Why You Should Go On A Date Even If You’re Not Excited About It

Dating after getting your heart broken could feel a lot like diving into swim hole—filled with so much unknown. It might sound exciting at first but once it’s staring you in the face, you want to run in the other direction. 

Even months after your breakup, dating can still feel more like something you have to do and less like something you want to do. That’s because you’re most likely processing dates as something that will live long into the future instead of taking them for what they are: a few hours of getting to know someone.

It’s not easy to change your mentality towards dating. I’ve been there before, spending more time making up excuses for why I need to cancel than thinking about interesting topics to bring up in conversation. But over time I’ve learned that it’s good to go on dates, even when I’m not excited about them.

First off, dates are a lot like interviews, so if nothing else, you’re at least polishing up your professional skills. You’ll be grateful for those few awkward minutes of silence during dates when they’ve taught you how to keep the dialogue flowing throughout your next job interview.

Which brings me to the next good outcome of going on dates: you usually learn something new. Everyone has a different journey, passion, and perspective, and on a date, you get to know a little about all of that stuff. That date you were on the brink of canceling, might introduce you to what will go on to become your future passion project. You never know!

And even though your heart might not be in it, going on a date is a great distraction. For a few hours, you get enthralled in an experience with someone else. This time away from pining over your ex will slowly start opening you up to new people, experiences, and eventually love.

5 Tips for Attending Holiday Parties Alone

The holiday season is taking over. Lights are being strung and holiday playlists are blasting through headphones all around us. And while the holiday season is full of cheer, no one feels merry when you’re going through heartbreak. When the holiday party invitations start filing in, suddenly not only are you not jolly, but you’re also in a panic.

If you recently got out of a long-term relationship, it’s probably been a while since you attended a party alone. Holiday parties, in particular, have a way of shoving relationships in your face, which makes it twice as difficult to get through them. However, it doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. We want you to enjoy every holiday party, whether you’re single, heartbroken, or both.

The tips below will make each party enjoyable and completely change your perspective on attending parties while single.

Take A Friend

If you don’t have a romantic date, you can always have a friend tag along as your plus one. Your friend will serve as a buffer for you while you get used to going to parties without your usual plus one. It’ll be even more beneficial if you take the social butterfly of your inner circle. They’ll do the heavy lifting if you tend to be more of an introvert.

Do Some Planning

Holiday parties are a lot like networking events. You’d never go to a networking event without having in mind who will be at the party and what you could talk about. Take a little bit of the load off your shoulders by preparing a few conversation starters before the party. You’ll be able to spark an interesting dialogue that will keep guests talking.

Get Involved

An easy way to fill the time at a party is to get involved. Whether it’s taking on a task ahead of time or volunteering the night of, having some responsibilities throughout the party will keep you busy and will serve as a talking point. Who doesn’t go up to the person serving chips and dip?

Look for Other Singles

The chances are slim that you’ll be the only person at the party alone. Keep an eye out for other guests that are also solo and engage them in conversation. They are probably just as eager as you are to find someone to talk to throughout the night. Singles stick together.

Lean on The Host

It’s the host’s responsibility to make everyone feel comfortable and welcomed. A good host will make sure that guests who are alone don’t feel alone. I recently attended a small wedding by myself and the bride (my best friend) made sure she sat me at a table with people I have a lot in common and she made it a point to chat with me every chance she got. There was no moment where I felt the weight of my singleness.

No part of your newly single life has to be miserable, including holiday parties. Anything that you enjoyed while coupled up could be just as entertaining when you’re single. Of course, being heartbroken throughout the holidays is never easy, but hopefully, these tips help you have a little fun as you work through mending your broken heart.

How to Address Your Breakup at Thanksgiving Dinner

The only thing more dreadful than a holiday breakup is having to discuss the breakup over the holidays. And Thanksgiving dinner happens to be prime time for family members (especially the nosy ones!) to pry about your relationship status. If you brought someone to Thanksgiving last year and you’re alone at this year’s dinner , you’ll probably be getting questions about that too. 

So how exactly do you go about addressing your breakup at a dinner table full of extended family and friends?

Avoid The Details

Chances are you want to avoid getting into the details of it all. You might still be sensitive to the breakup and you’d rather enjoy dinner than lock yourself in a room crying because you just had to rehash it with everyone. Don’t feel like you owe your family all the details, especially around the dinner table. 

Guide The Conversation Elsewhere

One option is to go the route of honesty. You can always say something quick, like “We broke up, but I’m happy to be here with you all now so let’s just enjoy dinner.” if you’re not sure what to say. If more questions come up, you can explain that you’d rather not discuss your breakup right then. Thank them for their concern and guide the focus of the conversation toward something else. Pro tip: have a few other things to discuss instead (your latest project at work, a great movie you just saw, the crazy thing that happened last week on the train, etc.)

Shift The Perspective

Later on, if you find yourself in a conversation about your breakup, try taking a more gratitude-focused approach. Instead of sharing all of the negative aspects of the relationship, why it didn’t work, or how upset you are about it, you can open up about all of the positives that came from the breakup. 

Maybe you’ve uncovered some new interests or taken on new hobbies, or maybe you booked a really adventurous vacation that’s coming up. Talk about the things you are grateful for after the breakup this way the conversation revolves around the good and not the bad. Plus, your family will most likely want all the juicy details about these new interests, hobbies, or vacations more than they’ll want to know what your ex is up to.

Our best advice for Thanksgiving is to go into it knowing you’re probably going to be asked a lot about your relationship—or lack thereof. If you’re prepared, you’ll have a game plan for how to address it. These are people that love you and care about you. Being honest with them and shifting the conversation won’t make them love you any less. Remind yourself that sometimes their nosiness doesn’t come from a place of judgment, but instead it might be rooted in care and concern.

Keep it real with your loved ones. Make the focus of the evening on finding gratitude and you will all have a Thanksgiving dinner worth remembering. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Mend.

Ten Travel Communities For Women

Nothing will ease the butterflies in your stomach before your first solo trip. What will I do? Will I be safe? Where should I go first? But there are so many female travel communities created to make traveling alone feel less stressful and more exciting. Before you let the solo travel jitters get the best of you, take a look at our round up of some of the best travel communities for women. Each offers unique services, insights, and ways to connect with like-minded women. We know you’ll be packing your bags soon after getting through this list.

Wanderful

Wanderful is a travel community made up of over 40,000 women and offers travel tips and a homesharing network. Not sure what to do on your visit to Iceland? Check out their guide. Their itineraries will help you build your own for your next solo trip.

Girls vs. Globe
Girls vs. Globe is a community of nearly 20,000 women who share their struggles and achievements with one another on their main Facebook group. It’s a great resource for getting a heads up on some frequently asked travel questions. There are also three subgroups: couchsurfing, writers, and contributors.

Girls Love Travel

Girls Love Travel is an excellent resource for planning new adventures as its community of over 750,000 women have plenty of travel knowledge to spare. The community is incredibly active in their Facebook group, and you’ll find plenty of helpful content on their website. What makes GLT standout is their subgroups, where you can connect with women you can relate to!

Pink Trotters

Pink Trotters has great travel guides for where to eat, sleep, and play while visiting a new city, especially in Europe. You won’t want to miss out on their tips when you set out to plan your next European adventure.

The Solo Female Travel Network

If you haven’t travelled abroad often or alone, you might be worried about how to connect with locals. The Solo Female Travel Network has you covered with tips on how to connect with a new culture beyond surface level. This network also counts on over 200,000 women sharing solo travel advice with one another. They also have a pretty sweet Bali guesthouse!

Behere

Location-independent women should definitely bookmark Behere. They’ll help you find a place to live, work, and workout in 15 cities all over the world. Behere has vetted the fully furnished apartments they’ll help you book and have made sure to secure apartments in the best neighborhoods so you can feel safe while living somewhere new. We partnered with Behere for our Mend Away: Self retreat that we’re hosting in Barcelona October 2019.

Girl Gone International

Girl Gone International has a Facebook group for almost every country, which means tons of travel advice from female travelers. This community has been growing and thriving since 2010, embracing its multi-local and digital community.

Digital Nomad Girls

Digital Nomad Girls’ mission is to make the digital nomad life less lonely. If you find location-independent working to be lonely, isolating, and unproductive, you’ll want to check out the DNG Inner Circle. It’s a virtual coworking community that will allow you to connect with like-minded women, keep each other accountable, and grow your global community.

On She Goes

On She Goes is the go-to travel site for women of color. The post “Heal Thyself: Why Self-Care Should Be at the Top of Your Travel Checklist” is a must-read if you’re planning on making traveling a way of life. And don’t miss out on their guides to Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles, and New York City, which all have the cultural twist that’s often missing from most travel guides.

Women Who Travel

Conde Nast’s Women Who Travel is a wonderful resource full of incredible women and their travel stories. It’s also a great place to uncover destinations that should be added to your bucket list asap. We’re especially inspired by this piece about Jessica Nabongo, who’s on the quest to be the first black woman to visit every country. If you’re curious about her progress: she’s visited 187 out of 195!

Eight Journal Prompts For When You Need To Get Something Off Your Chest

Mending is full of ebbs and flows. Sometimes as you’re going through the motions you just need to vent, and journaling is a great way to get everything off your chest without unloading it all on a friend or family member or sending a really long text to your ex that you might later regret.

The only problem is that sometimes when you open your journal to write, you’re almost at a loss for words. No clue where to start. We want to help with that.

Below are a few journal prompts to get you started, whether you’re in the mood to show yourself some love or rage about your hurt. They’re simple kickstarts but once you start writing, the rest usually flows out without too much thought.

For self-love…

What do I love about my life as it is right now?

What does my ideal day look like? From morning to night…

A time I felt most accomplished was when…

I’m happiest when I’m…

For anger…

I can’t stand when…

The thing I miss least about my ex is…

I’m most scared about…

I just don’t understand why…

We hope this helps you work through some of your thoughts and feelings as they come up for you, so you can continue on the path of mending.

Science

A Solo Trip To Barcelona: The Mend Guide

Barcelona, with its stunning architecture, vast collection of art, and scenic views, is not only a great destination for solo travel, it’s also the perfect city for your post-breakup trip. Visiting the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell will undoubtedly be on your Barcelona itinerary, but allow us to share some experiences other than gawking over Antoni Gaudí’s architecture.

We’ve put together a guide on where to eat, how to self care, and what to do on your solo trip to Barcelona, so you can make it the mending experience your heart needs.

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Channel your inner foodie at La Boqueria or Santa Caterina. Each of these markets offer some of the best eats in the city and the freshest ingredients if you’re more of a cook-at-home type. Often times our nutrition takes a big hit after a breakup. We’re uninspired on what to cook or we avoid our favorite restaurants because they remind us of memories of our ex. Spending a few hours at La Boqueria or Santa Caterina will introduce you to local cuisine, tasty new ingredients, and foodie memories that are all your own.

Head to The Green Spot, where veggies take center stage on the menu. You can satisfy most cravings here, with plenty of pizza and pasta choices, and a “From The World” section on the menu that offers a taste of international cuisines.

Sopa will be your weekend brunch spot, serving sweet and savory dishes from 11 am – 2 pm. The fun surprise at Sopa is that they also have a yoga studio, where you can practice Yin Yoga and Hatha Vinyasa on weekdays before and after work.

Little Fern is the kind of cafe every city needs. With its all day brunch and specialty lattes, such as the charcoal latte, it’s the perfect bright and airy spot for a mid-day treat.

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You won’t want to leave Barcelona without experiencing one of its ancient baths. Aire is an old warehouse turned temple, where you can disconnect from the buzzing of the city (and your phone). You can soak in the ancient thermal baths and add on a special treatment, such as the Oxygen Breeze Exfoliation, which will awaken your energy.

When you need some time to connect with your mind, body, and soul, Sound of Silence is the go-to spot. The yoga classes at this studio offer a meditative experience. There’s also a class focused solely on breath work, which is super beneficial when you’re mending from heartbreak.

Sometimes self care is getting a sweaty gym session in while you’re away. If that sounds like you, head to Studio BCN in the Gothic Quarter for group training or personal training. They offer a range of TRX, pilates, and yoga classes. Check out their site for weekend workshops on nutrition, relaxation, meditation, and more.

