How do you heal after #LOVE has left teeth-marks across your heart?
Outside of time, and lots of it, you'll want to refocus on yourself. Work out. Buy some new clothes, Reconnect with friends. And ultimately, start kissing a few frogs. The problem with kissing frogs is, if you're still in love with the one that got away, none of your frogs will ever turn into the prince of your dreams (see insert). So how do you stop being in love with someone?
It's not easy. Feels impossible, even. But it's not. You just have to work on it, little by little. Like chipping away at the sparkly nail polish your manicurist artfully applied to your nail beds (so hot right now in LA, but damn, it's hard to remove!).
First things first, do not, under any circumstances, fantasize about your former love. When you start kissing the first few frogs, you will be unwittingly comparing that frog to your ex. Hard not to. After all, you didn't want things to end. Heck, you're still in love! It almost feels like you're cheating. You'll likely have the desire to call or text your ex after the trauma of kissing or being intimate with someone who isn't them. You'll want to beg your lost love to please put aside whatever the problem was, and just tell you everything will go back to the way things were--that you'll never have to endure another frog again.
Unfortunately, once a relationship ends, it's highly unlikely things will take a positive turn from there. And it is sad. Very sad. You miss everything. Anything different from what you want only seems to highlight that you no longer have the object of your affection. When you feel like this, after you've eaten a bag of Smartfood and every piece of Halloween candy in your house, dust yourself off and try, try again. You are a winner. Winners do a lot of failing before their ultimate success. Don't despair over a few frogs. If you forge ahead, you will find your prince. And that prince will be worth every effort.
If you still aren't convinced, even feel sickened by the thought of anyone but your ex touching you, then you're not ready. Losing love is real loss. Everyone grieves in their own time. If you're having difficulty, ask your primary care physician to give you a list of at least five clinical psychologists in your area. Talk to a few of them. Pick one. Go for an appointment. And talk. Talk to your therapist every week until you begin to feel as though you don't need that level of frequency. But don't stop going! The kind of love that bites you so hard you can't forget it is not to be underestimated. You may go whole days, weeks, even months without thinking of your ex when something unexpected may happen, throwing you off your game.
The best mantra for any person with a broken heart comes from an old Christmas special--you know, the ones with the weird stop-animation puppets??? "Put one foot in front of the other, and soon you'll be walking out the door." Say it (or sing it!) to yourself every time you're tempted to think of your ex. Say it before you go on a date. Play it in your mind when you want to run screaming from the restaurant/bar/club/tea room/museum/movie theatre or wherever you are with someone new. And just because you're on a date with a frog, does not mean that frog has to have warts.
When you do agree to go out with someone, or, hearteningly, have the guts to ask someone to go out with you, be picky! Only go out with someone you're really interested in. In other words, find a person you think is too good for you, and go out with them (see insert). That will give you an edge over your rather stubborn broken heart. No matter how many beats it may skip, you can't help but feel like you just won the dating lottery. Oh, and be sure that if you score that dream date, get thee to the salon for a Brazilian! Guys who are afraid of getting waxed? Man-scape the heck out of your privates (when you need a toothpick after sex, it ain't happening again...).
All of the strategies above should help you do the one thing your heart and mind simply refuse: Moving forward. When the love you lost remains, it means you are a faithful, loyal and strong individual. It means you don't give up. You're not a quitter. You love without limits. And you don't keep score. These are all really rare and terrific characteristics. That is why I know, without hesitation, that you will find not just good love but GREAT #LOVE.
Remember, #LOVE always wins....