Surviving a Breakup: Tips from a Self-Affirmed Cat Lady

Surviving a Breakup: Tips from a Self-Affirmed Cat Lady

We all know the scene. Lying listlessly on the couch in your oldest pair of sweatpants, day-old Spaghetti O’s matted to your unwashed hair while you watch Sleepless in Seattle for the 5th time in a row. You’ve just gone through a break up and you’re fairly certain that this is what your future looks like:

And sure, maybe becoming a spandex-clad cat lady/vigilante isn’t the worst fate in the world, but it wasn’t exactly what you had envisioned for your life. If this sounds like you (or someone you know), perhaps you’d benefit from the Cat-Lady-in-Chief’s tips on how to survive a breakup:

Tip #1: Go wash your hair and go outside

It may be hard, but I know from personal experience that you’ll feel better when you’re not inhaling mold spores from the Spaghetti O’s in your hair. In all seriousness, experiencing the type of heartache that coincides with a tough breakup can make it difficult to get out of bed, let alone maintain your basic self-care routines and get out of the house. However, it’s precisely at these moments that maintaining good habits (like exercise and hygiene) and returning to normalcy becomes most important. The temptation to dwell on the pain and ask yourself all of those familiar “what if” questions will only serve to lengthen the healing process.

Tip #2: Give yourself space to grieve

“But wait…you just said to wash my hair and go outside…aren’t you contradicting yourself?” First of all, how dare you question my authority! Second of all, yes. Yes I am…kind of. If you’re at all familiar with being human, you’ve likely noticed that people tend to gravitate towards extremes. While some people would prefer to soak their jammies in tears everyday for the next month, others will be all too eager to bounce back and, as a result, may undermine their very natural (and necessary) response to heartache. Healing is a process. It may take some time to feel like you’re back to 100% again and that’s okay! Allow yourself a reasonable amount of time to own your emotions and process what just happened before trying to move on to the next best thing.

Tip #3: Reconnect with your friends

Do you remember all of those people you used to hang out with before you got into a relationship? Those are called “friends” and now is the time to reconnect with them. When you experience those first pangs of infatuation, it’s normal to want to spend every waking hour with your boo thang and you might have neglected some of your friends in the process. However, if they’re worth their weight in salt, they’ll be happy to have you back in their life and will be there for you in your time of need. Whatever you do, don’t isolate yourself from the people who love you. Now more than ever, you need their encouragement and support.

Tip #4: Treat yourself!

Go to the spa. Get your nails done. Get some tasty food with friends. You’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll feel after a nice, relaxing self-care day.

Above all, remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It may be hard to see it now, but pain and sadness are temporary states. And you may find that, at the end of it all, the insights you’ve gained through the experience have made you a happier, healthier, and more fulfilled human being. You’ve got this!

What about you? What’s your go-to break up survival strategy? Leave us a comment below with your best advice!

For more tips on relationships, follow Family Bridges on social media @familybridges.

How to Handle Rejection

How to Handle Rejection

Contributed by
Jose-Andres Alegria

So you met someone that you have a fat crush on, and you go out of your way to ask them out. Good for you. If we are honest, dating in your 20’s is a numbers game. I’m a fond believer that there is no such thing as “the one.” Instead, you make “the one.” There are definitely people you are more compatible with, but no one is perfect. If you think they are perfect, then you are suffering from what I call the Gatsby Effect but that is a whole other thing. Back to the topic at hand, so you ask someone out, and they say no, what do you do?

Well, first things first. NO means NO. It doesn’t mean “keep pursuing me, and I might change my mind.” I think that is more of a guy thing. I don’t know what it is about us testosterone-filled, egotistical creatures, but when we hear the word no we take it as a challenge. Like we have some amazing persuasive power that will talk women out of what they want. (You can’t see it but I’m rolling my eyes. Men – am I right?)

Moving on can be hard for some, but time is one potent drug that can help us all move on. I know it sounds cliché but time does heal all wounds. (Am I sounding melodramatic? Sorry.) If you gotta do the whole watch a sappy movie while eating ice cream thing, then do it. Escapism is a very real thing. For me, it’s usually while I have my nose in a book. Reading, watching, experiencing a fictional character go through something that you have gone through can be extremely cathartic. It makes you feel not so alone – like there is someone out there that understands what you are feeling. (Yup, my inner emo kid has come out.) Music also helps. Listening to Queen Ari belt out notes that I can only dream about hitting while seeing signs about moving on from previous exes and learning from her past to better her future is like medicine for the soul. The greatest way I get over rejection is writing about it. Try it. Be honest with yourself. Let your inner emo kid out. No reason to hold back or feel ashamed. No one else is going to read it. And if you want to be super melodramatic, burn the paper after you’re done. But whatever you do, DO NOT dwell on the rejection. Don’t sit there for days on end asking yourself “why”? That person said no. Not because there is something wrong with you, but because they did not view you the same way you viewed them and that’s okay.

All this also doesn’t have to be related to asking someone out. Didn’t get into the school you wanted? Or make a sports team you tried out for? It’s fine. Rejection is a part of life. You are going to hear more no’s in your life then you will hear yes’. You just got to learn to get past it and learn from it. Let the no’s fuel the fire for your eventual success.


Jose-Andres Alegria is an intern at Family Bridges who does whatever the boss tells him to do, but if he can’t be found it usually means that his face is buried in a book somewhere or that he is taking a nap and you should come back later when he’s not “busy”.

Follow him on…
Twitter: @No_Way_Jose11