Social connection is actually an important part of self care, and if you travel solo you might find it a little more complicated to check this off. But it doesn’t have to be. We created Mend Away: Self to be a built in community for your post-breakup trip. You can also utilize sites like Meetup to join group activities that you’re interested in. And don’t be afraid to chat it up with locals as you make your way through the city. Barcelona is known for its welcoming and friendly locals!

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Enjoy the outdoors at Parc de la Ciutadella. This is Barcelona’s biggest park and features a fountain much like the Trevi fountain, a zoo, a lake, and plenty of space to settle down for a picnic.

If you’re looking for something free to do on weekend evenings, you’ll want to watch the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc show. It’s a beautiful 30-minute water, lights, and music show. You can even check out what songs each show will feature ahead of time.

Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit for a beach day. If you want to go where there’s a lot of action, opt for Barceloneta. But if you’re interested in a beach day that’s more laid back, you’ll want to head to Bogatell Beach.

Explore the Bostik Murals for one-of-a-kind urban art. Barcelona is filled with opportunities to appreciate art, from Antoni Gaudi’s architectural wonders to the Dali Museum. We recommend taking a journal with you as you view art at these different places because when you’re mending, your perspective of the art could be completely different than any other time you’ve viewed it.

If you’re planning a solo trip to Barcelona, we hope this guide is helpful and we wish you safe travels!

The Guide To Mending From Heartbreak

We’ve overhauled our skincare routine, our work arrangements, and our diets, all in the name of self-care, but when’s the last time you revamped how you recover from a breakup? At Mend, we’ve tapped into the science of heartbreak to create a holistic approach to mending. You don’t “just get over a breakup,” you work through it. Our mission is to help you find a healthier way to recover from heartbreak free of timelines and judgments.

In this guide, we’ve outlined some of our top recommendations for mending. You can dig deeper into each tool for mending through our training content featured in the app.

Understand What’s Going On

First, we’ll help you understand the science of heartbreak. This will normalize what you’re experiencing so that you can move forward on your mending journey without feeling shame or guilt for how the breakup is affecting you.

Cut Communication

It’s hard to think about cutting communication with your ex, but starting an ex detox is a pivotal decision for your mending. You don’t have to avoid an ex forever, you just need some space to focus on your heart. Our 60-day Ex Detox walks you through this process and our app allows you to track how long you’ve gone without contacting your ex.

Journal Daily

We built journaling into our app because it helps you organize your thoughts and feelings after a breakup and allows you to reflect on the day’s training topic. We’re also big fans of a gratitude practice, which shifts you into a positive mindset.

Track Self Care

Each day on the Mend app you’ll log your self care activities. It’s a reminder to put your self care first. Do more of the things that make you smile, feel at ease, and help you recharge. Give this time priority on your calendar too, so that you don’t end up skipping it because you get busy with everything else going on in life.

Work Towards Something

You need a goal, something to look forward to that’s all about you. This gets you to focus that post-breakup energy on something productive that excites you. We’ll talk more about Mend monuments in the app.

Connect With Loved Ones

Slipping into isolation is quite easy after a breakup. You might feel like your friends and family don’t understand the pain you’re going through, or you might not be feeling your best and rather stay at home. That’s completely understandable. However, we’re social creatures, so staying connected is really important. It doesn’t mean you accept every happy hour invite, but it does mean you’ll have to ditch the baggy t-shirt and sweats, maybe just once or twice a month? Or maybe take that post-breakup solo trip? Whatever feels good for you!

Dipsea Founder Gina Gutierrez On Which Breakups Are The Hardest

Have you ever wondered how much sexual pleasure is psychological? Dipsea co-founder and CEO Gina Gutierrez knew the deep connection between the mind and sexual pleasure and recognized the lack of content that bridged the two. Gutierrez and co-founder Faye Keegan set out to fill this void by creating Dipsea, an app that offers sexy audio stories that are safe and feminist.

We asked Gutierrez to share her experience with heartbreak and the rituals that get her through it. In this #howimend interview, she opens up about viewing the end of a relationship as a gain rather than a loss and how to own your breakup stories.

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

Later in life heartbreaks may have higher stakes, but I’m convinced that first heartbreaks are the hardest. You just don’t have the mental muscle for resilience built yet. I’d tell myself, “You’re not losing any part of yourself by losing them. They added to your life by helping to shape who you are, and this loss is actually adding to you too. You’re building yourself, and will be ready for a deeper love with the next partner(s) in your life, even if you can’t imagine it yet.”

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

That I’m someone that feels deeply, and that it can make life both really beautiful and really painful. But that in the end, I wouldn’t trade the rollercoaster ride for a flat road.

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

As amazing as having a partner is, it means so much of your time and emotional energy is spent on one person. A silver lining of my breakups has been getting to spend time with people I’ve missed, or haven’t yet invested in. Drinks with a new coworker I really like, a hike with a friend I haven’t seen for too long. Making plans has a way of making me feel alive and out in the world, and means I have something to look forward to even in my loneliest moments.

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?

After a breakup, so many of my stories involve my ex, so I have a really hard time not bringing up their name all the time. It’s like name vomit, it comes up before I can course correct. I think getting comfortable with saying “my ex” (which is scary and final but good once you rip the bandaid off) helped me to conquer that issue. It gives you more ownership over the idea that those stories are still yours to tell, without making it feel so personal. Time helps too.

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

Celebrating someone for who they are, in all their quirks and vulnerabilities, will bring you as much joy as it brings them. Letting them be a whole person will help them let you be your whole self too. Being happy individuals inside the relationship will make your partnership together that much stronger.

Single During Wedding Season? Here’s Our Advice

Weddings have the holy trinity of a good time–food, drinks, and music–unless you’re single. The dread of wedding season when you’re single starts as early as when you’re sending the RSVP without a plus one and lasts long after the last barefoot guest tiptoes off the dance floor.

The thing is, you don’t want to feel so down about one of your best friends getting married because you’re truly happy for them. It’s just hard to stay cheery about love when you’re mending from a breakup.

The good news is there are some ways you can get through wedding season without dragging your feet. Actually, you might even enjoy it!

Bring a friend as a plus one.

Often it’s the anxiety of attending the wedding by yourself that makes it feel so dreadful. If you’re given a plus one, there’s no rule that you’re only allowed to attend with a romantic partner. Ask a friend to come along, that way you have their support to get you through it.

Prep for the annoying questions.

You’ll inevitably run into friends or family that you haven’t seen in a while, and they won’t be able to resist the urge to be nosey. Are you seeing anyone? Why are you still single you’re such a catch? ~rolls eyes at that one~ And then of course, there’s the slew of offers to set you up with a friend or sibling or cousin or coworker that they think you’ll “hit it off with.”

Having a game plan for how to handle this will help you feel at ease on the big day. You can opt to say something like “I’m happy focusing on myself right now, I’ve gone to _____ and plan on doing ______ before the year ends. I’m really excited about it.” You fill in the blanks. This lets them know that you’ll be just fine without going on an awkward blind date with their coworker. Their questions might come from a more concerned place, they know you’ve gone through some heartbreak and they want to see you happy. Shifting the conversation to focus on the things that are making you happy will ease their concerns and allow you to talk about positive things, like your Mend monument.

How To Survive Wedding Season When You Re Heartbroken 3

You can pass on some invites.

Wedding season can get overwhelming, like when there’s a wedding every weekend of the month. Remember, you don’t have to RSVP “going” to each invite. You are your number one priority after a breakup. Mending your heart and engaging in activities that will support you through this delicate and difficult time is what’s most important. If the thought of attending a wedding gives you knots in your stomach and a lump in your throat, it’s probably best to pass. If you’re feeling guilty about skipping out on the wedding, you can send the newlyweds a sweet note celebrating their love.

Make it your time to socialize.

It’s easy to slip into extended isolation after a breakup, but we’re social creatures. We need social connection, especially when working through heartbreak. Use the wedding as an opportunity to get that much-needed socializing. If you don’t know everyone at your table, get to know them! One easy way to break the ice is to ask “how do you know the couple?”

Continue to take care of yourself.

The most important advice to remember is to maintain the self care practices that are helping you mend. Whether it’s gratitude journaling, meditation, a daily walk outside, your daily Mend training, or working out, whatever makes you feel your best, continue to do those that. You can get caught up in the shuffle of shopping for something to wear, getting the gift, and figuring out who to invite as your plus one, and then suddenly you start skipping a day of meditation or you can’t remember the last time you wrote one thing your grateful for. The more you stick to your self care, the better equipped you’ll be to handle whatever comes up for you as you make it through wedding season.

Signs They’re Emotionally Unavailable

Dating someone who is emotionally unavailable feels like climbing level 20 on the stair master. It’s exhausting. You can’t make someone be emotionally available, no matter how good you are to them. When you attempt to date someone who’s emotionally unavailable, you find yourself repeatedly struggling with the same problems over and over again.

However, emotionally unavailable people can actually be quite charming, which makes it hard to initially avoid them altogether. So what signs should you look for in order to know if someone’s emotionally unavailable? Below are some of the common ones that will tip you off.

They’re quick to make it physical.

According to Psychology Today, emotionally unavailable people are quick to seduce earlier on. “Seducers avoid authenticity, because they don’t believe they’re enough to keep a partner.”

They’re searching for perfection.

Anything from the way you chew your food to how early you arrive for the airport will be enough for this person to end the relationship. They’re looking for any flaw to cling to so they can end it. This helps them avoid having to get to the deep part of a relationship.

Their conversations are surface level.

Every conversation is fun and light, and while that might seem easy, it also shows emotional unavailability. If they can’t dig into the deep stuff with you and share their emotions, they’re not ready for commitment.

They’re open about it.

Some people will outright tell you “I’m not good at relationships.” Like Maya Angelou said, “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” If they’re telling you that relationships aren’t their thing, that’s the clearest sign you’ll get.

They’re all about them.

Do they only ask to hang out when it’s convenient for them? Plans, conversations, and priorities are all about them. If they lack compromise, they’ll be unable to provide you the partnership you’re looking for.

Why They Wouldn’t Commit

Commitment is a tricky concept. It seems simple enough, you choose to be committed to someone, to marry them, and spend the rest of your lives together, but it’s much more nuanced than that.

My divorced parents are both in long-term committed relationships, but neither is married to their partner. Some people look at their situations and think “if they were truly committed they’d be married by now.” This setup, however, works for them. I’ve seen them weather plenty of storms, cohabitate, and share every piece of their lives with one another, and marriage doesn’t seem to be at the center of commitment for them. But that’s my parents, that’s their idea of commitment.

What’s important to keep in mind about commitment is that every person does it their own way. This is probably the first hurdle the get past when it comes to understanding someone’s commitment to a relationship, or lack thereof. If you aren’t aligned with your partner on what commitment looks like for your relationship than this could definitely lead to a commitment-related breakup. If you want marriage and they want long-term cohabitation, you may butt heads often about each other’s commitment to the relationship.

According to the Interdependence Theory, no matter which way it’s displayed, commitment boils down to three major factors: satisfaction, alternatives, and investment. Satisfaction means there are benefits and low costs to the partner. Alternatives means that there isn’t a better option for getting needs met. And lastly, investment, well that’s exactly what it sounds like, how much you have invested in the partner. So, a decline in satisfaction and an increase in alternatives could affect someone’s desire to commit. It kind of makes sense then that in the age of dating apps commitment feels hard to come by.

Another research study found that “expected satisfaction was a stronger predictor of relationship commitment, maintenance behaviors, and/or divorce than was current satisfaction.” Sometimes even though the current situation isn’t rosy, we hold onto an imagined brighter future together and that’s what keeps us committed to the relationship.

Now that we understand some of the factors at play for commitment, the most important to consider is that commitment is a choice. It’s not something that happens to you, it’s something you choose to do. While this research can definitely shed a light on what drives someone’s decision to commit, ultimately it’s their choice to do so or not.

You might not get clear answers from your ex as to whether their lack of commitment was due to the factors outlined in the Interdependence Theory or maybe it was that their definition of commitment wasn’t aligned with yours. Either way, what you can hold onto for closure is that commitment is an action and your ex didn’t choose it. And now that you have a clearer idea of what leads people to commit, you can start defining what your ideal commitment looks like. Having that very clear in your mind will definitely help you when you’re ready to get back out there and find a new partner.

Science Of Heartbreak

Your Single Summer Bucket List

Single this summer?

Great! You can join us as we make our way down our Single Summer Bucket List.

