The Real L Woes: “99 Problems and Closure Ain’t One”

I like to make up facts. So, as it turns out, 85% of relationships end in spring. The weather gets warmer, you no longer require the body heat of another person and it becomes time to prepare yourself for Spring Break and summer flings. Whatever the case may be, you may soon find yourself single.

Now chances are that Oprah has already covered this issue, and while my girl is progressive (see also: gay for Gayle), broken lady-love is delicate and requires a very specific set of rules. As the dumper or the dumpee, I am the first to admit to spending way too much time in wallow mode and am very familiar with being on the receiving end of friends’ break-up-sob-fests. What I never understand is why we all fail to give ourselves the time and space needed to find closure. Sure, maybe you’ll become friends down the road. Actually, who are we kidding, stereotypes are real and we’re lesbians, we always end up friends.

So perhaps I’m crazy, and it has been suggested, but would it be so difficult to actually take some time to recover from someone who let us down and/or hung us out to dry? Not to take cues from straight couples or romcoms, but instead of jumping right from shacking up to instant besties, hows about we follow the steps required to maintaining sanity. Here are some guidelines to help you through:

1. Cry, a lot. Repeat.

2. Stop creeping the interwebz.

I’ve found that hiding exes from your Facebook newsfeed is helpful, but it only lasts so long before you come home drunk and just want to see what they’re up to. Next thing you know, they’ve changed their status to In a Relationship the week following your break-up and you end up deleting your FB in an OHNOSHEDIDNT rage. And now what will you do with your free time, seeing that you no longer have a Facebook?

I am of the school of thought that self-preservation is most important after any break up, and the quickest way to rid some day to day hurt feelings towards said person is to delete them as a friend. It may seem petty, but it speeds up the moving-on process and if you really are meant to be friends, re-friending is only a click away. If you’re worried about saving face, IE, that deleting them may make you look like a big ol’ puddle of mess, then do your damnedest to avoid checking it. But really, who cares what they think.

3. While you’re at it, Eternal Sunshine that lady.

Other things to help keep you from spending your Friday nights in re-reading old text messages or emails in attempts to discern when things went wrong is to delete phone numbers, emails, and Gchat transcripts. This also helps with ideas of drunk-messaging grandeur, when you think it’s just the best time to tell her how much you miss her. As much as it hurts to cleanse your life of these things, it really helps to set yourself up for a quicker, cleaner break.

4. Constant Craving.

Sure, it’s been said that sad music facilitates sad feelings but there is something incredibly comforting about listening to break-up music when you’re heart aches. Now that you’ve deleted their FB, it is impossible to blow up their timeline with ALL THE EMO JAMS. So instead, compile a list of songs and make an epic break-up playlist. It’s both cathartic and rewarding because you’ve channeled all your feelings and created something. Look at you, healing already. I consider myself quite the connoisseur of sap and 8Tracks is my host of choice. If you’re still in the apathetic/ sinking into your mattress stage I’ll provide you with pre-made mixes for all your inoperative needs.

5. Friend therapy, and then therapy.

Moping is completely healthy, and talking it out helps. That’s what friends are for, to an extent. Then there comes a point when they’ll stop answering your calls to avoid hearing how your miss your exes perfume. Give yourself an allotted period of time to verbally vom on your friends, buy them a drink and then it may be time to find a therapist.

I am a huge proponent of any sort of talk therapy, especially cognitive therapy, because, gosh darn-it, lez love is hard. I defy anyone to give me a reason why seeing a therapist still has a stigma because I’m pretty sure that mental health is sexy. Personally, I know my therapist loves a good break-up story and she is paid the big bucks to show me that I’m not actually going to die alone.

6. Facebook is not a hobby.

You’re probably gay, so I can assume you have a dog. Taking them on epically long walks serves as a great alternative to dwelling. If you don’t have a dog then walk your cat, although that probably sounds more acceptable to me seeing that I live in Portland. If you really don’t own a creature, pick up a hobby. It’s recently come to my attention that refreshing my Facebook page does not in fact count, so it doesn’t count for your needs either. Try new things, explore new interests or maybe it’s time for that pet. Extra life points for you if you find a hobby that includes meeting new people (ahem, dog park). After one of my not so pleasant pseudo-dumpings, I started volunteering at our local queer community center and, low and behold, met an array of amazing new people. Making friends and, well, taking names.

7. Your tough love for the day: Be Happy.

Sometimes being happy is a choice. If you continue to mope or choose to indulge in a broke heart tattoo on your chest, you may be unnecessarily prolonging the healing process. After a healthy amount of sad and maybe investing in a voodoo doll, deciding to move-on is some of the best medicine. Crushing is one of my favorite cures for the break-up blues. They are harmless, and it’s always fun to meet new people. Also, if crush should turn to something more, keep in mind that you’re less likely to get laid if your idea of pillow talk is talking about your ex. I mean, unless your drunk in which case you’ll probably still get laid. I don’t know how many girls I’ve met who’s sole topics of conversation are a) their ex, b) stories about exes, or c) GASP, comparing me to their ex. No bueno.

8. Stop sleeping together.

“OK, but this is the last time.”

9. Remember that you’re the bees knees.

Many times I’ve found myself fighting for relationships I didn’t believe in anyway. Ending a relationship and/or surviving a dumping shows a lot of strength. Being single can be one of the greatest reminders at just how hot, clever and gosh darn fantabulous you really are. If nothing else, singledom can provide so many life punch lines. See also: dating.

What I find after any break-up, whether it be months long or one night (yes those are my only two options), is that they are life lessons meant to help direct you to what you want out of your next relationship. Maybe your failed relationships will help highlight some things you need to work on, but more likely, you’ll realize that you’re awesome and it just wasn’t meant to be. That, or she was just a snatch.

10. There will always be another one.

Most importantly, the ol’ plenty of fish in the sea B.S. is real. Waste as little time on the past as possible and, instead, waste it by watching things like The Voice. Oh, and maybe finding someone new who would like to watch The Voice with you.

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