Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. We’ve fallen for someone hard enough that when the relationship inevitably ends we shatter into pieces. It’s no wonder they call it “falling” and “breaking”. 🙄
I’ve personally been going through the process of getting over a break-up. In How to NOT Transition into Polyamory, I talked about my PawPaw. He and I met on the dating app Badoo, talked for a bit before meeting at a piano bar. That same night I got drunk, cheated on my husband and in turn opened my marriage up and started a relationship with PawPaw.
Our relationship began slowly, one, because I was new to polyamory and I didn’t want to screw things up with my husband more than I already had, and two, because I’m extremely protective of my heart and wasn’t ready to love another. There were several discussions around feelings. The first time was after he’d planned to go to a convention with his other partner when we had tickets to a music festival because he’d forgotten about me. The hurt I felt made me realize I had feelings. When he asked if it was love, I said no and he said that love wasn’t necessarily out of the occasion.
When he emphatically text me to tell me his relationship with his other partner had gone from partner to girlfriend, which meant she was now his primary, I was absolutely distraught. I cried all day. I knew then that somewhere along the line I’d fucked up and fallen in love with him. I’ve only been in love with two men in my life…and he was the second.
My metamour not only did not want anything to do with me, she honestly did not want him with me at all. There was one instance where he was going to hang out with her when she was finished work, he’d just left work and was closer to her place (and mine) than his home. He asked if I’d like to kill time with him by having a beer at our favorite bar. When his girlfriend found out, she tried to break up with him. I sent him to see her while she was still at work. This was only one of the many times she’d pulled this stunt.
In March, I reached out to her to extend an olive branch. She got pissed and in turn, he got pissed. The whole ordeal ended with him saying that he had to choose between her and me, and he chose her. The heartbreak from losing him was unbearable and to be honest, I still get upset about it. I still cry about it.
So, let’s talk about coping mechanisms for post-breakup for a second. I’m not talking about going to your favorite bar and drinking yourself into a stupor. Let’s talk about healthy coping mechanisms.
Focus on you!
Self-care is huge when it comes to break-ups. You’re feeling at your lowest and all you want to do is consume three pints of Ben & Jerry’s and binge watch Friends for the umpteenth million time. The thing is, you’re just going to feel like shit if you do this. And guess what, you’re a really fucking amazing person and deserve to feel amazing, too. Take this time for some self-care: bubble baths, walks in the sun, or whatever floats your self-care boat. Just make sure you focus on you. Do some soul searching, date yourself, and learn to love yourself without the attachment of a partner.
Spend some time with good company.
Post-break-up can be an extremely lonely time. When I lost my PawPaw I also lost my entire community, my polycule. I had intended to move to his home state because at the time I owned a home 600 miles away from him. So, here I was in a half-packed house with only one friend here and my polycule disbanded. I started Tindering and swiping on OKCupid to hang out with people. I ended up going on a first date — there wasn’t a second — to a bar that has since become my safe haven. I have become close friends with many of the patrons and even joined their in house burlesque troupe.
Talk about it.
Whether you talk to your friends, your family, your therapist, or even a stranger and at the aforementioned favorite bar, talk about it. Getting something off your chest can alleviate, well, the pain in the chest from the heartache. Maybe you’ll get some additional ideas to help you get through the break-up. Maybe you’ll realize the break-up was needed by viewing it through someone else’s mind. Or maybe you’ll just be distracted enough during the conversation to forget the pain.
Bury yourself into media.
Whether it’s music, television, movies, books, etc. take yourself to a new world by immersing yourself. Delve into the false reality that is a fictional world, create a new persona, forget for a moment that there is pain in your life.
Give it time.
No matter how much you do to overcome your heartache, nothing but time will heal all wounds. Maybe giving it time means dating yourself for a while. Giving it time could be giving yourself self-care or spending time with friends or burying yourself into a new realm. Whatever you do to help get through a heartbreak, you’ll have to give it time.
What are some ways you’ve found that help you overcome a breakup?