Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's divorce has shaken all of us.
The power couple of our generation has crumbled.
Brangelina supporters' dreams of true love have been squashed. Many women who've crushed on Brad are now feeling unsettled by the rumors about him cheating with Marion Cotillard.
As a celebrity matchmaker, let me tell you a little secret: Brangelina's marriage has been over for months.
Although the public was in the dark, Angelina has most likely begun the healing process on her own.
Now the divorce is public, she will finally have the emotional capacity to slowly open herself to another relationship.
Even though Angelina is an A-list celebrity, she really is just like us when it comes to relationships.
Every woman has her Brad Pitt. He's the one she thought was "the one" but... wasn't.
Chances are, if you're just getting out of a relationship with a man who felt like the love of your life, you suffer from PTDD: Post Traumatic Dating Disorder.
Scars from bad relationships and dating experiences will still flare up, even if you thought that you had healed from them. Unless you find ways to handle the intermittent trauma, you will sabotage any future relationships.
Yes, men can have PTDD too, but women tend to take relationships more seriously, especially in the beginning phases. Women emotionally invest earlier than men do, especially if they get physically intimate.
Not only can women not just "switch off" their feelings, when women get physical (or have six kids with a guy), their brains release a different hormone than men that binds them to their partner. It stops them from sleeping around without serious emotional damage.
At Matchmakers In The City, every day I work with celebrities and regular women who have trust issues as a result of trauma from past relationships.
Here are 8 ways to cope with PTDD so that you can learn to trust again:
1. Do a social media cleanse.
Once you've completed your initial Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat breakup investigation, avoid his social media presence at all costs.
Entrust a friend to keep tabs on you during this tough time.
Facebook fuels paranoia; combing through every one of his photos from years past can contribute to irrational fears and make it nearly impossible for you to move on.
2. Get it out of your head and into your journal.
When a thought bothers you repeatedly, take a break from what you're doing, and write about it, preferably in your journal.
If you start to feel low and question whether or not you made the right decision to break it off, remind yourself of two things: you made the right decision and these rough emotions will get better every day. The sad parts of life make the good times even more special.
3. Talk it out.
Breakups have a way of bringing up a lot of emotions that are not even necessarily related to the actual breakup.
Women need to talk out their problems to solve them.
You need help from your trusted girl gang here. Call a faithful friend or relative who can bring you back down to reality.
Remember: Some problems, if they're too big for your friends to tackle, may require a therapist or dating coach. Rest assured, therapists and dating coaches are always bipartisan and confidential!
4. Have a mantra.
According to Beverly Hills psychologist Dr. Lucy Papillion, turning your thoughts into a mantra helps keep paranoia at bay.
The minute you start obsessing, repeat your mantra. It might be a phrase like, “I will find the right guy for me when I am ready. This wasn't him... God has someone better in mind.”
Dr. Papillion continues to emphasize the importance of having a word of the week, like “rest” or “surrender,” that you can come back to when you start doubting yourself.
5. Redirect your thoughts.
Negative thoughts have a way of popping up when you're doing tasks that don't require a lot of brain power.
For instance, many people complain about facing repeated stressful thought patterns at night when they brush their teeth and get ready for bed.
When your mind starts to go down a rabbit hole, play uplifting music or stream a book from your phone or computer.
6. Dance with yourself.
Put on your favorite music and dance your cares away.
Endorphins are a real thing: They help many people calm down and redirect their energy to benefit their fitness.
7. Get on your knees.
When you feel the most prone to wandering thoughts, pray.
Different faith traditions recommend different ways of praying, but I recommend a combination of freestyle prayers with some repetitive, structured ones.
Go on YouTube and Google, “5 Minute Guided Meditation,” and make it a daily habit.
8. Put fear in its place.
When you find yourself worrying if you will end up as a single cat lady, notice your thought. Welcome it and let it sit in the backseat, but tell it that you choose to let love drive your life, rather than fear.
Fear can feel overwhelming, especially if it stems from life experience, but these tactics will channel that energy to positive, life-giving places.
If you handle it the right way, fear can be a doorway to a deeper, more joyful and peaceful life.
Yes, heartbreak is “different for girls,” but if you confront it, that pain can make you a more loving and enchanting person, which contributes to the beauty of your future relationships.
With trust and time, Angelina and every woman who has ever dated her version of someone she thought was “The One” will finally be able to get over it.