10 Single Guys Share How They Spend Valentine’s Day

Let’s be real. Valentine’s Day was made for couples and single women. If you’re not out celebrating with your significant other, you’re probably having a Girls Night Out or spending Galentine’s Day at home.

I don’t know what it is about February 14th that makes being a single lady so difficult. I mean in all fairness you were just as single yesterday and you’ll probably be just as single tomorrow. (Wow, Kate. Calm down.)

Do guys have to deal with this stuff? Do they get just as bummed out about being single on V-Day as girls do?

Well, I asked the question so you don’t have to. Here are 10 single guys on how they spend Valentine’s Day:

“I just got out of a relationship so I’ll probably spend some time with my roommate and watch some TV and enjoy the dessert aspect of Valentine’s Day. Maybe slide into some girls’ DM’s.”
-Jeremy, 20

“I’m buying my crush a bunch of flowers and playing a game of super-flirting.”
-Gil, 26

“Well for me, it’s never really been something I’ve thought about. I have experience having someone for it and also being single for it. If I don’t have someone for it, I try to spend quality time with friends and family and to simply think about it as another day. I personally think it’s a day we shouldn’t really despise like most people do. It’s a great way for loved ones to feel extra special and I really respect that idea. Whether I’m single or with someone, I really try not to make as much of a deal about it as some people may. I try not to let things like that affect me.”
-Brandon, 21

“This Valentine’s day will be with friends at a Valentine’s Day event. We might go to a wine tasting or a brewery. Just a bunch of single dudes sipping wine.”
-Paul, 34

“Most single guys will say that Valentine’s Day doesn’t affect them in any way. Well, they’re lying. The truth is it makes single people feel lonely in some way. I like to remind myself that Valentine’s Day is a man-made holiday, and that’s why I plan on treating it as a normal day. Even if you’re in a relationship, one day out of the year shouldn’t mean that you should treat your significant other any other way than you normally would. As a single man, every day is for me. As a non-single guy, everyday is for me and my significant other. No single day should make a difference.”
-Omid, 20

“This will be my first time in a long time being single on Valentine’s Day. I have a friend who’s turning 21 on the 14th so I’m gonna go out with him and some other people and get him drunk.”
-David, 21

“Wallow in regret and then prepare yourself for next year by adopting an animal, going to the gym and becoming a vegetarian. Those are all things girls like, right? Usually [I do] what most other people nowadays do on Valentine’s Day. Go on Tinder and look for someone to make them feel useful. That’s honestly reality.”
-Paul, 22

“Okay, well I do one of two things: I either spend the week beforehand flirting with a girl so I have something to do on Valentine’s Day or I find another mutually single friend and hang out. Avoid movies, malls, fancy restaurants and wait for all the chocolate to go on sale the next day.”
-Cody, 23

“I would have Single Awareness Day with single friends and watch chick flicks. Single people only! When friends in relationships ask if they can come, I’d say no because they have a boo. Oh, and wine and cheese. You gotta have wine and cheese when watching chick flicks. And single. You can be sad together.”
-Francis, 27

“I just go about like any other day. I mean, it’s not like Halloween or Christmas where people go places. Couples do. You don’t really notice that it’s a holiday. Even when I’m with a girl, I just get dinner and I buy them stuff.”
-Scott, 21

An Open Letter To The Boy Who Cheated

I want to start by saying that I love you so much. Being with you has been one of the greatest adventures of my life and I will always hold you in my heart.

I’m sorry that things didn’t work out the way we wanted them to. We both tried our best, but at the end of the day, trust was broken and there really isn’t much we can do. I hope you know that despite everything, I don’t regret being with you, nor do I regret giving you a second chance after what you did.

I know you meant it when you said you were sorry and I know you tried your best to make things right. I truly appreciate your effort. I am so honored to have been a part of your life at all. You gave me so much even when you had little to give. You were patient and kind and never stopped trying to make me happy. You’ve taught me to be a better, more understanding, and more open minded person. You gave me a love that I will always remember and for that, I am eternally grateful.

I know I wasn’t always easy to be with. I have a tendency to get emotional and jealous and insecure, but you stuck with me anyway. I’m sorry if I ever did anything to hurt you or make you believe that I didn’t love you with everything I had. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and I’m sorry if I wasn’t always the best at showing it. Maybe that’s why you did what you did. You must have suffered some sort of discontent or else you wouldn’t have felt it necessary to cheat.

I shared my family, my friends, and my home with you. I shared my whole self with you. I let you see me when I was vulnerable and scared and I let my walls down for you. Still, you chose someone else over me. I wanted so badly to be angry with you because I thought it would make it easier for me to leave, but in all honesty, I’m not angry. Although, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hurt. You hurt me in a way I would never want anyone else to experience. But I forgive you. And I will always care about you. However, I will always have it in the back of my mind that I was not good enough, and I sincerely hope that one day you will find someone who is.

As much as I would love to work things out, I could never subject you to a life with someone you are not fully content with. You deserve to be with someone you can choose everyday–not just when things are easy. You deserve to be with someone you can be honest with when you have a problem instead of seeking comfort in someone else. Clearly, I am not that person.

And I’m sure you can understand that I deserve better, too. I deserve someone who will fight for me. Someone who will choose me and be loyal to me regardless of the hardships we may face in our relationship. I deserve to have a peace of mind in knowing that my partner will not betray my trust. Thinking about a future without you absolutely breaks my heart. We’ve been through so much together. Zero to 100, we used to say.

Through the ups and downs and everything in between. Seeing you when you had nothing and being there through all your victories showed me what an incredibly hard working individual you are and I am so proud of how far you’ve come. Still, it hurts knowing that I will not be around to share in your success. It hurts knowing that someone else will be there pushing you forward and helping you along the way. But everyone who enters your life has a purpose in it and I guess I must have already served mine.

So for now, I think I need to let you go. You have such big things ahead of you and I know you will get far. It’s not fair for me to hold you here while I try to figure out what I need. I know you can’t be my friend for obvious reasons, and though it hurts me to not have you around, I need to respect the fact that you need time and space. Maybe I do, too. Again, I want you to know that I am not angry or bitter. I still love you very much and I am so thankful for all of our little adventures. I hope that one day we can come to a point where neither of us is hurting and we can truly be friends.

Until then, I wish you the best. You’re in my heart.

More Advice:

Love Is Like A Plant Episode: Why We Cheat + What To Do About It

Ask Stef: My Ex (Who Cheated On Me) Wants To Get Coffee. Should I Go?

Dana Claudat On How Feng Shui Can Help Post-Breakup

Dana Claudat is a Feng Shui expert who helps people design their dream lives by de-cluttering their physical and mental space. Her mission is to help clients get more of what they want from life. In our conversation, she shared how clearing her space became an invaluable part of her post-breakup mending process.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

“It may seem like the feeling lasts forever but it doesn’t. And the less you dwell and the more you focus on self love the more beneficial the experience is.”

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

“I realized how much I feared loving people and things too much because they could end. Then once I experienced true heartbreak with a death in my family that was unexpected, I learned that I was holding myself back from human experiences by fearing the inevitable end of things. Endings don’t have to be endings. In Buddhist philosophy, no life ever really ends and we are always connected, all of us.”

What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

“Flower essences have been invaluable in the past, from Alexis Smart Flower Remedies. Space clearing at home has also been invaluable – burning sage, cedar, salt… all big in letting go of entangled energies. I also would dive into my spiritual practice with double the intensity and that always has made the process one of real personal evolution. Clearing clutter is also a big thing!”

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

“No. When I’ve given all I can and I’m sure things are over there’s nothing curious about looking at these things for me, luckily.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

“The real love is always and forever.”

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

“The infinite possibilities of love.”

What projects are you currently working on, and looking forward to most?

“Right now, my very popular and dear to my heart life de-cluttering Feng Shui Camp is getting started for Spring Cleaning and that is very exciting as it creates an energetic fresh start for everyone in the group, including many who are holding onto heartbreak. I’m most looking forward to the Love Camp (Feng Shui for Love everywhere!) that’s coming this Summer and it’s a new one opening this year! Love is really everything!!!”

Susan Alexandra On Creating Community After Heartbreak

Susan Alexandra is a NY-based designer known for her eclectic collection of handmade jewelry. She draws inspiration from a variety of sources including Frida Kahlo’s lace gowns, watermelon candies and of course, heartbreak. When Susan isn’t designing pieces to add to her colorful collection, she is organizing gatherings and workshops aimed at nurturing and connecting women.

Susan opened up to us about her experience with heartbreak and how it has influenced her work.

Susan1

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

“The younger version of myself needed this advice 6 years ago, 6 months ago, 6 weeks ago. I think it’s important to remember that life, though beautiful, sweet and delicious has many thorns, many heartbreaks, many rocks in our shoes. I want to encourage my younger self to trust the weave of life. Just trust that whatever is happening is part of a grander scheme. Trust that this won’t hurt forever. The fire will dim, the wound will close, the memories will become fuzzy. You are not a bad person, you are loveable just the way you are. Everyone deserves forgiveness, especially you. This too will pass. Say to yourself  ‘I forgive you, I forgive me, we did the best we could.'”

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

“Heartbreak has taught me that I can survive. I can live through the most exquisite pain and still, I am alive. I can create love and community with my own two hands. I can feel immense joy without a partner. It has taught me that time is the greatest medicine.”

Susan3

What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

“I would like to start a company that caters to people who are in the midst of a breakup. Here is the schedule for my company:

1. Arrive in your bed in the morning. Mornings are the hardest. Sit with you while you cry, while you look at your phone, urging a text to appear. My employees will sit with you in bed and add coconut creamer to your coffee.

2. Loud, hot, dark yoga (y-7 is amazing). You can scream and cry and no one will hear a thing. You will sweat so much that no one can tell you’ve been sobbing. This is good. You need to wail, you need to cry, you need to sweat, you need to scream.

3. My staff will take you to the coffee shop around the corner, smile to go. Here they have the most heavenly banana quinoa bread. We know it’s all you can manage to eat. The sweetness and softness are good for you, you need things that are sweet and soft right now.

4. Art and movies. You need to see all the movies and go to all the galleries.

5. Lots of Rose and Lambrusco. Drinking is suddenly so fun! And such a quick fix.

6. Reach out. Build community. Guess what? Everyone can relate to what you’re going through. Allow yourself to be hugged. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Tell people you appreciate them. Write them a letter telling them how much you love them.

7. Write yourself a letter, telling you how much you love you.”

Susan5

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

“Checking Insta has been the biggest set back for me. Immediately unfollow on instagram, facebook, venmo, twitter, g-chat. I thought that I didn’t need to do this since my ex and I were on good terms. Big mistake. I was incredibly triggered by seeing that my ex was somehow surviving-nay-thriving without me! While I was sobbing in bed he was drinking beers with friends (thanks for the information, Venmo). Unfollow, unfollow, and dare I say, BLOCK!”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

“Trust. And hope. And believe what people say.”

