Happy Valentine’s Day! If I were in a relationship right now, I’d be writing gushy love poems and planning a ridiculous evening involving fudge, L Word re-runs, and probably mackin’ on you in public to the point where overzealous teenagers would write abbreviated and punctuation-less Facebook statuses about how hot/gross we are.
But I am not in a relationship. So, instead, I’m going to give you some tips on how to get over that special someone, because when you’re dumped or rejected or feeling craptacular in general, it’s easy to lose perspective about what really matters and end up buying eight boxes of discounted Ferrero Rocher balls and a musical greeting card where Zac Efron sings something about how great basketball is, then crying your eyes out. That has its place, don’t get me wrong. But only about once every five years. Keep this list in mind the next time you’re unlucky in love, need a laugh, or need to feel more superior than someone is still trying to make Zac Efron relevant.
Everyone gets rejected and dumped. And, everyone also does some rejecting and dumping of their own. This is just life. And, while you may not believe it now, it’s for the best. Often, when said rejection/dumping occurs, we immediately start to blame ourselves – I’m not hot enough. I’m not charismatic. I never got her Princess Bride references, therefore am worthless. As if the end of all relationships is a direct reflection of your self-worth. It’s not. That’s silly. You are totally hot and charismatic and I bet you can quote other movies from the ’80s that are more culturally relevant to your life too. Don’t go hating on yourself. It will get you nowhere, and it’s not even remotely true, which brings me to —
You’re allowed to grieve, of course, but not excessively. For instance, if a girl dumps you after three dates, you cannot spend the next three months mourning the loss of her. Sometimes you need to spit-sob your way through a Rihanna CD and sleep until noon, I know. Just don’t make it a habit. You can, however, spoil yourself a little when recovering from a break-up. Take long baths, listen to the terrible music you love but your girlfriend hated, buy a hot new outfit, write whole pages of expletives in your journal, then tear them up and throw them away because it’s cathartic. Force yourself to go out. We are social creatures, and even if you’re not your usual bright, bubbly self, it helps to be around people, preferably ones that will tell you how awesome you are and/or buy you some Nutella.
It’s not you, it’s her. And fine, even if it is you, it’s not the end of the world. I’ve rejected or dumped plenty of hot, awesome people in my life. Sometimes because I didn’t want to be “tied down.” Sometimes because I was still getting over someone. Sometimes because they lived 2,000 miles away. Sometimes because I wanted Katy Perry fireworks to shoot out of my bra and that just wasn’t happening. Making real and lasting connections with people is a random, dollar store grab bag of attraction, respect, friendship, and willingness to watch The Bachelor with you and only complain about it little bit. The point is, sometimes, it really isn’t about you, but elements you have no way of controlling, like pheromones, geography, timing, sparkly boobs, etc.
As I wrote about in The Hook Up recently, I was dumped once for not having, as Ruth Callander might say, a doodle. Objectively, that was a “it’s me” scenario, since I was no longer what she found desirable. And yes, it sucked, but it would have sucked way more to have stuck around in a relationship where we wanted drastically different things. Remember that. If someone isn’t ecstatic to be with you, if they don’t feel like kittens and rainbows burst from the sky when they look at you, if they don’t want to rip your clothes off, if they don’t love having you around even for mundane laundry-and-frozen-burrito days, then you should not be with them. You should be with someone who is totally stoked to be with you.
“I’m sorry, you just don’t have the doodle I’m looking for.”
Get out of her Facebook
If you can’t bring yourself to outright de-friend her, then at the very least hide her Facebook updates. Whatever they are, you don’t want to know, trust me. Even if she writes about how bummed she is that y’all are no longer girlfriends, it’ll only be a temporary fix. The same goes for Twitter, Google stalking, Skype chatting, and whatever other social media connections you may have had. Most of the time, you’ll be able to be friends with her. But later! Not now. Now you need to push forward, which does not involve looking at cute, coupley photos of you two together or searching for hidden meanings in the TV on the Radio lyrics she posted on some other chick’s wall.
The same goes for non-electronic tokens of her. Put reminders, love notes, pictures, etc. in a box and put that box in a closet that is hard to reach without a ladder. You can look at them again when you’re pretty sure seeing them will make you feel nostalgic, but not lost.
Get a life
Perhaps the most important tip, this goes hand in hand with helping you not be mopey. Find fulfilling ways to occupy your time, whether that’s taking a yoga class, perfecting your kimchi recipe, learning how to give a lap dance, starting a Tumblr about how hilarious and awkward online dating is (shameless plug!), or joining a “people who don’t get Princess Bride references” chat group. Getting a life not only helps you stop obsessing, but it also makes you more interesting and allows you more avenues to meet new people. People who might want to see you naked. Catch my drift? It’s like the proverbial killing two birds with one stone idiom, except I’ve always found that to be rather violent, plus I’m vegetarian, so let’s say it’s like feeding two birds with one Tofutti Cutie instead.
“Please, you have to move on. You can’t keep stalking me like this.”
Good luck, and seriously, get off Facebook. Unless it’s to friend me, because I need new friends and this Nutella isn’t gonna buy itself, people.