How to Date Yourself

I cried for all the things I had given, only to have them stolen; for all the things I asked for that had yet to show up.

—Iyania Vanzant

Recently, I put aside my current reads (The 19th Wife and The Help) to read The Breakup Book by Diane Mastromarino.

The book had an equation to figure out how long it takes to get over your ex.  When I plugged in all the numbers, it said 384.8 months. So…

A. I did the math wrong.
B. The author wants me to get depressed and become a crazy old cat lady.
C. It was a mistake to break up with Kiefer.
D. The author wants me to feel good about myself when I get over Kiefer in less than 384.8 months.
E. There is no equation for how long it takes to get an over an ex.

The book said to date yourself, fall in love with you. And I’m going to do just that:

  • Buy a new outfit.
  • Buy yourself flowers.
  • Take a long walk.
  • Have a cocktail.

“Buy yourself ice cream” wasn’t on the list, but I added it.

Vanilla Ice Cream with Snickers Topping

If you’re going through a breakup, maybe this will help you. Here’s a list of Don’ts.

  • Don’t call, email, text, etc. Don’t play the role he expects you to play. And give him a chance to miss you.
  • You can be sad, but not when your ex is around.
  • When you start dating again, don’t rush. Start slow.

Here’s a list of To Dos.

  • Do whatever you need to do at this moment to make your heart feel better…as long as it’s not one of those things listed above.
  • Be busy.
  • Dwell a little on his flaws.
  • Look good. It’ll make you feel better.
  • Lean on your friends.

About thoughtsappear

I eat lots of sugar. It's the only way to keep up with my new baby and to outrun zombies. View all posts by thoughtsappear

60 responses to “How to Date Yourself

  • SuziCate

    And eat lots of chocolate. Maybe even add chocolate to pop tarts! Hugs. I know you’ll be fine…it does take time, and there is no formula to pinpoint the time so chuck the idea of 384.8 months and take one day at a time.

  • fnkybee

    I’m no professional but I do believe 384 months is a bit of a stretch. I say you will kick it much much sooner than that!
    I love the To Do & Don’ts list. Leaning on your friends is huge! We are here! Also Looking good, I love this one because it is true. Its way to easy to let this kind of situation eat at your brain and in return you stop caring about yourself.
    ps. I now want ice cream and it’s only 8am. Too early?

  • educlaytion

    Definitely E. No equation. I guess I have taken myself out to the movies more than once, but if it’s over it’s over and I wouldn’t dwell on the flaws or any other part of them. That just focuses my mind where nothing useful will be. It always seems in relationships we eventually start to long for the old flame and wonder why we even broke up in the first place though. Why, we were a match made in heaven! Somehow distance blinds us to the everyday problems that were the reality. That’s my take anyway.

    • thoughtsappear

      I think maybe the flaw thing only helps in certain situations and if the dwelling is brief.

      When I was in a bad relationship years ago, I finally got enough self esteem to leave, but the guy kept trying to suck me back in. It helped to remember why I left him and what I didn’t like about him. It kept me from going back.

  • Linda Medrano

    I always gave myself time to get over a bad romance, (or a bad marriage for that matter). I usually moped around for a while (at least a weekend) and then washed that man right out of my hair. The thing is, you will have moments when you feel overwhelmed, but you actually aren’t. You let this take as long as it takes and then you realize you aren’t faking being happy anymore. You actually are feeling okay. You can do this. And I’m sure your ex wonders at his stupidity already. But burn me once, shame on you. Burn the house I’m in down, you are a criminal.

  • Kitten Thunder's Girl

    And get Nine Days’ album, The Madding Crowd. Best break up album ever because it isn’t depressing, just the right amount of sad in that “it feels good to wallow a little” way.

  • Svannah

    You can’t buy happiness but you can buy ice cream and thats kind of the same thing. 🙂

  • LittleMissVix

    According to Sex and the City – it takes half the total time you were together to get over him – I hope that works out as less time! A Bridget Jones moment may help – a bottle of wine, chocolate, PJ’s and a drunken singalong to heartbreak songs 🙂

  • beckyyk

    Very interesting. I like to go for runs and listen to music to help me. It’s been about 6 months since my breakup.

  • kaysfairytale

    When you’re over this breakup maybe you should write a book about it. Like about how adding Snickers to your vanilla ice cream is the best breakup food. And how to be awesome and stuff.

  • Connor @

    I have to admit my first thought was “not tree rings” but that’s clearly not the sort of dating you were talking about. The only break-up rule I’ve ever found useful is, “It’s gonna suck for awhile, just roll with it.”

  • J (@RedHeadedWriter)

    Girl, I had no idea you broke up with him. But hot damn, do you sound good. I mean, I was fetal on the floor for a while after my last break-up. Hats off to you. You got balls. Balls of STRENGTH.


    And ice cream is always an A+ idea.

  • marinasleeps

    This was really good!
    I was always real good at eating ice cream and concentrating on dudes faults!
    More power to you!!

  • my0wneyes

    I totally agree with your list. I think if we would date ourselve before we date men we would be better off at the end, we would already know what we will and won’t tolerate. I am dating myself presently as well and I am loving it (with the exception of the lack of sex). Good luck to you 🙂

  • Susan

    Excellent list of do’s and don’ts. After my break-up (going on 1.5 years now and feeling WAY better) I bought myself flowers every week. And I still do. They are scientifically proven to generate happiness in the human brain. Ice cream as well. Hang in there!

