by Sara Stillman
An American Demographic survey found
that men are more likely to deal with
a breakup by drinking, while women
would rather write in a journal. But
if you really want to get over a breakup,
follow these nine easy phases...hey,
it worked for me!
Phase 1, Self Pity:
You feel like crap and you're allowed
to feel that way. So, cry, throw-up,
pity yourself, smoke cigarettes, stop
eating and wallow in your sadness.
Soon, you'll start looking as pitiful
as you feel.
Phase 2, Self Medication:
Drinking is over-rated. Instead, find
friends with Xanax so you can sleep
through the night. Self medication
gets a bad rep for no good reason.
Phase 3, Self Indulgence:
You need to start putting yourself
first, and if you can't spoil yourself,
who will? Forget the rules: Eat ice
cream for lunch, splurge on the something
you'd never usually buy yourself,
treat yourself to a massage.
Phase 4, Self Help:
Get a good therapist. By now, even
your best friends are getting tired
of listening to your sob story, so
it's time to start paying someone
who can't tell you to shut up and
Phase 5, Test the Water:
You're getting sleep, seeing a therapist,
and lost enough weight from your break-up
diet to fit into your skinny jeans,
start going out. Everyone will look
like they suck. They probably do.
Accept it and move on.
Phase 6, Test your Strength:
Say goodbye to your ex: Stop calling
and stop letting your ex call you.
Most of all, stop denying that the
little conversations mean nothing.
They are holding you back from moving
on. Face it. While you're at it, give
all the clothes that he left at your
place to Good Will.
Phase 8, Test the Scene:
Go on a date: Even if you have absolutely
no interest, could care less if there's
a connection, and don't feel like
making conversation, it's good to
get out there. Expect to think only
of your ex during and to be miserable
Phase 9, Enjoy Yourself
Some dates will suck, but all it takes
is one that doesn't. When you find
yourself getting excited about someone
new, smile. Your road to recovery
is all downhill from here.
Everyone I know
starts the New Year off full of hope,
so I was surprised to learn —
through some less than scientific
research — that January is the
most popular breakup month.
Sure enough, Tom and Penelope ended
things during this frigid winter month,
as did the love birds that were Bennifer.
Then in a shocking confirmation of
tabloid rumors, Hollywood power couple
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt announced
their split on January 7th. So if
you find yourself reading this, heartbroken
and miserable, take comfort: You're
In fact, nearly 60 percent of people
between the ages of 18-34 have recently
gone through a breakup, according
to a survey conducted by American
Miraculously, even the most painful
breakup wounds heal: Penelope Cruz
had a thing for Matthew McConaughey,
Ben Affleck is now dating Jennifer
Garner and Jennifer Lopez married
Marc Anthony. And, believe it or not,
even you may decide that you're ready
to dive back into the dating pool.
Of course, you probably won't be ready
to get hitched just months after a
heartbreaking split, a la J.Lo...but
there will come a time when you'll
want to get out and enjoy yourself.
"It took several months," says Sam,
a 27-year-old L.A. stylist who was
in a year-long relationship. "Then
one day a cloud lifted. I was sick
of feeling sorry for myself. I was
ready to move on."
Ready or Not?
But thinking you're ready and actually
being ready are two different stories.
Angel, a 27-year-old Marketing Manager
in NYC, was in a relationship for
over a year. "A month after my breakup
I went out with this horrid man,"
she confesses. "I was trying too hard.
I had to step back and say, 'I'm not
ready yet.' That first date, when
you go out with someone after being
in love for so long, you are looking
for feelings that you aren't ready
to have yet."
When I talked to Jaime, a 27-year-old
writer from L.A., she was getting
dressed for a blind date. She and
her live-in boyfriend of three and
a half years had just broken up a
month before. "I don't think I'm in
a place right now to date anyone,"
she confesses, "Which makes me wary
about going out with this guy tonight.
I want to tell him I'm PMSing and
five pounds heavier than usual, but
you can't say that on a first date!
I'm not sure how it's going to go,
but you never know until you try."
Sam has tried, tried and tried again.
"Going out with new people gives me
perspective on my last relationship,"
he says. "Now I have a good idea of
what I want and what I don't."
With dating new people, comes hooking
up with new people — and that
can be really strange after being
in a serious relationship. Susan,
a 26-year-old editor from New York,
actually had a panic attack the first
time she went home with a guy. "I
was lying in his bed when I felt him
take his boxers off," she recalls.
"I jumped up, ran to the bathroom
and threw up. I hadn't seen another
guy's penis in four and a half years
and the thought of it freaked me out."
Angel agrees: "The first week after
my ex and I broke up I kissed two
different guys," she says. "It was
horrible. I was so used to being with
one person who I was madly in love
Just a few months after her horrible
hook-ups, Angel kissed someone on
New Year's Eve. Someone she actually
liked. "It is so liberating to kiss
a new boy and think about someone
new," she says enthusiastically. "You
don't know what's going to happen
or what to expect, but in the end
you get to take control of what you
want. I feel more focused and awake
and alive than I ever felt."
Susan is now dating someone wonderful.
"I don't even think about my ex anymore,"
she says. And Jamie actually had fun
on her date. "I don't know if he's
my type," she says, "But we're going
out again on Sunday."
Yes, dating again can actually be...fun.