Paula Derrow, SELF magazine
We've all been through it -- the pit-in-the-stomach, I'll-always-be-alone despair that comes when a guy you're into (even if you know you shouldn't be) walks away. The feeling totally sucks; we want it to go away as soon as possible. Which is why longtime pals Maryjane Fahey and Caryn Beth Rosenthal decided to write Dumped (Sellers Publishing), out this month.
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"We were in relationships that ended after seven years and 10 years, and we couldn't find any breakup books that didn't make us more depressed than we were already," the duo explains. "We wanted a quick pep talk from someone who felt like a girlfriend."
Indeed, Dumped is anything but depressing; in fact, it will make you laugh even if laughing is the last thing you feel like doing. Here, a smattering of smart, no b.s. advice for getting over an ex and finding someone who deserves you.
What to do the first week of a breakup:
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"If you have to, cry your freaking eyes out," say the authors. (OK, there are a few depressing parts. It's about breaking up, after all.) "You can't deny what you've just been through. But if you're not a crier, you might try keeping a journal, suggests Fahey. "It helped me get everything out of my system, and when I looked back at it, it gave me insight into what went on."
Spoil yourself. This isn't the time to be a denier, say the authors. "Listen to your body and your mind and give yourself what you crave." A hot bath. Extra sleep. Chocolate. "If you need to, call a shrink," suggest Fahey and Rosenthal. "There's only so much crying your friends can stand."
Do. Not. Call. Him. "This is a vulnerable time. You might take him back, thinking, 'It's better than nothing,'" the authors warn. Besides, it wasn't the right relationship. That's why it's over.
What to do once you've gotten through that horrible first week:
Say yes to anything and everything. "Find out what turns you on," say the authors. (No, they're not just talking about sex.) Try new restaurants, sit at a neighborhood bar and sip a fabulous cocktail, get in touch with nature, discover new authors. "That's what will push you into the next chapter."
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Get your sexy back. "By the end of our relationships, sex really went downhill," admits Fahey. "A breakup is an opportunity to rediscover your sensual side. So get to the gym. Wear red lipstick. Buy a vibrator."
Raise your standards (even if you're worried you'll never meet anyone again). You will. "Don't accept the crumbs," say the authors. "Once you've dealt with the fear of being alone, and know that you'll be OK, you can move forward." Isn't that what it's all about?
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Paula Derrow, SELF magazine