The Art of the Graceful Break-Up


Breaking up is just ass, always. The worst thing is you suddenly start feeling like the world is over and you think back on this relationship that maybe you wanted out of anyways and you start thinking that this guy you were with was the greatest thing since sliced bread (that’s a really weird expression if you think about it…).

A friend of mine said to me once that she thought it was funny how you break up with someone and you think you’ll never find anyone even close to that good again, but then you always do find someone better and you forget about the guy who came before. Smart girl.

I’ve had my fair share of relationships, and due to the fact that I am currently single you can conclude that this also means my fair share of break-ups. In fact, friends have started coming to me constantly for advice and guidance – or at least motivational quotes. Apparently I’ve become some sort of break-up guru in their eyes (jury is still out on whether or not this is actually a good thing…).

I’ve read all the books, magazine articles, and other blog posts on the topic and synthesized all of my research here for you. This is my complete compilation of advice on how to endure a break-up with grace and class…

1) Get Fit

192951165255444239_pL5j0V9e_cYou got dumped, what better way to make him see what he’s missing than looking totally bomb? I took my Christmas $$ and invested in a new pair of Nike running shoes – it doesn’t have to be just working out…get a hair cut or color (in high school I pierced things – probably don’t do this), get a spray tan, get your nails done, start a diet – just do something to make yourself better. You’ll see the improvement and feel over your ex faster when your self-esteem sky rockets. If nothing else its a great distraction!

Many of us tend to neglect our hot bods in relationships and a break-up is the right time to change that. Working out can be a social activity too, which again is a great distraction and also gives you a chance to catch up with friends (see #5) or even meet new people. Trust me on this, as good as that cookie dough tastes its going to feel even better when you run into your ex and you look 10x better than you did when you dated him. Revenge + Health = Win.

2) Don’t Call147915168982669216_LPOtIkPa_c

This is probably some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten in my life – and it applies to facebook, email, and
all other forms of communication as well! Do not contact him (or respond to any of his attempts) for at least 60 days, by the time the 60 days are up I can almost guarantee you won’t even have the urge to get in touch anyways. Its ridiculously empowering to look back and realize you went 2 months without him, that you stayed strong and didn’t need him and you send him a very powerful message about just how capable you are of moving on.

Has calling your ex in tears sobbing, begging to take you back ever made you feel better? It usually just makes me feel weak, pathetic, and doubles my pain because he has now rejected me twice. Seriously, go with me on this one cut him out! I change the names of ex-boyfriends in my address book to aid in motivating me through this process, here are some of the more creative replacements my girlfriends and I have come up with/used in the past:

  • You’re Kidding Me Right?
  • He Doesn’t Want You.
  • Don’t Even

The thing is, he doesn’t want to hear from you…you dumped you and in doing so he was saying, “I would like for you to no long be in my life in any way”. This should be some damn good motivation to never waste another second of your time trying to get ahold of him or get his attention. Buh-Bye Loser.

3) Stay Busy

Take a class, learn a new skill, workout, cook more, just DO SOMETHING and for God’s sake please don’t pull a Bella Swan (Twilight reference everybody, stay with me) and just sit around doing nothing 154529830935949664_cCNnSrnm_chaving nightmares.

I understand the temptation to curl into a ball and just cry -and this is acceptable behavior for the first couple of days, but then you’ve gotta sack up and do shit with your life.

Take this as an opportunity to do all the things you were too busy to do when you had a boyfriend. The busier you are the less down time you have to think about whats-his-name and the less you will dwell. After one break up, I taught myself how to make jewelry 🙂

4) Don’t Be Crazy…

and BACK OFF!! Occasionally (please don’t bank on this though…) all a guy needs to realize how happy he is with you is some space anyways! But for real, back off and please do not do anything crazy. Crazy things you should refrain from include, but are not limited to:

  • Hacking his email/voicemail/facebook/twitter
  • Destroying his personal property
  • Spreading malicious rumors
  • Doing anything aggressive or spiteful his new girlfriend or that random girl at the bar who is literally just talking to him

141441244516771341_59rUso0i_cYou also need to back off his friends. I don’t care if they’re your bffs now, too – they started as his they end as his besides I don’t genuinely believe guys and girls are capable of platonic relationships. Anyways, I dated a guy once and my world basically revolved around him and thus his roommates became like family to me. Plus I spent so much time at his house I felt like they were my roommates, they would always joke that I should just start paying rent at their house and move in.

