Going through a breakup is an emotional rollercoaster. Thankfully, I am pretty much on the other end of it. I've had to give myself lots of pep talks over the past couple of months. Looking back, I wish I had immediately accepted that this breakup was a positive thing, and not spent time feeling sad. I had already invested a lot of time in a relationship that wasn't permanent, and I didn't need to waste more time feeling upset! The months following a breakup can be excruciating. Thankfully, I have fabulous family, friends and co-workers who helped me through. They showed me that I am not unloveable, and in fact, pretty great! I am all about girl power, and not investing time in someone who isn't going to be a permanent figure in your life (life is too short!). I encourage my friends to stay strong and respect themselves while single, dating or in a relationship, and I hold myself to this as well. The dating world is difficult to navigate. It may seem that people in their mid-20s aren't ready/looking for a serious relationship, but there are definitely people that are. So much is happening in one's 20's that can make or break your career, so it can be difficult to emotionally invest in a relationship. Therefore, I am spending my time and energy investing in myself, and being the best daughter, friend, sister, co-worker I can be, and not worrying about the future.
I took on the mindset that I had absolutely nothing to lose. I felt so raw and upset that I almost had nothing left, therefore, what did it matter if I embarrassed myself? I often attended networking events alone; I found I met less people when I brought a friend, because we spent most of the time catching up. Freaking out at the first one, I googled "What to do at a bar by yourself". I've never had a problem going places alone: camp, a new school, dinner, etc., but going to a bar (where the networking event was held) is a whole new level. In this situation, looking at your phone isn't going to get you anywhere, and no one will approach you. I started by getting a drink at the bar. This is often the easiest place to strike up a conversation, and then join someone's group. In college, I used to go up to people I had never met and introduce myself all the time. I had to push myself to continue this practice. There were so many things that could go wrong! They could look at you like, "why are you talking to me", or act weird that you tried to join their conversation, etc. But there are many positive outcomes as well (i.e. meeting new people, learning about different industries, having an interesting conversation with someone, etc). I pushed myself to do things I normally wouldn't, for example I attended a Wine + Code Class. I've always been interested in tech & coding, but didn't know where to begin. When I saw the posting for the class, I thought it was the perfect way to get introduced. Some of the events I attended during those months, I walked in and realized it wasn't the crowd I was looking for. It's hard to tell by the event title who will attend. In that case, I would cut my losses and make it an early night. On the flipside, there were many cool events where I met interesting people who I am still connected with today.
Here are the steps I took to become a Breakup Badass:
- Kept myself extremely busy: planning dinners, activities, reconnecting with friends, networking, working late, anything! Googling: "Events in NYC, or Fashion (Finance/Tech, etc) Events in NYC" just to see what the available options were. I wanted to put myself in places where I could potentially meet someone (whether for networking, friendship, or dating). This was NOT going to happen while I was sitting in my apartment
- Brainstorm things I've always wanted to do, but didn't because I was in a relationship. For example, I've wanted to start a blog for a long time, but couldn't come up with my niche to fill a void in the market.
- Get your friends/family to come visit you, or schedule a weekend to visit them
- Goal yourself to kickass in your career, and bring your best self to work each day
- Make a point to take time for yourself, and always look put together. You never know who you'll meet! (i.e. don't go to the grocery in a t-shirt and no makeup. Prince Charming has to shop for groceries too!). Besides meeting someone, taking care of yourself makes you feel SO much better and gives you confidence
- Try a new restaurant
- Join a gym and goal yourself to workout a certain # of days a week
- Don't think of what you don't have, but concentrate on what you do. We really are so incredibly lucky!!
- Embrace this single life. It may only be a short time before you have more responsibilities than just yourself (i.e. marriage, kids, parents, etc).