Neil Sedaka’s Billboard Hot 100 hit, Breaking Up is Hard to Do, was a scorcher in 1962, sitting atop the charts at No. 1 and scoring world-wide. It was translated into several foreign languages and re-recorded by Sedaka in 1975 and several other pop artists over the years.
The music was catchy on the first song, and more slow and mellow on Sedaka’s second recording of his song. But what grabbed the listener and propelled the song into its meteoric rise throughout the world was the sentiment, the universally felt, underlying pathos which normally accompanies any break-up with someone special to your heart.
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of regrettably ending a loving relationship with someone you cared about, then you’re fully aware that breaking up sucks. Heck, I’ve broken up with several cats I had and that sucked, so human break-ups tend to hurt perhaps a million times more. You can get listless, depressed, scarf down a whole tub of Hagen-Daz, or a whole bag of Doritos, or not eat for days on end. You can bore your friends with all the good times you and “Bob” previously shared, or totally isolate yourself and not talk to anyone. You can feel like your life has ended, and to be real, a part of it has. You can wallow in that for days and weeks, OR, you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and rejoin the human race. Learn how to forget someone you love, and move on.
Please choose the latter, because reliving that searing, knife-in-the-heart emotion is so detrimental to your well-being . . . it really is. Let’s look at ways to move on:
Allow Yourself to Grieve
You’ve lost someone. You’ve lost your Smoochy-Face, your Honey-Bear, your Boo. It’s over. Allow yourself to curl up on your bed and cry until your eyeballs feel like they’re about to drop out. Give yourself one good week of crying, sniffing, boo-hoo’ing and just plain ole feeling miserable. One Week. Granted, you’re probably not going to feel healed after one week, but lying around depressed as hell for any longer than that is not good. You can still grieve, but grieve on your feet. Get up.
Forgive Him and Yourself
If there is any amount of hatred inside you toward him, even an infinitesimal amount, do try to forgive. Forgiveness really isn’t about the other person, it’s all about you – you letting go of old, ugly hurtful feelings so that you can live again – so you’re not tied to the past. And definitely forgive yourself for any mistakes you made. No one’s perfect no matter how much we think we are. You’re not the first and certainly not the last to make mistakes in a relationship. Don’t be hard on yourself.
Life Offers Lessons – Always
Look at the whole relationship objectively if you can (I know that’s hard, but put on your Big Girl panties and just do it). What mistakes did you make? What would you have done differently? What LESSON did you learn from this? Was it that relationships take a TON of work? Was it that you need to pick your battles? Could it have been an excess of jealousy? Or, perhaps, an inability to listen more attentively? Perhaps, it was something positive such as, “I’m worth more than I’m being given credit for and I need someone who will appreciate me.” If that’s it, then you get major applause!
Really Let Go
Often times, there is such an urge to “be friends.” Just give each other a call every now and then to “see how you’re doing.” Uh-huh! Let go. Breaking up is hard enough. Keeping the person around, even if just on the periphery of your life is much harder. I want to see Bob; no I really shouldn’t; but. . . maybe. . . just to see his face. Let.It.Go. Let’s face it, you’re vulnerable. You need your space. And your space should exclude him, his friends, his family, his dog, his cat and his pet Gerbil. Do not tweet him, Facebook him, or technologically contact him in any way.
Cleanse your home of every vestige of him. If he left sweaters, an old pair of sneakers or a toothbrush at your place, mail them to him. Have a friend hold on to any special pictures or memorabilia that you feel you can’t destroy, until you’re strong enough to deal with them. DO NOT read all his old letters and cry yourself to sleep.
And, if you really want to let go of it all, think about the yucky stuff he did – he was cheap, he snored like a buffalo, he was obnoxious at your parent’s house, he didn’t like the way you dressed, he ignored your birthday (anniversary, etc.). Don’t get too into that or you’ll feel resentment.
Stay Active – DO NOT VEG-OUT
As you learn how to forget someone you love, there are about a gabillion feelings twirling around. Your emotions seem to be either on fire, or dead. You want to cry, you want to scream out of anger. Emotions can and will catch up with you and do a number on you, if you let them. Stay active. Find a physical activity which lets you put all those emotions out there, but in a constructive way. Take Salsa lessons, go roller-blading, join a gym. For those more cerebral, go to a spa and get the whole zen treatment. Let a masseuse knead you and rub you and massage all those worries away. But don’t, for goodness sake, stay alone until you’ve gotten over your funk.
Talk to Your Closest Friends
Hopefully, you didn’t neglect all your friends while you were tied up with “Bob.” Talk it out and listen as they give their opinions. Hear what they have to say. It doesn’t mean they’re right – doesn’t mean they’re wrong. But gain whatever insight they may have on the situation.
I began with a song, so I’ll end with a song -- the lyrics from Fergie’s "Big Girls Don’t Cry":
"And I’m gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket
But I’ve got to get a move on with my life
It’s time to be a big girl now
And big girls don’t cry
Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry"