I already know. If you're someone who's recently gone through a break-up (or you're currently contemplating ending your relationship), you probably rolled your eyes until they couldn't go back any further when it came to this title. Because the reality is that, similar to marriage, there aren't a ton of us who go into serious relationships thinking that they've got an expiration date to them. And so, whenever the ride comes to an end, even if we know it's for the best, it can take a lot out of us. It can also tempt us, at least initially, to only focus on how much we're hurting and/or losing, as the result of calling it quits.
As someone who has had my own fair share of break-ups with guys (believe you me, chile), while it does initially seem like a super painful experience, in hindsight, I'm able to see that there were several silver linings that arose from ending things. That's why I wanted to pen this. Because sometimes, in the midst of a break-up, it can be really hard to see the "beauty for ashes" moments that can be directly connected to them. I'll share the ones that I've personally discovered…now.
Believe It or Not, the Hardest Part Has Already Happened
I remember the day when I broke up with the last boyfriend that I will ever have in this lifetime (check out "Why I'll Never Call Someone A 'Boyfriend' Again"). Between us being the best of homies before ever getting together, the relationship lasting for four years, and then us sleeping together for two more years after that, while I knew that moving on was absolutely the right and best thing for me to do, on the particular day that I made the call and officially ended things, I was absolutely devastated. I was at a cousin of his house and, after hanging up, I just curled up on a ball and literally screamed and cried and then screamed and cried some more. When someone has been an intimate part of your world for well over a decade, them leaving—even if you're the one who's removing them—can bring about a grief that is truly indescribable.
For the first week, everything was kind of a blur. I was so used to speaking with him, at least a couple of times a day, that it took me a moment to step back and adjust to what had become my new normal. But you know what?
After about three weeks, I found myself feeling pretty OK. On some levels, even better than that. Because while there was a part of me that missed him, I was more excited about what my life would look like, now that I was more focused on me and what I wanted rather than "we" and what he needed.
My point? While this might seem like a really "WTF?" way to start off this article, that doesn't make it any less relevant or true. If you're someone who has just gone through your own break-up, believe it or not, the first silver lining is the fact that the worst part of the break-up is already behind you. I liken it to someone breaking a bone. It hurts like hell but once the break happens (especially if it's a clean break; I'll get more into that later), it's time to focus on the healing part. So, please don't stay in something that is no longer serving you, simply because you think the pain will be too much to bear. Fear is never a good reason to remain in, pretty much anything. And besides, pain eventually exhausts itself. I know this from a very up close and personal fact.
Now It’s Time to Do Some Journaling
I've said in some of the other articles on here that a phrase that I absolutely cannot stand is, "If you want to get over an old guy, get underneath a new one." Sex is a gift; it's not something that should be abused (check out "We Should Really Rethink The Term 'Casual Sex'" and "Make-Up Sex Might Be Doing Your Relationship More Harm Than Good"). So no, I definitely don't think that rebounding, in any way and on any level, is your best move. If anything, use this as a time to do some serious self-reflecting; one of the most effective ways to do that is to journal.
Something that can prove to be super helpful is if you do a twist to what I call "prayer journaling". When I pray journal, I write my thoughts and feelings in a black or blue ink pen. I sometimes meditate and pray and then what I feel like God is conveying to me (which is oftentimes via a Scriptural reference), I wrote that in red ink. Well, if you're journaling for the sole purpose of evaluating your relationship, write what your "old self" felt while you were in the relationship in black or blue ink and then how your "newer self" feels, now that the relationship is over, in red ink. If you devote 15-30 minutes towards doing this, every day, after about two weeks or so, you may discover some extra confirmations about why the relationship ended and why that could actually prove to be a really good thing. Journaling about your break-up can bring forth a clarity that you possibly wouldn't get any other way. I can certainly vouch, big time, for this.
Think About How the Relationship Wasn’t Serving You
I once wrote an article for the site entitled, "How To Stop Being 'Ms. Fix It' In Your Relationships". Something that doing my own relationship journaling over the years has revealed to me is, more times than not, I would get into relationships where I was doing most of the work, simply because I was codependent AF. It didn't really matter if I wasn't getting my own needs met; I thought that loving someone meant that I did all that I could to make sure they were good…even if I actually wasn't.
It's pretty common that, once you break-up with someone, your mind merely wants to go back to all of the good times that are filed somewhere in your memory. In a weird way, it's like your heart is trying to shield you from having to relive the "icky parts" over and over again. This is exactly why many folks don't move past someone, who they actually should get over, for months or even years later (check out "6 Reasons Why You STILL Can't Over Your Ex" and "You Love Him. You Prefer Sex With Your Ex. What Should You Do?"). But if you really want to heal from your break-up, it's important that you look at it from ALL angles. The good is what can help you to forgive. The not-so-good is what can encourage you to keep pressing forward.
Listen, I don't care how awesome a guy was to you. If the relationship was as wonderful as your heart may be trying to tell you right now, you'd still be with him, right? Think about the areas where things were lacking, so that you can be sure to require those things the next time. Even if the next time is via a reconciliation with him (we'll have to touch on that another time, y'all).