Unlike other bucket lists that are focused on adventures or quick-hitting thrills, this list is designed especially for people who have the freedom to take their time and linger in a way that’s really only possible when you’re single. We hope it brings you some joy and peace this summer.

Starting on the first day of summer, June 21, follow along on Instagram using #singlesummer and tag @letsmend when you cross something off so we can share with the rest of the Mender community. Each time you tag us, you’ll get entered into a drawing for a free Mend Class, up until Labor Day, September 2.

Perform a summer equinox ritual.

On the first day of summer, June 21, schedule some ritual time to start summer on your own terms. Whether it’s making your favorite meal, burning some sage or changing your bedding to something lighter, get yourself ready for the season!

Take yourself to a weekend matinee and bring breakfast in your bag.

There is nothing more luxurious than a movie theater practically to yourself on a weekend morning, with your favorite coffee and pastry tucked away, waiting to be devoured. Bonus if you get there early and catch all of the previews. Matinees are not meant to be rushed.

Take yourself on a long walk outside (for more than an hour).

Walks are underrated, and long walks are particularly underrated. Follow the advice of John Muir and “go in.”

Your Single Summer Bucket List 2

Try Shinrin-Yoko.

Shinrin-yogo, forest bathing, is a Japanese practice of spending time in nature and it touts a lot of benefits. Carve out some time to practice it for yourself.

Go to an outdoor concert by yourself.

Many cities have outdoor concert series in the summer that are free or very affordable. Find something that you’d usually bring a friend or a date to, and take yourself solo. Grab dinner beforehand and bring a blanket. Bonus: there will be no one shouting directly into your ear all night!

Detox from your phone for a weekend.

Spend one weekend off your phone and see how you feel at the end. What was the hardest part? What were the best parts? How can you incorporate more detox time from your phone into daily life?

Read a book one chapter at a time.

With so much content flowing into our brains every single second, it’s hard to make time to sit down and read a full chapter of a book without being interrupted by your phone…but summer is the best time to do this. Instead of reading a few pages here and there, the goal here is to read one full chapter from start to finish. See how good it feels to finish something!

Attempt a challenge.

For some it’s a hike while for others it’s spoken word, whatever it is that pushes you out of your comfort zone, try it. Nothing will make you feel more alive than taking on a challenge. You don’t have to rush into it. Maybe you spend the summer taking small steps toward the bigger goal, but one thing is certain—checking it off will make you feel alive.

Plan a solo vacation.

Whether it’s a day trip you want to take in the fall or a longer trip you plan to take around the holidays, carve out some time and do some research about where you want to go and what you want to do. We often plan things so last minute because we can (thanks to Airbnb and travel apps), but there’s also something special about the anticipation and excitement leading up to a trip, especially when you get to do exactly what you want to do.

Learn how to make a signature dish for one.

Meal prep companies have become so popular lately, but what about taking the time to actually learn how to make something you love so you can make it on the regular? Suggestions for summer: frittata with asparagus, pad thai, or tacos.

Single Summer Bucket List 3

What’s on your #singlesummer bucket list?

Psychologist Sarah Neustadter On Grief After Her Boyfriend’s Suicide

Dr. Sarah Neustadter is a licensed psychologist based in Los Angeles. Her book “Love You Like The Sky: Surviving The Suicide Of A Beloved” digs into the grief that follows a loved one’s suicide. The book comes from Sarah’s own relationship with grief after her boyfriend’s suicide. We asked Sarah about what grief has taught her, the rituals that have helped her mend, and she also shared a special exercise to help move forward 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?

You are safe and you are loved. This all feels devastating, but don’t shut your heart down and build a wall around yourself. See if you can stay open and innocent even though you’ve been hurt. And have faith. There are great men out there. Let’s build up your self-worth so that you can feel you are worthy of that healthy kind of love.

What has heartbreak (and grief) taught you about yourself?

That I am stronger and more resilient than I ever thought possible. That if I could survive the suicide of my boyfriend, then I can survive anything. And grief has taught me to cherish and savor moments with my loved ones and not take their presence in my life for granted.

What rituals helped you mend while grieving?

Daily meditation, journaling, carving out time for crying, sitting at the beach watching the water, therapy, and my weekly dance practice—5 Rhythms.

The Obsession Sessions is a great two-week psychological exercise to help get over someone, more for general breakups than death-related endings. I learned it from a psychologist mentor and she learned it from her mentor Dr. Jay Haley. This is best done at least a month out of a relationship, not in the immediate aftermath of a breakup.

Twice a day for the first week you have to spend 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening (at the same time each day), completely obsessing about all the positive things abut your ex and your relationship. Go through all your good memories and all the love and sweet aspects of your ex and your relationship. If you start to think about the negative things, bring your focus back to the positive. And you can only think about the positive things of the relationship and about your ex for the duration of the 20 minutes. I recommend journaling through these 20 minutes to keep you focused. You do this 2x a day for one week.

Then you switch and obsess about all the negative things about your ex and about your relationship. Really go back and remember all the details that were not what you wanted and let yourself feel all of the negative emotions. Write about all of it. Keep focused only on the negative twice a day for 20 minutes.

After two weeks you are done, and you will most likely never want to think about your ex again. You’ll most likely neutralize the charge around your ex and see both the negative and the positive at the same time. You’ll also notice a particular process unfold and learn a lot about yourself and your relationship.

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

Grieving is a form of loving.

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

Good somatic therapy work, bodywork, acupuncture, my sweet cat, and seeing other expanding and inspiring couples out there makes me know that great, healthy, conscious love is definitely realistic.

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

I’m working on my comedy/human interest podcast “A**holes of LA,” gearing up towards my next book about men and culture, and learning how to DJ so I can host curated dance parties.

You can follow Dr. Sarah Neustadter on Instagram or visit her website.

The Most Common Breakup Reason By Astrology Zodiac Sign

I’m such a Leo. That little morning jolt most people get from a cup of coffee, I get from admiration. It’s probably why my love language is quality time. I feel most loved and appreciated in a relationship when I’m given someone’s uninterrupted and completely present time. Then there’s also my natural tendency to lead, which can be a blessing but is also sometimes a curse. It’d be nice if I could just chill out from time to time. But I’m no free spirit. Like I said, I’m such a Leo.

Structure Of A Leo Brain
instagram.com/jakesastrology

These kinds of conversations at Mend HQ got us thinking: are there any trends within each zodiac sign when it comes to breakups? Similar to heartbreak, there are universal truths in astrology, and we had to know where the crossed paths.

Below we’ve broken down of the most common breakup reason by zodiac sign. If you’re knowledgeable about the signs, most of these will make total sense. And don’t forget to share it with a friend who has an astrology birth chart bookmarked.

Mend Astrology Infographic

The Gottman Institute’s Michael Fulwiler On Breaking Up And The Science Of Love

Michael Fulwiler is the Chief Marketing Officer of The Gottman Institute, the world’s leading relationship well-being company. He’s spent the last seven years helping millions of people have healthier relationships through science.

We asked Michael a few questions about his experience with heartbreak and he shared how understanding what relationships work has helped him stay #onthemend.

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

This too shall pass. When you’re heartbroken, especially when you’re young, it’s really hard to have perspective on the situation because it feels like the world is ending. It’s not. You’ll live, I promise. Give yourself time to heal. It’s a process that won’t happen overnight.

I would also tell myself to get out of bad relationships sooner, which is advice from John Gottman. Have high standards for yourself and how you’re treated, because if your partner isn’t treating you well, someone else will. You deserve that.

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

It’s taught me what I want and don’t want in a partner, and ultimately in a relationship. If we can see breakups as an opportunity to learn instead of as a failure, it helps to turn pain and heartbreak into something more productive.

In that way, heartbreak has also taught me to be more curious in dating. I have a sense of what I’m looking for, and I seek out those qualities in someone else. That doesn’t mean I’m looking for someone with similar interests. Research by Eli Finkel and Samantha Joel shows that no two preferences predict whether people will actually like each other when they meet. Instead, look for someone that you find interesting.

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

Understanding what makes relationships work (and not work) has helped me mend. I read everything I can get my hands on. When I look back at my past relationships, knowing what I do now, I can identify certain destructive patterns and behaviors on both sides.

Probably the most famous concept that we teach at The Gottman Institute is the Four Horsemen, which predict a breakup with more than 90% accuracy. They are criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. This knowledge has not only helped me process my breakups and move on, but it’s also better prepared me for future relationships. So I would encourage everyone to learn about the research on love.

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?

Who doesn’t check their ex’s social media after a breakup? I’m certainly guilty of it. It’s okay to unfollow, unfriend, or block them. Certified Gottman Therapist Laura Heck recommends a “six-month break from your ex by mutually unfriending one another on social accounts.”

Remember that social media is not an accurate depiction of real life. Your ex probably isn’t as happy as they look on Instagram, so it’s not worth obsessing over. Focus on yourself instead.

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

I’ve learned that you can’t force love and you can’t convince someone to be with you. I’ve always been a romantic so this was a tough lesson for me. Mark Groves says, “It’s okay to fight for someone who loves you. It’s not okay to fight for someone to love you. There’s a huge difference.” I wasted a lot of time and energy when I was younger trying to convince an ex to get back together after a breakup.

I’ve learned that love is all about the small, everyday moments. In relationships, people are constantly making what we call bids for connection. I pay attention, and I put my phone away when I’m at the dinner table.

I’ve learned to understand and empathize before giving advice. This was a difficult one for me because, as a man, my first reaction is to problem solve. Instead, I just listen and ask, “What do you need?” It goes a long way.

You Can Now Mend In Spanish!

#WholeHeartsForEveryone

Over the past few months, we’ve really been thinking about that “everyone” part of our mission. How can we mend more hearts? How can we make Mend more accessible to our global community?

From day one, we’ve been a global company, available in almost every single country. We’ve known from the very beginning that heartbreak is universal, regardless of where you live, what language you speak or what you look like.

We also know that with Menders in over 195 countries, a lot of Menders are mending in their second (or third, or fourth…) language – English. So over the past few months we’ve been quietly working on launching Mend in another language. This has been one of our most rewarding projects to date and the day has come where we can finally share that you can now Mend in Spanish!

With 400 million native speakers, Spanish tops English and ranks as the second most spoken language in the world behind Chinese. But launching in Spanish wasn’t just about the number of broken hearts we could support. Our team is 50% Latinx, making the expansion into Spanish a very personal one too.

Pues, vamos. Corazones enteros para todos!

Un abrazo,

Kat Torres
Head of Content

Charissa Thompson On Getting Back In The Game

If you’re a football fan, you might recognize Charissa Thompson as the host of FOX NFL KICKOFF and Sunday NFL pregame shows, and from her high profile interviews with Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and Keenan Allen. We caught up with Charissa to chat about how she’s mended from heartbreak and uncover what sports have taught her about resilience.

What’s the biggest heartbreak you’ve suffered?

How much time do we have? [laughs] The biggest heartbreak I suffered was a divorce. I got married to stay married and clearly, that didn’t work out. OR finding out that your boyfriend cheats on you while in Hawaii thinking he’s gonna propose and you intercept a text message from his side chick.

How’d you mend from each of those heartbreaks? Did you have a game plan?

I like to think of heartbreak as a turnover. A turnover in basketball means you give it to the other team, an interception means that the quarterback threw the ball to the opposite team. I like to think of a breakup like that. So, in order to get over that, you need to get the ball back, you need to take control again. So in order for me to take control after a heartbreak, I like to date a little bit see what else is out there but it really is about giving yourself “next play” mentality. You have to think of it like “okay, that sucked but this game is still going, it isn’t over yet!” The quest for love isn’t over yet just because I had a bad thing happen. There are four quarters and this is only the first one and it isn’t going well but we’ve still got some time to win the game.

What have sports taught you about resilience?

The game isn’t over until it’s over. The Patriots won the Super Bowl two years ago when they went to overtime and overcame the biggest halftime deficit. It doesn’t matter how far you’re down until the clock expires, you still have a chance. So even though I’ve been divorced and had breakups, it’s not over yet.

What are some sports analogies to help someone going through a breakup right now?

Interception: something bad happened, but you’re gonna get the ball back. Touchdown: when something good happened in the relationship. Fumble: bad text and you panic about it. Two point conversion: when you get more than you thought you were going to get. Next play mentality. Get your head in the game: Sometimes athletes aren’t mentally in the game. Sometimes we’re not mentally in the relationship, we’re just physically going through it.

