We’ve all had our share of break ups, but as a divorce lawyer for over two decades I have played a part in more than 1,000 romantic splits. Many will occur right around the holidays, and this year will be no exception for reasons too lengthy to get into here. But here’s what you need to do to help you through the transition back to a healthy single life:
1. Secure Housing– first and foremost, you have to make sure you have a safe place to stay, and you need to notify USPS immediately to forward your mail to your new residence.
2. Access to Cash– you need to have your own bank and credit accounts with enough funds to cover your basic needs. Make sure to change your pins/passwords, and update the institutions with your new contact information.
3. Social Media– you need to disconnect from your ex on all social media platforms and block whenever possible– it eliminates any temptation to snoop on each other.
4. Update Key Forms– if you ever gave your ex a Power of Attorney, named him/her as an emergency contact, Executor of your Last Will & Testament, etc. you may want to revisit that asap.
5. Eliminate Reminders– unless you anticipate being involved in litigation (i.e. a divorce) there’s no need to keep old cards, emails, photos, etc. You will find the purge cathartic.
6. Get Support– if it’s a divorce/custody situation, you will need legal advice, otherwise you can mainly focus on asking for emotional support from friends, and perhaps engage a mental health professional if the situation is a bit more complicated and you feel overwhelmed.
7. Establish New Routines– rather than lament what is gone, focus on engaging in new activities you’ve always wanted to try or return to old ones that you let go during your past relationship. Take this opportunity to further develop your own interests and pursue your own passions.
8. Create a Mix– sounds a bit kooky, I know, but trust me if you hear any love songs, it’s going to sound like nails on a chalk board for a bit. So, you may just want to have a pre-arranged selection of great songs, including “Since U Been Gone” by Kelley Clarkson or Taylor Swift’s “Never Ever Getting Back Together.”
Break-ups suck, especially right now during a pandemic and particularly around the holidays. But relationships end for a reason, obviously something was off. Work through the disappointment, take as much time as you need to heal, and allow yourself the space to process the loss while making sure you don’t let others overstep your boundaries.
By Regina A. DeMeo