Post-breakup: a ten-step guide to getting rid of your feelings

I’m going to be level with you guys: Feelings suck. Feelings are messy and ugly and irritating and heavy, and as we get older, they don’t get easier. They just get progressively more complicated until trying to sort through them is as difficult as untangling headphones after they’ve been in your pocket for an hour.

Let’s repeat that one more time. Feelings suck, and I have a lot of them. I’m sure most of you can sympathize, considering what college we attend. And instead of dealing with my feelings like a responsible adult — that is, punching them in the snout to establish dominance — I brush them aside and neatly bury them under several layers of denial. Except there’s only so much space in that grave of denial, and at some point, a feather will break the camel’s back.

Or rather, news of an ex acquiring a new, cuter, smarter girlfriend will break the lesbian’s back (I deeply apologize for my mixed metaphors).

Exes are hard. Even I, queen of burning bridges, admit that. Feelings don’t just disappear or evaporate in the intense heat of a bad breakup, especially when that wounded animal called love is involved. Luckily for you guys, I’m here as your resident sex and relationship columnist, and I’m willing to share my patented guide to getting over your ex. Alternatively, replace “ex” with anyone who still holds your heart firmly in his or her fist.

1. Remind yourself that you are never, ever getting back together. Then turn on T-Swift and cry. Create an entire Taylor Swift playlist dedicated to crying. Thoroughly season the playlist with ripped mp3s of that YouTube video of the goat shrieking in the middle of her songs. (“Taylor Swift — I Knew You Were A Goat When You Walked In, THE ACTUAL ORIGINAL,” for the uninformed.)

2. Complain to all of your friends until they are annoyed and are thoroughly done with your trouble. Become a solipsist. Realize that nothing exists except for you. Embrace this new knowledge. Maybe rob a bank. (Disclaimer: I do not endorse bank robbing. Banks don’t actually exist, anyway.)

3. Surreptitiously look for your ex everywhere you go, particularly in the vegan section of the dining hall. When you fail to find a trace of him or her, content yourself with vegan nuggets instead. If there are no vegan nuggets, remind yourself that you are a solipsist and that vegan nuggets are not real.

4. Accept that your ex is just a person with all the flaws inherent to personhood. Armed with this knowledge, call upon the Old Gods and eldritch abominations to torment your ex. Statistically, those who rely on chthonic horrors are, at best, anti-heroes. It’s better to be an anti-hero or a villain than a side character. Be careful, though. Repeated exposure to that which is best left behind the veil and betentacled atrocities can cause you to lose Sanity Points.

5. Be active; do something. Move to Norway. Don’t pack your bags. Don’t leave a note. Summon a dragon through intricate rituals on the tundra plains. Solve their riddles in hopes that they will bestow upon you knowledge or enormous amounts of gold. Either one will fill that pesky hole in your chest.

6.  Regress. Lose all progress you made in getting over your ex. Create a playlist of Carly Rae Jepsen to cry to. Do not include any goats in this one. The dragons probably ate all the goats anyway.

7. Have casual sex to reaffirm your sexual prowess and desirability. Actually, don’t do this. Have casual sex because it is enjoyable and is a respite from the business of thinking and feeling. Indulge in sensation. Cuddle with your partner for a minimum of 20 minutes afterward. Treat him or her to Qdoba when you’re both ready to shake off the post-sex haze.

8. Whine to your mom on the phone. Grumble to your best friend on the phone. Grump and huff to all your other friends, on the phone or otherwise. Let them buff up your self-esteem. Let them remind you that you are not replaceable. Remember that you are not replaceable. Write this fact in every notebook you own because it’s a scientific fact that writing something down makes it true.

9. Get over it. Just like that. Straighten your posture, exhale a fed-up breath, and decide that you are done. You are moving on. You are transcending. Chug a gallon of radioactive material. Mutate into a kaiju. Destroy a city or two to emphasize the fact that you are done. (Spoiler: You’re not really done.)

10. Wait. Let time infest you like a million little microbes and slowly clog the hole in your chest. Let it seal shut around the spine of a building that you shoved in the gulf during your monster rampage, desperate to fill it. Then you will be whole again; not unchanged, but whole.

Kalyn H is a Behind Closed Doors Columnist and wants you to know: We are never ever getting back together.


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