How do you squeeze self care into your routine and what self care practices do you swear by?

Working out is a big self care thing for me and for my brain. When I sweat, and the endorphins, and the adrenaline that I get from working out, that helps me. It gives me a clear head. I feel like a better partner in a relationship. I feel like a better friend after I work out because I’m clear. My focus is more directed.

What tips do you have for someone who is trying to get back in the game?

Just get back out there! If an athlete’s season ended in a loss, the hardest part is that time until you get back out on the field and win another game. So, if you don’t get back out there and start dating, you’re stuck in that rut. Being stuck at home [after a breakup] is like the off-season for an athlete after a bad loss. All they wanna do is get back on the field so they can win again and sort of get themselves right.

The Year in Heartbreak: 2018

When we near a new year, it’s nice to take some time to reflect on the prior one. Time passes us and we don’t often pause to cherish all of the growth and happenings of the year. Reflection plays a huge role in transformation, especially when it comes to heartbreak, so we wanted to take the time to reflect on the role heartbreak played in society this past year.

We decided to round up all things heartbreak from 2018. You might have forgotten about the song that was your breakup anthem earlier this year, or the celeb split that made you feel less alone in your grief, but we’re here to remind you of all the times heartbreak was on our radar. Hopefully this trip down memory lane serves as inspiration, support, and knowledge as you step into the new year.

So here it goes, the year in heartbreak:

1

Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s split spikes Google Trends: breakup.

Celebrity breakups piled up and a lot of them blindsided us!

David Dobrik and Liza Koshy addressed their breakup in a joint video, that was watched over 47 million times.

2

A study shows that hating on your ex is the most effective way to diminish the feelings of love you have for them.

New breakup anthems crept into our playlists, with Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” currently dominating on the Billboard charts.

In this piece, a woman shares her experience using hypnosis to try to cure her heartbreak.

Bo Us Developer Marketing Trends Self Care Mend 1080x1080

Apple featured Mend in their “Best of 2018” on the App Store!

Why It’s Important to Own Your Baggage

Some parts of a breakup stay with us for the long-term, and unfortunately, it’s usually the negative stuff that sticks around. Often whatever we felt went wrong in the relationship materializes into baggage that we carry with us from relationship to relationship. With each new relationship we might drop some baggage and pick up another, or just add on to what we were already carrying. And it. gets. heavy.

We’re big believers of the importance of owning your baggage. When you give yourself the time and opportunity to reflect on your baggage, you’re able to start the process of releasing it. But that requires that you own it first.

Because we know how transformative it is to own your baggage, we wanted to encourage Menders to do the same. That’s why we launched the Own Your Baggage contest, as a way to remind you that owning your baggage doesn’t have to be a bad thing and could actually be quite healing. We all have baggage and shouldn’t feel any shame about it, which is why Team Mend shared their own baggage to kick things off.

Each response has shown us that you too are committed to owning your baggage. We’re sharing a few entries below, and hope it encourages you to know that you aren’t alone in working through baggage.

“That I am too much. That somehow my personality is too big or I’m too outgoing or too independent for someone to be comfortable with.”

– Christy B.

“That I’m not worth the love I receive. That every relationship will be like the last, and the fear of being in this perpetual cycle of bad relationships.”

– Nicole W.

“That my divorce means I’m ‘damaged goods’ and unwanted.”

– Cindy N.

“What if I never learn how to commit for real?”

– Jon M.

“That the next woman I fall in love with is going to hurt me more than the last.”

– Angeline A.

“Fear of abandonment, and trust issues. Also honesty with how I’m feeling.”

– Chris K.

“That I will never be as important to someone as their ex was.” 

– Zena W.

“I feel like I missed my ‘window’ to be in a relationship, and now I’m too old to be considered eligible.”

– Julia A.

“I fear that being honest about my feelings makes me unattractive to women, so I feel pressure to always present myself as if nothing is bothering me and I’m now afraid of committing to just one person, because I cannot handle the heartbreak of losing them if I have no one else.”

– Chris M.

If you haven’t entered the contest yet, click here to share your baggage.

Five Ways to Cool Down When You’re Angry After A Breakup

We all react to breakups differently. For some of us, heartbreak hits like a ton of bricks, all at once, while others feel the pain in waves. Regardless of how the emotions bubble up, they always do, and sometimes the hurt rages through you sending you into a downward spiral. If you need some tips on how to keep the heartbreak Hulk in check, read the tips below.

Schedule Emotional Check-ins

Part of avoiding a burst of heartbreak rage is taking the time to acknowledge your emotions. Sweeping your feelings under the rug won’t solve anything. Instead, you’re collecting the emotional pain only to have to release it all at once later on, when you can’t hold onto it any longer. Rather than letting this happen, schedule some time to sit with your feelings. A huge part of mending is giving your heartbreak space to breathe. By scheduling in the time to feel all the feels, you’re giving yourself a much-needed structure so you don’t linger in it too long with each check-in.

Breathe

A lot of times something as simple as controlling our breathing could help us decrease our stress levels. Use a tool like xhalr to help you take deep, measured breaths. It’s a quick and easy way to calm yourself down.

Journal

Putting pen to paper is a great way to release the anger, frustration, or hurt that’s boiling up inside you. Write everything you’re feeling, down to the most minute detail. Journaling allows you to process all of your thoughts. It’s a safe space for you to be open and honest about how you feel.

Intense Workout

Whether it’s a hot yoga or a kickboxing class, whatever is more your jam, sign up for an intense workout. Not only will those post-workout endorphins boost your mood, but you’ll also feel a sense of release as you take your body to its limits. You’ll come out of there feeling so relieved and proud of what you just got through.

Cry

It’s okay to cry and let it all out. Don’t hold it in thinking that the anger will dissipate. Cry if you need to, and don’t judge yourself for doing so. Crying is a completely natural response to sadness and anger.

Don’t forget that your daily check-in on Mend will also equip you with the tips to work through the heartbreak.

What to Do When You Bump into Your Ex’s Best Friend

Running into your significant other’s friend isn’t some grand event worth mentioning when you’re in a relationship. When you’re broken up, though, the whole experience warrants the full-blown romantic comedy treatment. Running into your ex is rough. Bumping into their friends can be worse.

Hear me out.

When you unexpectedly run into your ex, they may make conclusions about you and how you’re doing based on that a one to one interaction. However, when you bump into their friend, lots can get lost with the middleman. Their friends don’t know you in the nuanced way that your ex does, so they could interpret your body language, your responses, and your reaction in a completely different way than you intended.

If you still frequent many of the places you enjoyed with your ex, like coffee shops, brunch spots, and bars, chances are you’ll bump into one of their friends at some point. It’s better to be prepared than be caught off guard. These tips will help you should you ever have an unexpected run in with an ex’s friend.

Acknowledge Them

There’s no need to ignore their presence, especially if you spent a significant amount of time around this friend because you would obviously recognize each other. It’s better to acknowledge each other than tip toe at a restaurant or party hoping not to actually have to speak.

Keep It Short

Unless your ex’s friend asks a specific question, you don’t have to provide more details about your life than necessary. The cordial and casual “hey, how are you” catch-up should suffice.

Avoid Ex Talk

You are working on healing your heart and getting into a positive space. Rehashing the relationship’s problems with your ex’s friend will not move you towards greater healing, especially because you already know where that person’s loyalty lies.

Make the conversation light. Try steering the focus of the conversation on them by asking how their partner is doing or how work is going, anything that opens the floor for them to take over.

Running into your ex’s friends could definitely put you on edge, but it doesn’t have to. If you’re prepared to navigate the conversation in a way that’s cordial and not centered on your ex, you’ll come out of it feeling good.

Four Ways to Make New Friends After A Breakup

One of the most difficult parts after a breakup is managing friendships. For those who’ve just ended a long-term relationship, it can be especially hard because social circles overlap. Figuring out how you’ll navigate mutual friends with your ex is stressful. And while you might still want to nurture those relationships, now is the perfect time to build your own friendships, ones that are free of reminders, mentions, or unexpected appearances by your ex.

New friendships offer a fresh perspective and a way to open your mind and heart to new things. Your new friends might encourage you to travel the world, ditch the job you hate to pursue the career you’ll love, or try new activities you never considered before. However, building new friendships as an adult feels like so much work. But it’s not impossible, and thanks to the many ways technology continue to advance, every day there are new ways to meet people.

Here’s how to get started.

Take on a new hobby that will force you to get out of the house.

After a breakup, you’re working on creating a new life for yourself, and that includes exploring your interests. Take on a new hobby that involves you leaving the house, such as joining a book club or taking some cooking classes. These will allow you to socialize with people who you already share a common interest. Plus, you’re learning something new and adding to your routine, which will keep you busy and feeling productive.

Find some fitness friends.

Workout classes or outdoor activities are a great way for you to connect with others. Not only are you meeting new people who enjoy the same workouts as you, but you’re also doing something that’s good for your wellbeing. Those post-workout endorphins will boost your mood too.

Use apps to connect with people in your area.

Apps like Peanut, Bumble BFF, and Meetup are valuable tools to help you create a new network of friends.

Join community organizations.

You can also make some friends while getting involved in your community. Whether it’s a cultural center, religious institution, wellness space, or non-profit, whichever of these peaks your interest is a great place to meet like-minded individuals in your community. Bonus: Doing something that betters your community will fill your heart with joy.

Why Am I Less Hungry When I’m In Love?

Falling in love affects our daily routines beyond filling our schedules with date nights and exchanging sweet text messages. In the earlier stages of a relationship, you might find that your appetite has shrunk. How does love have this effect?

Oxytocin Suppresses Your Appetite

When you’re falling in love your body releases hormones that suppress your appetite. Researchers at Harvard Medical School conducted a study that looked at the eating patterns of 25 young men, ranging in weight. One half of the group was given oxytocin nasal spray, and the other half were given a placebo prior to eating. The oxytocin spray is meant to mirror what happens when we’re falling in love. Oxytocin, referred to as the “love hormone,” is a hormone that’s released in our brain during pleasurable activities.

When participants were given large meals after receiving their nasal spray, researchers found that the ones who received oxytocin ate less. Their metabolic levels were boosted as well. While the study could use further research (the participants were only men), it gives us some insight on why we lose weight when we’re in love. The feel-good rush of emotions and excitement take over and trigger hormones, such as oxytocin, that suppress our appetites.

Forgetting To Eat

Another reason you might be eating less is that you simply forget to eat. You’re fueled by the happiness this person is adding to your life and you forget that you need actual food to keep you going. If you find that you’re losing weight when you’re in a new relationship, without even trying, now you know why that could be. It’s all rooted in the oxytocin released in your brain thanks to pleasurable moments with your new significant other.

When You Feel Like Going Back To Your Ex, Read This

After a breakup, the weekends are the hardest. While your friends are out enjoying every minute of their days sans work, you can’t pry yourself out of bed. Now that your mind isn’t occupied with work responsibilities, you have all this free time and you’re tempted to text your ex.

It’s definitely not the first time you’ve battled this urge. Maybe you’ve even given in to the impulse a time or two in the past. But this time you don’t want to. You’re done trying again. If only you could resist the temptation. If only you could stick to your self-imposed no contact rule. You know that reaching out won’t change anything. And you know that giving it a third (or fourth) try won’t make the relationship successful. So how do you stay away, for good this time?

Withdrawal Is Normal

First, you have to acknowledge that the longing to reach out to your ex is normal. You’re not alone. Science says that a breakup can feel a lot like withdrawal for addicts, so it’s perfectly normal that you’re wanting to contact your ex. Forgive yourself for wanting to talk to or go back to your ex. Don’t waste your time beating yourself up over this.

Take Stock

What’s important is that you start differentiating what draws you back. If you take stock of the relationship, and the cons far outweigh the pros, chances are you’re going back to your ex out of loneliness. If you realize it’s loneliness that pushes you into the arms of an ex, you can find productive ways to fill the empty time when it sets in. Maybe you want to try a new hobby, or perhaps it’s a good time to meet up with friends you haven’t seen in a while. Figure out what comfort your ex brings you that you can give to yourself.

Get To The Root Of It

When the urge creeps in to run back to your ex, it’s a great opportunity to analyze what you are actually missing from them. It’ll help you create a better game plan for yourself as you work to get through the heartbreak. Give yourself the space to gain a new perspective and use that to build a life that’s fulfilling all on your own.

