So the love you thought would last forever outlasted itself. What do you do now, when every song on the radio reminds you of that love? Where do you go now, when you’ve shared a special moment with that special someone in virtually every part of your town? Have no fear, dearest reader, life goes on. The promise of a new love to come is as sure as the pope is Catholic. But you don’t need a significant other to be significant. While you’re mending and adjusting to life not as a couple, here are some tips.

You never close your eyes anymore when I… You’ve lost that loving feeling and now it’s gone, gone, gone. You find yourself alone after that last and final argument, and you want to start the moving on process but you don’t know where to begin. You’ll never get anywhere unless you’ve come to grips with what has happened. Admit and face the fact that the relationship is over. Don’t let a thought of hope for reconciliation linger in the back of your mind; your focus here is to look forward, not back. Don’t try to move on too quickly, though; give yourself time to heal, time to wallow in what you had and be nostalgic.

Throw yourself a pity party, indulge momentarily in the pain that you’re feeling and mourn the loss of someone you loved. Don’t prolong the party, however; keep it to a healthy 48 hours of pity. While you’re at it, eliminate all contact with X. This means, don’t try to stay friends with X. This will only allow you to keep tabs on how many dates X went on this week and whom X is dating. Also, having contact with X won’t allow you to get over him or her; having X constantly in your thoughts won’t allow you to heal from the heartbreak.

So unless you have extreme reasons, such as a kid or pregnancies or joint accounts at a gym or bank, avoid all contact. Before you throw yourself into the street if you catch X walking down the same sidewalk with you, make sure you’ve gotten some closure. Closure is a bringing to an end or a conclusion of the relationship. But if your emotions are still queasy and you break down crying hysterically when the thought of this person comes to mind, you may not want to go over to his or her house or have your X over to talk. This is where the phone or the Internet comes in handy. Give the person a call, unless your X’s voice has the same effect as the sight of him or her. Drop X an email or a letter, a card even, just as long as you get everything off your chest and you really let them know how you feel. You’ve done well so far if you’ve followed these tips, but there are a few more things to help you move on completely. First, avoid at all costs getting stuck in a circle of mutual friends. Most of the time they believe they’re doing some good by telling you the whereabouts of your X, but this only encourages early stages of stalking, and you don’t want to develop that habit.

Not only is it dangerous because your emotions might drive you to do stupid things, but it can also get you in legal woes. You also won’t be able to really get away and stop all contact with X if your mutual friends keep inviting you both to the same outings and activities, and it’s just not fair to put them in a position of having to choose between you or X. The last thing you may want to do to help you move on is to (unless you’re a nostalgia freak) get rid of all the past memorabilia. You don’t necessarily need to burn everything, but if you have stuff you can give back or pictures and things you can put away without destroying them, do so. No need to dwell in the past if moving forward is your goal.

Free as a bird or prisoner of your own solitude? What happens now that you find yourself with countless hours of free time? You’ve already thrown yourself that great pity party, and you’ve cleaned out your closet and room. So what now? The task of getting back a social life may be easier if you have a sibling close in age, but if you don’t, hopefully you have a friend left in the world that you didn’t alienate yourself from. Call this friend and restore the old friendship; surely if he/she was a true friend before the relationship, he/she won’t leave you hanging out to dry. Also try some of these activities:

[+] Pick up a hobby, or several hobbies. Go to your local library or bookstore and find that book that your English professor mentioned but you never got around to reading because you were too busy going to countless dinners and movies.

[+] Take on more hours at work, and if you don’t have a job because your parents have been gracious enough to pay for your life up to this point, save them of some financial worries and get a j-o-b. The extra cash never hurt anyone, and it will surely come in handy at the mall when you see that jacket you’ve been eyeing, or when you feel you’re ready to start dating again.

[+] Sharpen skills that have been rusting since you quit the school team to spend more time with the now-X. Put yourself in a league in your neighborhood, or go to public parks and get yourself in pick-up games.

[+] If you’re an introvert, and going out and getting involved with the masses isn’t your thing, try your hand at writing. Poetry is a great way to let out your emotions.

I’m not broken; don’t fix me up! You’re finally getting yourself all figured out and it’s been a couple of months since you’ve gotten your life back on track. After showing signs of life, though, all your friends have been trying to fix you up with the cute girl/guy that they work with or see in class. Even your parents are in on the act and have asked you to meet their co-worker’s offspring. Depending on your situation you have two choices to make: accept or decline. If you feel you’re ready to get back in the dating circuit, then go for it. Indulge in the blind dates and talking on the phone for countless hours with new people. Enjoy it; you never know what good may come out of it. However, if you aren’t ready and feel that all you’ll be talking about to someone else is what X was like and the horrible relationship you had, then politely decline.

Friends and especially family should understand your choice; you may not be all that ready to put your heart out there and face the possibility of it being mistreated. If they’re relentless, and you really want them to leave you alone, the only way I see out of this is to have to go against your own wishes. Accept one of their invitations, but bring them along just in case things don’t go as planned and it gets ugly, so you or the date can bail. Try your best to have fun—maybe it won’t be a case of “I’m not interested,” but a “not interested right now.” At the very least, think of it as an opportunity to make one more friend. Or a future X.

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