The emotional roller coaster that follows a breakup is scarier than any ride at Six Flags Great Adventure.
Your heart goes through ups and downs. There are fleeting moments of empowering independence, followed by heart-wrenching moments of pure loneliness.
It's a juxtaposition nobody wants to be caught in, but it definitely sparks some serious soul searching.
After taking off your seatbelt and (cautiously) stepping off the roller coaster of heartbreak, you may finally be ready to give somebody else a chance.
In order to do so, you must properly evaluate what you need to do for yourself before hooking up with someone new.
A wave of darkness is the automatic "buy one get one free" that comes with a breakup. It's more than normal to experience sadness and fall into a personal bubble that nobody around you can pop.
Allow a short amount of time to feel sorry for yourself. It's healthy... in moderation.
Step 1: Throw yourself a (short-lived) pity party.
It's clichéd, but you're allowed. A good rom-com has the ability to cure most emotional wounds. Gather some friends, crack open some wine and indulge in something gluttonous.
You deserve it. Give your heart (and your hips) some love.
Step 2: Put some pep in your step.
Now that you've allotted some time to absorb the pain, it's time to do something for you, and only you!
Wake up and get those endorphins going. Not only is starting your day with a workout a proactive step in healing from the trauma of a breakup, but the endorphins from the workout will also help reduce stress and improve your self-confidence.
If exercise isn't really your thing, that's OK too! Sign up for something out of the ordinary.
Push outside of your comfort zone. You may even find a hidden talent or a new passion. Take an art class, experiment with the ins and outs of pole dancing, learn to cook. Do this for yourself!
Step 3: Indulge in autonomous pleasure.
Yes, I'm telling you to masturbate. To be autonomous means to act independently or to have the freedom to do so.
And, yes, I am implying that you can explore whatever you would like to with your hands. Learn about the world of self-love and what it can provide for your sense of self.
Masturbation is one of the best ways to discover what you do and don't enjoy with a partner.
Step 4: Learn to let go.
As humans, it's only natural for us to hold on to feelings, whether they are good or bad.
After a relationship, we hold on to the good and bad aspects of the past and allow them to poison our being. When you finally realize it's time to let go, you'll be able to move on.
This step of the evaluation process doesn't happen overnight, and it doesn't happen at the same pace for any two people.
When you break up with someone, you're opening yourself up to criticism and comments about what you did “wrong” in the relationship.
This can either be a pivotal point of self-growth or can send you into an unfathomable depth of shame.
Everybody has unique quirks. These quirks make us who we are and nobody has any right to tell us there is something wrong with them.
Step 5: Transform this new independence into acceptance.
Steps one through four were all about you as an individual. If you are ready, it may be time to attempt accepting somebody else into your heart.
Just because you are opening your emotional self to somebody else doesn't mean you're letting go of the person you've become through your journey.
The roller coaster of a breakup is bound to put you through a whirlwind, but eventually the indescribable feeling in your chest will settle, the butterflies in your stomach will fly away and you'll wake up emotionally revitalized as an improved version of yourself.