Mending From A Break Up Where You Weren’t Officially Together

It’s been three months since you ended things. It’s been one day since I replied to your last message. I can’t say break up because we weren’t together. I hate that. I hate how no matter how many times I look back at it, we were not in a relationship. “Casual.” That’s what we were. Even though our friends knew about us, we went on dates, we held hands in public, we were exclusive—we agreed to not see anyone else. My friends were just as confused as I was back then.

“What do you mean you guys aren’t together?”

“What do you mean casual?”

When you ended things, I cried for a few minutes. Clearly upset, I remember not responding for almost 40 minutes after reading, “I think we should stop seeing each other.” I expected so much. So, so, so much. There are times I still do, but I’m working on it. This feels different compared to my last actual breakup with who would have been my fiancé. It was a gut-wrenching, emotionally draining, I-couldn’t-get-out-of-bed type of breakup. It was a toxic relationship, but at the time I knew at some point I did love him. Making it known that after trying all these years I just couldn’t do it anymore. And after a while I asked myself, do I like this guy as a person? Who did I fall in love with? How?

It was different with you though. I liked you a lot, but I don’t think I was in love with you. I’ve only dated horrible guys, emotionally abusive men. I can actually say I don’t think any guy I was emotionally invested in has ever treated me the way I should be treated. And then one day, you and I started talking again.

We met my freshman year in college; I had a crush on you. After that, we just didn’t keep in contact, not until five years later. I told you about that on our first date. I remember on that day, I was supposed to meet you for dinner. We ended up on the same bus, just like clockwork. Truthfully, I wasn’t mentally prepared to see you just yet, but there you were sitting right in front of the bus entrance. 

I think I fell for your drawings. Do you remember when you replied in just animations? You actually drew me something I asked for. It was cute. I remember that it took three weeks for me to actually say yes to dinner, three whole weeks. We talked almost every day, but the timing for me wasn’t right. I was too busy, too scared.

From the first moment we started talking, we instantly clicked. That connection was just there. A month later I noticed that it didn’t really feel “casual.” Not to me at least. We planned more things to do together in the nearby future, of course, none of those things happened. I didn’t get to try your burgers, we didn’t get a hotel, nor did we take a drive by the beach. This may be my fault I guess, I hoped for too much. I assumed it would be like a fairy tale despite what we discussed. 

We both said, we didn’t want a relationship, it was too soon, let’s be casual, that you were too busy, and I wanted to focus on myself. Little naive me didn’t know what I was getting into. I’ve never been in a casual relationship. I silently hoped that this casual thing would become a serious thing, a long-term thing. I don’t know what kept me going, I guess it was you and me.

When we stopped seeing each other, we were still friends and every now and then we would still flirt. This stopped for a while. But after a month of no speaking, you messaged me. Our conversations are different now. They don’t flow as freely. On a whim, I asked you if you wanted to get dinner and a movie, but you said no. That day I found out that were actually seeing someone else. 

I don’t know how my feelings lasted so long. We weren’t together. We only dated for a few months. I didn’t know how to respond, I didn’t know how to understand it. But I told you that I did. Was it wrong for me to confess that I still like you? Maybe, maybe not. Thinking about it now, we would have been good together. Would have, we were almost together. But neither us made the next step. We were both too scared.

It’s sad that it didn’t work out, I mean I guess we’re still friends?

I’m not pouring my heart out the way I did with my last break up, but this is a different feeling. I’m disappointed and I wish I wasn’t. I feel off, I miss talking to you. I’m distracted, still somewhat expecting a text. But I’m not wallowing. I’m not eating ice cream from the tub. I’m not drowning myself in tears. I do what I do every day. I still go out with my friends. I can go to both my jobs no problem. Every day is just like any other. There are just those times I wish I can tell you about my day like I used to.

You helped me realize so much about myself. You helped with my self-esteem, something I lacked greatly. I’m not sure if this is a different chapter or a book that is supposed to end, but I am sure of what I want. I want consistency, stability, someone I can grow with, someone who knows what they want, someone who isn’t scared. 

After contemplating this entire situation, I realize that I was waiting. You were the first guy to treat me in a way that I wanted to be treated, but we stopped. I was upset after finding out you were dating someone else. But I realize this isn’t my problem to worry about. You made your decision and you chose to end things with me a while ago. Whether you’re a chapter or a book in my life, I’m not sure, but right now I have to keep reading. And maybe one day you’ll catch up, but I’m not waiting.

How On-Off Relationships Affect Our Mental Health

It’s easy to gush over Ross and Rachel’s love story on “Friends” because they’re characters on a TV show and because it gives us hope that the ex we’re pining over will return to us someday. But recent research shows that those kinds of on-off relationships are toxic for mental health.

Why We Go Back

There are several reasons we go back to old relationships. Sometimes we get back with an ex out of comfort, while other times it’s for financial reasons, like splitting the rent. While it’s important to pinpoint why you’re in this on-again-off-again cycle, it’s more crucial to understand the effect it can have on your mental health.

The Psychological Impact

When examining data from over 500 individuals who are currently in relationships, research published in the journal “Family Relations” showed that “an increase in breaking up and reuniting was associated with more psychological distress symptoms such as depression and anxiety.” The authors also noted that these findings did not differ much between same-sex and heterosexual relationships.

Anyone who has been in an on-off relationship knows that more times than not you are regretful that you gave it another go. The only healthy way to try again in a relationship is to discuss the issues you both had in an open and honest way, then find ways to remedy those problems.

The Price Of Trying Again

However, if you tried this initially in your relationship and nothing changed, chances are it won’t get better, no matter how many times you try again. What will happen is that each time you give the relationship another go, it’ll get a little bit worse than the previous time.

Now more than ever, with research showing that on-off relationships affect our mental health, you want to think twice before jumping back into a relationship that could prove toxic to your well-being. 

Secrets To The World’s Longest Marriage

The United States ranks among the 10 countries with the highest divorce rates in the world, England and Wales have a 42% divorce rate. While that could leave us with a bleak outlook on marriage, we’re choosing to turn our attention to this couple who was married for 90 years.

Elders Karam and Katari Chand married in 1925 in India. Their union was an arranged marriage, and one that lasted for the long haul. With a firm focus on family, love, and peace, the couple went on to have eight children and 27 grandchildren, move to England, and live way past 100 years old.

So what does a 90-year marriage look like? And how do you make it last that long?

Watch The Atlantic’s video “Secrets To The World’s Longest Marriage.”

Surviving The Heartbreak of A Broken Engagement

Breaking off an engagement is painful. At this stage, wedding plans are probably underway and all of your loved ones know about your upcoming nuptials. Unlike with other breakups, when you call off an engagement there are logistics to manage. On top of figuring out who’s going to call the vendors to cancel (and fight to get deposits back), you also have to come up with a way to break the news to friends and family–all the while dealing with an enormous heartbreak.

What is most important to remember throughout all of this is that you are not a failure. When engagements don’t pan out, people often feel like they have somehow failed by not being able to see the relationship through. Thinking this way will not serve you as you heal, and it won’t bring you any sense of closure to lay the burden on your shoulders. And also, it’s just not true.

It may not seem so right now, but you’re in a better place having that relationship end now then after exchanging “I do’s.” If you’re finding it difficult to cope with the aftermath of your broken engagement, here are some tips that will get you on the path to healing.

The Logistics

Once the wedding has been called off there are a few things to consider, like who’s calling the vendors and telling friends and family. Draft a master list of everyone that needs to be contacted and decide with your ex who’s going to handle what.

Remember, when you share the news with loved ones, you don’t have to divulge the details of what happened in the relationship, you just have to inform them that the wedding has been called off. Perhaps an announcement on the Facebook group (if you made one for your wedding) or a mass email would do the trick. Keep it simple and to the point.

The Detox

Now it’s time to rid your life of all reminders of your ex. Whether it’s unfriending your ex on social media, deleting their number, or getting rid of their stuff that’s still at your place, you want to get on top of this. You don’t want your ex’s posts popping up on your newsfeed every day and you’ll be much more successful at not contacting your ex if their number isn’t stored in your phone.

You also want your home to be a peaceful sanctuary where you can work on your healing, and framed photos of you and your ex from your last vacation will not set the right mood. Redecorate your bedroom to be all your own and fill your home with things that make you happy!

The Healing

Your journey to getting through this heartbreak has already started by detoxing, but there are other ways you can support yourself during this difficult time. Seek out a therapist so you can engage in healthy dialogue as you work through the heartbreak. Prioritizing your self care will help alleviate the stress that comes with a broken engagement. The Mend app will allow you to check in with yourself every day and remind you that you’re not alone. Lean into resources for healing, you don’t have to go through this alone.

The New Beginnings

Start to build your new life. Focus on the activities that light you up. Learn a new skill or start a new side hustle. Take up a new workout class or train for a marathon. Use Pinterest to curate a post-breakup bucket list of things you want to see or accomplish as you build your new life, and then actually do them! Take full advantage of this time you have for yourself and create the life you’ve always dreamed of. As you start mending, you realize how resilient you are and that gives you a renewed sense of power. Channel that in all that you do from this point forward.

Three Real Feelings To Expect After Sex with Your Ex

Post-breakup horniness is tough. Do you scout for a one night stand or hit reverse and try to have sex with your ex?

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you opted for the latter. The deed is done, but now that the high from your orgasm has worn off, you’re all wound up with emotion. 

Why’d I do that? 

Ugh, but it was so great. 

I think he might still be in love with me. 

There’s definitely a chance we’re getting back together. 

Why hasn’t he answered my texts? 

Shit.

The cycle of emotions we go through after having sex with an ex isn’t very pretty—most of the time. Here’s the thing, you can’t beat yourself up over it. It happened, and now it’s about getting through the messy feelings. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a total setback.

Shame

The first to hit you is shame. You’re mad at yourself because you’re feeling all the feels. You keep badgering yourself with thoughts like “if you wouldn’t have had sex with him you wouldn’t be feeling this crappy right now.” The worst part is that you’re in the shame zone alone because you’re too embarrassed to let any of your friends know that you had sex with your ex. Sex with an ex can feel so lonely.

Confusion

Once the shame settles in, you’re plagued with confusion. Suddenly you start analyzing every moment of intimacy you shared, looking for traces of evidence that a rekindling could happen. You’re rationalizing whether this romp in the bedroom is a sign you should be together.

Love (or maybe just lust)

You’re now dealing with an odd combination of feelings, love and a little lust. Your love for your ex is still very real and the sex you had takes you back to better times. But then again, it might just be lust because you haven’t had sex since you broke up. That physical chemistry sends you spinning. You’ve been burying this desire for awhile. You had a taste and now you want more.

Sex with an ex leaves you in the gray, a space filled with temporary excitement and long-lasting heartache. The thought that lingers and weighs heavy now is: I probably shouldn’t do that again.

Mosting Is Like Ghosting, Only Worse

One would think that with ghosting we’ve found the ultimate low. Well, what if I told you there was something significantly harsher than ghosting? What if that something was actually a subcategory of ghosting? If you’ve ever been the victim of ghosting, you’ll want to know about the dating term mosting because maybe it’s happened to you.

Mosting is ghosting in the worst possible way. It’s when someone makes you feel super special, plays like they’re so into what the two of you have, and hype you up about the future, only to then ghost. It’s where love bombing and ghosting join forces. And it’s brutal.

Getting ghosted after a few casual dates is frustrating. You’re left quite unsure about why they ghosted because for the most part it’s been surface-level and you hadn’t gotten to the really deep stuff yet. It still hurts because you invested time into getting to know this person, but you’re able to cling onto the hope that all your eggs weren’t in one basket.

With mosting, however, the other person has pretty much convinced you that they’re it. You’ve been sucked into the fantasy of a bright future together and have probably already started planning in your head when to introduce them to your family and vice versa. You’re thinking this is it. You’re so deep in, and then they’re gone.

Tracy Moore, a writer for MEL Magazine, coined the term in a post she wrote titled “‘Mosting’: When People Come On Strong, Then Ghost.” In her article, she describes mosting as “the worst of the love crimes in many ways, because a lot of people can act charming just for sex, but only a certain breed of total phony will cry love.” And she’s right, it takes a certain level of cruelty to go that far.

Moore cautions to be wary of such an early promise of love when dating. There’s no defense against mosting, but you can protect your heart by not letting it get love bombed in the early stages of dating.

