When Long-Term Love Fizzles

Tips for how to get over a failed relationship

Dear Monica, After a long-term exclusive relationship, my boyfriend and I just broke up. I am trying to find a way to get back on track. I am pretty heartbroken. Any suggestions? — D. D., Glenside

Whether he broke your heart or the break up was the right thing to do, you must focus on regaining your stride. Don’t just wait around for the day you will get over him. Surviving a break up is a proactive mission. While it may not be easy, start having fun, and get used to the idea of being single again. Here is a plan of action to get you back on track:

  • Start fresh. Get rid of anything that reminds you of him. Clean out drawers, photos, cards etc. Time to head off into a new and better direction. Start feeling good about yourself and get off the couch. Round up your best girlfriends and go out for a night on the town. Chances are you had mostly couple friends and now is not the time to be around couples. Nothing is better for the blues than a girls’ night out to remind you off all the fun you missed out on while you were tied down. This is all about reclaiming your mojo.
  • Delete him from your contacts. No you don’t need it “just in case.” At the very least, this eliminates the possibility of your butt-dialing him! Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can be buddies with your ex. This will only lead to an emotional nightmare. If he tries to contact you, let it go to voicemail.
  • Spruce yourself up with an inside-and-outside approach. A day of beauty along with a subtle change to your look can make all of the difference. Whether it be a great new haircut or a different fashion look, indulge in a little pick-me-up. Feeling put-together can only help you feel better about yourself. Now pair this with a new mindset. Confidence is at the core of your success.
  • Be classy. Do not bad mouth your ex. Keep any negative feelings to yourself. When someone asks what happened just say it did not work out. How you speak about your ex can reflect poorly on you. Save the gory details for your girlfriends or therapist.
  • Stay active. Join a health club. Take a class that interests you. Volunteer at an organization that you are passionate about. Concentrate on your career so you can move ahead professionally. Do what it takes to keep busy and enrich your life at the same time.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. Yes, it is easier to be the dumper than the dumpee. Either way, the fact remains that things just did not work out. Don’t take rejection too personally. It is fine to be sad, cry and feel sorry for yourself, but after you have indulged these feelings long enough you have to move on.

Throughout all eternity people have had failed relationships and lived through it. Life does go on and you will meet someone who makes you happy. Be thankful that the door is now open for you to find the true love of your life. Learn and grow from your experience. Keep your attitude upbeat and get yourself out there. In her book Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert offered up a pearl of wisdom: “The best way to get over somebody is to get under somebody.”

Monica Mandell, Ph.D. is the Director of the Philadelphia office of Selective Search, the premiere (off-line) upscale matchmaking firm for the most eligible singles. Please send your questions to: monica@selectivesearch.com