This Breakup Advice From CEOs Can Get You Through Any Heartbreak
Ever read or watch the perfect comeback and say, "Ooh, I wish I'd thought of that?" Back in 2012, Lauren Conrad —The Hills alum, fashion trailblazer, novelist, and millennial Martha Stewart — was a guest on SiriusXM's Sway in the Morning. When she asked what her "favorite position" was, Conrad cheerfully responded, "CEO." If you're currently going through a breakup, Conrad is the boss b*tch energy you need to take into 2019. Sometimes, a devil-may-care attitude toward f*ckboys or pushing yourself to learn something new is the perfect antidote, according to breakup advice from CEOs. A study published in the Journal of Personal Relationships found that your life is bound to improve in five different ways (on average) in the wake of a breakup.
So, while it may be hard to fathom right now, there will be something sparkling and good for you on the other side of a breakup. That something can simply be a healed heart. Or the ability to start dating again with a positive mindset and realistic romantic expectations set. Sometimes, breakups bring the kind of life glow-ups that have nothing to do with love and relationships at all: increased confidence, a stronger sense of independence, and reconnection with your family and friends. Your life improvement post-breakup can even be a surprising but rewarding detour on the career path ahead of you. Here are eight CEOs with advice on how to proceed post-breakup.
Look ahead to all the possibilities.
Vanessa Acosta, CEO of ethical, eco-friendly, slow-fashion brand Wasi Clothing, cuts right to the chase: "Breakups are hard and there is no easy solution to deal with them." But the key, she explains, is finding what healing process works for you. "I personally do not deal with breakups in a graceful way. I shatter, I cry, I Instagram-stalk, I eat a lot of ice cream, and it's all part of the process," Acosta says.
When it comes back to getting back into the dating game, Acosta has had a number of approaches. Once, she just jumped right back in and "serial-dated as many guys as I could." Another time, she laid in bed, depressed, for weeks. "And the last breakup I dealt with was probably my favorite," she say. "I went head-on into my work and social life. I kept myself busy, I got lost, and fell in love with my work again."
During this time, Acosta focused on making as many memories with her friends as she could and creating. If anything, she now had extra time once she had split up from her partner. "Create more! Go travel! Hang out with friends," Acosta says. "There is so much more to see in the world when you aren't spending your time with that person anymore."
Get back in touch with your soul.
Lillian Daniels, CEO of sustainable, fair-trade, and women-focused necklace brand The Bali Bead, says you should take time to feel what you feel (and not beating yourself up about it). "Also, get around those that truly bring you joy and love, get out and do things that make you smile. This can be hard. Sometimes, you may feel like, 'But I don't wanna smile,'" Daniels acknowledges. "For me, music, a walk in the park, or watching a comedy are great options."
Daniels says reminding yourself of the learning opportunity a breakup presents is helpful. "There will be something that you can take away, whether about yourself or in choosing your future mate that will make your next relationship even better."
Let the creative juices flow.
Cade Roach, who runs full-service illustration and design agency and literature-inspired shop Hey Atlas Creative, sums up their breakup advice as, "Let go or be dragged." But more than learning to let go, use your split from your partner as a catalyst to learn a new skill. During their "big breakup," Roach drove two hours twice a week to a small print-shop one state over. They made the trek so that they could learn how to use an offset printer and a letterpress.
"It not only gave me lots of time on the road to either be quiet or to sing really loud, but the classes meant I was doing this new thing that was mine and mine only," Roach says. "My ex wasn’t involved. He knew nothing about it. It paved the way to what a life without him looked like, and made it easier for me to see and feel what that could look like."
Heal and then hit the town.
Kyla Brown, founder of lingerie shop Underthing, also says to feel what you're going to feel post-breakup — to cry and be sad, be mad, and then sad again. "I always suggest making a good playlist to be sad to, and making another that's hella empowering and sexy!" Brown says. "While going through the motions of grief, surround yourself with constant reminders of the things that make you awesome."