  • Susan

    Wait – I just re-read your post. 384 MONTHS???? as in 32 years? That’s totally wrong. I’ve heard the half the time you were together theory as well and that works better mentally.

  • Thypolar

    Excellent list. I think that there is really no equation. Everyone and their circumstances are different. You are a beautifully strong woman. This too shall pass…..eventually.

  • Kim Pugliano

    Once I adjusted to it, and granted I was married with a small child, I LOVED being single. I loved leaving the house and coming home to it looking exactly the same. I loved not being second-guessed. I loved making the rules and watching what I wanted on TV. I loved that there was nobody to contradict my parenting or complain about my cooking. The bed was made every day. The house was quiet or loud at my discretion. Nobody questioned me or cheated on me. Yum. Best of all, I learned to like ME. Not me and Him. Not Noah’s mom or Beth’s sister or Karen’s daughter, but single ME.

    And then I met my Hot Joe and he just fit right into the opening I slowly made.

    Just you wait my friend.

  • Sara no "H"

    They say when you break up over time you forget about all the bad things. DON’T DO THAT. It will help you get over him much easier when you think of all those pesky things that drove you nuts. 🙂 I totally think you should be buying yourself ice cream. And if things get really sad hang out with some friends that have kids and think of how lucky you are when they are sticking gum in your hair or beating one another up and crying or THROWING ALL OF THEIR PAPERS FROM SCHOOL AROUND YOUR LIVING ROOM WHILE SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS! I HAVE TO GO…I HAVE SOME KIDS THAT NEED MY ATTENTION.

  • cocktailsattiffanys

    That big gives some pretty solid advice, I think buying yourself copius amounts of ice cream can be subbed for buying yourself flowers. Lucky made a breakup bible of all the things she hated about her ex and every time she missed him she read it – it definitely did its purpose! I wish you a speedy breakup recovery!

  • Christian Emmett

    I can’t really say anything here that hasn’t already been said, Thoughtsy.

    I just wanted to add a bit of friendly “we’re all here for you champ” spirit to what everyone’s already put out there. Be kind to yourself and do things your way. There’s no template for this.

    Ice cream and Snickers – great combo!

  • pearlsandprose

    Definitely lean on your friends. They will get you through this. I don’t know what I would have done without mine. And you can’t go wrong with ice cream and Snickers!

    Everyone has to follow their own timetable, but there’s no way it will take you 384.8 months. Hugs….

  • Spectra

    Here’s a marvelous tip…

    Q:What’s better than chocolate and wine for soothing a broken heart?

    A: Why, it’s Chocolate Wine! Have you seen this yet? Check your liquor store, there are 3 brands I have seen, but I always get the one with the Dutch scene on the label of flowers and maybe a windmill. This is excellent therapy. And I put a fresh boquet on the table, too, and took a photo. It wasn’t a break-up, just a date with me, after a Flower Show with sisters. Good stuff. You’ll get through this. You are showing a strong sense of self-esteem by holding out for what you want and need!
    P.S. (I am also embarrassed some people read my latest post before I had properly edited it! I lost myinternet connection. It’s properly done now)

  • hoodyhoo

    Lean away, darlin’, lean away.

  • hoodyhoo

    shit, just realized that might sound like a direction in which to lean, not — as intended — an invitation to lean as much as you want. Anyhoo, we’re all here for ya!

  • savesprinkles1234

    I’m sorry, Thoughtsy. I didn’t know about your break up. My way of handling one was to make a clean, cold turkey break without looking back. This usually involved telling them to not contact me under any circumstance. It sounds like he was a lot of work. You deserve to have a guy with the exact attributes that you’re looking for. You’re very pretty and very sweet, finding the right guy will be absolutely no problem for you.
    ps–Ben & Jerry’s Mint Cookie ice cream with chocolate sprinkles can make anything better!

  • Catherine

    Loved loved loved this post. This is the best breakup advice. I’m sending positive vibes your way 🙂

  • tazer warrior princess

    I love this post. It’s been…. (counting)…… 21 months since I kicked McDouchey out of my life, and it was the best thing that I ever did. Have I dated since? No. Am I happy? Abso-FUCKING-loutley. Do I want to date yet… meh. I don’t feel like I’m… (shit I don’t know how to put this in big people words)…. I don’t feel like I’m unselfish enough at this point in my life to even consider accepting another human into my inner circle, so no, I will not be dating any time soon. I love ME too much for that. Am I over McDouchey? YES. MORE THAN YES. Do I want to replace him? FUCK NO. So there it is. I hope you find your happy place and your soul mate sooner rather than three hundred something months later! You will! You rock!

  • izziedarling

    Thoughts, all the comments above are great. The weight loss thing – despite copious amounts of anything – win/win. I have gotten immense satisfaction from deleting exes from my life … i.e. cell, email, just total delete. And remember – you left “ok” behind in order to get to “amazing”. Wallow in your freedom and when you feel like it, flirt shamelessly. Your mojo will return with a roar! xo iz

  • skippingstones

    I’m late to comment, but I’m thinking a few things, in no particular order:
    – that ice cream looks yummy
    – we never know how long it will take to get over a relationship
    – either way, it takes as long as it takes (no matter what we do)
    – we mourn the loss of being in a relationship as much as the actual person (and sometimes more)
    – we do get over it eventually
    – can I have some of your ice cream?

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