We’ve all had our hearts broken. Nobody gets out without that particular blow. The irony is that the more romantic opportunities one has, the higher the likelihood that one’s heart will eventually be broken. Sometimes we bring the blow on ourselves, not usually on purpose, but we can put ourselves squarely in the matrix of things and events that caused it. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, there’s just nothing to do but accept the fact that it’s over and suck it up.
So after one makes that uncomfortable admission, what should be the next step? I for one, having had my heart broken several times, am a firm believer in the “get back on the horse” cure for the despondency associated with a breakup. But rather than just start dating the closest warm body, I have a system. It’s not perfect, but it does work. The key to all this is, rather than wallowing and spilling your guts to your friends about what happened and fishing for those hugs and pats on the head that don’t do all that much, to take real positive action to heal yourself. And for god’s sake, give up on the idea of dating for a while. Don’t pout. Don’t walk on the beach and “wonder”. Don’t read books to find out what you did wrong. You have to act. You have to do stuff. This is how we heal and how we move on.
The first thing you need to do is clean your house. That’s right. Clean house. Spend a day or two days just cleaning your house. I’m talking about a “deep” cleaning: floors, dishes, dust thoroughly, clean the bathrooms top to bottom. While you’re at it, do the laundry. Do everything. Wash the windows. Clean the chicken coop if you have one. The point here is to occupy yourself with the simple cathartic act of cleaning. Do this for two or three days. Plan it out a section of your house or apartment at a time. Once all the cleaning is done, reorganize your closets, drawers, storage, garage. Throw shit away that you don’t need or don’t use anymore. Don’t try to sell it on eBay, even if it has value, just throw it away. Purge from your environment everything you don’t use or want. You’ll be surprised how much of that stuff you have around you. Toss it. Forget it. Whittle your possessions down to the basics. This, and the cleaning, are the first steps to your recovery and rebuilding and healing. Oh, did I mention detailing and waxing your car? Wash, detail and wax your car.
Once those things are done, the cleaning and purging, it’s time to start on you. Now go buy some new clothes, not a lot, but some, maybe some new shoes. Buy something you wouldn’t have bought before, something different, or something you really want to buy. Buy something expensive that looks great. Don’t go broke doing it, but you get my meaning.
If you can do it, pay all your bills. If you can’t, just spend some time organizing them. Sort them. Prioritize them. At the very least, pay the most pressing ones, even if it hurts.
Next, get a haircut, or visit a nail salon. Get a pedicure, manicure. Join a tanning salon and get a tan while you’re at it.
Oh, and what should you do at night, when the inevitable thoughts of your ex keep you awake. Take Advil PM. Take two tabs a half hour before bed. If not those, something you like that works for you. It’s simple. Sleeping well is a crucial component to healing.
So you’ve now spent as much time as you possibly can doing everything you can to stay busy and make the changes around you say one word — “reset”. You’ve reset your life. You’re not completely out of the woods, but you’ve made a good start of it. Your home is more comfortable, cleaner, well organized. You are better organized. These simple exercises have allowed you to re-center yourself, re-balance yourself. You’ve given yourself the breathing room you need to re-calibrate your life.
The next step is to wait until the desire to date again prods you to do so. It might take a week, it might take a year. One never knows. But you will know when the time is right.
When the time is right, join that dating site you’ve been thinking about. Dating sites work as long as you follow the rules. And the first rule of dating site usage is to look your best, and put your best foot forward: get new photos that make you look your absolute best.
The stats are in on good dating photos. The more effort you put into looking your best, the more romantic options you’ll have and the better choices you have to avail yourself of. Don’t sell yourself short. You’ll want options going forward and whether you have one or two or dozens, you’ll want every one of them. Good photos give you options. Once you settle on one of your new options, the heartbreak you felt a month ago or a year ago will be a distant memory. Just like your ex…
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