What to do when you’ve lost your boo

A tour through the five stages of relationship grieving

Your summer fling wilted in the fall, school takes priority, they’re just not that into you. Whatever the reason, you’re single now, and somehow you’re gonna have to deal with that. There’s no best way to cope with a breakup; however, the following are a few stages (and their corresponding soundtracks) that the recently single go through on their path towards getting back in the saddle.

Stage One: “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd

Cry. That’s a prescription, not a statement. Don’t worry about your pride or whether or not you did the right thing in breaking things off with your partner. Just cry for a bit. Give it a few weeks to a month. When the tears stop flowing so often you can move on to stage two. I found the song Buddy by Willie Nelson to be particularly comforting in this stage.

Stage Two: “Always Something There To Remind Me” by Naked Eyes

Hey, you’re feeling good, right? Feeling a little better, not so sad anymore. Maybe it’s time to call them up and try to make a friendship out of the ashes of your relationship. WRONG. Put your phone down and go cry some more. When you broke up with them you did it for a reason. We’re looking for a clean break here, no need to make things messier than they already are. Songs like “Mamma Mia” by ABBA and “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5 paint unrealistic and unhealthy images of what relationships should be. Don’t fall into that trap.

Stage Three: “First Things First” by Neon Trees

Chances are, by the time you get to this stage you’re about two or three months from the breakup. It’s time to start thinking about how you can improve and grow based on the mistakes you made. For some people, finding these mistakes will be easy. Don’t get so down on yourself though; the mere act of trying to improve yourself makes you better than the person you were when you made those mistakes. A good jumping off point from here to the next stage is the song “I Wanna Get Better” by The Bleachers. 

Stage Four: “Believe” by Cher

A half year or so from the breakup, you should have a good idea of why you two broke up and what you both could have done better. If nothing else, this tremendous sorrow you have had to experience has forced you to reflect on yourself and make substantial improvements. This also might be a good time to get in touch with your old partner and do a post mortem. The point here is not to rekindle the love, but to fix the bridge between you two and gain a little closure. If reconciling with your past flame really doesn’t seem like a good idea, don’t do it. Sometimes it’s best to part ways for good.

Stage Five: “Goodbye Stranger” by Supertramp

You made it, good for you! By this point you likely don’t need a whole lot of advice so I’ll just leave you with this: you’re nothing with it if you’re nothing without it. I hope that in finding yourself single you can realize that your worth is not tied to who you’re with, but who you are. Knowing that may be enough to stave off the pain of future breaks.

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