Susan4

Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

“Eventually. Perhaps. I think sometimes we think our heart has healed until we realize the wound is still open. Be careful with yourself and don’t rush things. If your ex still has your crock pot and you want to make bone broth, spend the extra $30 on amazon prime and buy a new one. Seeing him, even 7 months post breakup, still can be too soon. Be gentle with the healing. Everyone heals at a different pace.”

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

“Hope.”

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all”

-Emily Dickinson.

Susan2

What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?

“Something’s Gotta Give. Diane Keaton goes through a break up and there is a montage of her sob-screaming in a variety of turtlenecks.”

Susan6

This Is The Foundation Of A Healthy Relationship

Someone once told me that there are two foundations on which a relationship can be built: the H-Frame and the A-Frame.

The H-Frame is made up of two individuals who are perfectly capable of standing on their own, yet are connected by a bridge of similar interests, shared values, common beliefs, etc. If you were to take away one person or the bridge were to crumble, you are simply left with “I.” Strong, sturdy and totally independent. 

H Frame

The A-Frame, however, consists of two people who cannot stand without the other’s support. So if one person falters or has a change of heart, the other person falls and the whole foundation collapses.

A Frame

This ideology has completely changed the way I view relationships and I truly believe that everyone would benefit from knowing it. The H-Frame has taught me to stay true to who I am and what I believe in, despite the presence of my partner’s influence. This means not pretending to like something just because your significant other likes it or not doing something that makes you uncomfortable just because your partner asks you to. 

The H-Frame has also taught me that it’s okay if my partner and I don’t agree on everything. Having different tastes in music or movies or hobbies is not enough to make the bridge crumble. 

On the other hand, the A-Frame is built on dependence, which means that neither party has complete control of their own well-being. Each person is constantly seeking something from their partner, whether it’s affection, attention, validation or a variety of other things.

As someone who takes a lot of pride in being independent, I cannot stress enough the importance of learning to stand on your own. If heartbreak has taught me anything about myself, it’s that I am stronger than I think and I never need to rely on anyone to make me feel okay. I sometimes think back to my previous relationships and I know that I’ve made the mistake of following the A-Frame on multiple occasions. But now, I know that I have the strength and emotional capacity to be my own person and only seek love from those who complement me rather than complete me.

Dana Alexa On Her Three Phase Breakup Ritual

Dana Alexa is an LA-based dancer and choreographer who has gained international recognition for her work. She is also an active vlogger and produces a series called “The Other Side,” where she chronicles her adventures as she explores foreign cultures.

We asked Dana a few questions about heartbreak and she opened up about how spending some time alone helped her heal post-breakup.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

“I would tell myself to breathe and to step back to look at the big picture. It’s so easy to get lost during heartbreak and feel like it is the end of your life. Even though it is very sad to lose a loved one in a break up, the pain is temporary. Life carries you forward and moves you on if you allow it to. Especially when I was a teenager I remember feeling like I would never recover, but as painful as heartbreak is, it’s not lethal.”

“I have actually learned the most important lessons and made the most significant positive changes to myself and my life through the course of breaking up and being heartbroken. Heartbreak is part of life and something that everyone deals with throughout the course of life in different forms – I wish the younger me was a little more aware of how life really does heal your heart in time.”

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

“Heartbreak has taught me that I am resilient and stronger than I think. I have grown so much from heartbreak and have pulled myself out of some very hard times. I used to feel that I wasn’t capable of doing things on my own, but when I was forced to do things for myself not only was I capable of doing them, but I really enjoy doing things for myself. I have always been independent and sometimes I sacrificed too much of that within my romantic relationships. It’s been cool to surprise myself and see all that I am truly capable of on my own!”

What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

“I am an only child, so part of me is a loner. I spend time in complete solitude. I sit alone and cry, sleep, walk on the beach – just detach and allow myself to feel the pain of it all. I think facing the reality of heartbreak head on like that without drowning it out allows me to heal so much faster. The pain of loss needs to be felt and dealt with, it can’t be drowned out with alcohol and distractions – it will always creep back up and you’ll have to deal with it eventually.”

“Phase 2 for me is usually travel- I leave my familiars for a week or even a weekend and try to get new perspective and get excited about something new. It helps re-ignite my passion for life. During Phase 3 I get back to my old routine and really busy myself with things and people I love. Remembering all the things that make your life full help to remind you that though your relationship was a significant part of your life, it was only part of your life and that you are awesome all on your own!”

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

“I think my breakup vice was to spend too long talking about what went wrong and trying to make sense of the whole thing. Especially when someone leaves you, that is an impossible thing to do. Unless you are lucky enough to have someone who really cares to give you an explanation, you won’t ever know what was truly in someone else’s mind and heart – even though it was someone you loved and were close with. Obsessing over it and hashing out every possibility with friends doesn’t do much except cause agony and stress.”

“I eventually realized that it’s not always for us to understand the why of situations. People are different and we have to let them feel and behave in a way that is reflective of their truth, whether or not we understand or agree with their motivations. I loved my ex very much, enough to eventually understand that it didn’t matter why he left me. That was just my ego worrying that something was wrong with me or that I was unlovable. I just had to accept it for what it was and let him go, wish him well and move on.”

Ig20

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

“I have learned that no matter how much you love someone, you can’t make them love you the same. It truly is a two way street, both people have to WANT to be in love and make things work. People love differently and value different things in life – and all of that is OK. Those are the risks you take when you sign on for a relationship. Even though it doesn’t always turn out the way you hope, love is the most worthwhile risk of all. It’s important to open your heart no matter how many times you have been hurt and try again. Love is everything and we mustn’t fear it. Yes it hurts to lose love, but it’s certainly more tragic to exist without it.”

Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

“I am not sure if exes can be friends – again I believe all people are different and I am sure that can work for some people. For me, I love hard and I can’t imagine remaining friends with any of the men I have dated seriously. I think seeing their posts on my social media would keep me rooted in the past or drag me into some kind of game of comparison, so I don’t remain friends on social networks. However, if any of them ever reached out and needed something I’d be there 100 percent.”

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

“The people around me keep my heart open. I have such incredible family and friends and an unbelievable support system on social media. People who have seen me at my worst and loved me unconditionally. They inspire me and make me believe that kind of love exists and is possible. I’m a romantic at heart, I believe that real love is out there and I know that my heart needs to be open if there’s any chance that I will find it. I have hope ♥”

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

“Anything by Adele.”

What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?

PS I Love You.

What projects are you currently working on, and looking forward to most?

“I am really excited to be posting more vlogs and tutorials on my YouTube channel and I am super excited because I will be teaching a ton of master classes on the road this summer.”

Backsliding: What It Means And Why We Do It

I am a serial backslider. For those of you who don’t know, backsliding is the act of going back to an ex after a breakup. It is incredibly self-destructive, yet such a difficult habit to quit.

For a long time, I convinced myself that I was doing this because I genuinely saw potential in that person and there was a real possibility of a future with them. But over time, I’ve become much more self-aware and I now realize that I do this simply because I get lonely. I’m not proud of it, but I’d be lying if I said I’ve never done it. 

I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve reached out to an ex just because a new relationship didn’t work out. That’s because it’s easier to seek comfort in someone you’ve already had than try to find someone new, when in reality we shouldn’t be seeking comfort in anyone but ourselves anyway.

Deep down, I know that I don’t really miss that person. I just need a distraction from the heartbreak I’m currently in. So why go back to old heartbreaks to avoid new ones? Because the old heartbreak is a pain you’ve learned to control. You may not realize it but the reason you go back to your ex is because in the back of your mind, you’ve already accepted that it’s over and there’s no risk of getting hurt again. Therefore, you are creating a false sense of security. A comfort zone. My inherent thought is “if they had feelings for me before, maybe it can work out again.” Spoiler: it won’t.

I know this because I’ve been on both sides of backsliding. Although it’s a toxic habit that I’ve learned to overcome, I know that my exes have reached out to me for the same reason. It’s not because they miss me. It’s because they just got their hearts broken and they need a temporary place to drop their burden. I’ve learned that I can’t be that person and I, in turn, can’t expect anyone to be that person for me. No matter how badly someone treats you, no one deserves to be used as a safety net. It only causes more hurt and confusion.

This is especially the case if the person on the receiving end of backsliding is the one who got their heart broken in the first place. They’re the ones who needed to pick themselves up and heal, all while carrying the weight of a million unanswered questions. So when they finally get to a good place and their past resurfaces, it can stir up a lot of unresolved feelings. 

We all deserve so much more than that. We deserve to move on and be better versions of ourselves. We deserve to be with people who genuinely want us to be happy. We deserve to be at peace.

So the next time you think about reaching out to an ex, ask yourself this: Do I really miss you or did I just get used to thinking about you when I’m lonely?

Are You In A Back Burner Relationship?

Backburner relationships are something many of us have probably experienced on some level.

The scientific description of this is “a person to whom one is not presently committed, and with whom one maintains some degree of communication, in order to keep or establish the possibility of future romantic and/or sexual involvement.”

So those situations where our heart isn’t 100% all in, but it makes us feel good or safe in the moment knowing that relationship or fling is a potential option.

Backburners have fascinated many people who have delved deeper into how it works and the motivations behind it. A study was carried out on backburner relationships by author, Jayson Dibble, an assistant professor of communication at Hope College. He said that a backburner isn’t just someone who you think about every now and then. It’s someone who you actually communicate with. So if there’s a technical way to look at it, the “what-if” people only become backburners if you actually reach out to them.

The study also revealed that social media played the biggest part in backburner relationships, with Facebook being the most popular way to make some sort of contact, at 37%.

When it comes to keeping people on the backburner, there is cause to say that from a primal perspective, exploring all the potential people who could be available to you is natural. But then, having one long-term partner helps with offspring survival and represents unity between two people. The commitment offers benefits, in exchange for letting go of other possibilities. It’s a trade-off of sorts.

However this study proved the evolutionary theory to not quite align with what was going on today. The study had 374 undergrads self-report how many backburners they had, how they spoke to them (flirty or platonic) and how they kept in touch. Those who were currently in relationships also completed assessments of their investment in and commitment to their relationships and rated how appealing they thought their alternatives were.

Surprisingly, there was no significant difference between the number of backburners kept by people in relationships, and the number kept by single people. Dibble’s theory on this is that it’s easy to like someone’s picture or post a comment. It comes with little risk but it still fulfils a need of keeping you in their mind and sparking conversation. Plus, it can seem harmless talking to someone on Facebook when you’re in a relationship. Going to meet them for coffee or dinner is a different story.

