A broken heart sucks. Even those of us with the strongest of wills have at some point learned that getting over somebody can be a painful and arduous process. So the notion of a definitive guide for achieving a clear mind and healthy heart after a failed relationship or rejection by the opposite sex might seem absurd.
The goal of this piece is to show how life does not end with rejection at a bar, a note left on a pillow, or coming home from work to an empty apartment. Combining a few bits of advice from friends and my own life experiences, I think I am able to provide a dependable resource you can refer to the next time a man or woman decides you and your genitals are inadequate. So without further ado, let’s start the healing process … together.
The first thing you need to do once you’ve been dumped is stop feeling bad for yourself. Wondering “What have I done to deserve this!?” makes you pathetic. Don’t be pathetic. Before you enter the dark place — that pitiful, depth-less black hole filled with self-loathing and doubt — you need to start writing some lists.
For example, here’s a list I just now came up with about a girl whom I dated briefly in college: She was a few pounds overweight; she was too Jewish; a couple times I found stray hairs around her nipples; she never talked dirty; we had nothing in common; her friends were annoying; her breasts were veiny; she had a cocaine problem, I thought her roommate was hotter. See? Now I feel like I’m way out of her league! I could think of a million girls with all those qualities, and they’re all beneath me! Try it out, you’ll be amazed what it does for your confidence. Once you’ve regained faith in yourself, you will be able to move on with your life.
BE LIKE CHAUCER
Once you’ve successfully penned a bunch of lists that would make John Cusack in “High Fidelity” feel like an even bigger loser, you should make like Chaucer and pen an epic story detailing the history of your relationship. Don’t go and use traditional middle-English style or anything, and a 1,300 page opus would be excessive. Just be totally honest with yourself and depict the good and bad times as fairly as possible. You’ll be surprised at how reading over the end result offers a sense of closure you won’t get from sitting in your room sulking. Hell, it could even motivate you to get back out there and find someone else to start a relationship with. This time just make sure you don’t end up with someone who’ll sleep with your best friend when you’re passed out drunk on the couch.
You don’t have to hunt ducks, specifically, but there’s something about firing a gun (at a living animal, or maybe just one of those life-sized paper human targets) that relieves all of one’s stress. I grew up in New Jersey and reside in Los Angeles so I have not had many opportunities to hunt. Maybe it’s just my warped mind, but I think shooting at things (alive or inanimate) would do wonders for my mood. Should you decide to go the animal route, I suggest you hunt something small and defenseless, because your ex always was a bit … impotent, right?
Immediately following any breakup, half of your friends will suggest you go out and sleep with somebody else. The other half will tell you that’s the worst possible decision you can make. I’m not going to tell you one way or the other which is best, because you really have to know yourself to predict how you will react. I had an insane crush on a girl when I was 22 that I thought was going to lead to a relationship, and when she finally rejected me, I was devastated. A friend advised the obvious. So, I called a girl I knew I could sleep with and I met her at her apartment. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a night I care to remember. Let’s just say … I called her the wrong name. In that instance, I wasn’t ready. Just before I decided to move to L.A., a girl I was fooling around with fed me a poor excuse for why we couldn’t see each other anymore, so I called up a girl who’d recently made known her intentions to screw my brains out. It was the perfect antidote for a broken heart. A month later, she and I crashed and burned in one of the most brilliant, awkward flameouts of all time, but that’s a story I’ll have to share some other time.
AA IS FOR SUCKERS
I never drank much in high school or college. In hindsight, this was a good thing. Had I drank to drown sorrows then as much as I have in my mid-20s, I might have died. I cannot condone binge drinking, but a steady buzz for a couple weeks is a really good way to get over the initial shock of rejection or separation. Relationship detox through intoxication can be a lifesaver. Who knows, you might stumble up to the bar to order a drink and crack a joke to the guy or girl seated next to you. Before you know it, you’re making a connection with someone new. You might also die from drinking too much, but it’s best not to think about worst-case scenarios at times such as these. Really, the best thing to do is just give yourself a set amount of time in which to go nuts, and then compose yourself and focus on the more important aspects of your recovery process.
BE THE KING
I know a lot of women read The Frisky, and this is not meant to be gender exclusive. Any woman can “Be The King.” Let me explain: The single best piece of advice a friend ever offered me in a time of despondency was “Live like a damned king.” I was 24 years old, broke and unemployed. I had met a great girl, we’d made some progress towards starting a relationship, and then she crushed me. At first, I tried the other items on this list, and though they might have worked in small doses, they weren’t right for this situation. An old friend told me I needed to just spoil myself. I needed to act like royalty. I should pretend like the world revolved around me. So that night I grabbed three of my closest friends and treated them to a feast at one of L.A.’s most expensive steakhouses. We got wasted on bottles of red wine, dined liked sovereigns, and laughed uncontrollably throughout the meal. Afterward, I bought a bottle of nice bourbon and we drained it within minutes. The high lasted over a week. If I saw a record I wanted, I bought it. I took day trips to meet friends in nearby cities, saw every band I wanted to see, and treated myself to great meals and fancy drinks and whatever I wanted. I was amassing debt, sure, but I was happy and I was meeting new people and loving life. Whether you are a man or a woman, we are all attracted to confidence. This piece of advice helped me get there. What’s more, it just so happened that the first person to be attracted to the confident, kingly me was the same girl who’d denied me. It actually works. Be the king, people!
FOCUS ON HEALING
The one unifying theme of this guide is that you have to do what makes you happy. Eschew self-reflection and self-examination. Focus on healing. You have the rest of your life to figure out why your relationship failed. So why not do just that? Save it for later. Have fun now, with your friends and by yourself. You can reflect later, when you are blissfully attached to someone new. I guarantee that when the time comes, you probably won’t remember why you were once so miserable.