizeyour ex, and feel the desire to call him or her, sit downimmediately and make a list of all the things about your exthat really annoyed you - the more humorous, the better.Think hard, I know there's something.
  • The way he gave the exact same 22-minute response to every single person who asked how his job was going for three solid years.
  • The psycho-squirrel noises she made when she laughed.
  • The cheap, ugly, green, plastic phone he gave you for Christmas.
  • The way she tried to hold in her sneezes, producing that imploding, snorty noise instead.

Whatever you do, don't call your ex. Start returning to yournormal life. Take an extra 20 minutes with your appearance thisweek. Sure, you may not feel like getting dressed at all, buttrust me, if you look good, you'll feel even better. Wearsomething that makes you feel stunning or confident. Nothingsmoothes the ragged edges of a recent break-up like a fewwell-timed compliments. If your weekend on the couch still showsin your face, put some tea bags on your eyelids.

Make plans with friends for every Friday and Saturday night for thenext month, and stick to them. Get out and go dancing. It may bethe last thing you feel like doing, but you'll find it's a fabulousrelease. The music and physical activity will make you feel tonsbetter. Speaking of which, exercise four times this week. Yeah,I know you won't feel like it, but do it anyway. You need thosehappy endorphins that exercise brings. Do a little bonding withyour pals. Go to a basketball game, or even bowling. Just get outof the house. One last thing for this week, schedule a massage.You need it!

The second week.
Whatever you do, don't call your ex. Make a detailed list of allyour good qualities. Remember, you're a unique, wonderful, person,and someone (probably several someones) will fall madly in lovewith you, and you with them. Keep your plans with friends everyweekend, and by all means, do something physical, or humorous, likegoing to a comedy club. Work out (three times this week, and forthe rest of the break-up survival period), go rock climbing, ordance like the Backstreet Boys in your living room (nobody willsee you.) Get your heart rate going. Aside from making your bodylook good, you'll boost your mood as well. This week is all aboutpampering yourself. Get a pedicure, or sit in the sauna. You'vebeen through a lot, and you deserve it.Spend some of your newfoundtime (and probably extra cash, too) on something just for you.Guys, you may be feeling the need for some type of electronicdevice you've been putting off. Now is the time. Girls, all I cansay is, SHOE SHOPPING! Treat yourself to a little something nicethis week, and every week for the rest of the month.

The last two weeks.
Whatever you do, don't call your ex. You're halfway through theblack period, and the worst is over. This is when you'll starteasing back into your pre-girl/pre-guy routine. Be a little selfishwith your time, and do exactly what you want to do. You should befocusing on taking care of yourself right now. Now is also the timeto start making long-range plans. Make two plans: One plan for avacation (even if it's three years away,) and one plan for your life.You have a clean slate, what do you want to do? Go back to school?Become a rock star? Learn how to make crawfish traps? No one isholding you back now. Write down your goals, and the steps you'llneed to take to reach them.

Holy Moly! Before you know it, the entire month has gone by.You're through the thick of it now, and on the road torecovery. Sure, you'll hit some bumps along the way,but you'll live through this. You've made it this far, andyou'll be a stronger, wiser person because of it. Someday,you'll meet someone who will love and appreciate you for theamazing person you are. And this break-up, which is so awfulnow, will just be one forgotten U- turn on your path to true love.

Lisa Daily is the author of Stop Getting Dumped! : Everything Dating from Pick-up to Break-up

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