So it’s really about maximizing the benefits and minimizing costs, something that Austin, Adam Redd West proposed in his 2013 University of Texas dissertation.

This isn’t a completely new concept either though so we can’t totally blame social media. The old phrase that you’ve probably heard was to ‘keep someone in the wings’ or in your ‘little black book’. The world of online and social media his now just made it easier than ever and with what might seem like far less risk to actually reach out.

Dibble is keen to do further research into backburner relationships to see exactly what people say to keep potential people on the backburner and what happens if you only make contact less often like once a year – would that still be classed as a backburner?

We feel that as social media evolves even more this backburner trend will definitely continue to grow too. The question is, what’s the boundary?

Camilla Sacre-Dallerup On Reinventing Herself Post-Breakup

Camilla Sacre-Dallerup is an author, life coach and mindful living expert who teaches meditation at Unplug Meditation and The Den in Los Angeles. She also has her own practice, Zenme, where her mission is to inspire the world to meditate and take time for self-care daily.

We asked Camilla about her experience with heartbreak and she opened up about how she reinvented herself post-breakup.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

“I would say ‘everything is going to be ok’ and ‘however painful it may seem, trust me you will heal, you will smile and even love again.’ It’s not the end of the world but at the time it really feels that way. It is as Marianne Williamson would say ‘Happening for you, not to you.’ I would also say, ‘learn what you need to learn from the breakup so the pattern does not repeat itself again and move on.'”

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

“That I am a lot stronger than I initially thought. The power and strength I managed to unlock through the breakup was so deep and powerful, it took me by surprise. It also taught me to always take responsibility for the part I play in a relationship. When we take responsibility for our own actions it helps us look at the situation more objectively and move away from the blame and “poor me” state. It also taught me that I don’t NEED someone to feel loved. I choose to spend my life with someone now but with or without someone in my life, I know I’m okay.”

What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

“At first I felt very alone so I started reading every self-help book I could get my hands on, which was actually my motivation to write my first book Strictly Inspirational. I wanted to write a book that could be like a friend to someone, somewhere where I could share my learnings about my heartache and all the tools I used, so that someone else can benefit from them.”

“Another thing that really helped me was running. It’s kind of funny because up until this point in my life I wasn’t into running at all. The first time I attempted it I remember feeling so broken that I didn’t even have the energy to take one step on the treadmill. So, I decided that every day I would get out in nature and I would start by walking, simply take it step by step to build up my strength. Then with time the walk became a small run and then longer each day. Every day as I took each step I would visualize myself moving one step further away from the situation and building up my strength within. This, I truly believe (well this and dancing around in the kitchen to “I Will Survive”) was the beginning of me unlocking my strength within and finding me again.”

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

“No, not really at that time as I wasn’t really into social media, luckily. But I have a lot of clients with whom I discuss the danger of that and how it can affect us emotionally, it’s not helpful whilst you are healing to keep torturing yourself by scrolling through your ex’s feed. I would suggest anyone who is going through a breakup, to disconnect or erase the ex’s profile from their feed and resist the need to check it. You can be doing really well and then boom one picture of your ex looking happy with someone else, it can drag you right down again. I call this ‘carrying forward the hurt to the now.'”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

“Love is limitless, love is amazing but the biggest love affair we will ever have is the one with ourselves. When we truly love and respect ourselves we feel whole, content inside and we open ourselves up to a different type of love around us. One that’s not created from a place of lack, where we wonder if we are good enough for someone, one where we think we will never love that way again or whether there is someone special for us out there. Instead we believe that of course we will love again, that we deserve it and that there is someone special for us.”

“I remember thinking that way after one of my relationships ended, I thought I would never find that kind of love again – really deep soulmate kind of love. What I didn’t anticipate, because I was caught up in the rain and hurt, was that I would find a love that was even more special. However I found that after I had healed and I was in a place where I fully loved, respected and accepted myself.”

Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

“Yes sometimes, well actually more in real life than on social media, we actually speak on the phone and meet up with our now partners. One of my exes was at my wedding and one of husbands exes I’m hanging out with next week. I think it really depends on the situation. Sometimes we realize through a relationship that we were suppose to be just friends, rather than lovers, and there is a mutual respect and understanding, then a friendship seems like a natural progression. Sometimes if there has been a lot of hurt and anger maybe it’s not suitable to stay friends, at least not in the beginning when both parties are healing but maybe later on. Equally sometimes we let the past be the past.”

“Sometimes we are only supposed to be in each others lives for a while and learn whatever we need to learn and then we feel ready to move on in different directions, yet we still enjoy each others friendship. Love is a magical thing and it’s nice to allow it to flow and be what it needs to be. There are so many different love relationships, really there are no rules only the ones each person decides they like to set and live by. Whatever works for one may not work for someone else and that’s ok.”

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

“What can I say, I’m a romantic. When I was really heartbroken I remember a very wise woman said these very important words to me ‘Never let someone else’s actions change who you are.’ I live by these words, because sometimes it’s easy to change who we truly are, to even forget what we stand for when we get hurt by someone. But those words are powerful, reminding us that we can always take back our power, instead of handing over our power and letting others decide how we should feel, think and act.”

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

“Oh gosh. Would you believe it, I listen to “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, on repeat.”

What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?

“I love The Holiday. It’s a about breakup and falling in love again. It reminds us that when one door shuts, another one opens. It also reminds us that sometimes at first we don’t know why we are going on a trip or saying yes to something new but it could be the best thing we have ever done and lead us to where we need to be.”

Christina Sewell On Becoming Her Best Self Post-Breakup

Christina Sewell is the founder of Brave Heart Habitat, a blog that focuses on creating a conscious lifestyle. She’s also a grad student at Columbia, a climate action activist and vegan. Christina opened up to us about how pursuing her passions post-heartbreak helped her stay #onthemend.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

“I was in extended inner turmoil over the break down of my first relationship. We started dating in high school and managed to stay together through our college years, even as I moved to the east coast for school and he remained in our hometown on the U.S. military base in Korea. We saw each other just twice a year in the winter and summer time, yet were completely dedicated to one another despite living half a world apart at such a young age. They say high school relationships are fluff, but we were tender, thoughtful, honest with each other. It felt like a very mature connection for two kids to share. Which is why I was so crippled when after about 4 years of dating, I knew that I had to go my own way.

Our lives remained in time zones half a day apart, we struggled to make one another a priority, and our passions and plans became independent entities. This was deeply painful to accept and at first, I chose to sweep it under the rug. Oh, the denial. There was guilt and doubt in letting him go that ate at me for months before we broke up and remained long after all was said and done. For years (yes, plural years) I considered if I could have ‘worked harder’ to fix things, contemplated if I could have forfeited some of my priorities to stay together and would anyone ever love me the way he’d loved me. All while the bleeding heart Pandora playlist looped in the background. And so even as the intent of letting my first love go was to focus on myself and my future, I had forgotten who I was in the process.

If I could visit that sad girl heading home on the subway today, I’d remind her that the love we share with others is timeless and fluid. It may not last in the physical world to hold our tired, wrinkled hand one day — and that’s okay. It continues to change form through the two people who experienced it, rippling on through the second and third order effects that are a result of how we choose to live. I’d encourage her to honor what she experienced with this person by giving it the freedom to take its intended next shape. And then remember to honor yourself and your intuition above all else. Have gratitude for the voice that guides you. Embrace it, take care of it. Do not suppress or belittle. It speaks to you for reasons you may not understand now, but continue listening quietly; it will reveal itself to you.”

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

“There’s no feeling in the world like a broken heart. It crushes every fiber of your being no matter how rich, young, intelligent, whatever you are. Yet as much as I abhor that state of being as much as the next girl, there’s a peace I’ve found with surrendering to the pain. Heartbreak has taught me to let myself cry when I need to (even if that’s every night for many many nights), to pick up the phone and ‘burden’ close friends with fears and insecurities (talking things through out loud helps to make sense of them), to dig into the carton of ice cream and have New Girl marathons (until there really is no choice but to peel yourself off the couch because the next season isn’t offered on Netflix yet), to simply stare at the ceiling in silence when that feels right.

We give ourselves a lot of crap for these behaviors. I certainly did. It’s not pretty, of course. But try as I have post-breakup to bounce back immediately, to suppress my sadness by steamrolling into those 57 errands on the “keep busy” list… The experience has taught me that masking pain only prolongs it. It’s when I acknowledge, surrender, and allow myself to live in that space without judgment for as long as is necessary that I’m able to push through to the other side.

And then? We are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for. I gradually gained the perspective to focus on activities that filled me with purpose and joy. That meant signing up for an acting class, a forgotten passion from years ago that I decided was still important to explore; volunteering for public speaking engagements in my capacity as a campaigner at PETA; dusting off my blog and putting vulnerable thought to keyboard for the world to see; visiting the local animal shelter and becoming mama to my beloved bouncy ball, Harlow Sewell. I never would have realized this sweet growth had I not allowed myself to hit rock bottom and used the hard floor and my renewed sense of self to propel up, up, up.”

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What are your rituals during a breakup?

“While I’m a proponent of not judging the grieving process and letting it run its course, it’s just as important to recognize what gives you clarity and a sense of peace, and routinely engage in those things so that you can begin to heal.

These rituals are different for everyone, but in my experience, getting outside and sweating is the best medicine. Putting your shoes on is the hardest part, but once you’re out amongst other life and breathing in the fresh air, your perspective already begins to shift. Sunlight, running, yoga and meditation, cracking open a good book (self help gets a bad wrap, but I am all about it. The Untethered Soul changed my life), lighting a few candles and running a bubble bath just for you (cause damn it, you deserve it), taking time to meet with those who inspire you (so grateful for the angels in my life that make this one easy), volunteering for a cause you believe in which not only provides clearer perspective on your own troubles, but impassions you to be a more involved force of good in the world, journaling and spending time to reflect on yourself (this is so important for helping remember who you are if you’ve forgotten or as an outlet to throw ideas around if you haven’t quite figured who this person really is yet).

And when everything else fails, sounds cliche, but just breathe. I remember trying to take a yoga class shortly after a breakup and failing miserably. It was so hard for me to sit still with my thoughts in the poses because my mind was going a million different places and I could feel my heart physically aching. Right when I was about to pick up my mat and sneak out the back, the instructor urged us to concentrate on our breath, envision it filling up our lungs and releasing back into the room, guiding us through it again and again. That simple meditation brought me back to my body and out of my head.

Another helpful and very simple practice is to just laugh out loud…really loud! Even if nothing’s funny. It sounds a little crazy, but when you force yourself to repeatedly let out a deep belly laugh even if it’s the last thing you want to do, happy endorphins and feelings of optimism will follow, I promise.”

