Agony aunt: break ups

“I’m currently experiencing a break up whilst at university, and its hard being away from home. Do you have any advice for how to cope?”

Break ups are extremely difficulty no matter the circumstance and admitting you’re having a hard time with it is nothing to be ashamed of. You’re going to be hurting during this period, you might even feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself depending on how long you were in the relationship for, but you have to remember that the pain won’t last forever and that you will move on from this. Relationships change us, so you just need to rediscover yourself.

I’m assuming that your home is quite a distance away but if you can, travel back for a weekend. Returning home for a little while can bring a sense of comfort. Your family will be a bastion for you, as will your friends. If it’s too far to travel, don’t forget about Skype and Facetime. It’s not the same as being there in person but it’s a lot less disconnected than a phone call.

Take a few days to process your emotions and spend as much time with friends as you can, they will be there to help you through this. Talk through the emotions that you’re feeling when you’re ready. Until then go watch a few movies and eat some ice-cream or go out for a few drinks with friends. But don’t binge, you’re meant to feel better, not feel guilty later.

Try to take it easy for a while. But don’t stop going to lectures or going out with friends. Your life shouldn’t stop because of what happened. Keep your momentum going and maybe even try something new you’ve been putting off.

I’ve seen quite a few people run to Tinder to try to make themselves feel better or just generally go for some rebound sex. It varies from person to person but in general I don’t think it’s a good idea. You might not realise it at the time but if you do this you’re probably just looking for some self-affirmation. You don’t need to look for quick gratification in someone else, instead use your time to rediscover things that make you happy.

At the same time don’t be scared of the ‘rebound’ relationship. Just make sure you don’t rush into whatever comes up next and that you’re getting into it for the right reasons.

If you want some non-judgemental advice, you can always try calling Nightline. They’re available throughout the night when other services are closed. When the world is quiet is often the time when we can get stuck in our own minds. Avoid getting bogged down in melancholy and give them a call if you need to.

The main thing I want you to know is that though you may not feel it right now, you’ll be okay. Just give yourself time.

Sam McMaster

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