Boy meets girl. The chemistry is undeniable—you think about him constantly, and every text sends your heart aflutter. But that’s where the classic love story ends. For whatever reason, it doesn’t work out. Things are over, even though you were never officially a couple.
Breaking up with a guy you cared about, even if he wasn’t technically yours, can be every bit as painful as the end of a committed relationship. Your friends tell you to brush it off and move on. Denying yourself time to process what happened, however, can leave you stuck in that terrible can’t-move-on hole. Here’s what to do:
Cry like it’s a breakup, because it is. So what if you weren’t Facebook official? You put time and feelings into this man, so give yourself time to wallow. It definitely helps to binge-watch your favorite TV show and splurge for the good takeout.
Delete his number. And his voicemails. And clear your texts. Reading back through old conversations, trying to figure out what went wrong, is pointless. Things didn’t end because of a single text message you sent a week ago.
Rejoice that you don’t have to change your relationship status to single. Cue your Facebook friends messaging you their apologies, asking what happened, and you having to repeat your story on your feed to everyone to see. There’s always a silver lining.
Treat him like an ex. Just because you haven’t had a long, committed relationship doesn’t mean you have to be okay with seeing him. Take some space.
Don’t feel pressured to go out that night. Yes, a good red wine is magical. But one glass too many and eight incoherent texts about why you love him will seem like a great idea. Diving headfirst back into the dating pool is not healthy. Instead, take time to hang out with your friends and focus on yourself.
Beautify. There’s definitely something to getting a mani/pedi or a blowout to really get your game back.
Call your mom. Or Dad, or that aunt who really gets you. They’re mind-blowingly great at putting things in perspective. Bonus: They’ll be happy to remind you how awesome you are.
Make a list of why he wasn’t right for you. You’ll be surprised at how long it will be.
Focus on what you deserve, not why he didn’t work out. Never introduced you to his friends? The right guy will want to show you off.
Accept that he wasn’t Mr. Right. Staring at the phone, wishing his name would flash across your screen, you felt like he was the one. It seemed like destiny. But it wasn’t. How do we know? Because if he were The One, he would never have let you go.