By Kate Cheng
Summer travels have ended, and with them the balmy holiday nights spent next to that cutie you met at the beach, each hazy evening rolling into the next. Perhaps you convinced yourself at the beginning of your trip that you would be completely fine when it came to a close, but now you’re not so sure you’re quite ready to let go. After all, those endless days spent discussing your hopes and fears had to mean something, right? If, for some reason, though, you have to part ways, here are some tips on picking yourself up and facing the fall ready to start over.
Don’t try to stay in touch with your fling
Sever all ties. At least for a couple of weeks. A relationship that intense needs to stop as suddenly as it started – maybe a timeout is all you need to give you a reality check and get you back into a stable emotional position as you go about your daily business. Try to keep social media stalking to a minimum, too. Scrolling through their page with wanton abandon will only make you miss them more, and focusing on the good points they chose to spotlight on their ‘highlight reel’ might make you skew your view of them, which you definitely don’t need right now.
Realize your relationship existed in an unrealistic setting
As you allowed yourself to be consumed by the excitement of this new rendezvous, of course it felt like you hadn’t another care in the world– frankly, you didn’t. Vacation and travels are a time when you cut yourself some slack and leave the monotonous, quotidian concerns behind. By default, you already exist in a somewhat unrealistic setting, where you don’t need to worry about work, bills, or laundry. All your energy and time can be devoted to cultivating (and obsessing over!) this new romance, allowing it to take up a larger proportion of your headspace than it might actually in real life. It also lets you indulge in little details or specific memories – one particularly romantic candlelit dinner, perhaps, or a sweet picnic in the park – that make you prone to mentally blowing the relationship to proportions it may not deserve.
Keep yourself busy
Look forward to all the activities and people waiting for you at home – if you don’t have any plans, make them! Once you’ve touched down, schedule in a brunch with the girls, a pedi with your mom, or a casual weekend hanging out with your close friends. Distraction is always the best way to ease any heartache, or loneliness, that threatens to curl itself around you the moment you’re left to your own devices. Whether you’re talking out your emotions with your closest circle, or trying to forget about them altogether (and however you try and do that is up to you – we can think of a few very fun ways ourselves!) time spent with familiar faces who accept and love you will make you feel safe and cared for, and when are you going to be in more need of a little TLC? Even taking yourself out for a night at the theatre or gallery opening could be just the injection of exhilaration you need to lighten your step again.
Attack your work
Duty calls - even if you have spent a long dreamy holiday nursing a broken heart and a hangover, at some point that important presentation needs to be rehearsed, that textbook (not just the wine bottle!) to be cracked open. Carpe diem! There is no better time than now to dive wholeheartedly into your work, to channel all that pent up energy into a productive outlet. You might just discover your inner Cicero, or stumble upon the fascinating nuances of Medieval French poetry. Who knows, that promotion you’ve been waiting for, or your straight A’s, might just be round the corner!
Reflect and make peace with its ending
When you’re ready, think about the summer just gone. Revisit the conversations, recreate the lighting, feel the gentle waves lapping at your feet. Think about all the ways it worked – and then all the ways that it didn’t (and there were, we promise!). Don’t try and rationalise all the myriad reasons you two were meant to be or could have worked things out. Learn how you have recalibrated your relationship expectations, and your views of yourself, based on a few passionate weeks, and look forward to new people whom you can bring a worldlier version of yourself to.
Now, onwards and upwards!