She also says wearing less and going out more will do the trick. "I'm not saying you can party your problems away — and please don't try to because it never works," Brown clarifies. "I'm saying go out to meet people and try new things." After you finish up your crying session, put on your going-out best and hit up a bar. "You'll feel full with possibility after chatting up the really nice bartender and the cool lady with an accent! Note: I am not saying sex, drugs, and alcohol. I'm saying cute shoes, fun conversations, and exploring the town," Brown says. "Trust me: it works like a charm!"
Don't hide from heartbreak.
Amanda Brocksmith runs Blue House Bikinis, a swimwear brand geared toward young women. First and foremost, Brocksmith says, "I think most people can agree that hooking up with your ex is always a no-no!" With that bit of breakup advice, Brocksmith also says it's important to set aside time for healing.
Similar to Brown, Brocksmith says, "Take inventory of your feelings, and don’t hide from heartbreak with partying or one night stands!" Don't let partying be a Band-Aid for a broken heart. Acknowledging the breakup is key, because otherwise you can't move on. And finally, Brocksmith says, "Don’t ever give up on love."
Learn from your mistakes.
Jacque Aye, the CEO (a.k.a. Head Magical Girl) at nerdy black girl brand Adorned by Chi, says, "Cry all you need to, but don't call them! At least not for a long while." It's OK to be sad or even to have regrets, Aye says. "But remember you parted ways for a reason and that reason should be fixed — which takes time, if you do decide to try it again." As you're getting back out in the dating scene, Aye wants you to remember that "romance is wild and weird." Yes, getting romantically involved with people can hurt. "But also prepare for exciting experiences as you date, and joy and warmth as you eventually fall in love," Aye says.
Give back to your community.
Kati Holland, CEO of CBD company Not Pot, just recommends popping a CBD gummy. "JK, JK," Holland says. "In all seriousness, take advantage of having more time to yourself." This can either mean learning a new skill, in the way Roach described, or pulling an "eat, pray, love" — even if it's just driving to the next town over, Holland says. She also says giving back is a good way to start moving on from heartbreak.
"Do things for others, whether it’s volunteering at a local charity or baking cookies for a friend. I truly believe that giving always puts life into perspective," Holland says. "And reminds you that you’re not 'empty' and still have love to give." Her final piece of advice? Don't wait until a breakup to do something nice for yourself, either. "Date yourself everyday!"
Tap into your existing support network.
Brittany Chavez, CEO of digital Latinx business directory Shop Latinx, says that faith and perspective are important when going through a breakup. She says that everything happens for a reason. "Everyone comes into your life to teach you something," Chavez explains. "Ask yourself: What were you meant to learn from all this?"
Chavez broke up with her last partner during Thanksgiving 2018. She moved out of their apartment that night, and hasn't seen or spoken to him since. "There needs to be a clean break for me to get over an ex. It sounds terrible, but it has to feel like I’m mourning a death," Chavez says. Since then, she's been looking to her best friends and family for the love and care she needs — whether that comes in the form of a shoulder to cry on, guided meditation, or two-hour phone calls.
"I had homegirls that will come over and paint with me, and homegirls that will make me get dressed up and go out. Siblings that will shower me with affection, a mom who will talk to me for hours," Chavez counts. She also shared a bit about her breakup on social media, which initially made her nervous. But it brought an outpouring of support from other women, which meant a lot to her.
Ultimately, in the few months since her breakup, Chavez feels the best she has in years. "I feel whole again. It feels as if my greatness has been suppressed for so long. That Brittany Chavez is back full throttle," Chavez says. "I'm hyper-focused on my well-being, Shop Latinx, and the community it aims to serve. Like a phoenix spreading her wings, I'm ready to conquer anything."
There's a lot of solid advice you can take from these CEOs — whether it's the perspective you take on life after your ex or the best use for all that glorious, fresh free time. So hit up your friends to go volunteer, or call the best listener in your family to vent. You'll find that every day after break up gets a little bit easier by taking these little steps to heal.