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

“Oh, if only someone had convinced me of this long ago: delete. Unfriend, unfollow, unsubscribe, all of the above. It’s not that I don’t believe exes can eventually be friendly or that you should permanently cut people out of your life. I love the idea of getting a casual coffee with an ex to catch up on life and to stay supportive of one another. Unfortunately, when you’re in purge mode and actively in a place of recalling why you parted ways in the first place, it’s absolutely necessary to avoid status updates of their breakfast, home improvement projects, nights out with friends, vacations to Southeast Asia, new partner… I learned this the hard way as my “friendship” with an ex (read: stalking) only further drove in the stake and prolonged feelings of attachment for him.

More recently, I found myself falling into similar patterns, checking an ex’s Facebook status every single day, sometimes multiple times a day, to see when he’d make the switch from “in a relationship” back to “single.” Weeks had passed and nothing, and I’d be able to breathe another nonsensical sigh of relief. The day the inevitable happened, I couldn’t stop crying. It was like reliving the breakup all over again, throwing away all my hard-fought progress up to that point. That’s when I knew I had to be kinder to myself. I had to put myself first and focus on moving forward. For the first time ever, I tapped the “unfriend” button on an ex. It took less than 10 seconds and is one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

“I’m a giver, especially in romantic relationships, which can be challenging when you’re not with someone who also naturally gives. It’s been a long and windy learning curve recognizing that I must fill myself up with the things I need before I’m able to provide for anyone else.

In other words, of course be patient and kind in love, but also: keep it real. If you’re kicking down your foundation to make a relationship work or expecting someone else to do the same, you are probably in the wrong relationship. That can be a hard pill to swallow when the last thing you want is to be apart from someone, but love is so much greater than the desire to be close. Love is wanting the world for this person in a way that they realize great joy and fulfillment, whether or not you are a part of that picture. And so I’m incredibly grateful for each of my relationships for teaching me how to take care of myself and to be kind to both parties by gracefully letting go of what no longer serves me.”

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

“I’m a hopeless romantic – I’ll never give up on love! Connecting on this very spiritual level with another human being in the way that only the two of you will understand…it’s one of the best aspects of living. So while heartbreak is crushing, and the logical conclusion in the moment is to never ever do that to yourself again…experiencing love (and loss) is an essential part of what we’re here for. To connect and create and learn and fail and rise. Right? Sometimes that cycle manifests romantic love and sometimes that love doesn’t last in the here and now. But I believe it will always feed back into our atmosphere of growth and make us better people for it. It’s hard to stay bitter at love when you are just grateful to it for coming along at all.”

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

“It’s a song I often revisit on thoughtful days. James Blake’s cover of Joni Mitchell’s Case of You. The lyrics and James’ delivery and the artistry of this music video…oh man. It’s all pure poetry and I think one of the most honest portraits of what it is to love another human being.”

Hayley Starr On Personal Growth Post-Breakup

Hayley Starr is an artist, entrepreneur, writer, and all-around creative who is known for her collection of otherworldly products. Hayley generously opened up to us about how creativity and self-care helped her heal post-heartbreak.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

“Feel it, gurl! Feel every single emotion. Hold nothing back, especially tears. Feeling the emotion is the only way through!”

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

“Strength, but also that it’s most often not about the other person, but about a reflection of something I need to learn about myself. When something hurts that badly, you can rest assured that it’s a deep wound that’s calling to you for your attention.”

What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

“Self care, asking myself what I need and then following through. A spa treatment? A weekend away by myself? With the girls? Always reach out to your girls! Call on them and tell them you need their help. Your girls know you and have your best interest at heart; they’ve also likely seen you through other breakups and can see the patterns when your broken heart causes you amnesia.”

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

“Smoking, alcohol, food. I realized that these vices were only stuffing the feeling down further, making it harder to reach… and if feeling the feeling gets you back through to the other side to joy, then anything holding you back from feeling must be eliminated.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

“That Love is one of the most important reasons you’re here on this planet. Heaven is pure love, and in a realm where you’re given the choice to love or to fear, choosing to love with an open heart gets you closer and closer to the experience of Heaven, while on Earth. Fear brings you closer to the imaginary experience of hell. When breaking up, there are so many fears: Will I ever meet anyone as good as they were? YES, without fail, every single person you date next will be better than the previous one. Am I lovable? Of course you are!!! Duh!!!! Am I destined to be alone forever? Oh silly! Of course NOT.”

Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

“Absa-freaking-lutely and yes. I am friends with every ex but one. As a matter of fact, I’m not just friends with most, I am BEST friends with nearly all of them (that is admittedly coming from a woman with 22 best friends), if they’ll allow me. Some men have a hard time staying friends. That’s ok, I respect it.”

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

“Trust and faith that as I work through my problems and layers of emotional complexity, that I experience more joy and an open heart. Think about this for a minute: Breakups are where most of your growing occurs, and to meet the best partner you need to be your best self. How do you get to your best self? You do the work on yourself! And again, where does that come from? LOVE, BREAKUPS AND HEARTACHES!!! If there’s truly only meant to be one partner for you, that means that by plain and simple deduction, you’ve got a lot of frogs to kiss. Embrace relationships no matter how long they last. Be thankful for what that person showed you about yourself. Mend and find another and if it happens again, thank that person too! Each gets you closer.”

Steffy Degreff On Self Care Post-Heartbreak

Steffy Degreff is the New York-based blogger behind Steffy’s Pros + Cons, where she shares fashion tips, travel posts, and updates on her experience with motherhood. We asked Steffy for her take on heartbreak and she opened up about how staying focused on yourself can help you heal your heart.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

“Don’t let a teenage guy destroy your faith in love.”

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

“That I deserve much more than I ever thought I did as a teenager.”

What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

“I focus on myself, start a new exercise routine and try to meet as many new people as possible.”

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

“Oh yes, the last time I went through a breakup was long before IG (been with my husband for about 9 years) but I definitely checked ex’s Facebook pages far too much.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

“Every relationship has ups and downs, but it’s important to focus on the big picture and make sure you and your partner are on the same page for all of the long term things.”

Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

“No I don’t. It’s not a fair thing to do to your new partner.”

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

“I truly believe in love, and I’m a hopeless romantic.”

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

Natalie Patterson On New Beginnings Post-Heartbreak

Natalie Patterson is a Los Angeles-based writer and poet known for her spoken-word performances. Over the years, she has gained a great deal of praise in the poetry community as both a speaker and a teacher. In 2010, she became the first female producer and host at Da Poetry Lounge, the nation’s largest weekly poetry venue, and the place where her career began.

We asked Natalie some questions about heartbreak and she opened up about finding strength through patience and self-love.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself? 

“I started dating when I was 15. I think dating and loving people both are so important in terms of development and understanding how you relate to others and your measure of your own self worth. My first boyfriend was the most loving and kind man. We are still friends to this day. I think having that great starting point made heartbreak less painful as I got older because I knew if I dated great people, even when the relationship ended there would still be love between us and more love in my future. The best advice I could give myself and others is to SLOW down. Every relationship is not meant to end in marriage and when you put that type of pressure and expectation, you slowly suffocate each other. Just enjoy the love as long as you have it. Relax and know that love exists, even when relationships change form.”

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

“Heartbreak has taught me that I am resilient, that I am a badass, that I get to live and love on my own terms. I think relationships take a lot from women. I’m not a man so I don’t want to speak about what it takes or doesn’t take from them, but being in a relationship and holding space for someone else (which is what happens when you love another) while trying to balance self love can be exhausting. I find the greatest sense of renewal and commitment to self just after I get over being sad and start rebuilding.”

What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

“I recently went through a breakup and it was so different than any other I’d ever had because we didn’t breakup because we were mad or hurt, simply because we want different things right now. Depending on the reason for the breakup depends on my response, but I try to keep it healthy. I write a bunch, I do mantras, I write affirmations, I set new goals, I talk long walks. I try and treat myself kindly and do things I really love. I definitely go through the stages of grief, but I never get too invested in the upset. I think it is easy to get stuck in the sadness and addicted to unhealthy behaviors that sometimes comes with breakups, like obsessing about previous conversations or Instagram stalking.”

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

“I used to always have another person in my back pocket for when a relationship ended. I could quickly move into getting attention from someone else. I don’t do that anymore. I give myself time and space to process each relationship and then decide what I want next.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

“I’ve learned sooooooo many things. A big one was to only do what you want with no expectation of getting anything back. If you are going to be mad if someone doesn’t reciprocate– don’t do it. Love should liberate, not hostage anyone. The other big thing I learned was to listen to my intuition. My intuition is never wrong, I can feel things in my gut and every time I didn’t listen, I paid the price.”

Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

“I’m friends with all my exess except one. I try to only date people who I deeply care about and respect as people so that I always maintain the friendship even when the kissing is done. I love that I still talk on the phone to my first boyfriend. He knows me so well, he has watched me become myself. I was in another relationship for 5 years and he and I are best friends now. We are almost closer now than we were when we dated. His father calls and sings me “Happy Birthday” every year and every time he is in town we all go for ice cream or dinner. These people are my family now. Love requires an ability to get past the petty stuff. I often think about the loss of a relationship when my friends are going through a breakup and how loving a person bigger than a title allows for a level of fluidity that otherwise ends when the relationship does. Directly after a breakup, I usually mute them on Facebook until things settle a little. My most recent breakup I didn’t need to even do that.”

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

“No matter what happens in life, I have decided that I will be a lover and learner. I will always seek and reach for happiness and the ending of something is the beginning of something else.”

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?

“I love a film called Elegy. It is about aging and love and fear and endings.”

Ashley Ballard On Healing After An Abusive Relationship

Ashley Ballard is the voice behind Closet Vomit, where she writes about mental health, style and home. She is a self-proclaimed vintage addict and feminist who is obsessed with Morrissey, indie music, and Jimmy Buffet. When she’s not working on her blog, Ashley enjoys riding her bike or reading essays and biographies.

We got a chance to ask Ashley a few questions about heartbreak and she opened up about coping with depression after being in an abusive relationship.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

“I would tell my younger self that nobody is ready for a deep connection at that age. I always had a desire to find deep and mature connections with others when I was a teenager, and I never  found those relationships. I think my body was one age, and my heart was far older. My only  relationship before my current one was the boyfriend I had from my last year of high school into  my first year of college. He took my virginity by rape and sexually abused me, and that took a  hell of a lot of healing. I would tell my younger self that it gets better, and that sex doesn’t have  to be a negative thing in your life, even after something as traumatizing as sexual abuse.”

