Whether you’ve been recently dumped or done the dumping (worse at times, in my humble opinion), I am here to reassure you that there is a much brighter light at the end of the tunnel. I have had both experiences: sustained a two-year relationship throughout university before eventually biting the bullet and facing the long road to single life. I would have to argue that the latter is really quite liberating. Aside from the obligatory three-hour session of hysterical sobbing accompanied by a Ben & Jerry’s binge, shortly followed by deep regret and more hysterics, I would like to offer a different route to fully embracing the single life, full dignity intact. Below, I present to you my top four tips on how to survive and thrive following a breakup at university:
Trust in fate
As the age-old saying goes, it’s just not meant to be. In order to fully overcome those aching pains of dejection and hopelessness, it is imperative that you repeat this mantra. I am a firm believer that if something is meant to happen it will happen, simple. Likewise, if your relationship has come to an end, no matter the reason, it is quite clearly the universe’s way of telling you that you two are not supposed to be together at this point in time, if at all. This does not mean that you have failed or that there is something drastically wrong with you or your former partner. It simply transpires that he or she was not the pearl to your oyster. So relax!
After making it through the heartache of breaking it off with your partner, it is time to fully embrace your empowering single status. We are so young and muddled at university, it’s very easy to become lazy and all-encompassed in your relationship. Therefore, as your relationship ends, the exciting journey of finding yourself again begins.
Take this opportunity to really try and be the best possible version of yourself. Put yourself first for once and focus on achieving your personal goals. Now that you no longer have to undergo the arduous juggling act of balancing a social life, essay deadlines and a relationship, you’ll find there is so much time to explore other outlets. I personally feel I have a lot more room to breathe and do whatever the hell takes my fancy. I have taken up new hobbies, spent more quality time with my flatmates and as a result, feel genuinely more relaxed, happier and content within myself.
Boogie it out
Time to whip out that timeless leopard-print bandeau and hit the Garibaldi’s pole. In all seriousness, I believe a healthy dose of letting go, dancing till your glutes burn and spending quality time with friends is the ultimate and much needed medicine for a broken heart. There is nothing more liberating than a night out where you are free to put whatever embarrassing and X-rated content on your Snapchat reel without the fear of reprisals from a certain semi-insecure partner. No longer do you have to resent having to continuously notify them of your whereabouts and check in when you’re home safe, having known full well you were chatting up that guy in Pizza Paradise at 3am for a solid 45 minutes. The time has come to experience all of those wild night-time adventures, totally guilt free.
As cliché as it sounds, it is crucial to stay optimistic and revel in the silver linings. Gone are the days of trying to decipher hidden messages in their 4am drunken rants or tirelessly fretting over upcoming birthdays, Valentine’s and Christmas presents, driving you even further into your student overdraft. Equally, no longer will you have to face the dreaded FOMO as your friends head out to a flat party, while you are chained to that long weekend trip to Devon for their Grandad’s 80th.
The bottom line here really is, you’re not going to find yourself alone with a dozen cats, it’s just not going to happen! Stop trying to make it happen! Suck it up and remind yourself that you are strong and capable with a plethora of exciting opportunities awaiting you. Unfollow your ex from social media (it’s not malicious, we all deserve our space too get over someone) and look to the future.
image: Tim Houlihan via Wikimedia Commons