If you’ve just gone through a breakup, take a break from the tissue box and the pitiful tweets and learn some tips for settling into your new status.

5. Remember all those chores you avoided doing and gladly passed on to the other party? Yep, you’ll have to do them now. No more pretending not to notice the garbage is full and insisting that one more box of macaroni can fit. No more pretending that you’ve forgotten how to load the dishwasher. No more whining that your culinary skills aren’t as good as hers. It’s all on you to take care of all aspects of housekeeping.

Lesson to Learn (as I look at the sink full of dishes): Use your Starbucks budget to hire a cleaning service during this rough time. Or write a really compelling advertisement for a domestic intern. It might work.

4. How are you going to get that lotion on your back now (or reach that hard to shave area)? You never know how itchy the center of your back can get until you experience a break up. Plus, there’s no way you can maneuver your legs like only your aesthetician or your ex-girlfriend could. The silver lining is that you will discover inventive ways to deal with your grooming woes as a single person.

Lesson to Learn: Go back to your roots and embrace the natural look in every sense. As for the lotion problem, invest in a really luxurious body wash that’ll also soothe your skin.

 3. There will be a bunch of mutual friends (and family) you never really liked that you’ll finally have the opportunity to unfriend on Facebook. You know exactly what I’m talking about. When you’re in a relationship, there are always those people in your ex’s life that you tolerated because you loved your partner. But it seems like as soon as you and the ex are no longer a duo, their friends’ online shenanigans are like nails on a chalkboard, and they finally provide you with the perfect reason to send them to electronic purgatory.

Lesson to Learn: Browse Pinterest or Etsy to find some “really it’s me, not you (but really it’s you)” cards and do a mass forward to all of your ex’s friends as soon as the breakup happens. Your ex’s friends probably feel the same way about you anyway.

2. No one will give you the side-eye if you want to have dark chocolate, Flaming Hot Cheetos, and black beans for dinner. This alone can turn any breakup into that scene in Risky Business . It’s kind of like freshman year of college all over again when you realize that your mom will never know if you skipped the vegetables. Liberating. If you have kids, no sweat. They will appreciate the sudden appearance of Hamburger Helper, breakfast for dinner, and other ten-minute meals.

Lesson to Learn: When you’re grocery shopping, casually mention to the cashier and other patrons eyeing your basket that you’re hosting a party. That’ll throw them off. But be prepared to rotate stores on a weekly basis.

1. You will never look at your toys the same. You tell yourself at first that you’re not getting rid of  the adult toys you shared with your ex because you paid good money for them. You might even rationalize that your body was the only one said accoutrements touched. But the more you look at them and think about your ex, the idea of using them seems repulsive. And you’re even more pissed that you have to get rid of them.

Lesson to Learn: Enlist your friends to start a fundraiser for your replenishment. It’ll give new meaning to toy drives.

– Aleia Mims

Aleia Mims is a mother, daughter, sister, and friend for whom writing is a form of liberation. She shares her journey so that others may name their own experiences and realize their higher truths. Her commitment to self-empowerment was a key feature of her eleven years as a classroom teacher, and remain as such with her current work at an education non-profit in New York City.  

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