Why learn the hard way when you can learn from the comfort of your iPad? Easier said than done right? I wish I took my own advice sooner rather than later. After years of breakups that could rival Kim Kardashian's ex-list, I hope I've learned a thing or two.
PS: It's all about YOU
My mom left when I was fairly young, so most of the dating advice I got from my dad sounded like this, "don't do it." Whatever 'it' is, just don't. And when my little 4th grade heart was broken for the very first time by David D., my loving but not so tactful dad said,
"Stop crying like a little girl. You're better than him, now go play."
Thirty years later, I can see with an experienced heart just how spot on that advice really was. And experience has a way of teaching us lessons that we refuse to learn any other way.
10 Lessons I learned the hard way (but you don't have to)
Don't get me wrong, sitting down for a nice hard cry is a great way to relieve the pressure on your broken heart. But making a daily habit of wallowing in your misery is only going to prolong your heartache. Allow yourself a nice hard sob or two, and then dab away the mascara and have yourself a nice glass of pinot noir.
You are better than that
Often times we feel less than adequate after a tough split. Our confidence is shaken and we beat ourselves to a pulp. Women in particular are experts at that. I had a master's in negative self-talk when I was younger. From one girlfriend to another, you need to like you more than you need someone else to like you. True story.
Don't confuse lust for love
Lust is fabulous. I'm a huge fan of its endorphin-producing qualities. But listen up ladies, great sex does not equal true love. You and Mr. Wrong may have had the hottest, most intimate sex of your life, but that only means one thing... you had great sex. Enjoy it for what it was, not what it was never meant to be.
It's OK to be single
In fact, it's way better than OK. Sometimes we forget how to enjoy our own company, especially if we've been in a long-term relationship. Remember the "...you complete me" scene in Jerry Maquire? Every time I hear that line, I want to poke Tom Cruise in the eye. Sorry Tom. But nobody completes you. YOU complete you. Don't give in to Noah's Ark syndrome. Two-by-two is so 1st century. Now's a great time to love living life as an individual.
Some relationships have an expiration date and that's OK. A short-term romance can be tons of juicy fun without all of the drama. Like Pitbull says, "I know we're only fooling around, I'm never gonna be your Mr. Right, But I'ma be your Mr. Right now. Ima lotta fun, best bang, no headaches..."
Get over the blame-game
Let me ask you this... when has pointing fingers ever solved a problem? Talk about wasting emotional energy. Take a good, long look at the relationship and be honest with yourself about what you could have done better. As fabulous as you are, there's always room for improvement. A wiser, stronger you is a sexier you.
Take a dating vacay
Relationship expert Patti Stanger suggests taking a 30-90 day break. Maybe that seems like a long time, but your heart and your mind will thank you. When I went through my divorce, I took a solid six months to work on me and get my head in a better place. When I was ready to dive back in, I felt confident and relaxed which made dating fun again.
Don't be a stalker
I know you just thought to yourself, "I so wouldn't do that." But we've all been there. Social media makes it oh-so easy to anonymously 'check up' on your ex. Resist the urge to even take a peek. Unfriend him if you need to. It doesn't mean you're being shallow — you're just protecting your vulnerable heart.
Resist the booty call
For whatever reason, the late night "baby I need you now" booty text was my kryptonite. Ladies, if you don't remember anything else, remember this: He is not texting you because he's realized the error of his ways and he can't live another sad moment without you. He's hard up for sex and he's using you. Period. Delete the text and step away from the cell phone. It gets easier, I promise.
Dad was right, go out and PLAY
The best thing you can do for your heart is remind it how to have fun. Get gorgeous in your sexiest LBD and take your besties out for a "Last Friday Night" kinda good time. Or maybe sign up for a Burlesque 101 class or kick some butt with a cardio Tai Box class. You can choose happiness now. Don't wait for something outside of you to make you happy. You've got this.
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