I am often writing blogs about the complexities of divorce, the logistics of trying to make it work, and the fighting and bitterness that go hand in hand with most divorces.
This blog is dedicated to the emotional part of the breakup, the actual loss of the relationship. Simply put, what do you do when you just plain old miss him (or her)?
Whether it's a fresh split or it's been several months or even years, here are some things you can do when you start getting those old, sentimental thoughts. These things are not meant to block out the pain, and I'm not saying you shouldn't address your sadness. That's what therapy is for. These 9 things are distractions, for those times where you feel insanely sad, like your heart might literally break in half, and you desperately need to divert your mind to a better, happier place.
1. Get out some old CDs and sing along to old tunes: Music is relaxing, and can be enjoyable or inspiring. Listening to old CDs could bring you back to a happy time in your life, or take you to a challenging time that you overcame, or it can remind you of people you love. Warning though: do not start playing you and your ex's favorite CD, or the song you danced to at your wedding!
2. Have people over: Call your girlfriends, crack open a bottle of red wine, some hummus and veggies, and just talk. But not about him for more than 15 minutes.
3. Visit a historic landmark, like the Sears Tower or the Baha'i temple: I can remember years ago, going to the top of the Sears Tower and just standing their for an hour looking at the city. For some reason, it just made all of my problems seem so little. Landmarks are inspiring!
4. Call an old boyfriend: What?! Are you crazy, Jackie?! No, I'm not. It's funny, when you break up with someone or get divorced, suddenly your previous boyfriends don't seem so bad! Right? Why not become friends with one of them. Be careful in choosing, though. You don't need any stalkers or past abusers, and you certainly don't want to cause problems in someone else's marriage. So if this isn't right for you, call a platonic friend. But I have quite a few old boyfriends who I adore. And they are just friends.
5. Look through your photo albums: A long time ago, I had a date and got stood up. I called one of my best friends crying and she told me to go straight to my closet and get out all my photo albums. I spent the next three hours looking at pictures and smiling and laughing at my family members, and old friends. I felt great! I felt happy! And suddenly the guy blowing me off didn't seem like a big deal anymore. Warning though: don't look at your wedding album or photos of you and the ex!
6. Work out: You knew I wasn't going to leave this out! Do anything physical. Drag yourself to the gym, even if that means sitting in the hot tub and doing nothing else! I have never left the gym unhappy that I went there!
7. Watch a romantic comedy movie or Sex and the City: There is nothing better to get your mind off a guy than to watch a really, really cute, happy rom com. You must eat popcorn and you must cry, by the way, while you are watching! And as far as Sex and the City goes, those girls are four of my dearest friends!
8. Go out for gelato or frozen yogurt: It's got probiotics, it's yummy, and there is only 130 calories in a cup! I never had gelato or frozen yogurt and was sad afterward.
9. Go shoe shopping: This is the ultimate diversion from a guy, but can get pricey. That said, new shoes make a woman feel confident and beautiful, and they never make you look fat!
Have fun, but just remember this: New shoes or Billy Joel's "The Stranger" aren't the panaceas to forgetting about your ex and moving on. There are two cures to a breakup: making good choices while moving forward and time.
Jackie Pilossoph is the author of the blog, Divorced Girl Smiling. She is also the author of the comedic novel, FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE about life after divorce. Ms. Pilossoph is a weekly business features reporter for the Pioneer Press, a division of the Chicago Sun-Times with the monthly column, "Heart of the North Shore." She lives in Chicago with her two kids. And she's divorced (obviously.)