The First Breakup

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Dear Dr. Darcy:

I'm 19 and I am trying to get over a recent breakup with my first girlfriend. Unfortunately, I have been having a really hard time moving on because the breakup was a shock for me and I really miss her. It has been a little over a week since it happened. I've been feeling really low lately and it is a struggle for me to get up every morning.  I’ve also lost my appetite and the desire to go out and socialize. I feel like I’ve been letting myself and my family down. What would you suggest for me?

ANSWER

Time. You’re grieving and that takes time ~ a different amount of time for everyone and a different amount of time depending on why/how you broke up. You said it was a shock. It's going to hurt worse because of that. And... she was your first girlfriend. My first breakup with a girl left me gasping for a while. It’s normal. A girlfriend often also becomes our best friend and when a breakup happens, they’re both gone. For that reason and for a dozen others, it’s going to be different from a breakup with a boy. Don’t judge how you’re feeling. Make sure you’re being compassionate with yourself.

This would be a great time to focus on and take extra care of you, and you need it. Make sure you’re doing what you need to do for physical stress relief (going to the gym, playing your sport, engaging in your hobby). If you’ve been blowing these things off, this is a perfect time to recommit – to yourself. Reach out to your friends and let them in. Ask them to come over, to sleep over, to help you get past this. Watch some funny movies with them when you need a break from crying.

Take the pressure off of yourself.  You don’t have to bounce back quickly. It’s bad enough that you’re grieving. You don’t need pressure or judgment on top of how you’re feeling. All that will do is unnecessarily complicate what you’re going through and extend the time that you’re feeling this way.  If you’re not feeling any better after a week of doing what I suggest in this post, email me for some names of therapists.  Stay hopeful. This will pass. We all go through it.

Writer’s Stats: Female, Bisexual