This week, we’re looking at break ups. Ugh. An entirely human and almost unmissable part of the romantic experience, the end of a relationship can literally make or break us (sorry). We wanted to create a survival guide for life post-break up, and offer conversation prompts to facilitate boundaries, understanding and safety with your ex. This could look like creating a radio silence time frame (i.e. We won’t speak for a month), clarifying what medium you’ll communicate in (i.e. Text only pls) or setting expectations for when/if you do see them (Gd help us all).
When it comes to a break up, it can be super helpful to set some boundaries, expectations and safety nets to help you feel most secure in yourself, and in moving on and through the experience. Here are a few questions to consider after a break up, as well as some tips for survival, featuring your submissions over on Instagram. How will we communicate? Whether it’s logistics (Who’s keeping the fiddle leaf?!) or feelings, you may wish to discuss how and when you will communicate. Consider both the timing and the medium – do you need to set a specific time frame i.e. a few weeks, a month, or longer before you speak again? And should discussions be carried out face-to-face, over the phone, via text? Do a sense check within yourself and your ex – what suits best for your styles of communication and specific needs? What are our agreements of engagement? It may be helpful to discuss the expectations when/if you do see each other. Whether you have a shared group of friends, suburb or favourite coffee shop, consider whether you’ll say hi, wave or ignore. How will we talk about it to our friends? As a general rule, it’s best not to bad mouth an ex too hugely to family and friends, it may offer temporary satisfaction but often leaves you feeling worse – if the break up has been amicable and you have mutual friends, harsh words can do more harm than good. An obvious exception – if a person has behaved poorly. Seek support wherever you need, leaning on a trusted health professional or friends for relief, insight and strength moving forward. What boundaries do we need to set in order to feel safe and secure? This may be an amalgamation of the above (communication, expectations, needs) or something else entirely, such as unfollowing them, removing the obligation to check-in with how they’re doing, taking a break from social scenarios where they might be etc. The most important part in this process is for you (and your ex) to feel safe and understood, to have the capacity to move on and through the break up. Which leads me to… Break Up Survival
Give yourself time – lots of it!
Rediscover what feels good for you
Cut your hair
Distraction yourself (without numbing your feelings)
Exercise - get those endorphins flowing
Get to know yourself
Allow yourself to feel every emotion
Set and respect those boundaries
Reconnect with yourself / Do something wild, spontaneous, adventurous
Create a routine and to the best of your ability - stick to it
Start a new hobby
Cry in the shower
More pleasure in your life
Challenge the narrative of ‘I’m not good enough’
Altruism – do something for others
Re-decorate your space
Go on holiday
Talk it through with people you trust
Remind yourself that it’s painful but you will survive
Move – dance, workout, yoga
Process – write, paint, shout, talk it out
Turn to others for support.