Hi everyone! My name is MJ and I'm a 19-year-old girl just trying to figure out life like most, if not all, of you.
I think relationships are such an interesting and confusing thing to navigate in this day and age, especially as a teen girl. We aren't given any road maps or hints on how to land your "dream" partner. We simply take notes from the environment that we grew up in—from our parents, siblings, friends, and so on. We're expected to figure out how to land the "perfect" relationship by ourselves.
I'll be honest with you, in high school I loved going out with a new guy basically every month. I loved the idea of love, but I had commitment issues and got bored very fast if I wasn't constantly moving on to the next guy. I insisted that I didn't mind when things ultimately ended with each boy, but secretly wished that we had stayed together. I am, as I said, a product of my environment.
So, after each of my relationships ended, I got hurt as a result. Doesn't everyone? I don't like to admit it, but some of them were good guys. Guys who wanted more than I could give them. After each failed attempt at finding my true love, I picked myself up and learned how to be "single MJ" again. I want to help you out and share some knowledge I've picked up from my high school escapades. Hopefully these things can help you mend your broken heart.
The Beginning After the End: Give Yourself Time to Recover
So, it's done. You got through the dramatic phone call or long talk in the abandoned parking lot where your partner ended your relationship. Or maybe you ended things (more power to you!). Where do you and your shattered heart go from here?
Sit in Your Sadness
Allow yourself a week to just wallow. Pull a Rory Gilmore from the episode where her and Dean broke up (ugh, how I loved Dean!) and just allow yourself to sit in your feelings and be sad. Lay in a comfy bed all day, don't bother showering or wearing makeup, put on your favorite pajamas, grab your favorite snacks, and turn on a sappy romantic comedy. Don't force yourself to act like everything is fine and life is all rainbows and sunshine, because it's not. Forcing all your heartbreak to stay inside will only hurt you more in the long run. All your feelings will sit in that annoying little pit in your stomach until it all just bursts out—you'll end up hurting yourself or others, so please heed my advice and put on your pajamas.
Express Your Feelings
Call up your best friend or talk to your mom and vent about what's going through your mind. Grab your middle school journal off of your bookshelf or start painting on that canvas you've been dying to get your hands for weeks. Getting these jumbled words that are swirling around your head out into the universe will help you make sense of it all.
Whether it's through talking, writing, painting, or whatever you enjoy doing, I swear it will help. Doing things you love will not only allow you to let your emotions out in a healthy, constructive way, but can also take your mind off the pain for a while. I love writing in a little journal that I've had for who knows how long and coloring in a Vogue coloring book I picked up at Barnes and Nobles. These things make me happy and help me put my focus on something else.
Now that you've had a "successful" wallow week, if you will, it's time to pick yourself up. You've taken the time to allow yourself to veg out and binge the Vampire Diaries for the hundredth time and I fully support that. Sadly, this is the point in time where you need to start picking up the pieces. The pieces that your partner broke and left behind for you to deal with.
"Your future needs you. Your past doesn't."
The Beginning of Picking Up the Pieces: How to Move On
I want to make something clear—it's ok to not be ok even after the wallow week is done. Sadly, it's going to take more than a week for your heart to heal. Sometimes it can take a few weeks or even months. For a hopeless romantic like me, you might still be vying for their heart again up to a year later. Don't let that scare you. Healing is a tricky thing, and being aware that it has no solid time frame is a great first step to picking up the pieces of your broken heart.
Make a Clean Break
Grab a box. Yes, you heard me right—a box. Now walk around your house and go through the trunk of your car looking for everything your partner may have left behind. Take anything in your room that they gave you, no matter how sentimental or expensive these things may be (and if they were a good partner they should all be this way—tip for your next relationship), and place them in this box. Now seal it tight.
I know you may want to throw glitter into the box to get some good 'ole fashioned revenge before you tape it shut (and listen, I'm not here to sway your decisions), but from experience it's best to leave revenge out of it. This can be hard for some of you out there who were cheated on or left abruptly without explanation, but I urge you to take the high road. Be the bigger, more mature person in the situation. Leave that toxic, negative mindset in that old relationship and walk into this new chapter as the more mature person. If things ended badly, they may want a reaction like that out of you so that they know that they hurt you so deeply. Don't give them that satisfaction because they don't deserve anything from you anymore.
Leave with your dignity. When you meet with them to give them their belongings, don't cry or beg for their heart back. Wear your favorite outfit, put on those shoes that make you feel like you could kick some ass if necessary, and take the time to apply your makeup to cover those eye bags from the long nights of wallow week. Make sure you look like they've had no effect on you. Walk up to them looking like a new person—a refreshed, glowing version of you. Be polite and put a smile on your face, no matter how fake it is. Put on the best show of your life, honey. Make them feel like they just made the biggest mistake of their lives by losing you (because it was—duh).
