Baggage Free: How to Get Over a Breakup
© April Masini
Q: Dear April,
I've recently gotten out of a long-term relationship, and want to start dating again. The only problem is I think I still have some lingering "issues" from my last partner, and don't want them to negatively affect my future. Any tips?
Thanks in advance,
Wanting to be Baggage-Free
A: Dear Wanting to be Baggage-Free,
There's no way around it: breakups are tough...at best. In fact, I've watched more than a few friends—friends who are smart and hot and could easily find another—stay in terrible relationships just to avoid the breakup. And then there are the others—the one's who may be well out of the relationship time-wise, but are still very much in the relationship when it comes to matters of the heart.
But no matter what your story is (and believe me, everybody's got one), getting through a breakup can be made easier and more effective. Plus, it's a must-do for anyone who wants to find another—a better—relationship...or simply move on.
Just follow these five common-sense tips and you'll be well on your way to living baggage-free.
1. Realize that even the best of relationships can come to an end. I think we have a tendency that once a relationship ends, we throw the whole thing into question. To think that its demise was a sign that what you thought was "real" (i.e.—your time together, love, etc.) wasn't. But the truth is that good things—including relationships—can come to an end.
2. Recognize what lessons the relationship taught you. Regardless of whether it was short or long, contentious or amicable, each and every relationship has lessons for you to walk away with—lessons that will help you know more about who you are leaving it than when you entered it.
3. Rationalize your way into positive thinking. Look, we all feel terrible after it's over, but sometimes the only way to really get better is to sort of, well...fake it. Think positively even if it feels untrue, and soon enough, you won't have to force it at all. Create your own reality.
4. Refrain from playing the blame game. If you're really serious about getting over your ex and moving on, you won't wallow in who was right and who was wrong. Instead, take your blame (or guilt, as the case may be) and focus on turning it into a lesson to be learned (see #2).
5. Remain open to the possibility of another. It can be hard to imagine after a breakup—meeting someone else and starting all over again. In fact, you may not be able to stomach the idea at all. But in time—and by following the four steps above—you will meet another. And this time, it will be better than before because you've done the hard work necessary to leave your last relationship behind, move on with the next, baggage-free and all.
Ready for even more bold, brutally honest, and always helpful dating advice? Visit my Web site, www.AskApril.com. There, you'll find informative articles, expert columnists, interactive quizzes, and free giveaways! And don't forget to also check out my workshops to really help you get on the road to making your next relationship an amazing one! In fact, my seminar on online dating, Modern Mating, would be the perfect if you're trying to ease your way back into the dating game!
America's foremost internet dating and relationship expert, and author of the best-selling book, Date Out Of Your League, is continually sought out for her expertise and opinion by the world's most widely read publications, including: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Maxim, Fitness, Essence, Hustler, Cosmopolitan and The Los Angeles Times, (to name only a few). She is what Steve Kasper, Sr. EVP of MillionaireMatch.com, refers to as "the new millennium's answer to Dear Abby." And now, with "Ask April", her on-going relationship advice column featured on several of Forbes Magazine's "Best of the Web" winners, as well as on her own online magazine, www.AskApril.com (one of the most trafficked dating and relationship sites), she is quickly becoming the Web's most popular advice columnist! April has also been the featured guest on both local and nationally syndicated radio and television shows, with over 1,200 national media appearances.
When she isn't writing, this former model/actress is leading seminars, guest lecturing, and dedicating her time to Masini Enterprises - her multifaceted television and film production company whose accomplishments have been record-breaking, and award winning, with strong connections to everything from "Baywatch" and "Blue Crush" to "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous" and "Miss Universe".