Wifeys & Gentlemen,
While it might not seem obvious to some, going through a breakup in your 30s is a little different (and harder) than coping with one in your younger years. Of course, a lot of the principles remain the same, but there are a few nuances to be considered.
Think about it: when going through a breakup in your teens and 20s, most friends and family will tell you “there are plenty of fish in the sea”. We are socialized not to dwell on the loss because we are young, vibrant, and our lives have only just begun!
However, when you reach your 30s the expectations shift. Many of us are involved in serious relationships with deeper intention. We will often make serious life changes and adjustments in order to accommodate our partner and make our relationship work. Finances merge, housing arrangements change quickly, and big plans are made with the idea that this person could be your forever someone.
Of course, it is possible to have these plans and intentions in your late teens and 20s as well. A lot of people find their person in their 20s and make intentional plans and adjustments when they feel the time is right. Still, I would argue that the sense of urgency just hits different when you reach your 30s. Again, this is based largely on social expectations and what I believe is a warped view of “success”.
Personally, I have always thought that it was better to wait until your late 20s and into your 30s before making huge life commitments (whenever possible). I believe it’s important to give yourself time to explore; make mistakes and figure out what you do and do not want for your future. Sure, everyone’s life path is different, but statistically speaking, those who get married and have children later in life tend to experience more stability, happiness, and longevity than their younger counterparts.
What I would like all of my wifeys & gents in their 30s to remember is that going through a breakup is NOT the end of the world. Even if you loved that person deeply, even if you’re the one who messed things up, even if they did something that can’t be forgiven or forgotten, even if they made a fool of you; your life is not over. You are not a failure. This is not the end.
Not being able to make it work is not a reflection on you or the person that you are. Hell, even if it is, there is ALWAYS time to grow, change, and do better the next time around. Ok?
Honestly, I think the real issue most people in their 30s have is the fear of starting over. Being with the same person for an extended period of time means fitting them into your life. You have an apartment together. You know their friends and family. You show up at events together. You talk about them with your co-workers. Your social media is filled with memories and pictures. The prospect of moving on and clearing out all of that history is daunting.
How do you even begin to let go? While I don’t have all the answers, here are a few quick tips to get you started:
Find Something to Focus on
Get a job, throw yourself into a hobby, work toward a goal you set for yourself this year, volunteer, get creative, etc…
Being present when you’re going though a breakup can be helpful and important, but the first few weeks can be really difficult and emotionally draining for some. It’s okay to distract yourself from having to think about your former partner.
Rely on Your Close Friends for Support
Find and reconnect with like-minded friends who have been where you are and can empathize with your situation. Make sure these are people you can trust and who are willing to be available to you as long and as often as you need.
You might have moments where you need to call them and cry in the wee hours of the morning. Maybe you can’t get out of bed and need someone to help do some grocery shopping or tidy up your house?
While it’s never okay to abuse the kindness of your support system, having people who are down to really be there for you is key to moving forward in a healthy way.
Have a Budget for “Retail Therapy”
As we get older, many of us have well-paying jobs that allow us some room to spend extra money. A lot of us also have savings accounts or a stash of cash we were building up for the good of our relationship.
Maybe you were saving up for an engagement ring or a down payment on a house? Maybe you have less bills now that you’re living on your own? Now that you’re broken up, you don’t really need to save anymore, right?
I can promise the temptation will be there. You’ll try to convince yourself that keeping the money isn’t important and let yourself take comfort in material things to heal your heartbreak.
Let’s split the difference! Look at what you have saved up or what extra income you incur as a result of your breakup and put yourself on a budget. For example, if you saved $6000 for an engagement ring, give yourself 25% of that to spend on something nice for yourself and keep the rest socked away for something you might really need or want down the line.
I promise you’ll be glad you didn’t blow through it all on a bunch of frivolous things that only made you smile for a moment.
Love Yourself Often
I mean this literally.
Masturbate and enjoy your own body as often as you can.
Look at yourself naked in the mirror and give yourself compliments. Go online and buy a new sex toy (or dust off one of your old ones). Drink wine, put on the good music, and love yourself.