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

“That building emotional strength is extremely similar to building physical strength. You have to put in strenuous effort to become strong. When something breaks your heart, it’s best to take it  as an opportunity to grow and overcome something huge, because the next time it happens,  you’ll be better-equipped. It doesn’t even have to be a romantic relationship, it can be a family  issue or losing someone close to you. I learned a lot about how I deal with trauma also, and I  learned a lot about my current partner by how he responded to my post-trauma.”

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What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

“I wouldn’t call them ‘rituals’ because I’ve only had one breakup. I responded pretty badly — I got depressed, my diet was terrible, I stayed in bed all day. It wasn’t even because I missed him,  obviously, it was because I was feeling something I was unfamiliar with and I didn’t know how to  handle it. In retrospect, keeping the people who love you close and accepting help is a great  way to mend. Practicing self-care and keeping yourself in good health, both in body and mind, is also crucial. I got a massage after my breakup and it felt cleansing. Also, reading does wonders.”

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

“I’m a huge stalker of people on social media. The best thing to do is block them or unfollow them, and if they ask, just explain it isn’t anything hostile, it’s just taking the time to detach and mend. I am a solid introvert, so I don’t really find myself wanting to reach out to a former partner  again. I just conquer it within myself and move on.”

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What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

“That love is present in everything, and it is a lot of work. I feel more in love with my partner in the weird moments (like talking through the bathroom door about whether or not The Beach  Boys founded psychedelic music while I am on day two of a stomach bug) than in the moments  when people are supposed to feel more romantic (like being out to dinner).”

Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

“I think that exes can be friends if both parties are mature enough to handle it. If one or both of them are assholes, there’s no way it can happen. I’ve definitely witnessed people try to make a  friendship work and fail because someone oversteps boundaries. It takes a lot of perseverance  and trust with current partners. Personally, I don’t think I would be able to handle that. I get  nostalgic. If my current partner and I were to break up and try to be friends, I would want that really badly, but I know that I would miss the previous nature of our relationship too much.”

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

“Knowing that every hardship makes you tougher. I wouldn’t take back anything that’s ever happened to me. I’ve had a world of hurt happen to me within my family and with my previous  partner, but all of those things built my character and my awareness that people can fuck up, and the only thing in your control is how you respond.”

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?

“This is a definite cliche, but (500) Days of Summer taught me a whole lot about myself. I saw it the day it hit the box office in 2009 and I was in high school, and every time I watch it, I interpret  it a different way. As I aged, my interpretation of the film evolved. It really taught me that  sometimes you just aren’t what someone is looking for, and that’s okay.”

Gabrielle Korn On Finding Herself Post-Heartbreak

Gabrielle Korn is the Director of Fashion and Culture at Refinery 29 and former Editor-in-Chief at NYLON. As a self-proclaimed Nasty Woman, Gabrielle is also a strong supporter of queer and feminist culture. She’s also the author of the forthcoming book, EVERYBODY (ELSE) IS PERFECT (January 2021). We asked Gabrielle some questions about heartbreak and she shared how the pain of a breakup helped her find herself.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

“The first time I was really heartbroken, at 20, I got so stuck on someone. We had been friends who started sleeping together in secret, and while I was falling for her, she made it clear that it was never going to be more than what it was. She simply didn’t want to be with me, but I couldn’t hear it. In hindsight, that sort of honesty was a gift: It was a chance to see the situation for what it was, and move on. Of course, I didn’t see it like that. I just thought she was wrong, and that she would eventually realize it. I wish I could have known that when someone can’t give you what you want, and they are up front with you about it, it’s a weird sort of kindness—it sets you free.”

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

“It’s so easy for me to get lost in relationships, and breakups, and to forget what it is I need. I put myself on hold, I tell myself that my needs can wait or don’t matter at all. Having done that so many times and ending up heartbroken anyway, I’ve learned that losing sight of myself can be a bigger loss than losing a relationship. I’m trying to make my own needs more of a priority. It leads to better alone time and stronger relationships, as well.”

What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

“I go into say-yes-to-everything overdrive during a breakup. Trying new things, spending time with my friends, and being out in the world—that’s the only way I’ve ever mended a broken heart. Of course, it takes all my will power not to spend a week in pajamas, hiding. But when I can remember all the things I love about my independent adult life, about living in New York, about my friends, that’s when I can feel okay again.”

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

“I’ve definitely been known to stalk social media…. Not just of my exes but of anyone new they might be dating. One time I was looking at the Instagram of an ex’s new girlfriend and I accidentally liked a really old photo. It was about 2am. The horror of doing that pretty much cured me of wanting to lurk around anything, ever again. I’m pretty proud of my lack of social media stalking, at this point in my life. I just don’t want to do it anymore. It’s a recipe for disaster!”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

“I think you can’t really understand love until you’ve been with someone long enough that the honeymoon phase is over. Once your brain isn’t drowning in the throes of romantic obsession and you can begin to see one another clearly—separating the projections from reality—that’s when you really learn about loving someone else. And it’s work, but it shouldn’t be Hard Work: I think it’s so easy to fall into the “relationships are work” trap instead of really thinking hard about whether or not you actually want to be with someone. Love should create a base-level trust and joy that’s the foundation for the work you do together, and it really takes time to know if it’s there.”

Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

“I don’t stay friends with my exes, unless we were friends before we dated. I hope they’re all doing well and that they find happiness, but I don’t feel the need to be around to see it. I think it just gets too complicated, and it’s weird for the new people you’re dating. I’m totally down to make friendly small talk when I run into an ex, but that’s the extent of it.”

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

“I’m pretty guarded with my heart, actually. I was with someone for five years, and going through that breakup made me really hesitant to be vulnerable to someone new. I made my current girlfriend date me casually for months before I’d commit to something more serious; I need to be really sure someone is a keeper before I keep them.”

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

“It’s so cheesy but I always return to “November,” by Azure Ray. There’s that line that goes, “I was afraid to be alone, now I’m scared that’s how I like to be,” which resonates with me so strongly. It’s so sad and beautiful and hopeful. Being alone—fear of it, fear of wanting it—has ruled so much of my life, has informed how I act in relationships and in breakups. I’ve learned that not wanting to be alone is not a reason to stay with someone, and conversely, wanting to be alone is a perfectly acceptable reason to end a relationship. But, ideally, I’d like to be able to feel alone at times while also in a stable relationship, and have that be ok.”

Lenea Sims On Staying Positive After A Breakup

Lenea Sims is a writer, explorer, healer, and confidant who’s infinitely curious about the ways we heal, cope, and thrive. She’s also the founder of Inner Play + Outer Work – dual education networks for personal growth and collective change. We asked Lenea about her experience with heartbreak and she opened up about her favorite post-breakup advice.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

“My advice to myself would have been to remember that there is always more love. Back then, I thought I had to cling onto every possible chance of love like it was my only hope for water in a barren desert. But as I get older, I realize that love isn’t a finite energy, but instead an abundant one so there’s always another chance at water if you just keep moving forward.”

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

“I think all there really is to learn is that you’re a tough bitch. Jokes but also not jokes. Heartbreak is horrible, but it also shows you just how strong, resilient, and adaptable you are. My best friend’s dad once told me that after his divorce he was sad, of course, but also ecstatic because he would have his own life again. And that’s an experience we all need to have: a chance to learn who and what we are when we are alone.”

What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

“Does talking all your friends’ ears off count as a ritual? When I’m having a tough time with anything, I always find it best to share with the people who get me most. Not only to get things off of my chest and find clarity in the chaos of my feelings, but also to be reminded that I’m always supported and loved, even without a partner in my life.”

Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

“I’m one of those ‘love never dies’ people so absolutely. There’s a tiny piece of my heart devoted to everyone I’ve ever loved and I don’t think that magically disappears. That said, I’m not necessarily going to dial them up for coffee every time we’re in the same city, but I do think it’s nice to remain friendly and cherish what was once between us.”

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

“‘Cranes in the Sky’ by Solange. Haunting and painful yet strikingly beautiful and marked by liberation – hallmarks of a typical breakup and of all the great songs.”

What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?

“I don’t know if it’s really about heartbreak, per say, but Two Weeks Notice starring Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock is low-key my favorite rom-com as of late. It has like a 40% Rotten Tomatoes rating but my friends and I are obsessed with how perfectly bad it is.”

What projects are you currently working on, and looking forward to most?

“Right now, my biggest project is Gooey Girl, an online publication I founded and edit that is dedicated entirely to self-care. On the site, I interview inspiring women about what people, practices, and products they turn to for self-care and also give my own tips for how to cherish and love yourself. It’s been really dope to curate a space for women to explore our healing and our growth with dignity, with humor, and with each other. So stoked to see how it grows!”

Therapist Sarah McLaughlin On Taking Space From Exes Post-Breakup

Sarah McLaughlin is a San Francisco-based therapist specializing in women’s mental health, co-founder of Havn Collective, and she is also a certified yoga instructor. We asked Sarah a few questions about heartbreak and she opened up about her journey with self-love.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

“Time will heal. Sometimes clients will ask me what it’s going to take for them to feel better, and one very important ingredient to healing is time. I would have told my younger self to trust in that as well.”

What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

“My friends are a huge part of my life, during breakups they are the ones I’ve always leaned on. Rituals might include a major closet clean and a flight purchased to some random place.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

“The best love can come to you when you truly love yourself. Our culture is so focused on finding the love of your life, finding a partner, or that person to complete you. There is very little focus on the journey to loving yourself, but I’ve learned that self-love is the basis for all other great love.”

Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

“One thing I truly believe in is space after a breakup. I definitely took a lot of time (sometimes years) with no contact before re-connecting in real life or via social media with exes, but I am still friends with a couple of them.”

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

“It may be in part because of my occupation…but, I have so much faith in human beings. They truly blow me away. The hardships some people endure, and they are able to stay open and happy and enjoy life. Stories like those inspire me to no end, and it challenges me to keep my heart open and be grateful to be alive every day.”

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

“Oh this is easy, ‘I Will Survive’ by Gloria Gaynor. Nothing like blasting this at full volume and singing along while cry-dancing. I promise it’s empowering.”

What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?

“Every episode of Sex and the City. Does that count? Whether you like the show or not, it definitely covers SO many difficult dating and break-up scenarios. It’s alarming how many times in life I think to myself ‘oh, there’s a Sex and the City episode about that.'”

What projects are you currently working on, and looking forward to most?

“I’m lucky enough to have a full-time therapy practice in San Francisco – that’s my main focus right now. My clients are amazing women who are typically their own worst critics. They are so great, they just need help believing that. It’s an honor to accompany them on their quest to live a balanced, happy and love-filled life.”

The Truth About Mending After A Friendship Breakup

Friend breakups are incredibly painful, yet highly underrated. A lot of people don’t realize that losing a friend can hurt just as badly as losing a significant other.