How to Comfort A Friend Who’s Heartbroken

Sometimes we are the heartbroken, and sometimes we are comforting the heartbroken. No matter how much experience you have with breakups, it doesn’t prepare you for how to comfort a friend who is going through one.

If you’ve gone through a breakup before you already know the pain your friend is feeling, however, we all respond to breakups differently. Relationships are unique, as are their hardships, so when one ends, it’s isolating—even though heartbreak is universal.

It’s tempting to cheer up a heartbroken friend by bashing their ex, but that’s not always what your friend needs. Sometimes you don’t even need to say anything at all. Sometimes it’s just about listening.

Find A Compassionate Witness

In her book “How To Stop Feeling Like Shit,” coach Andrea Owen suggests we all find a compassionate witness when we’re going through something difficult. A compassionate witness is someone who won’t judge, insert their opinions, or try to one-up your problems. It’s a friend or loved one or therapist who you feel comfortable sharing what troubles you because they will do nothing more than listen.

Offer Your Compassion

A listening ear, that’s the most significant thing you can do to help your heartbroken friend. If your friend wants your advice, they’ll ask. You can tell them to let you know if they need more from you, but that you’re there to listen. Allow them to vent, be their shoulder to cry on. The best way to be there for a heartbroken friend is to show up as a compassionate witness.

This Study Explains Why People Stay In Bad Relationships

Ever find yourself thinking, why do I always see the good in people? You’re not the only one. According to a recent study conducted by Yale University, Oxford University, and University College London, and published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, as humans, our brains are programmed to forgive transgressions.

Giving The Benefit Of The Doubt

When conducting the study, strangers had to decide whether they would send an electrical shock to another person in exchange for money. You would think that the participants on the receiving end of the electrical shocks would have a negative impression about those that went forward with the shocks in exchange for money, but that wasn’t necessarily the case. While they had a positive view of the people that didn’t shock them, they “were less confident in condemning the person making the immoral decisions.”

Going even further, when the “bad” strangers switched up their bad choice for a generous one, the participants’ impressions of them quickly changed to be more positive. Professor Molly Crocket, from Yale University, told Telegraph of the study’s findings, “We think our findings reveal a basic predisposition towards giving others, even strangers, the benefit of the doubt.”

Wanting To See The Good In Relationships

Essentially, we want to see the good in people. And when we see the bad, we don’t want to characterize someone off those negative moments. This may play into why you’re willing to give your ex chance after chance to prove they’ve changed. Your ex does something that hurts you, and later goes out of their way to be good to you, so you opt to see the good and forgive the bad.

Our tendency to forgive could be the very thing keeping us in unhealthy relationships. We can accept that having a forgiving nature is human, but should recognize that forgiveness does not require us to stay in a toxic situation.

What To Change In Your Bedroom After A Breakup

I always paint a room after a breakup. Whether it’s my bedroom or the bathroom or any other room in the house that doesn’t actually need painting but will get a fresh coat anyway, it’s become a thing I do. It’s therapeutic to cover a wall in a different color, to breathe new life into a room. Plus, once you pick up the paint roller and get started, it’s a project that will keep you occupied a full day, if not longer. But painting isn’t the only home improvement project to take on after a breakup. Sometimes your bedroom needs a complete overhaul.

The bedroom is where you rest, where you go to seek peaceful sleep, and where you want to feel the ultimate sense of relaxation at the end of a long day. And after a breakup, a bedroom can often become your refuge. It’s where you curl up to cry alone, where you spend an entire weekend in pajamas watching old seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy,” and where you do most of your post-breakup recovery. For these reasons, your bedroom should also evoke positivity. If you’re ready to make your bedroom the post-breakup sanctuary you need it to be, full of mood-boosting elements, follow these tips.

The Walls

Plain white walls can be calming, but for added serenity paint your bedroom walls a light blue-grey. Blue incites thoughts of the sky and the ocean, which can be extremely soothing. Sometimes you don’t necessarily want to relax, maybe you want an energetic and uplifting color. For that, go with a bright yellow or orange.

The Bedding

Don’t you want to transport yourself to the most luxurious vacation you ever took? Recall those memories by getting all white bedding, just like the best hotels. If there’s any part of the decor you should splurge on it’s the bedding, that’s what you’ll physically enjoy the most. People are often afraid of all white bedding for fear of staining them, but they’re actually easy maintenance since you can bleach them in the wash. Go for a fluffy comforter, mix fabrics, and get lots of plush pillows.

Invest in a weighted blanket if your nights are rough, you suffer from anxiety or insomnia, or you just want to feel hugged. Its benefits have been proven.

Bring In The Greenery

You need a pet plant. Adding a touch of greenery to your bedroom will help improve the room’s air quality, and, in case we haven’t mentioned it enough, the sight of nature has mood-boosting effects.

Add Touches of Love

Be wise with your decor choices by picking items that bring you love—like framed photos of memories with friends and family that you truly cherish. Do you have a candle scent that takes you back to good times? Get that! Maybe you even have an award you won that means a lot to you, don’t be afraid to showcase it. The point is for you to have beautiful but also meaningful items to look at when you’re in there.

Tackle The Clutter

In order for your bedroom to be a relaxing oasis, you have to get rid of the excess stuff laying around. It’s the perfect time to rid yourself of your ex’s things that may still be there. As for the rest of your stuff, apply the Marie Kondo method and ask yourself does this bring me joy? If not, to the trash it goes!

How To Heal After A Breakup Even When You Have Mutual Friends With Your Ex

Mending a broken heart can be exponentially difficult if you share mutual friendships with your ex. When you’re in a relationship it feels so convenient to have the same social circle, but the minute you break up, it’s what will keep you up at night.

Can I even be friends with them anymore? Will my ex always be there? What if they prefer hanging out with my ex and stop inviting me places?

These are all questions that plague our minds when we’re trying to get over a breakup and have the same friends as our ex, but it doesn’t have to keep you on edge.

Here you’ll find some tips for managing those friendships after your breakup and keeping your sanity at the same time.

Be honest with yourself about your intentions.

Just because you parted ways with your ex doesn’t mean you have to do the same with your mutual friends. However, you have to be real with yourself about why you want to keep these friendships thriving. Are you maintaining relationships with these friends just to stay in your ex’s life? Or are these friendships truly meaningful to you?

Don’t rush into social settings where your ex will be.

It’s safe to say that the weekend after your breakup probably isn’t the best time to find yourself at a mutual friend’s party where your ex will be in attendance. Give yourself however much time you need to heal. Your friends will understand, and will definitely appreciate the distance more than having to walk on eggshells in a social setting with the both of you when the breakup is still fresh.

Avoid any small group activities.

Any gathering that will be under five people is probably too small for either your ex or you to feel comfortable. In smaller groups like this, you’ll probably be faced with more interaction with your ex than you care to have. Skip out on those.

Don’t put it on your friends.

The last thing you want to do is force your friends to pick sides. You also don’t want them to feel like they’re a middleman, delivering messages back and forth. Don’t trash talk your ex to them, remember they’re friends with them too. It’s best not to get them involved in the breakup.

Nourish the friendships you don’t share with your ex.

What better time than now to dedicate more time to the friendships that are just yours. Those are the people you’ll be able to vent to and hang out with knowing you won’t be in an awkward setting with your ex.

Keep in mind, eventually, you might see your ex with someone else.

At some point, you will both move on to other relationships, which means your ex might bring their new significant other around your mutual friends. It’s always okay to ask your friends if your ex (and their new partner) will be in attendance when getting an invite somewhere. If you know what to expect, you can prep yourself for it. Maybe you’re not prepared to endure that just yet, so don’t feel bad declining the invite if it means protecting your peace.

Keep it cordial.

You don’t have to pretend to be excited to see your ex, but you also don’t have to make it awkward for everyone there. A simple hello, acknowledging your ex’s presence will do just fine.

Nine Things to Do Instead of Contacting Your Ex

Sometimes the hardest part of a breakup is the no contact. It’s something you know you have to do for yourself in order to mend, but it’s so freaking difficult not to call them when you have an exciting new life update or text when you’re watching the TV show you watched together religiously. How many times have you had to snap yourself out of texting them when you’re midway through typing a lengthy paragraph? We’ve all been there.

Life with no contact doesn’t have to feel like a constant state of withdrawal. It can be exhilarating to reclaim that time you’d spend exchanging jabs and use it in a more productive manner. We’ve come up with a list of things you can do instead of texting your ex. The next time you get the itch to reach out to them, do one of these things instead!

1. Meditate

Now more than ever you need to quiet your mind. The desire to contact your ex is raging loudly up there, so you need to clear your mind and make space for uplifting thoughts that will benefit you. Take a few minutes to meditate and come back to the present moment feeling refreshed and less anxious to pull the trigger on that text.

2. Phone A Friend

Call or text a friend that won’t judge you for your desire to contact your ex. Ask her to remind you why you’re not together, to give you reasons why you shouldn’t call your ex, or just to make you laugh in the way only she can. This will scratch that itch to make contact, you’re just diverting the contact to someone who hasn’t broken your heart.

3. Take A Phone Break

This is probably the perfect time to tuck your phone away in another room of the house and leave it on silent. Giving yourself time away from a phone will open you up to other things to do around the house other than pine over shooting off that text that’s on your mind. Sometimes it’s just the feel of the phone in our hand that heightens our temptation to make contact.

4. Go to A Workout Class

The urge to contact your ex could feel deflating. You’ve done all this work to move on but you still want to talk to them. It’s a good time to sign up for the next available work out class since it will be a healthy distraction and a sweat session will release endorphins which will turn those feelings of defeat into ones of victory!

5. Visit A Friend

Get out of the house and visit a friend you haven’t hung out with in a while. Having someone’s company will keep you entertained and your focus will be on them, not your ex.

6. Learn A New Skill

We’ve curated an entire Pinterest board of new skills for you to learn. From roller skating to knitting a chunky quilt, there are plenty of things you don’t yet know how to do. Picking up some new skills will feel empowering and will give you something to consistently go back to whenever you start thinking about breaking no contact.

7. Run Yourself The Perfect Bath

There’s nothing I love more than a relaxing hot bath. Grab your iPad, a book, some magazines, and run a hot bath with some lavender essential oils and bubbles. Prop up your iPad on a bathtub caddy and find a movie or TV show to watch on Netflix. Enjoy this alone time and sacred self care practice.

8. Get Outside

A little fresh air can work wonders for shifting your mood. Don’t stay cooped up indoors with the urge to text your ex festering in your head. Get outside for a walk or go for a hike. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that has summer year-round, grab a blanket and head to the beach and bask in the sound and breeze of the waves. A little interaction with nature can help you refocus on your plan to remain no contact.

9. Organize Your Closet

Have you been putting off a little cleaning and organizing? Throwing yourself into a project that will make your home feel more peaceful is a great way to distract yourself from contacting your ex. Whether it’s cleaning and organizing your closet or finally building that IKEA shelf you bought months ago, now is the perfect time to do so.

And if you run through all of these and need more ideas, visit Do This Instead!

Coping with Grief When Your Ex Suddenly Passes Away

Grief is messy and heavy on its own. Add that it’s the death of an ex and those feelings become even more complicated—regardless of how the relationship ended. It can stir up a slew of emotions you didn’t expect and leave you feeling extremely heartbroken all over again. The experience could be extremely isolating, which is why we want to provide you with some ways to move forward.

At Mend, we’re committed to never telling you to move on, and this goes for grieving an ex as well. Love isn’t something that dies with the body, it’s an emotion that lives on within us. 

One of the most important things to remember when grieving a loved one is to acknowledge your feelings and remember that it’s ok to love that person even if you didn’t love all parts of them. David Kessler, grief expert and author of “On Grief and Grieving,” told Refinery29, “All those negative feelings you had about the breakup were about the person’s behavior, and they don’t minimize the things you did love about them.” You don’t have to feel shame for grieving someone who broke your heart.

Now that you can accept your grief, it’s important to find ways to cope with the emotions that come with it. You have to take action to seek out a support system. A common problem that people grieving exes face is that no one expects that they’ll be impacted by their ex’s death, so others don’t reach out with condolences and kind words the same way they would if you were currently dating. This is when you might start feeling isolated. Instead, Missy Wilkinson, who wrote about this kind of grief for HelloGiggles , suggests reaching out to mutual friends you shared with this ex in order to find comfort in conversation with them. These people knew the special relationship the two of you shared and will be more likely to understand your grief. You should never have to sit alone with these overwhelming emotions.