Try a Self-Care Fast
Even if the break-up was initiated by him, due to something that you did or kept doing (check out "10 Single Men Shared Some Thoughts They Wish Women Would Take At Face Value" and "Women Cheat More Than We Think. What To Do If That's You."), there's a pretty good chance that you were doing those things because some part of you was unhappy or unfulfilled (that's not a justification; just the reality). Back when I used to have boyfriends and go through break-ups, whether it was my call or not, whether it was because of something they did (or didn't do) or I did (or didn't do), I still used to be harder on myself than I ever should've been. I would just keep beating myself up with what-could've-been recollections rather than doing what I am now recommending that you try—self-care fasting.
Sometimes a fast is about not doing something. Other times, it's about doing something in overdrive.
You're a woman. You know how we tend to be when we're with someone. So much of our time, effort, energy and resources is all about making sure he's good and the relationship is fine. It can be so extreme that we don't even realize the areas where we've dropped the ball on pampering and nurturing our own selves. If there's ever a time to get back into the swing of things, on the heels of a break-up would be it.
I'd say devote 14 or even 30 days straight to doing something, each day, that focuses on self-care. It can be taking luxurious baths. It can be having a glass of wine. It can be getting a massage or a mani-pedi. It can be taking a weekend off to do nothing but read, watch mindless television and sleep. It can be taking a social media fast. It can be getting a makeover. It can be remodeling your bedroom. The list is literally endless. The point is, science actually says that it takes somewhere around 66 days to form a habit. By going on a self-care fast for 30 days, you are setting a foundation to make sure that your needs are nurtured. And that is one of the best ways to heal from a break-up and to set solid standards for your next relationship too.
Make Sure It’s a CLEAN Break (at Least for Now)
OK. Now back to what I was talking about when I mentioned a clean arm break. Any doctor will tell you that a clean break makes for much quicker healing. Same thing applies to a break-up. If the two of you are "technically" no longer together, but you're still talking on the phone, following each other on social media, or (whew) still having sex, it's going to be close to impossible for you to move forward with your life. Not only that but it sends a message to your "technical ex" that he can still get a lot of the benefits of keeping you around without any of the responsibility.
Remember, I was very open about the fact that my last ex and I had sex for two freakin' years after ending our relationship. I also told you that I was a basket case when I finally did say "enough is enough" once and for all. Breaking up can be a process. There's no doubt about that. But don't think that weaning off of a man is easier than just ending things, period. You need the space and time, without him, to see if you really still want him or you're just used to having him around. And the only way to do that is to end all communication. Perhaps not forever, but at least for a while (remember also what I said about how long it takes to form a habit, so "a while" should probably be a couple of months or so).
Remember the Path Is Now Open to Get What You REALLY Want
Best-selling author Paulo Coelho once said, "Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant." A break-up indeed qualifies as a crisis, at least on some level. And while it might not feel this way yet, because the relationship (and the man) are out of your path, the "brilliance" in all of that is you can figure out what you really and truly want. Is it time and space to focus on some desires and goals that your relationship had been distracting you away from? Is it time and space to determine if you were getting what you really and truly needed? Is it time and space to decide if the relationship was the right one at the wrong time, but you both need time to grow individually before coming back together again?
Break-ups are difficult. I totally get that. But they really aren't the end of the world or your love experiences. Use it as a learning experience, a self-motivator and an opportunity to do things, the way you really want to, the next time. If you choose to see the silver lining from this angle, you will be all the better for it, sis. I can absolutely promise you that.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Watching Angela “Blac Chyna” White’s transformation in real-time has truly been a sight to see. It wasn’t that long ago that she announced that she was reversing her cosmetic surgeries in an effort to go back to who she was before the world came to know her as Blac Chyna. In previous interviews, she stated that she was dissolving her facial and lip fillers, removing her breast implants, and getting a butt reduction, as well as removing the dimple piercings that enhanced her fame and controversial tattoos.
In a recent Tamron Hall interview, the mother of two said that she has “fully recovered” from the procedures. She is also celebrating one year of sobriety and opened up about being worried about how her new journey would be received by others.
“I’ve been in the entertainment industry for so long, right, and of course, like, you know, coming out, I’m like young, I’m gonna do wild things as we all have,” she said.
“...I feel like by me being vocal and showing everybody you can change your life and things can get better, like through myself, that right there is an accomplishment, and that’s a part of freedom, too.”
But as she started on her journey, many people have shown her grace, which is something she’s grateful for. “And then the fact that people have been showing me grace, it’s like amazing,” she said. “And I feel like when I did it, I just did it. It was more so like spiritual thing and I feel like people see that, and I’ve always been like my authentic self, so what you see is kinda what you get with me, and that’s just kinda what it is.”
Chyna, who recently received an honorary doctorate from Sacramento Theology Seminary and Bible College, has also repaired her relationship with her mom, Tokyo Toni. The social media celebrity surprised her daughter on the Tamron Hall Show. Prior to the sentimental surprise, Chyna dished on the reconciliation and having a better understanding of her mom.
“I must say, some of the things I have to take accountability for because, like my actions. As a mother, you don’t want to see your daughter doing certain things ‘cause it’s like it doesn’t matter what my past was or what we’re going through, I didn’t raise you that way,” she admitted. “So, it’s like, okay, maybe I was a little bit wrong. Maybe I was acting out a little bit. But I feel like as we grow older, I kinda see more, and I understand more.”
Chyna will be starring in season two of Fox's reality competition show Special Forces: World's Toughest Test.
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