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I think I can speak on behalf of some of my friends when I say that breaking up with somebody makes me feel like I never want to get into another relationship again. Back when I used to just hear about break-ups, the thought already pained me thinking about the reasons why – things just weren’t working out, “It’s not you, it’s me,” lying, cheating, stealing, the whole big deal. I thought that if ever I get into a relationship, I would save face and break it off, so it wouldn’t be as painful as I imagined it would be.

Of course, things never really go as planned. And I think in my case, “not going as planned” would be an understatement for my break-up.

I’m going to save my ex-boyfriend’s face this time by not going into details. The reason why we broke up is between him and me and whoever else is involved (ha), and it’s not for public eyes. The reason why we broke up isn’t even why I’m writing this – it’s what happened after the break-up that pushed me to write this, not only for my friends who just broke up with their boyfriends, but also for me.

Here are some things I learned on getting by –

1. The first week is always going to be the worst. Yes, the first week is the week where you do everything stupid, maybe because you’re allowed to. My friends were utterly disappointed when they found out I drank at least one beer every day before I went to bed, because I preferred the buzz instead of tears putting me to sleep. If I didn’t eat, I wouldn’t. I smoked, I broke down, I did everything I wanted – except talk to my ex. Yeah. That’s the only stupid thing you’re really not allowed to do. Because whether you like it or not, the first week is the first step to moving on. You’re mourning because it’s over, not because it’s on pause.

2. Distract yourself. Man, people don’t lie when they say keeping yourself busy will help you. Thanks to my lovely ex-boyfriend, I got myself into a production, into the executive team of the council of organizations of my university, dove headfirst into committee work for my organization, the works. My on-the-job training became easier to bear, especially when I had to push all my creative juices into making PowerPoints or running errands. DISCLAIMER though: just because you don’t think about it during the day doesn’t mean you’re not going to think about it at night. But at least you think about it less, yeah?

3. Sometimes, it’s really not your fault. Breaking up with somebody, especially if you weren’t the one doing the breaking-up, makes you re-evaluate a lot of things about yourself. Despite the fact that your friends tell you it’s not your fault, a little part of yourself really thinks that it is. A lot of the time, you think about what you did wrong, but you have to remember that sometimes, it really isn’t your fault. What if it was a matter of circumstance, or better yet – what if it was HIS fault? Yeah. I like thinking about that a lot, but that didn’t really help me much. But here’s another special tip – if you and your friends can’t think of anything you did wrong, the odds are likely in your favor. It’s not your fault.

4. Immerse yourself in the current relationships you have. You’re allowed to be clingy to your close friends and family. Trust me, your family will be so ecstatic to have you back without any boy hanging off your arm. It’s also in times like these that you realize what a blessing your family is in your life. My family went above and beyond for me when my ex and I broke up, and I must say that I wouldn’t be who I am now if it weren’t for them. Your true friends will also drown you in their love and affection. The support I got from all of my friends definitely made my days better. You will also build your self-esteem back with the things they say. Nothing says it better than a, “We never really liked him anyway” or a “You’re too good for him” or more importantly, “We love you and we think you’re strong, beautiful and amazing. If he didn’t see that, it’s his loss.”

5. It ends eventually, so take your time. I admit that I am still in the process of getting over my ex. Long relationships always take a long time to get over, and rushing it will only make it worse. Don’t feel bad if you fall into a relapse every once in a while, because whether you like it or not, he was part of your life and he definitely made it awesome at that time. Sure, getting over it might take a while and it will hurt, but it will end one day. Don’t rush healing, because it might just end up worse if you push it too early. The right guy will come – and he will wait for you until you’re all better. And you know, I think he might just be better than the one who let you go.

I think at this point I’m still learning how to get by, but you know – there are definitely some things about getting over it that you learn on your own. Don’t worry – one day you’ll wake up and it won’t be so difficult to smile and be happy. After all, if he’s happy, why can’t you be? Your happiness isn’t dependent on his or anyone else’s. And in the end, that’s what’s going to get you by. 🙂