One aspect of your ex’s death that gets complicated is navigating the events afterward, like the wake and funeral. You’re probably questioning over and over again whether you should show up, if you’ll be welcomed by their family, or if it’ll be awkward for whoever they were last with. Your decision on this has to come from your gut. You aren’t forced to show up or not, but whatever choice you make has to feel right for you. Don’t let any outside judgment or opinions influence what you feel you need to do. Do what honors your grief.

We want to leave you off with a video that paints a more beautiful picture of what we can do with grief. Remember, the love doesn’t die because your ex passed away, and using that love as a force for good, instead of caving to the notion that you should move on, will do much better not only for your world but everyone else that that love ends up touching.

Six Ways To Get Over Your Ex

You probably clicked this article hoping to find the magic pill for getting over your ex. Maybe you were together for years, maybe just a few months, but either way, it has ended and you find yourself completely lost. You have no idea how to move forward. You can barely process that the relationship is over and now you have to figure out how to get over your ex. We’ve been there. And the first thing I’ll say is, the magic pill doesn’t exist.

Your feelings, however complicated, confusing, frustrating, or sad they may be, are valid. They matter and tending to them is the first order of business. At Mend, we’re all about doing the work, which is why I’m going to share some steps to take post-breakup that will help you get on the mend.

One thing we make sure to stress is that everyone’s journey is unique. These tips aren’t intended to be milestones to reach by certain time frames. They are just tools to have in your pocket as you mend your broken heart, no matter how long that takes.

Now, if you’re ready to do the work, here are some tips to help you get over your ex.

Let it out.

After a breakup it can be tempting to throw yourself full throttle into activities that will keep you busy enough that you won’t have to deal with your emotions. By doing this you’re only prolonging the suffering. You need to let yourself mourn the breakup. There is nothing wrong with crying it out. By acknowledging your emotions you can deal with them in the moment so that you can eventually release them. If you mask the hurt by hiding away your real feelings means you’re carrying those feelings with you the whole time and you’re never really letting go.

No contact.

This one is undoubtedly the most challenging, especially when you’re used to talking to your ex as part of your everyday routine. Cutting contact is about more than avoiding getting looped back into a relationship with your ex. Sarah McLaughlin, a San Francisco-based therapist specializing in women’s mental health, shared with us that she believes in space post-breakup. In her #howimend interview, she shared that she’s even gone no contact for years with some exes. That time with no contact allows you to sort through your feelings without the influence of your ex’s presence in your life.

Lean on a support system.

Now more than ever you need the love and support of your family and friends. Don’t go through this alone, your loved ones want to see you happy and if they know they can support you in any way, they’ll do it. You also have Mend! Our audio trainings will always be there to get your through your current emotions and we’ll give you the space to vent through a daily journal practice. You can also join Mender’s Club, our private Facebook group where our community of Menders support each other through heartbreak.

Freshen up your space.

First, you’ll want to clear out anything that reminds you of your ex. Then take the time to truly make your home your sanctuary. Use these hygge tips to cozy up your home post-breakup. You will instantly feel more at ease.

Find some healthy habits.

Whether it’s Barry’s Bootcamp class or an at-home yoga routine, you’ll want to start adding activities to your routine that will be good for you. This isn’t about getting a revenge body, it’s about taking care of yourself because true healing only happens when you prioritize yourself. Plus, the release of endorphins you get from a workout will definitely elevate your mood.

Take time with nature.

Something as simple as taking your dog for a walk at a local park or sitting near the ocean can do wonders for your mood. Nature has a way of healing us. Researchers studied its effects by having a group stare at an image of natural scenery and the control group look at a concrete roof. Only 40 seconds of staring at the natural scenery triggered their brains into a more relaxed state. Put the digital devices down for a bit and just enjoy some fresh air.

Remember, mending a broken heart has no defined timeline. Do the work at your own pace, and never forget that Mend is always here to help you on your journey.

Mend’s Ultimate Guide to Dating Terms

Social media and dating apps have made connecting so much easier. It’s broadened our dating options, and in some cases, saves us a lot of wasted time and effort. But there are the times when it makes dating complicated. Gone are the days when ghosting was the worst thing ever. Now we have to worry about benching and love bombing and haunting. If you haven’t heard any of these before, don’t fret. We’ve rounded up all of the dating terms you need to know about.

Ghosting

When someone ceases communication and disappears from your life out of nowhere. They don’t give you a warning, you just never hear from them again.

Benching

This one feels extra cruel because they’re pretty much keeping you on the back burner. You’ll get flirty text messages but there will always be an excuse not to follow through on plans to hang out.

Zombieing

You know when you get that “hey stranger” text? That’s zombieing. They have essentially ghosted for so long that you could have presumed them dead, but nope! There they are in your inbox as if eight months haven’t passed since you last spoke.

Cushioning

Do you have an ex fling who continues to flirt with you even though they’re in a relationship? They’re cushioning. It’s a way to keep you around should their relationship fail, and it doesn’t hurt that getting some attention from you gives them an ego boost.

Breadcrumbing

Breadcrumbing is when they hit you with a beautiful gesture then disappear for a few weeks. It’s a way of keeping your interest in them peaked when they have no real intention of progressing the relationship.

Cuffing

This refers to wanting to couple up around the winter time when it’s way too cold to be out on dates and much easier to Netflix and chill in warm clothes. Typically people start cuffing right before the cold sets in, which gives them enough time to establish a good enough connection to spend the holidays together.

Stashing

Haven’t met your partner’s friends or family? Do you feel like your only dates happen at their place or yours? That’s stashing. It’s when they’re hiding you from the rest of their life.

Phubbing

We have probably all dealt with phubbing in the age of smartphones and social media. It’s when your date spends the entire time with their eyes glued to their phones, barely entertaining conversation with you.

Haunting

Haunting will really give you the chills when you realize it’s happening. You’re being haunted when someone who has ghosted you a very long time ago randomly Snapchats you or appears to have viewed your IG Story. Yes, the ghost is alive.

Daterview

This can be upsetting, especially if you’re very interested in your date in the romantic sense. It’s when a date is more like a job interview then an opportunity to build a relationship. Nothing kills the mood more.

Love Bombing

Beware of love bombing because at face value it seems great. They’re treating you like gold and are eager to move the relationship along quickly, but it’s actually an upfront attempt to win you over to later have more control over you.

Nonversation

This is all of those “hey, how are you?” messages you have stashed in your Tinder and Bumble. It’s the small talk that won’t ever result in a date and is just a waste of time.

Monkeying

We all have that friend that jumps from one relationship to the other without taking as much as one cycle of breath in between. They’re monkeying!

Fourteen People Explain Why They Ghosted Someone

Ghosting may ring as new, but it’s far from a millennial problem. People were ghosted before smartphones and wifi. Perhaps it didn’t hurt as badly in the past because it didn’t feel as intentional as it does today. A person holding back their usual likes on Instagram posts and leaving text messages on read feels like a real effort to avoid you. It’s easier to reconcile someone not showing up back in the day as something has happened to them and you just never found out, but nowadays you see your ghost on dates, find them on Hinge, and realize when they’ve purposefully blocked you (ouch).

The person on the receiving end of ghosting is left feeling confused, with no closure—and we’re not talking the mythical kind that we long for after a vocalized breakup. It would simply be nice to know that you’re being left. That it’s the end. What’s a sentence without a period, ya know? The ghosted are overwhelmed by guilt, left to wonder if they had any fault in their partner’s disappearance.

Why do people disappear? It’s a question that weighs heavy on anyone who’s been ghosted before, so we started searching for answers for our Menders. Psychology Today breaks it down into four major categories: to avoid confrontation, their fear of emotional intimacy, a narcissistic personality, and a fear that their partner will have a violent reaction to the breakup. Sounds about accurate.

In an effort to genuinely understand ghosting and its unkind (but sometimes necessary) nature, we figured maybe there was logic buried in the excuses of the ghosters. And maybe those answers would offer you closure if you were once ghosted. We asked people to share their reasons for ghosting to see if they fell under any of the four categories cited in Psychology Today. Without further ado, here are some reasons why people went Casper on someone.

“He had different intentions for seeing me, so I just stopped talking to him.”  —Eunice, 28

“I forgot to respond (the underlying reason is I didn’t care enough).” —Elle, 32

“Because he was a jerk and lied to me about still seeing his ex.” —Rachel, 31

“He had ghosted me before, so when he messaged me again, I ghosted him back.” —Annie, 28

“I’d gone over to a date’s home, and it was filled with trash so I made up an excuse to leave and just stopped talking to her.” —Jared, 34

“I know it’s cliche, but I was really busy and wasn’t that interested.” —Candice, 33

“I don’t do it much but a girl got really awkward with me and made me feel uncomfortable when around them so I was too afraid to tell her so I just ghosted.” —Madelyn, 20

“They were super intense when we had never met and I was scared of what they would say.”—Jacqueline, 23

“Their need of constant communication felt too clingy for me.” —Kimiko, 23

“Asked me to move in with him. He was 29, I was 18. He was rich and powerful, I was wild and free.” —Laura, 32

“Because I tried to cut it off and they didn’t let me.” —Maria, 23

“I tried to let them down and they still persisted!” —Natasha, 22

“Not ready to be in another relationship.” —Taylor, 24

“I used to ghost Bumble matches before I met them—but usually, I had a reason. If they get creepy with me (tell me I have a nice body, etc.) in a text message before they even meet me, it’s a huge turn-off. So I end up doing a “slow ghost”—respond to messages with less frequency and wait long hours to respond and sometimes they get the hint and we mutually ghost each other. HOWEVER. I try not to ghost anymore because I was ghosted by my ex-boyfriend, who I dated for a year. So to do the right thing I usually try to give a short explanation why I don’t want to date someone instead of ghosting because I was super hurt by it by my ex-boyfriend, so even if I barely know someone I try to at least give people the closure they deserve.” —Nicole, 27

Elle recently joined Vanessa Grimaldi, Jared Haibon, and Dean Unglert on the “Help! I Suck At Dating” podcast to discuss ghosting. Listen to the episode below.

The Number One Reason Menders Break Up Is This

Mending a broken heart can be isolating. Our aim here at Mend is that anyone going through the pain of a breakup does not feel alone as they navigate the ups and downs that inevitably occur at the end of any relationship. And while our Mender community is incredibly diverse, our community has some things in common too.

Take for instance the most daunting question of all: why’d you break up? For 27% of you, the answer remains unclear. That’s right, more than 1/4 of Menders across 170 countries don’t know why they are broken up. This is followed by commitment (18%) and incompatible lifestyle (17%) as the second and third most cause for a breakup.

Here’s a quick look at the status of Menders’ breakups, the time since reaching out to exes, and reasons for the split.

Mend Info 0818

We recently launched the biggest update of the Mend app to date. You don’t want to miss any of the details on how the app is taking Menders out of heartbreak and into their future!

How To Get Over A Breakup

You can look at a breakup as the end or the beginning. But no matter which route you take, the initial heartbreak feels like it will never end. It traps you and consumes you. It’s not something you “just get over.” In fact, it takes real effort to work through the motions of a heartbreak.

There’s nothing more frustrating than venting to a friend about all of the pain you feel, only to hear, “you’ll be fine, time heals all wounds.” Time isn’t the end all be all to getting over a breakup. Your hurt is valid. Research shows that love is like a drug, and the loss of it can cause withdrawal. So how do you get through the withdrawal and come out on the other side?

Allow yourself to express your feelings. Ignoring your broken heart won’t take the pain away. Get in your feelings, but attempt to do so in a structured manner. Give yourself a dedicated time to let it all out. You can do this while completing your daily Mend, where you journal and listen to audio trainings that will guide you as you cope with your current emotions. Take time at the end of the day to sit quietly in a corner of your home and journal your way through the tears. The key is to avoid entering a 24/7 state of despair. Give your feelings the time they deserve, but don’t allow them to control the productivity of your day.

This is also a good time to rid yourself of your ex, whether literally or metaphorically. Cut the communication and clear your space of things that hold memories with them. In her video on how to get over a breakup, Christine Hassler, a life coach, author, and speaker, suggests that you allow at least six months without communication. This gives you the space you need to work through the heartbreak and identify what the future looks like for you.

