I posted earlier about chopping off seven inches of hair after finally deciding that my break was not a breakup. While a cliche, it was a defining moment that signified my new perspective on the future. Luckily, as many of you so kindly pointed out, it turned out to look good too. (I swear, I didn’t post the before and after photos in a desperate search for compliments, but I sure do appreciate them!) But as some of you pointed out in the comments, the MAJOR haircut is not the only action many women take post-breakup. After the jump, five other major changes and steps women often make in their quest to get over a broken heart and start a new phase in life.1. Move: As commenter “Lauren” said, “Every time I break up I move. It’s a little more extreme, but I like getting an entirely new apartment after a heartache. Plus, I get to focus on packing and getting rid of stuff.” Personally, I can’t move until March, but for many people, a broken heart is best mended with a change in scenery. Whether that’s packing up and moving to a new apartment in a cool neighborhood or relocating to a different city all together, a new woman equals a new abode. My advice? Embrace the change, but don’t be impulsive. Starting over in a brand new city may seem like an exciting way to leave the past behind, but it can also be regrettable once the excitement wears off.
2. Redecorate: Similar to number one, but particular to women who’ve lived with their ex and now have the place all to themselves. Because this situation can be convenient (you don’t have to move), but also depressing (what was once “ours” is now just “mine”), redecorating, even in just small ways, is symbolic of moving on as a single lady. See the silver lining — for me, one of the only real “perks” I would say of living alone in an apartment built for two, is double the closet space. You can bet that I spent a tear-filled evening organizing my clothing by item, color, and sleeve-length. Oh, and my shoes! My shoes have so much space to be displayed! Additionally, I am planning on adding feminine accents to my once gender neutral decor. Make your apartment a place that says, “A cool, single, empowered, fabulous woman lives her alone. And she loves it.”
3. Take Up A New Hobby: I like to think of myself as a pretty independent woman, but when you’re part of a couple for a long time, a certain amount of the “we”-ness becomes a part of your identity. When the “we” is no more, it can feel like a chunk of you is missing and getting back in touch with WHO you are is an important part of healing from heartbreak. One of the best ways to do this, I think, is to take up a new hobby — something you’ve always wanted to try or learn how to do, but didn’t because, well, your free time after work was spent cuddling with the one you loved. I’ve been trying to really commit to a yoga routine, for starters, and have given myself until the end of the year to get myself into headstand without assistance (my ab muscles are weak). Other women I know have taken up sewing and making their own clothes, learned to play guitar, and joined a swing dance troupe.
4. Mentally & Physically Cleanse: Breakups are kind of like celebrating the New Year — it’s a good time to make resolutions about things you want to do or change in this new phase of your life. I have a friend who, post-breakup, decided to become a vegetarian; she had been thinking about giving up eating meat for years (in fact, she didn’t each much meat to begin with), but didn’t have the motivation until she was thrust into a bad breakup. Committing to something that a little challenging was inspiring for her. Likewise, I decided to scale back on my wine imbibing (scale back, not give up, FYI) and committed to going to yoga at least twice a week, if not three. I’m also doing something I’ve never done before — relying on and confiding in friends. For years, my sounding board was my ex; I wasn’t open about my feelings with many people, though I’ve always known that wasn’t such a good thing. Without him around, I’ve had to learn to trust more people — and it’s been very gratifying.
5. Vacation, Vacation, Vacation!: Alone or with a friend or a group of friends, getting the hell out of dodge is high on the list of post-breakup activities. Call it running away if you want, but whether you just go for a quick weekend getaway or backpack around Europe for a month, getting outside of your own little universe is a great way to gain perspective. So is making out with the hot concierge at your hotel in Rome, but I digress. Personally, being that I am not a fan of Christmas, I’m considering a little solo jaunt to Caribbean in December, to soak up the sun and reflect on the changes, both pleasant and unpleasant, that I’ve encountered, all with the intention of coming back home ready and even excited for more to come.