Post-breakup you lose all rights to “his friends” and while it made things double painful (losing a bf AND my friends?! woof) its the right thing to do. At the end of the day you must also consider – were you really that close with them, or were you maintaining a relationship with these people as a means of connecting with your ex?


5) Reconnect

I tend to dive full-force into relationships, often leaving my friends in the dust. Luckily I have the most patient, kind, understanding, beautiful friends in the world and when my relationship goes up in flames they are always waiting in the wings with fire extinguishers, and ice cream. Now is the time to fill your life with your lady friends, you will need them right now!

I even had a “break-up buddy” (a sister who was going through one too) during a particularly difficult break up and we made a deal that every time we wanted to call our exes we would call each other instead, I genuinely don’t know how I would have made it through that time without her.

6) Don’t Romanticize the Past174725660513881465_CWgD3YFo_c

Be honest with yourself about what your relationship was and who your ex is – we often look back at a relationship once its over and we think that it was perfect and great and beautiful and we forget that just last week he did that thing that makes you want to scream again and you were seriously debating ending it yourself….sometimes breakups come out of left field, but most of the time we kind of feel them coming and probably wanted the same thing on some level. Stop glazing over your ex’s faults and short-comings – let the negatives in your relationship be a stepping stone to moving on.

7) Get a Pet 

If you seriously can’t handle being alone, get a pet – I recommend a dog, but I currently have a pet rabbit (Elliot) and they are also incredibly therapeutic, I do not recommend a cat I feel like a cat would make you feel more alone…Seriously, pets have hilarious antics that you can’t help but smile at, they love you unconditionally, they make your bed feel a little smaller, and if nothing else the added responsibility will distract you from whats-his-face.

8) Block Him Out

Delete him from your facebook friends, delete his number (or change it as suggested above!), stop following him on Twitter, do whatever it takes to clear him from your life. Take down all the pictures get rid of ALL his stuff (even that sweatshirt that you swear you’re only keeping because it looks great on you204843483021500898_HKFRdDfn_c and its super comfy). Detox him out of your life, this is a must! How can you ever move on when there are constant reminders of him everywhere? Facebook is particularly hard because there’s no good way to get rid of him completely.

A girl once blocked both me and my now ex but then boyfriend on fb and at the time I thought she was dramatic and annoying, until I broke up with this same boy and I realized how clever his ex had been to just block us both. It is emotional torture to see pictures, statuses, check-ins, etc from your ex that just prove he is doing fine and moving on without you. The moment he gets a new gf feels like getting pushed off a cliff into a pit of knives (graphic, I know) and you really don’t need to subject yourself to seeing pictures of them doing the same romantic things you two used to do. No matter what your excuse is for why it will actually help you move on to see them together, you’re wrong it will only hurt and set you back!

9) Rebound (but rebound smart please…)

174584923026338001_58PDpqEi_cCosmo just recently had an article about this as well, the rebound can be a great way to move past your ex if you are smart about it. There are a few general rules I like to adhere to when rebounding from an ex:

  • DO NOT REBOUND UNTIL YOU ARE READY otherwise it will only make it feel worse, don’t force yourself to get with another guy just to “move on” you’ll only set yourself back 
  • Do not rebound to get revenge or make your ex jealous
  • Don’t rebound with friends of your ex
  • Do choose a hot guy who you love flirting with
  • Don’t have expectations of a relationship developing from a rebound
  • Do choose someone you feel comfortable with

10) Make a Happy List

This may seem cheesy and cliche, but its gotten me through some dark moments – make a list of everything you’re grateful for or all the things that make you happy about your life right now. Writing it 107030928614476823_AyMwH8Cr_call down, looking at all these little things all piled together really shifts your perspective from “my life as I know it is ending” to “oh, I guess I will survive this after all”. You will do more than survive, you will thrive. Think of all the things you’ve learned from past relationships and all the things that would never have happened if you were still with your first boyfriend, now imagine all the things your last boyfriend could’ve been holding you back from. Now go move mountains.