Stay Away from Social Media
I was recently talking to my mother about friends and family who have broken up with significant others. Isn’t it funny how you can always tell when someone is serious about a break up when they are ready to let their ex go on social media?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am NOT the type of person who thinks you need to go through and delete all of their pictures and erase every memory you’ve ever had. Everyone is different. Some people benefit for removing their ex from every aspect of their life and others do not.
However, if you’re going to be checking their profile everyday, looking at old photos and crying your eyes out, or being tempted to reach out/call them based on what they post…consider spending some time offline.
Let’s be real: how often do people TRY to get your attention via social media? Your ex is no exception. He/she will DEFINITELY try to push your buttons or make you a little jealous if given the chance. They may like your posts, view your stories, or put up a few thirst traps to reel you in. Of course, they’ll want you to know how “great” they are doing without you.
Come on, you know I’m right. You know I’m right because you’ve done this yourself before, haven’t you?
Just log off for a while. Trust me.
Rebound needs will vary from person to person. Maybe the “self love” just wasn’t enough and you’re ready to get into a sexual relationship with someone new? Maybe you need to go out on a few dates with someone who is the polar opposite of the type of partner you’d typically choose? Maybe you just want to go to the club and connect with as many new people as you can? Maybe you want to feel like a 22 year old again and get on Tinder for a few weeks?
No judgement here. None of these reactions are wrong.
Just make sure you are engaging in a safe and healthy manner. Don’t do anything that will lower your own self-esteem or create additional drama in your life.
DO NOT FALL FOR YOUR REBOUND PERSON &
DO NOT LET YOUR REBOUND PERSON FALL FOR YOU.
You can’t trust your feelings about someone when a significant breakup is still fresh in your mind. Don’t allow the comfort of good sex or a few nice dates trick you into thinking you can swap out your ex for a new partner in a matter of weeks.
It’s also REALLY uncool to lead someone on. If you know for sure that you aren’t looking for anything serious, be upfront and say that. You are in your 30s now; let’s stop playing games and lay those cards out on the table.
Have Patience with Yourself
There will be hard moments. There will be times where you miss your ex and want to go back. There might even be times where your ex misses you and tries to get in touch. This is normal. Give yourself some grace.
I wrote a blog a while ago about your ex being trash and warned that you shouldn’t take them back. My position still stands. This person has become an ex for a reason. Focus on the reason.
Of course, sometimes people breakup and find their way back to each other over time. Please remember that this is the exception and not the rule.
90% of the time, you broke up with this person because something wasn’t working. You were not making each other happy. Your loneliness did not suddenly fix everything that was broken.
Give yourself grace in the tough moments. Treat yourself with kindness. You are not pathetic for missing your ex. You are not crazy for a drunk dial or a desperate text. You aren’t even weak if you make the mistake of sleeping with them again (but seriously, don’t do that).
Learn from your feelings and take the time you need to get over the toughest parts. Don’t rush.
Go to Therapy
If all else fails and your breakup seems to be too much to handle, there is no shame in seeking out a professional. Therapy can be a great, temporary solution to sorting through your feelings and finding your inherent strength.
After my biggest breakup with my Voldemort ex, my therapist awakened me to things I had never even considered. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship and didn’t realize it for almost 6 years.
Therapy helped me find my self-confidence and remember that I am worthy of so much more than I was accepting.
Now is the time to reconnect with yourself. It’s time to live your best life and look to the future for what is possible. Remember when I told you that you deserve better? I meant it!
Remember that even though you might have lost a great partner, they were not the right partner for you.
Being in your 30s will make you feel like the stakes of losing a relationship are high. You’ll feel like you’re running out of time and options. You’ll feel like your biological clock is ticking. Others might even make you feel like something is wrong with you.
Please hear me and believe me when I say that there is NOTHING wrong with you. Being 30+ is not the end, it’s the beginning. You have the means and the knowledge to really enjoy your adulthood and become choosy about who you spend your time with and who you give your energy to.
You are strong. You will get through this. ❤
Until next time,
Carry on wifeys & gents!
Share this with someone going through a breakup in their 30s! You darling little lamb…🐑🐑🐑…🐑🐑🐑…🐑🐑🐑…
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