I just broke up with my boyfriend of six months. When we met, I really felt like he was “the one.” I’ve had a string of bad relationships over the past few years, and I’m fed up with dating crappy men.
This last boyfriend was perfect at first. He surprised me with romantic dates, bought me gifts, opened doors … all that stuff. But about two months into the relationship, he became verbally abusive. When we fought (which was often), he’d call me “whore” or “bitch” or other terms that I won’t repeat here.
I put up with this for too long, but I finally broke things off a few days ago. Though I know I should be happy to be free of that asshole, I’ve fallen into a deep depression. I can’t eat. I’m not sleeping well, and I have no interest in going out with my girlfriends (even though I know that’s what I should be doing).
How do get out of this funk? Even though I’ve been through numerous break-ups, I’ve never felt this sad about it. Considering how he treated me toward the end of the relationship, I really should feel liberated. But I don’t. What’s wrong with me?
— Only Dates Douchebags
Dear Only Dates,
Feeling depressed after a break-up is normal. Despite the fact that your ex was a real jerk, it sounds like you might have been in love with some idea of who you wanted him to be.
The key to moving past this is to convince yourself that, despite his initial attempts at romance, this guy is not who you thought — or hoped — he was. As a relationship progresses, true colors shine through. His true colors were ugly. Remember that for now, and try not to dwell on any good memories you had with him.
Even though you don’t feel like going out, a few nights out with the girls would be most helpful. Friends are great for re-enforcing the reasons why you left a man. I’m sure your buds will be more than happy to talk dirt about the guy, and if they’re good friends, they’ll certainly let you gab on and on about how sad you are.
Eventually, you will eat again. And you will start to sleep better, and then you’ll feel better. Moving on takes time. If you’re an artist (or a writer or a musician), this is a wonderful opportunity to use your sadness to your advantage. Some of the best art is created by tortured souls.
Got a problem? E-mail Bianca at firstname.lastname@example.org.