In my experience, friendship breakups typically happen in one of two ways. There’s either a falling out, where harsh words are exchanged and both parties walk away or you simply grow apart, which can happen for a number of reasons. 

Having experienced both kinds of friend breakups, I can honestly say that the former is easier to deal with. At least you know it’s over. Growing apart from someone you care about is a different kind of torture. It’s a long, drawn-out process of canceled plans, unanswered text messages, and wondering what the other person is up to without knowing how to ask.

I often think back to my sophomore year of high school, when I began to grow apart from my middle school best friend, Abigail. We never fought. We just started heading in different directions until it was too late to turn around and go back to how it used to be. I still think of her sometimes and I hope she thinks of me.

Then, I think back to my senior year of high school, when a petty fight led to me losing some of my best friends. We hurt each other and it was intentional. I don’t think of them so much.

That’s not to say that every fight will eventually lead to friend breakup. Sometimes, fights can even make a friendship stronger. I’ve learned that these are the kinds of friendships that are worth holding on to. It is only when we expose the darkest parts of ourselves to people that we truly learn who is willing to stay in our lives. To meet someone who can see your flaws and forgive your mistakes is a gift and should be treated as such. But just a fair warning: too many fights can be a sign of a toxic relationship and only you can decide when enough is enough.

I honestly thought that friend breakups would happen less as I got older. But the truth is, they will never really stop. After high school, I realized that the best way to learn who your real friends are is to see who makes an effort to spend time with you when they’re not forced to see you in class. As adults, we have our own schedules, our own jobs, new friends, different hobbies, and so on. But those who genuinely care will make time to see you.

As you get older, though, friend breakups happen more quietly. People walk away without letting the other know. We stop answering each other’s phone calls. We cancel plans. We forget to catch up. And then one day, you realize that the person you used to call your friend doesn’t exist anymore. You have become entirely different people and there is too much time and space between you to try and bridge the gap.

I’ve learned that although it hurts to lose these people, it’s also a blessing to have had them in the first place. But, if you lost them at all, then they really weren’t meant to stay in your life because relationships (platonic or otherwise) are a two-way street. They cannot thrive if one person gives more than they receive. As with romantic relationships, self-love should always come first and staying in someone’s life when they don’t value you the way you deserve is a heartbreak in itself. 

I’ve learned to be at peace with losing certain friends because I realize that some people just don’t have room for me in their life or vice versa. What’s important is tending to the relationships that you do have that are worth fighting for. In the long run, those are the ones that will serve you best.

So to the friends I’ve lost, I hope you’re doing well. Maybe we can catch up someday.

Silvia Kozonova Shares The Lessons She’s Learned About Love

Silvia Haupt Kozonova is a Brand Manager at Harper’s Bazaar Czechoslovakia and a proud part of the Prague Fashion Week team. She was previously at Vogue Czechoslovakia. We asked Silvia a few questions about her experience with heartbreak and she shared how self love, honesty, and mutual effort contribute to healthy relationships.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

“I wish my younger self could have seen the first heartbreak as something inevitable. I wish she had been aware of the necessity and forming power of a broken heart and known that it is all just a part of the journey. I would hug her and tell her to stop chasing her ex and instead have fun. Nothing drives a boy more mad than a girl who doesn’t give a damn about him anymore.”

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

“Every heartbreak taught me something different. All of them were pretty deep cuts and took longer to really recover from. What they for sure had in common is one clear message: no matter what, I can handle it. No matter how broken, unhappy, lonely or disappointed I was, I always handled it. Sometimes when you’re in a relationship, you feel like you can’t manage big shifts or hard times without your loved one. Partners are often not only our lovers. The older we get, the more hats our partners has to wear. They are our best friends, our most trusted people, advisers, flat mates, family and suddenly one day, they are gone. The best realization is understanding that no matter what, you don’t really need them anyway. Sure it’s better to be with somebody, but it’s not necessary. You can handle everything that life brings alone. This realization was a game changer for me.”

What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

“I have amazing and very patient friends. So they are my first aid in any situation. What also helps is to stop any interaction with your ex partner. Everything is usually already said anyway. I don’t need more confirmation that the other person doesn’t value me anymore and I’m sure he won’t start to just because I’m being needy. Then I just try to spoil myself a bit. Nice clothing, parties, small things that makes me happy. Exercising helps a lot – you are literally forcing your body to create happy hormones. Shifting your attention from the pain to some new projects or work is like a blessing. However, the most important thing is to write down your thoughts any time you feel like talking about the situation over and over again. Understanding what you have done wrong in the relationship and what you can do better next time is the best. By self-analyzing you can at least learn from what you are going through because if you didn’t learn anything new from a breakup then your pain was just a big waste of time.”

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

“The lowest point in my recent breakup was checking my ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s YouTube channel. She was singing while playing the piano and looked super good. It was 3 months after our breakup. It was winter time and I was lonely. I remember sitting on the bed and after her second refrain, I started crying so heavily, you couldn’t hear her voice anymore. I felt like I was in some pathetic movie scene– I could almost imagine the camera shifting from one corner of the room to the other… It was so sad that it was even funny. And from tears I burst into laughter. And just like that from one minute to the other, I was good. To stop checking his social media was the best idea ever. Every time I feel the urge to know what my ex partner is up to, I literally stop myself. I’m sure he is happy and that’s great, but it has nothing to do with me anymore. It’s not my story. So why should I bother?”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

“I think I am just beginning to learn what love really means. But so far I have 3 main realizations:

1. Love yourself first, no matter what. If you don’t put yourself first, you will lose yourself and in the end your lover will, as well. It’s not ego-centric, It’s healthy.

2. In every relationship there are two people who have to work on it. It’s always 50:50 – action and reaction. It sounds simple, but in fact it’s hard to realize when one is in doubt about whether he/she should do more for the sake of love. When you think your partner doesn’t do enough for your relationship, he probably doesn’t. But it’s definitely not up to you to make it work for both of you.

3. Love should be about honesty and trust and once that is gone, the whole world won’t manage to keep you two together. No matter how hard it is, you should be honest with each other. (Sounds like a cliché, but it’s the fundamental base)”

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Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

“I don’t consider social media as some kind of a bond between two people. Liking somebody’s picture doesn’t make you great friends. Sometimes there is no way for two lovers to just be friends. But I believe in certain cases there is a possibility to see if a friendship can work out better then a romantic relationship did. I would love to stay friends with my exes though, because I think all of them are great people and I’m always happy when they are doing well. (I mean, at the time, I wished they would move to some special land created just for the “exes” with no other girls and no wifi)”

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

“My friend once said that you can’t date anybody worse than your ex. You learn so much more about yourself, about things you want in a relationship or what you don’t want, that the next time will logically be even better. And that’s what keeps me going. The promise of a greater guy, who is right now somewhere out there, maybe learning how to not be an asshole :D”

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

“When I’m heartbroken, I like listening to YouTube videos or motivational speakers like Tony Robbins or Xandria Ooi or songs from Iggy Azalea.”

What projects are you currently working on, and looking forward to most?

“The one thing about being single is gaining time for yourself and being able to create when you have new energy. I’m working right now on two main projects. Bringing local fashion in Czech and Slovakia to a new and more international level with Fashion Map. And the second thing is finally starting my own blog about fashion and relationships in general. I would love to write my own book in a year, so let’s see! There are a lot of opportunities in the future and I’m super thrilled about all of them.”

Ophelia Mikkelson Shares Her Breakup Rituals

Ophelia Mikkelson is an artist and photographer from New Zealand. Drawn to the ideas of the home, the body, beauty, and imperfection, Ophelia approaches all she creates with tactility and care. Ophelia lives on the Coromandel Peninsular with her husband and sends her makings all over the world. We asked Ophelia some questions about heartbreak and she shared how keeping her heart open helped her heal.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

“Stand up for yourself and walk far, far away!”

What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

“Luckily anytime I was hurting, my best friend Mary was my surrogate boyfriend. In fact, 100% of the time when we were growing up she was my other half, my big spoon little spoon.”

“I think surrounding yourself with true and strong friends who listen to you when you need to be listened to but also make you forget everything too, that’s who you need when you are going through heartache or any ache in life. Friends and dancing (like in your bedroom Beyoncé dancing) have been my greatest remedies!”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

“That love isn’t hard. Some people prove hard to be with but I have found that when it’s true, it is the most joyful, precious and freest thing in the world.”

Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

“Yes, now I think of it, but with zero interaction from all parties.”

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

“I always kept an open heart; I think that helped me, I never became cynical of men or felt failed by love. I always wanted to share my life and love with someone who wanted commitment and joy of it as much as I did.”

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

“I think there was a stage where I listened to Torn by Natalie Imbruglia a lot, but more notably Destiny’s Child Survivor and Independent Woman, of course!”

What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?

“Not movie (and not exclusively about heartbreak but), the TV series, The O.C. The O.C has seen me through my highs and lows of my life and heart. It is my saviour! And as it turns out, the love of my life my now husband, (is not in fact Seth Cohen) but is from Orange County! “Eureka Ryan”!!”

What projects are you currently working on, and looking forward to most?

“At the moment I am working toward an exhibition in Auckland, New Zealand of my Woman drawings as well as making more socks and clothing for my online store.”

Dr. Megan Stubbs On Being Vulnerable Post-Breakup

Holding degrees in Human Sexuality and Biology, Dr. Megan Stubbs is an energetic multi-media savvy sex and relationships expert, educator, and writer. She believes that sex should be fun and uses her lighthearted, intelligent, and humorous delivery to make it happen.

We asked Megan a few questions about heartbreak and she opened up about learning to take her time throughout the healing process.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

“I would tell my younger self that it will take time to mend. Longer than you anticipate. Not that there is a specific amount of time required, but because of the way I am, I know that to untangle myself from that person and those feelings will take more time that a weekend or a month. The deeper you go with someone, the longer it will take you to come back up.”

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

“I used to pride myself on being so tough. Tears were for the weak. Showing emotion has changed for me. I know now that it is truly brave to be vulnerable, not a closed off ice queen. Just because you aren’t crying in public and documenting your day to day sadness on Facebook doesn’t mean that you don’t feel those emotions. I have an elastic heart, much like Sia’s song. And most importantly, that there is always a ‘next’. Even on my darkest days, I keep in mind that my current state is not my forever. There is always something coming towards me.”

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What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

“First and foremost, purge the other person from my life. That means deletion, blocking, and removal of all things that remind me of them. You may saw you want to be done, but your brain chemistry says otherwise. I want to remove anything that will trigger me into a flood of memories and ‘what ifs’ with that person. I help my mind mend by leveling out and relearning what it means to not have that person in my life anymore.”