Stellar Break-Up Books: 

  • Its Called a Break Up Because Its Broken – Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt
  • He’s Just Not That Into You – Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo
  • Have Him at Hello – Rachel Greenwald
  • The Between Boyfriends Book (this book is hilarious, and refreshing – she strays from the “tough love” approach to moving on and discusses the balance between being independent while remaining open to love) – Cindy Chupack
  • Eat, Pray, Love (full of genius quotes and stories that will give you a whole new perspective on your love life) – Liz Gilbert

Break-Up Playlist Essential Songs:

(Warning: this is a mix of sad, angry, and empowering!)

  • A Little Bit Stronger – Sarah Evans
  • Ring the Alarm – Beyonce
  • Single – Natasha Bedingfield
  • Irreplaceable – Beyonce
  • Be Mine – Ellie Goulding Ft. Eric Hassle
  • Between the Lines – Sara Bareilles
  • Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye
  • Fix You – Coldplay
  • Pinball Wizard – The Who (don’t ask…)
  • Consider Me Gone – Reba
  • Best Thing I Never Had – Beyonce
  • Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield
  • Think of Me – Rosi Golan
  • The Heart of the Matter – India Arie
  • Til Kingdom Come – Coldplay
  • Let My Love Open the Door – Pete Townshend
  • We Owned the Night – Lady Antebellum
  • Good Life – OneRepublic
  • Love, Save the Empty – Erin McCarley
  • Near to You – A Fine Frenzy
  • Not Over You – Gavin DeGraw
  • Over You – Daughtry
  • Feel Again – OneRepublic
  • Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia
  • Always – Blink 182
  • A Drop In the Ocean – The District
  • Fotografía – Juanes ft. Nelly Furtado
  • Begin Again – Taylor Swift

Motivating Quotes:

(For when you’re too lazy to read the whole book)

“The person you loved took a good long look at the awesomeness that is you, evaluated your relationship together, and said, “No, thanks. I’ll try my luck elsewhere.”

-Its Called a Breakup Because Its Broken

“I would like to state, for the record, that I still believe there’s a great love out there for each and every one of us. I feel completely confident that none of my amazing single friends will end up alone, and they feel confident I won’t either.”

-The Between Boyfriends Book

“This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.”

-Eat, Pray, Love

“Every moment of pain, weakness, and discomfort puts you in a position to choose how you will react and how you will alleviate your condition.”

-Its Called a Breakup Because Its Broken

“Before you look for validation in others, try and find it in yourself.”

-Its Called a Breakup Because Its Broken

“So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it…If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universes wil do with the doorway? It will rush in”

-Eat, Pray, Love

“We’ve been told to indulge ourselves…so we do all that. We’re happy with our lives. We’re whole. But taken to its extreme “whole” doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for anybody else…For example I reclaimed the center of the bed because I realized that sleeping on “my side” implied I was waiting for a guy to fill the other half. Again, good for me, not so good for my future husband. Who I’m not waiting for…Is it possible to find a mate who fits into our very full lives as nicely as the answers fit into a crossword puzzle or do we need to learn to leave a little more wiggle room? Skip a spin class for someone. Switch sides of the bed. See what happens when you leave some spaces blank

-The Between Boyfriends Book

“Awesome thought: The right guy is out there right now, wondering when he’s going meet someone just like you.”

-Its Called a Breakup Because Its Broken

Some Exciting Things to Giggle At and Distract You: 

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The Best of the Christmas Haul!

We are currently in day 2 of Christmas aftermath and if you’re itching for your relatives to hit the road (naughty!!) so you can sheepishly return/exchange the less than “you” gifts you received, here are some of my recommendations for those trade-ins, or ways to spend any Christmas cash! These sweet buys are the top 10 from my and my best friends’ Christmas hauls – enjoy!


1. The North Face Women’s Thunder Jacket (Baroque Purple) $249

2. American Apparel Modal Shawl Cardigan (Black Natural Acrylic Boucle) $82 – I wear this EVERYWHERE!!!

3. Stem Seamed Sweatshirt – Nordstroms (Black) $58

4. J Brand Super Skinny Stretch Jeans – Nordstroms (Washed Dark Plum) $198

5. Urban Outfitters Ombre Stud Earring Set (Plum) $18

6. Urban Outfitters Enchanted Crystal Bracelet (Green) $16

7. Bonne Bell Lip Smacker (Party Pack) $8.79 – throwback, still delicious

8. Pitch Perfect (DVD) $19.96

9. Pura Vida Bracelets (Sandy Hook Memorial Bracelet) $5

10. MAC Eye Kohl (Blooz) $15