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Try 5: Things to Do After a Breakup

By F+

illustration by Priyoshi Kapur

illustration by Priyoshi Kapur

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re in college or grad school, and things are suddenly crazier and more fun than ever before. You are going to all kinds of events and parties; you’ll meet new people who you will probably never see again. You’ll wake up on couches, in doghouses, and maybe once on the bathroom floor. Then there will be that one party. You won’t even be able to remember who the birthday person was or who invited you. There will be nothing special, actually: same beer, same music, and same filthy smell. But this is the party where you will notice someone eying you from the other side of the room. You’ll see that beautiful smile. You’ll stand up, go up to that person, and get to talking. Eventually, you’ll fall in love! It will be great! And then a few months will pass and you are going to break up.

No, Wait! Where is the happy ending? Oh, now you realize that there is no happy ending in real life. All those romantic movies that your mom and sister watched every Saturday night are pure fantasy! Or, they did happen, but they didn’t happen to you. Now your life will become a sequence with meaningless actions. There is no audience for your tragedy. You are now single, and probably depressed. But you don’t have to be a loner! Give these post-break-up activities a try to ease your tired mind.

Visit Graceland Cemetery and remind yourself: Even though love is gone, at least you’re still alive! (Free)

Visiting a cemetery isn’t usually the first idea that comes to mind after a breakup, but you may come to realize how fitting this idea can be. What’s worse than the death of a romance? The answer is literal death, forever. Walking in Graceland Cemetery, you will pass thousands of tombstones and see familiar names of prominent Chicago figures. Every stone symbolizes an end of living person and every name symbolizes a life-long story. Then you can tell yourself: The death of my romance is just a reminder of my lively youth.

Eat those extra slices of deep dish to fill your empty heart ($)

FOOD is always a fast cure for deep heartbreak. Stuff some meaty deep dish into your mouth while trying to ignore your scattered heart. Try your hardest to stuff as much meat into your mouth as possible in one bite, and slowly swallow every bit of deliciousness. You will feel your belly becomes warmer, and, gradually the warmth will blanket your shivering heart. Remember this satisfying feeling and tell yourself: Romance isn’t the only thing that makes you happy. That person’s gone, but hot pizzas will always be a loyal companion.

Work out your body until you can’t move a finger ($$)

If you’d rather take a healthier approach, take a workout schedule from a local gym and stick it on your refrigerator. Attend as many group work-out sessions as possible — could be samba, yoga, or even booty camp. Or, better yet, you can join a cross-fit gym! Be friends with your weightlifting bars and name them. Lift 30-pound weight named Sammy today and make that 200-pound dumbbell Christopher your next best friend. That sour pain is like your heartache; it will make you stronger.

Watch a comedy show and laugh until tears are in your eyes (A.K.A. don’t cry alone) ($$)

If you want to cry, go to a comedy show and burst into tears along with everyone else laughing so hard they’re crying. Find yourself a comfortable corner inside the theater and get knocked out by some hilarious jokes. You don’t have to actually feel like the stage work is funny or to even understand what the jokes are about. Just find the right moment to wipe your eyes when a joke hits the room. You didn’t cry; those tears are from laughing! Remember how to smile even when tears are brimming in your eyes. Keep that smile. You are damn beautiful!

Try something you’ve never thought of: be a fighter pilot for a day ($$$$$)

You used to spend money on fancy restaurants, regular movie dates, and expensive anniversary gifts. Now you can spend all those hard-earned dollars on yourself! Do something crazy and exciting! Bungee jumping and skydiving are too boring? Take off in an Italian-built Marchetti fighter plane! Nothing is more exciting than managing the controls of a real, fully aerobatic, high performance aircraft. Seeing the earth from hundreds of miles above, you will find a beautiful sky and a new perspective.

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