“For one particularly bad breakup I dove into audio books. I couldn’t stand to be alone in my head so I inserted other voices and stories. I would fall asleep to them to keep my mind off of my own sad story. I honestly went through well over a hundred. But for me, it worked. Time and space heal. I was also kind to myself, I ate really well and spent a lot of time with my dog. He was and still is a great influence in my well-being. I can’t just lay in bed and wallow in pity for days, I have someone counting on me to show up. Plus he is an amazing snuggler. Friends are also great for healing your hurt. They shook me out of my funk and helped me realize that they weren’t the one for me anyway.”

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

“I think my vices came about in mental replay. Reliving moments and wondering what if or questioning myself with a decision made long ago. I ultimately realized that its a waste of my energy to dwell in that place. It doesn’t serve me to live in the past.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

“The biggest lesson that I’ve learned about my love life is that the more I learn, the less I feel like I know. Haha, how messed up is that? I think so often we are searching for rules, and tips, and techniques, to help making the navigation of this space easier and unfortunately love and relationships cannot be distilled down into a checklist. Love is complex and ever-changing. All we can do is be honest, clear in our communication, and hope that someone will do the same for us. I want a relationship, but I am in no hurry to settle.”

Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

“I think it depends on the situation. For me, there is always the purge that takes place, but only a few have made it back into the social media sphere (not friend space) and that was after much time had passed. As far as being friends, I believe that wholly depends on your ability to communicate and be honest about your feelings. That being said, I am only friends with one ex.”

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

“Despite all of the heartbreak and wall building, I ultimately know that closed hearts cannot find love. And no matter how shitty things were and how awful I felt, I have to put yourself back out there. I have friends who have beautiful relationships and I want that for myself and my future partner. The brightness of my future outshines the pain of my past.”

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

“So many good ones!
Borgore – Best
Banks – This Is What It Feels Like
The Internet – Just Sayin
Lapsley – Tell Me The Truth
Lapsley – Hurt Me
Sia – Elastic Heart
Lana Del Rey – Ride”

What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?

“Honestly I don’t watch movies about heartbreak. Yes I’m the like 1% who has never seen The Notebook. Maybe one day in the future, but for now I am content to enjoy action and comedy.”

Camila Miranda On Her Support System + Post-Breakup Rituals

Camila Miranda is a Berlin-based Mender who inspires major wanderlust through her travel adventures. She loves astrology, healthy eating, and capturing special moments with her handy Instax camera. We asked Camila a few questions about heartbreak and she shared how her strong support system and self-care rituals helped her stay #onthemend.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

“I would tell myself to embrace the moment. While being heartbroken is not the best thing in the world, is a great moment to reconnect with yourself and do things that you really enjoy. Now is the time to finally live life without worrying about what others may think. Invest time in being healthier, happier and in love with yourself for once.”

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

“I learned that I can do anything I put my mind into. Being heartbroken made me realize how strong I am and helped me to understand that I don’t need anybody to feel complete. I started to take care of myself first.”

What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

“The most important thing for me was being surrounded by people who loves me. My brother and friends were crucial for me. They are the ones that can show you what love is really like. They will support you when you need to cry and also will be there to make you laugh. The second thing would be doing things that you weren’t able to do when you were in a relationship. Being single gives you so much free time! Now I have time to workout, do yoga and even do crochet. So… do things that you love! Use this time to treat yourself.”

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

“Well, being a psychopath on instagram was something I did often when I was younger. Now I don’t do it anymore. I just realized how harmful and unnecessary that was. If I really want to move on, I can’t be using my time checking my ex’s life. There’s no point.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

“I’ve learned that you need to love yourself first in order to be happy in a relationship. You can’t be in a healthy relationship if you don’t respect and truly love yourself. I know is cheesy, but is true. Love you and your life first.”

Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

“Well… in theory I guess ex’s could be friends, but in my case I prefer a clean break, so I am not friends with anyone of my ex’s. I wish them a happy life though.”

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

“I really trust in the universe and I am thankful for all my past relationships. I think all relationships teach you lessons and make you grow. Knowing that I am able to learn from every experience keeps my heart open. Single or in a relationship, I feel like I am where I am supposed to be, working on myself to be a better person.”

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

“For heartbreak I love Sunset from The XX. Actually, any song from The XX will do.”

What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?

“Blue Valentine”

What projects are you currently working on, and looking forward to most?

“I love to travel and getting to know new cities so after my breakup I moved abroad, I left Chile and moved to Germany with my brother. That was I dream we had for so long and now is finally happening! I am also learning social makeup and astrology, and I am working on launching a YouTube channel with my brother to show our adventures in Berlin. I am just settling in so I am looking forward to see what opportunities this city has for me.”

Mend City Guide: How To Mend Heartbreak In New York City

Hey, Menders! Thanks for following us across the globe with our London Mend Guide. Today we’re heading back to the states to share our favorite ways to mend heartbreak in New York. In case you missed it, we’ve also shared how to mend in San Francisco, Westside LA, Eastside LA and Central LA.

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(Source: TenOverTen.com)

Unwind And Relax

For elevated and affordable pampering, make an appointment at one of four tenoverten NYC locations for a manicure and pedicure in a beautifully-designed, relaxing space with highly trained staff and non-toxic polishes. And you can enjoy this self-care activity totally guilt-free because all tenoverten products are vegan and cruelty free.

Maha Rose

(Source: MahaRose.com)

Holistic Healing For Heartbreak

Can’t decide on a self-care activity? Maha Rose in Brooklyn is a one-stop shop for all your healing needs. They offer a variety of workshops and trainings such as acupuncture, reiki, breathwork, hypnotherapy, meditation, dance, and yoga so you can try all sorts of healing and find what works best for you.

If you’re going through a breakup this month (or still healing from a split) check out Maha Rose’s upcoming events. We recommend the Practical Magic Workshop to incorporate spirituality into your daily self-care rituals or Psychic Hygiene 101 to clear your aura and ground your energy.

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(Source: FutureMediaLab.com)

Do A Digital Detox

Turn off your phone and spend the afternoon getting lost in books and magazines at the iconic New York Public Library. Enjoy the simplicity of a good story without letting the distractions from email, Snapchat and Instagram creep in.

Spa Castle

(Source: ny.spacastleusa.com/)

Slough Off The Old, In With The New

If you’re down for a field trip, nothing marks a new chapter like getting a traditional Korean scrub at Spa Castle. This 5-story spa in College Point offers luxurious spa services like scrubs, hydrotherapy, reflexology and lavender treatments.

Some of the most notable features include a hydrotherapy pool with jets that target pressure points to ease aches and pains as well as a color therapy room to balance energy within the mind. For as little as $40, you can also indulge in amenities such as a Himalayan salt sauna, a healing zone, and aqua/tonic bar.

By Chloe

(Source: EatByChloe.com)

Conscious Comfort Food

by CHLOE has taken the vegan restaurant scene in New York by storm. Started by Chef Chloe Coscarelli (of Cupcake Wars fame) and Creative Director Sam Wasserman, this restaurant boasts an incredibly delicious 100% plant based, vegan and kosher menu in a bright and cheery space that will leave you feeling energized. Currently in the West Village and Flatiron, they are set to open their Soho, Rock Center and Williamsburg locations soon.

For comfort food, we recommend their Mac N’ Cheese and one of Chloe’s famous cupcakes. For something lighter, we recommend their Avocado Pesto Pasta and Kale Cookies + Cream ice cream.

Pro tip: Their menu offers goodies for pets like Pupcakes so your furry friend can have a treat too!

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(Source: HomePolish.com)

Mend Mindfully

Breakups can do a number on your mind and body. From low energy days to sleepless nights, it’s not always easy to recover from a broken heart. Drop into MNDFL and find the perfect meditation class for your post-heartbreak healing. Each 30 to 45 minute class features a different theme so you can choose what would be most helpful to your day.

Try the Sleep class to help you transition into sweet dreams if you’re battling insomnia or trade in the caffeine for a morning Energy class to keep you awake and active all day. MNDFL even has a Sound class so you can learn to use the sirens and street noise of NYC as a form of meditation.

Sky Ting Yoga

(Source: SkyTingYoga.com)

Take A Sound Bath

Ready to add a little spice to your yoga practice? Take a class at Sky Ting Yoga, where highly trained instructors combine different forms of yoga to create a unique yoga experience in a bright Chinatown studio. If you’re in the mood for a mini restorative retreat, sign up for one of their upcoming Sound Bath workshops for rejuvenation.

If you’re experiencing tension in your body post-breakup we recommend signing up for the Katonah + Pranayama class, which eases your joints and regulates your mood to help you get “unstuck.” They also offer an Advanced Tings class for any yogis who are ready to move at a faster pace.

Aromatherapy

(Source: NewYorkInstituteOfAromatherapy.com)

(Aroma)Therapy Session

Did you know that scents can calm you down and make you feel better? At the New York Institute of Aromatherapy, you can not only learn about the benefits of different scents, you can also create your own. NYIOA aims to help people begin a relationship with plants, oils and aroma-based healing so you can create a scent that excites your spirit and mind.

You can sign up for a variety of workshops that will teach you how to make your own soaps, facial serums, fizzing bath balls, and more.

Bonus: If you decide to take this new hobby to the next level, NYIOA offers certification classes so you can launch a career in aromatherapy.

Quiet Mornings

(Source: MoMA.org)

Have A Quiet Morning at MoMA

Get ready to beat those humpday blues. Every Wednesday in October, the Museum of Modern Art hosts Quiet Mornings, which allows visitors to view collections without the crowds. Guests are encouraged to silence their phones and take time to admire the work slowly so they can clear their heads and get inspiration for the day or week ahead.

Afterwards, the museum offers a drop-in meditation session in the Agnes Gund Garden Lobby, overlooking the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. Taking time to enjoy art and mindfulness can be the perfect heartbreak cure when you’re living in a big city.

Woom

(Source: WellAndGood.com)

Return To The Woom

We know how easy it is to fall into zombie-mode after a breakup. You can be totally awake without truly being present. If you’re struggling to get out of that funk, check out Woom Center.

Unlike traditional yoga studios, Woom is a multi-sensory yoga, meditation, and movement experience that aims to help students explore higher states of consciousness naturally and safely. This studio blends yoga with dance, music, and fresh, organic nutrition to create a unique and transformative experience that will help you feel more connected to yourself and those around you.

If You Can’t Get Over Your Ex, It’s Time To Do A Digital Detox

Dating in the digital age can be a blessing and a curse. It makes meeting people easier. And when you’re in a relationship, social media can be a great way to stay connected with your significant other. Whether you’re sending each other silly snaps or posting cute #tbt’s of your first date on Instagram, your relationship’s online presence will leave behind some sort of footprint. 