Live Your Life
Go out. Have fun. Live. Ask your friends to lunch, go shopping with your sister, take your mom to get ice cream, or even take yourself to get your nails done. Get back into the swing of things. Hiding in your house for the rest of your life won't do anything except give you a vitamin D deficiency.
Learn to live without them again. The thought of not spending all your time with this one person anymore might seem grueling and unbearable, but try to turn this negative into a positive. Realize that this one person is no longer taking up all of your time anymore, which opens your schedule to your friends and family again. You may even realize you put some relationships on the back burner during your romantic relationship. Open yourself up to all of these people again.
The Beginning of Rebuilding Your Confidence
Sometimes after a breakup, your confidence shoots right down. I think this has happened to me after every single one of my "relationships" ended. Honestly, I felt like crap. After each time, I had to figure out how to be kick-ass, goddess MJ again. When you enter a relationship, you get comfortable around your partner after a while. You don't need to put on a full outfit because they love you just the same in sweats, and you don't have to do your makeup each time you hangout because they love to count the freckles on your nose.
These things are normal, and a good thing. You don't want to feel like you have to put on an act around your partner 24/7. Now, if you love dressing up and wearing full on glam makeup everyday, you should do what you want, even if your partner prefers you more "natural". Not being yourself is a huge no-no. Always do what makes you feel good about yourself because then you will be the most confident version of you.
Do What You Love
Do the things you love again. Now, I know I already touched on this, but hangout with your friends and family. Go outside and do things you enjoy. Pick up your guitar that you haven't played in months or read that book you just haven't gotten around to yet. Doing activities that make you feel good and happy are key. I love to dance, so I made a whole playlist of just female artists with songs about feminism and positivity. Now I make it a point to have a dance party at least once a day to these songs because it makes me feel good.
Be Kind to Yourself
Treat yourself with kindness. If you're sitting in front of the mirror right now picking out every "flaw" or telling yourself you were too clingy or needy—stop. Stop beating yourself up over things you can't handle. Read that sentence again. This is something I still struggle with. You are perfect the way you are.
One day you will find someone amazing who loves every curve, stretch mark, and freckle that dances across your body. You will find someone who loves that you will want to be with all the time and want their attention constantly. They'll adore these things about you. There is someone out there for everyone, someone who will accept all the things that make you, you. Never change for anyone. Never diminish who you are as a person to fit another's needs, because in the end they will be happy and you will be miserable. Remember that you deserve so much more than that.
"This is the beginning of loving yourself. Welcome home."
— Lalah Delia
The Beginning of Moving On
I hope my article resonated with some of you readers out there. This is a topic I sadly know all too well. Heartbreak is complicated and unique to each person. Take what you can from this article or take nothing at all—the choice is yours, and I promise I won't be offended. If you clicked on this article, you're clearly a broken-hearted human just trying to figure things out. I hope you learn from your past relationship and become a better version of yourself, for yourself. Remember that you deserve the world, always.
With Tons of Love,
© 2020 MJ
Marissa from Nigeria on August 06, 2020:
You've absolutely covered all that is needed when trying to get over an heartbreak. Great job!
dashingscorpio from Chicago on August 03, 2020:
" We aren't given any road maps or hints on how to land your "dream" partner."
"We're expected to figure out how to land ourselves into the "perfect" relationship."
(Both of those statements are true.)
No one finds their finds their "soulmate" at 17 or 18 and spends the next 60-70 years living happily ever after!
We're just too naive and immature to know it. Most of us at that age have yet to figure out who (we) are, let alone know what traits we want and need in a mate for life!
This explains why parents of teens usually discourage them from getting "too serious" about boyfriends/girlfriends because they already know it's going to eventually lead to having our first heartache. It's why they suggest focus on school and date for fun.
Our teenage and early 20s are time for discovery and learning. Essentially those relationships are "practice relationships".
When it comes to love and relationships most of us (fail our way) to success. Very few people hit a homerun their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th time up at bat. If this were not the case we would all be married to our high school sweethearts!
With each failed relationship, betrayal, or heartache we are presented with an opportunity to craft or refine our mate selection/screening process for our next mate. That's life!
Each of us (chooses) our own friends, lovers, and spouse.
Each of us has our mate selection process and must haves list.
Each of us has our boundaries and "deal breakers".
Whatever traits you believe make for an "ideal mate" at ages 16, 18, or 20 will most likely not cut it for you at 25, 30, and beyond.
"Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."
- Oscar Wilde