A messy breakup is never a nice experience but something many of us go through, at some stage in our lives. Without wanting to sound like a woman I felt like an emotional wreck - no disrespect ladies but men and emotions generally don’t go together in the same sentence. Angry, hurt, upset and lost are words I’d use to describe the feeling. I also felt lonely, very lonely in fact. Suddenly you have all this spare time on your hands and you look for ways to fill it. Men are much more likely to turn to alcohol and substance abuse when experiencing personal issues. The pub has long been the common escape for guys to drown their sorrows and kill time when they might have spent that time with their significant other. The problem is alcohol can be the start of a downward spiral that can impact your career, health, and future relationships.
I am not saying you shouldn’t go out and drown your sorrows, in fact going out getting smashed, picking up a random woman for a one night stand can be a great way to blow off the cobwebs and clear your head. But don't let it become who you are. We all experience wake up calls during our lives and some are more extreme than others. However, the sooner you bounce back and get your shit together the sooner you can get on with your life and start to rebuild your future.
So you're hurting, feeling upset or possibly angry? In many cases, the most common feeling is loneliness, especially if you lived with your ex-partner. Suddenly evenings become empty and you're lost as to what to do. Weekends appear from nowhere and you find yourself flicking through social media, watching crap TV and really all you're looking for is company. Maybe this isn’t so bad if you're in your twenties and all you mates are single, but when you're in your thirties then it’s highly likely most of your friends are married and have kids. You find yourself flicking through your phone contacts in search of a friend to meet up with. You hear excuse after excuse as to why certain friends can’t meet up. Before you know it you're agreeing to go out with people you haven’t seen in years and it’s more than likely there was a reason for that. The pub for many of us is the perfect solution - drown your sorrows whilst talking shit to your mate and telling them how bad your life is.
Let me make this perfectly clear, alcohol will only make you more depressed, more emotional and ultimately will impact your life in a negative way. You're likely to put on weight, eat shitty food and take less care of yourself. Not really ideal if you want to feel good about yourself or attract the attention of the opposite sex. It will also significantly impact the quality of your sleep which has its own repercussions and can affect your performance at work, your motivation to hit the gym and it’s likely healthy foods will go right out the window in favor of quick-fix processed meals and takeaways. All of this combined is going to have a detrimental effect on your confidence and wellbeing.
So let's explore some of the things you can do in your spare time to improve your situation and create a better quality of life. More importantly taking up new activities is a great way to explore things you never imagined yourself doing before. Time to dust of that bucket list you never got round to completing and position yourself as an in demand singleton.
For most of us this is the obvious option but let's take a different approach. The large majority of men aren't entirely happy with their bodies. Not everyone enjoys going to the gym and many regard it as a chore. So change things up. Try a class, change your routine or join a new gym. Better still join a CrossFit gym. There is such a strong sense of community, they're super friendly and you will be mixing with like-minded people and you will find new friends before you know it. And you rarely see a fat CrossFitter - Bonus!
Try a new sport
I'll get round to it, next week, or I don't have time. Excuses we all make. But now is the time to change. While the gym can be a chore, other physical activities needn't be. I hate cardio but I enjoy boxing, MMA, rugby, and tennis. I randomly listed a few sports that I had never attempted before - Indoor rock climbing (Bouldering), canoeing and street dancing (ok not officially a sport) and guess what? I had a great time and got to meet lots of interesting people. Some of whom were in exactly the same position as me. I also took up salsa dancing and had an amazing time and got the opportunity to meet lots of stunning woman in the process. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!
Put down your smartphone
OK, it’s not an activity per say, so you might be thinking how is this relevant? But let me explain. There is actually a world full of people, aka human beings. That's right, living souls just like you and me. If you find yourself spending considerably more time on your own you would be wise to put down your phone and experience human interaction. We live in a zombie-like world nowadays where we rarely make eye contact let alone verbally communicate with other people because the majority of us live our lives through our smartphone. Try interacting with people and you might just find you enjoy it, learn things about yourself and make new friends. and you might even find yourself a date that wasn't instigated via Tinder.
Take up a new hobby
Not rocket science but then filling your spare time shouldn't be but often is. As men, we sometimes fail to see what's staring us right in the face. I literally sat down one afternoon in a pub (yes I know I'm not perfect nor did I say you should never set foot In a pub.....) anyway I literally sat down one afternoon and made a list of things that I would like to do. Really random stuff but I thought to myself, fuck it what have I got to lose?
Here's my list
Do an open mic night at a comedy club
Compete in a MMA fight
Learn to salsa dance
Learn the play the guitar
Write a book
Launch a website/blog
Become a fucking legend (yes I did actually write that :)
Get back out on the dating game
You might not want to but it's the best way to get over a painful breakup. It will also give you a kick up the arse to get back in shape, eat better and take better care of yourself. They do say there is nothing better than a painful break up to lose some timber, so use it as just that. A lot of guys experience a degree of self-doubt if they have been in a long term relationship. As daunting as it seems you need to brush off the cobwebs and dip your toe in the water again. Actually dipping something else works even better for your confidence.
I was completely alien to the likes of Tinder, Bumble, and other dating apps. But they are a great way to meet women/guys without having to go out on the pull in a bar or club. Let's face it us Brits aren't known to be the smoothest when it comes to cold approaching woman. Do it badly and the rejection can leave you feeling even worse about yourself, so online dating could well be the solution.
Many of the activities I've listed are things that can be actioned straight away. The majority of them are not particularly expensive to do. In fact, all of them are cheaper than a night spent at the pub getting wasted and offer much more in return. The main thing to remember is that growth comes from being outside of your comfort zone.