Valentine's Day When You're (Newly) Single

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It's the point in a relationship that everyone dreads. Sometimes it's long overdue, and sometimes it happens with much thought, argument, and unfortunately, heartache. I've had my share of break-ups, and no matter what the case there's rarely a "good" one, only less terrible ones. However, time goes on, and you must continue to live a fulfilling life despite the pain you endure. 

Especially for longer relationships, independence will take a while before it becomes familiar. With Valentine's Day approaching, it could be really easy to think of all the good times you spent with your previous partner. The key is to change your thinking, which ultimately is central to overcoming a break-up, and changing your thinking can be carried out a number of ways. Part of living the independent life constitutes looking out for yourself, and time apart from dating can result in incredible personal growth. As you continue reading, see if my advice applies to your situation.

Forgetting One Person Is Quality Time With Another
In some relationships, you aren't exposed to many people with whom you'd otherwise spend your time. Use the break-up as an opportunity to invest in others' lives. By associating with people, your mind is off "that person." Since my last break-up, I've made closer friendships with people I didn't even realize had interest in my life, haven't lost the already existing strong ones. Being around people I either just met or people I care about reminded me of the impact I can have on people if I am willing to spend time with them. In associating more with other people, it can also help alleviate the heartache of the break-up.

Always Take the High Road
In my own life, I've noticed more about my own and other people's character when crises arise. You can grow by handling the difficult circumstance of a break-up in a mature and noble manner. If you make up stories, take bad advice from friends concerning vengeance, or act petty in the aftermath of the relationship's end, then I can safely say your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend dodged a bullet. If you tell yourself, "you know, this really hurt, but I am going to be a person of integrity," you not only have succeeded in handling the split, but also created positive habits for handling other life catastrophes. Other people are watching how you manage these situations, so let them see the best side of you, let it affect other relationships you have.  

Slow the Romance Down
Another important thing to avoid after a break-up is rushing into another relationship. I have to admit, when I've experienced some of the "obvious" (when the person cheats, lies, abuses, or other such behavior) break-up situations in the past, my innate desire is to be seen with the most attractive lady I believe God put on the earth to thumb my nose at my exes. When going out with potential partners, be cautious and take things extra slow. If the pain you endure from a relationship means anything to you, you won't jump into something else with out any serious thought.

You might also feel inclined to start dating another person out of spite, or maybe you having emotions still lingering that you think need to be expressed. Whatever the case, you are still not in a position to begin a healthy relationship just a weeks after a break-up, possibly because you might be bringing past feelings to another person, which isn't fair to either of you.

Begin, or Continue, Healthy Living
There's endless advice I can give concerning your emotions of the situation, but often we forget to physically take care of ourselves. I've noticed that my appetite changes when I am experiencing grief, and it's something I have to continue to fight if I want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I also tend to sleep a lot less, staying up letting my mind wander needlessly. It is important to continue to exercise, eat healthier food options, and sleep an adequate amount each night. These simple actions can keep a relationship from affecting your physical well-being.

Like Rihanna and T.I. Once Said, Live Your Life
The most cliche, but probably hardest to accomplish, break-up advice I can give is live your life. Do the things that make you happy and see the people you enjoy.  For me, it's being active; I work out, play pickup sports with friends, or (with no shame whatsoever) dance in my room with the doors closed and music up. Occupying yourself with various hobbies or activities to keep your mind off of the heartbreak keeps the pain from amplifying into something worth concern. This can include schoolwork, art, cooking, or pretty much anything to keep your hands busy.  

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For me personally, I've never experienced a break-up that felt great after it happened. What I have learned, however, is to take care of yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically as you endure the aftermath. It will probably take some time to finally feel like yourself again, but if you follow the advice I've given, your overall happiness could come faster than you realize.  

Tyler,
A guy who's been there, done that

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