When you’re going through a breakup, however, social media can act as a sharp reminder of someone you are trying to forget. You might not even realize it, but h aving such easy access to your ex and their cyber-life may be hindering your ability to move on. 

If you’re feeling stuck after a breakup, it might be time to do a digital detox so that you can stay #onthemend on and offline:

1. Block their number

This is mostly for your own sanity. When you’re used to texting your ex all day, everyday, the silence from your phone post-breakup can be enough to drive you crazy. Some people even suffer from Phantom Vibration or Phantom Ringing Syndrome, which is the perception that one’s mobile phone is vibrating or ringing when it isn’t. 

It’s way easier to stop obsessively checking your phone when you’ve eliminated any possibility of receiving a call or text from your ex. The reality is it’s not that hard to find someone’s number again once you’ve blocked it, but it will require an extra step to call versus just a quick thumb tap. Sometimes that’s all you need to realize you’re about to make a mistake.

2. Delete their texts

Stop rereading those texts you sent to each other during your honeymoon phase. It doesn’t help to reminisce on the good times or analyze every word sent back and forth until you’re in a phone-induced coma. Additionally, deleting old texts will keep you from rereading any highly charged post-breakup messages you exchanged (sober or otherwise).

If you’re hanging on to them because you don’t want to delete them, just back them up somewhere else (in iCloud if you’re an iPhone user) and then delete them off your phone. Having them at your fingertips isn’t healthy, just like you wouldn’t walk around with a handful of handwritten love letters 24/7 in the 1950’s. It’s not healthy!

3. Reset your keyboard

Oh, to live in the age of emojis. It’s almost funny that this is a problem these days but alas, it is and we’re here to help because there’s nothing like an ill-timed auto correct to send you into a downward spiral. 

If you don’t want reminders of emoji related jokes and nicknames to pop up while you’re texting, a brilliant Mender let us know you can simply reset the recently used tab on your text keyboard if you’re an iPhone user. 

Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Keyboard Dictionary. And voila! Clean slate!

4. End the Snap streak

Snapchat has definitely taken cyber-stalking to a whole new level (as I recently learned the hard way). Since Snapchat allows you to add a time and geotag to pictures and videos, it’s easy to get paranoid about why your ex was at a bar two cities away at 3AM on a Tuesday. Who is he with? He never stays out this late. Is that a new shirt?!

Another fun lesson I learned from having an ex on Snapchat is how heartbreaking it is to watch your “best friend” status disappear and get replaced with that stupid emoji that suggests they are snapping someone else more than you. (Um excuse me?!)

Also, deleting your ex on Snapchat will make you far less paranoid about whether or not he saw that sexy selfie you posted along with a caption that was specifically targeted at him…*Raise your hand if you’re guilty.* 

Avoid the drama and snap out of it!

5. Unfriend on Facebook

Sometimes, changing your relationship status back to single is not enough. Unfriend your ex on Facebook as a safety measure so you can force yourself to stop checking up on their life. If you can’t bring yourself to unfriend, you can leverage Facebook’s Breakup Tools, but beware that it still requires a lot of self restraint that usually doesn’t exist post-breakup.

Creeping on his cyber whereabouts will not help you move on. It will only make you crazy every time he goes on a trip or checks into a fancy restaurant. Plus, there’s nothing more soul-shattering than seeing your ex’s relationship status change to “In A Relationship” when you’re not quite ready to know.

6. Unfollow on Instagram and Twitter

Unfollow your ex’s Instagram and Twitter accounts to avoid seeing reminders that they’re still functional human beings without you. (Yes, I know it’s hard to believe that they didn’t shrivel up and die upon losing you.) 

Although deleting their presence from your timeline is beneficial, it will also take extra willpower to not go out of your way to visit their profile if they’re public. Stay strong and resist the urge, Menders!

7. Reward yourself for progress!

Here’s a little extra tip I came up with that has actually helped me a lot. I modeled it after those reward systems that some stores have, where you get a discount after spending a certain amount of money. 

1. Choose a goal item that you would like to purchase. (ex: Concert tickets, new shoes, a vacation, etc.)

2. Open your Mend app and keep track of how long it’s been since your last ex contact (although this timer is meant to count the number of days since you contacted your ex, I also like to use it for the number of days I can go without cyber-stalking).

3. For every day that passes, reward yourself $1 of spending money (This doesn’t have to be an actual dollar, just an amount that you can tally up) For example, 100 days without ex contact = $100.

4. If you contact your ex or check his profile, restart your timer and start your money count again (boo!)

5. Once you’ve reached your goal amount, treat yo-self! 

This will give you a positive incentive to keep moving forward because let’s face it, buying those designer boots is all the more satisfying when you know you’ve earned them.

We hope you guys found this guide helpful! What are your great Digital Detox tips? Share with us at hello@letsmend.com.

Mend 60-Day Ex Detox

Rachel Lee On Learning To Be Happy Alone

Rachel-Lee is a Toronto-based organization expert and blogger on lifestyle design. We asked Rachel a few questions about heartbreak and she opened up about how she stays #onthemend after a breakup.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

“Feel whatever it is you have to feel, cry, scream, act as if the world is ending, you are allowed to feel pain but know that in time the pain will be gone and the world isn’t actually ending.”

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

“That I do not make the same mistakes twice.I learn from every relationship and take it all on board.”

What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

“Spending time with friends & family, keeping busy and talking about it. I talk to different friends all about the same things as it doesn’t put too much pressure on one friend if I share the talking over a few. I find they wont get too weighed down if I’m not constantly talking to the one person about it.”

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

“Not checking their social media is the key. During my last break up I didn’t check their socials at all. Forced myself not to look because I knew better.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

“Do not ever be co-dependent, never rely on someone else for happiness and you can not know what you truly want until you can be purely happy on your own.”

Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

“I think cutting an ex out is the best thing. You can not see them or speak to them until time has healed your wounds. Once you have been healed then I do think its ok to be friends. I am still friends with some of my exes from when I was younger.”

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

“Honestly my heart isn’t open, I have spent the last year working on myself and while I am trying to date now I am not fully open and it’s going to take time to open back up, but I know it will happen in due time and I know that I can’t run away from difficult situations. I have to overcome them in order to move on and love again.”

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

“I don’t listen to music during break ups. I associate music with feelings and after a break up I do not need songs to remind of times when things felt different.”

What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?

“I will not put myself through watching movies with love stories. I avoid things that will bring up feelings.”

What projects are you currently working on, and looking forward to most?

“Growing my business, working more on myself and growing as a person, and the travel plans I have. Nothing feels better than getting out of your life and exploring the world to get some perspective.”

Fauna Solomon On How She Beats The Breakup Blues

Fauna Solomon is the free-thinking creator behind The Dating Truth and Convo Queen. She gives insight on a variety of dating and relationship topics, from getting more matches on dating apps to navigating the first date.

We got a chance to ask Fauna some questions about her personal experience with heartbreak and she opened up to us about how maintaining a positive attitude about love helped her beat the breakup blues.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

“I’ve always felt unfulfilled at some point or another in my past relationships but I trudged along thinking about the future, or maybe I stayed in the relationships punishing myself for some shortcoming but what I learned and would tell my younger self, is ‘You deserve to be happy,’ even if it takes a breakup to wake up.”

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

“I’ve learned that heartbreak is just you and your inner being, looking at a situation from two different viewpoints. You’re taking the situation as a loss while your inner being, your true self is looking at the opportunity as freedom. My toughest breakups taught me how to align with my inner being, who had it right all along.”

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

“My post-breakup practice is never to force myself to ‘get over’ the other person. The breakups that were the hardest for me were relationships where I still felt very much in love. The harder I tried not to have those feelings the worse I felt. It was easier for me to go with the flow of my emotions, to feel the love that was still there and to remember the good times. It felt good to think about my ex in a positive way and in the midst of a breakup I think you have to do everything that you can to feel good. The path of least resistance to me was to hold to the good feelings and the love until it faded naturally.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

“As cliche as it sounds, love really is an inside job. When you’re confident and loving towards yourself you raise the standard for how you’re loved. Once I learned to value and love myself, especially by making myself a priority, I couldn’t go back to anyone treating me less than I felt I deserved. I’ve also learned that unconditional love is real, and again it starts from the inside out. If you can focus on the positive aspects of yourself, finding them in others is easy.”

Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

“I think exes can be friends but it depends on their relationship. I personally am not friends with any of my exes but that’s a choice everyone has to make for themselves.”

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

“What keeps my heart open is knowing the power of love. When I had it, the feeling was incredible. Even though we get sick sometimes we can never stop believing in our wellness. The same applies to love. Even though I have been heartbroken, I still believe in my power to love unconditionally and to heal through love. I never let go of that feeling that love has brought into my life by loving myself, my friends and my family. You can’t escape the power of love and when you try, you feel awful. I feel like the pain of a breakup is really the denial of love. It hurts too much to keep love out, so I have to constantly believe in it.”

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

“It’s a little obscure but my favorite heartbreak song is by the duo Zhane, they sang ‘Hey, Mr. Dj’ which coincidentally is one of my favorite party songs. They have a beautiful ballad on their first album that always speaks to me. The refrain is: ‘Everything happens for a reason.’ And even in the lyrics, they sing ‘I don’t know if I believe it.’ Nothing rings more true to me in life and love. People say everything happens for a reason but there’s always that question, nagging you. “Does it?” I don’t know, but that song always gives me life when I’m feeling down.”

What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?

“That’s a tough one since I strictly watch romantic comedies with happy endings, but I would say Legally Blonde.”

What projects are you currently working on, and looking forward to most?

“I’m always on a mission to help singles make dating more fun. To me, nothing is more fun than getting results. Currently, I’m working on my 7-Day FLIRT Challenge, a free program designed to help anyone find love in record time online. It will be launching soon. I think online dating is the fastest and easiest way to get back into the dating game and find success quickly even if you’ve had tough experiences in dating in the past.”

Four Things To Know About Being A Single Young Adult In America

What does it mean to live as a single person in America?

According to the Washington Post, a  study done by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that there are now 109 million Americans, 18 and older, who are divorced, widowed, or have always been single. That’s 45 percent of the adult population!

Here are 3 more interesting things to know about single young adults in America:

They’re Delaying Marriage

Americans are delaying marriage for a variety of reasons such as a challenging job market, falling wages and growing debt.

They’re Older When They Get Married

The average age of Americans getting married for the first time increased from 25.5 to 27.1 for women and 27.1 to 29.2 for men since 2006.

Many Of Them Will Stay Single

The Pew Research Center reported that by the time today’s young adults reach their mid-40s to mid-50s, a remarkable 25 percent will have been single all their lives. 

So if you’ve been feeling like you were the only single person on the planet, know you’re not alone. You’re in good company, and there’s no reason to stress or settle.