Those might seem like the hardest challenges to overcome, but honestly, there is no easy part of heartbreak. It’s debilitating. There’s no timeline for when the pain will pass. We wouldn’t be doing you a service if we told you that in three months you’ll feel full of joy again. Every breakup is unique, every heartbreak is individual. And while our advice, audio trainings, and community of Menders are here to help you with the “how” to mend after a breakup, there’s no one size fit all.

Happiness might feel far away for a long time, but the hope is rooted in what you can control. Take hold of your own journey, do the work. And ignore the claims that it’s “not the end of the world.” Your journey is individual, as is your heartbreak. Feel the feels, and only get over it when you’re ready to.

The YouTube Playlist That’ll Help You Get Over A Breakup

It’s so complicated trying to find something to watch after your breakup. Sappy romantic movies make you long for something you don’t have. It’s hard to watch characters find their fairytale ending when you’re at a new beginning. Luckily these days we have options—like YouTube.

There are so many videos out there, from personal breakup stories to the science of heartbreak, that will help you get over a breakup. Say goodbye to cliche advice, like just let it go, and welcome some valuable tips that will actually help you do the work of moving forward.

Heartbreak is suffocating. Whether the breakup was mutual or not, losing a relationship you were invested in takes a toll on you emotionally. We replay the relationship, arguments, and good times over and over again in our heads in hopes that we’ll find answers that’ll make us feel better. It’s difficult to make sense of the pain that’s taking over when we’re in the thick of it.

That’s why we curated a YouTube playlist on our channel dedicated solely to breakup advice. This playlist will guide you through tough moments and take you on a journey towards healing. You’ll hear others’ breakup stories, and whether you relate to theirs or not, you’ll feel a little less alone and more understood. We hope you find some comfort through these videos.

Start with this 12-step program to getting over a breakup, and catch the rest of the playlist here.

I’m Adding More ‘Wu Wei’ To My Life, You Should Too

I’ve been a compulsive planner for as long as I can remember. In high school, I swapped out the spiral agendas my classmates would pick up at Target for a Franklin Covey binder like the ones my parents used. To this day, every night before bed I open my notes app and write a checklist for the next day—it tends to be a copy of what I’ve already listed has to get done in my Asana app. At times, I even triple checklist by handwriting my to-dos in a planner. 

Don’t get me wrong, being organized has its perks. When it comes to work I get things done. It’s when you start feeling like every moment of your life should be written next to a bullet point on a to-do list that you realize: it’s time to lay off a bit.

I spent the past year and a half shaking off debris from broken plans. I had the “dream job” and a relationship and it felt like everything was going according to plan. Within a month of each other, both blew up in my face. I lost the job. I lost the guy. I lost the plans that I’d carefully constructed with each. It tore me up. To see my life in a way I never imagined. It couldn’t be. It couldn’t have happened to me. “I did everything right,” I’d tell my mom through tears and sniffles—at least once a week. As I tended to my broken heart and crushed dreams, I thought to myself: maybe if I wasn’t so obsessed with planning, this part wouldn’t hurt so much. If I hadn’t imagined everything fitting into the neatly lined pages of pretty planners then I wouldn’t feel this level of disappointment.

That’s why my addiction to planning is something I’m looking to ditch. I’ve realized in the last year that it holds me back more than it propels me forward. I spend so much time ironing out the details that I take away from time actually doing the thing. And the fun of doing is lost because everything is so SO planned. In my quest to relieve myself of this little problem, I stumbled upon an article about “wu wei.”

In the New York Magazine article “Mastering The Art Of Caring Less” wu wei is defined as “effortless action.” It means getting stuff done without really thinking about, or in my case, planning for it. It’s freedom.

I immediately felt drawn to figure out how I can make this way of life my way of life. When it comes to how to apply wu wei, the Taoist concept is broken down into two strategies. “The first is to recognize when it’s okay not to keep pushing forward when we hit an obstacle,” says Edward Slingerland, a professor of Asian studies at the University of British Columbia, who lends his expertise on wu wei for the article. The other strategy is to “create space in your life for spontaneity to happen.”

The whole point is that you’re not supposed to be actively thinking about applying wu wei, it’s supposed to just happen. All that you’re in charge of is giving it space and permission. Right now that’s what my heart needs, space to heal and permission to move on.

Since reading up on wu wei, I’ve been jotting down a lot fewer plans, putting a lot less pressure on my relationship status, and not getting hung up on what’s going to happen when. If my mom calls to invite me to Chipotle, even though I’ve already cooked, I go. When I’m asked on a date I accept without overthinking how it could play out years from now. Wu wei has become my new form of self-care. I’m tending to my future self by not getting tied up in knots now over what she’ll like, what job she’ll have, or who she’ll marry somewhere down the line. I’m living in the moment. I’m allowing myself to just do.

Four Ways You Can Romance Yourself

At surface-level, self-care may be drowned in bubble baths and essential oils, but its core purpose is allowing yourself time to nurture self-love. Whether you’re recovering from a heartbreak or gearing up to jump back into dating, focusing on loving yourself is a worthy investment. No clue where to start? Here are four ways you can romance yourself.

1. Treat Yourself To A New Experience

My Hinge profile reads “My ideal first date…Take me somewhere I’ve never been before.” I appreciate someone’s ability to introduce me to new places, things, foods, and culture, but I don’t have to rely on having a significant other in order to discover new things. There are plenty of guides, bucket lists, and planned retreats out there. Choose one and open yourself up to a new experience.

2. Go Out To Dinner By Yourself

The idea of eating at a restaurant by myself used to make me cringe with awkwardness. Growing up, eating had always been a group activity, not something I ever did alone. One day, after my last breakup, I challenged myself to go out to eat by myself and guess what? I loved it! My meal even tasted better. For me, the flavors of the food were heightened thanks to the lack of distractions. Treat yourself to a romantic dinner for one. You won’t regret it.

3. Do Something That Surprises You

Pick up a book you typically wouldn’t read, watch a movie in a genre you tend to avoid, or say yes to an invitation you would usually skip out on, all in an effort to surprise yourself. You might learn you like something you thought you hated. You could end up uncovering new parts of yourself that were tucked away all this time.

4. Get Pampered

Want to step out of your routine? Swap the regular to-dos for a pampering session. If you usually paint your own nails at home, treat yourself to a mani/pedi. If you blow out your own hair, give your wrist a break and go to your local blow bar. Do you love your weekly face mask treatment? Then upgrade to a spa facial. The goal is to add a little more relaxation to your week.

Now that you’ve got some ideas on how to date yourself, which are you going to do first?

What Are Your Self Love Rituals?

Establishing rituals can be a crucial part of the healing process. Today, 8 Menders are sharing the self love rituals that help them stay #onthemend.

“I love to do yoga 2 or 3 times a week and have recently discovered a love for hot yoga! It just makes me feel calmer, more connected and at peace with myself. I regularly get massages now, seeing it as an act of self-love rather than an indulgence and I’m really mindful of fueling my body with what it needs. I also meditate and journal every day. So often, self-love can go to the bottom of the pile of everyday life but if you don’t commit to it on a daily basis, you become emotionally and physically depleted. So I’m big on tapping into those soul cravings and making time for them!” -Laura Y.

“I love getting ready slow! Taking time in how I adorn myself is such a treat and fun process. I also don’t ingest content that doesn’t make me a better person – no junk food media or social media feeds. I want to spend my leisure time learning and not losing sight of what’s important to me.” -Shan B.

“A decadent dinner of sushi can heal a lot of ills. Follow this with vegan banana nut ice cream and everything becomes shrouded in a rosy glow. I also have a stack of movies that always bring a lot of joy: Amelie, Frida, Annie Hall, Chocolat, Under the Tuscan Sun. Oh, and a good mani/ pedi combo makes me feel enamored of myself.” -Susan A.

“I strive to eliminate the negative self-talk in my head. It’s taken a long time to fully love every part of myself and it was hard won. Every now and then the voices of doubt come creeping back in, but I don’t let them stay long. I am grateful and secure in my abilities and I know that being kind to myself is the best thing I can do to achieve my goals. For me, I love cooking and eating well. I have a post-it note with positive affirmations and reminders on them. Included are ‘You are beautiful’ and ‘Don’t get caught up in the destination.’ I spend time with friends who can shake me out of any rut I may have fallen into and revel in the steadfast, unyielding love of my dog. I try to build and fortify this house of love, light and joy, so that I may live in it, especially when the wold makes me feel like less.” -Megan S.

“My main one is positive affirmations. When I am in a good place, I will write down how I am feeling and then when I have a low moment I can go back and read these notes. They give me an instant boost and remind me of how I truly feel about myself.” -Zanna V.

“Exercise: I always feel 1,000 times better after a workout. Always. Pep-talks: Sometimes I am scared to do something or fear the unknown and I have to remind myself that if someone else can do something then I can too. Friendship: If I feel sad or stressed, I have dinner with friends. It’s so nice to be able to laugh and talk with people who have the best intentions for you. Happiness: I’ve learnt not to invest time in things that don’t make me happy. Friends, boyfriends…anyone I feel makes me feel bad about myself. Music: There’s nothing a good sing-song can’t fix.” -Ashley J

“Fitting in a workout class, taking naps, going on solo walks and adventures!” -Jen G

“Self-care keeps me sane. I get body work done frequently. Massages, reiki, ayurvedic treatments. I go to the Korean Spa when I need a tune-up. Day-to-day I’ll take a walk, a bath, soak my feet, have sex, go to the beach and let the sun and ocean heal me. I sometimes wear my favorite dress and just let the world admire my beauty. You have to be your biggest fan.” -Natalie P.

What Is One Thing You’ve Learned To Love About Yourself?

Today we asked some women to share the one thing they’ve learned to love about themselves.

“I’ve had to learn to love the slow pace of my journey. Things don’t happen for me overnight and I have lived a life of a lot of no’s! I’m not married, I don’t own any property, I don’t have kids and only within the past year have I really started to make strides towards a lucrative career. I’m a human slow cooker. Sometimes when I focus on what I haven’t achieved it hurts but when I think about how much I’ve been able to absorb by moving slow – I’m grateful.” -Shan B.

“I am still learning to love myself for being me every day. I think we all grow up in a world that praises beauty and discards everything else. It has taken a long time for me to accept who I am physically and lean away from comparisons. Our skin, bodies, hair, personal style-it’s all just packaging and learning to love myself despite a weight gain or pimples has been a huge challenge but also, so important.” -Susan A.

“I have had to learn to love my body. Growing up and becoming voluptuous by 4th grade was hard. I had big boobs and thick thighs and I just wanted to run and play outside like other kids. My body felt like a burden. I have come to know it as a blessing. It took me what felt like a long time. These legs and feet have taken me every place I’ve ever been. In order to love my life, I have to give thanks for this body.” -Natalie P.

“I struggled with the sound of my voice. That is such a weird thing, I know, but it was becoming more pronounced as I did more and more media. I would think ‘OMG is that what I really sound like? That is NOT the cool voice I hear in my inner monologue.’ I have had friends confirm that indeed, yes I sound ‘like that.’ This is something that I had to make peace with because it is part of who I am. I know that my message isn’t altered by the sound of its delivery, but every now and then, when I listen to a playback I’m like oh geez haha.” -Megan S.

“My nose. It is large and in charge and I used to always criticize myself for it. However, I have since come to accept it and now I don’t even think about it! I genuinely had to rack my brain to think about what I didn’t love about myself in the past for this question. I am so content with myself right now.” -Zanna V.

“This sounds really silly, but my accent. I grew up in the North of England with a Geordie accent, like my family, and then I won a scholarship to boarding school and got it bullied out of me. At home, people would always tease me for being posh, whereas at school I would be teased for being common. Now I’ve lived in London so long, my accent has adapted and it’s this big mix of everything and I find it hard not to be self-conscious because so much judgement and presumption is based on the way you talk. Now, I remind myself that the way I talk is part of my journey, but I do wish I still had my Northern roots in my voice.” -Ashley J

“My path towards a different career and life than that of my friends.” -Jen G

“I’ve definitely struggled in the body image and body love areas. Learning to understand that self-love comes from the inside, who you are as a person, what you offer to the world, being fueled by something greater than yourself and an appreciation for all the amazing things your body can do for you. That it has to be loved, nurtured and worked in harmony with, not fought against. That has been a huge one for me. And the most valuable.” –Laura Y.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this post.