First off, for you alarmists out there: no, nothing's wrong in Paradise. The BF and I are still happily "The BF and I."
But I recently made a new friend who recently broke it off with a boyfriend and it got me to thinking about my own past breakups, oft necessary parts of Getting To Happy, but not always fun in their own right.
No advice is one-size-fits-all, so consider everything I'm going to say like a pile of stuff at an outdoor flea market that you can either pick through lazily out of interest or ignore wholesale for the smelly, superfluous pile of ca-ca it is.
Also, this advice is mainly for chicks because, despite all of my efforts to be very manly, I am a chick. If you're a dude...well, maybe #3 & #4 cross the gender line, but basically, I don't know. The best advice I can give is go seek out some dude advice. (Do dudes even give advice?)
For you ladies, read on...
1. Do more hanging out with women right now. GREAT women, who inspire you. Not "girls." And especially not catty girls. It is also fine to hang out with gay male friends who love you and will tell you how gorgeous/fabulous you are. It is even fine if they are catty, as long as it's about the right stuff and makes you laugh.
2. Avoid like the plague anything that makes you feel old/ugly/loser-esque/etc. For me, this means all women's magazines and other lifestyle porn (except maybe JANE and Oprah's magazine) and supertrendy L.A. hangout spots. It is also very good to avoid people who are at all unsupportive or even just well-meaning but have their heads up their asses. Keep your force field as clear as you can of human detritus.
3. Ditto news of anything that makes you feel depressed. This includes "important" but devastating coverage of Darfur, chimpy, peak oil, etc. Quickly skim headlines to make sure the world isn't coming to an end today, then move on.
4. Do lots more of what is unusual and fun for you, provided it is of a creative and inspiring and active nature, and not a passive, consumer nature. Consider spending less time (and money) at the store and more at sites like Inspire Me Thursday and 52 Projects. Be with friends (the good ones, the positive ones) but do as much of it alone as you can. Let yourself rock out aloud with the joy of it all.
5. If you haven't yet, consider reading He's Just Not That Into You. Yeah, it's annoying and cheesy and embarrassing for a variety of reasons, most unintentional. But you don't have to buy it; you can read it in about a half-hour standing up in the aisle at the bookstore (after my last breakup, I read it in a Borders I don't usually frequent because I am a gigantic pussy). And like it or not, it distills the truth about women taking crap off of men like nothing I've ever read.
Of course, nothing heals like time. But a bit of awareness during the healing time might prevent future repeats. Sticking your head into a tub of ice cream feels good in the moment, but doesn't do much to evolve you from emotional knuckle-dragging.
Besides, ice cream is off-limits if you're SCD...