You’re now single. After months or years of being in a relationship, you are now single. It hurts, I know. Now, every time you hear his name, smell his perfume, see his favorite TV show or his preferred brand of ketchup in the grocery, your heart breaks into tiny little pieces. And, the most painful thing is you’re not sure if your heart will ever be whole again.
Getting over someone is not easy. You have to go through the five stages of grief and loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. You need all the support you can get from your friends and family. Also, try to do activities that could help ease the pain of the process. For instance, travel around the country, enroll in a new class or have a book therapy.
If book therapy sounds good to you, here are some titles you can read to help you get past the grieving stage:
1. DENIAL: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
This book is the story of a music enthusiast who decided to make a list of his Top 5 breakups after his recent girlfriend dumped him. He backtracked, talked to his exes, and tried to figure out what went wrong in those relationships. This is a great book to read while you’re still trying to grasp the reality that you’re no longer in a relationship. It could help you pause, rewind, and look at your past relationships from a different perspective.
2. ANGER: Him, Her, Him Again, The End of Him by Patricia Marx
The denial stage is somehow brief, and the anger stage follows right away. At this stage, you have to find a way to transform your anger into a positive emotion. So, I suggest you read this book by Patricia Marx. The protagonist of this book – a neurotic college girl – spent a decade chasing a guy who turned out to be a dense, pretentious douche. Marx tells her angry story in a funny way that could make you laugh at your own angry thoughts and emotions toward your ex.
3. BARGAINING: This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
At this stage, you’ll think of a thousand “if onlys”. So, what you need here is to somehow understand the perspective of your ex-boyfriend. This Junot Diaz book tells the story of a man who doesn’t take his girlfriends seriously. Diaz has his way of making his protagonist sympathetic despite the character flaws. Reading this book could help you understand that most men need to realize how awful they are first before they turn into good men. More importantly, this book will remind you that what happened in your failed relationship was not entirely your fault.
4. DEPRESSION: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat, Pray, Love is a go-to break-up book that you have to read while you’re dealing with sadness. It tells the story of a divorced woman who went on a soul-searching journey to India, Italy, and Indonesia. What happened to the protagonist’s marriage is disastrous, but she found ways to change her life for the better. This is a story that could inspire you to turn your own misery into a wonderful thing.
5. ACCEPTANCE: Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
To complete this final stage, you have to accept that you’ll never get back together with your ex. This is the time that you are finally moving on to the new chapter of your life. So, you need a book that will help you learn to love yourself again. Not That Kind of Girl is the memoir of writer and actress, Lena Dunham, who is known for being honest, open, and unapologetic about herself and her flaws. Reading this book will inspire you to accept who you are, despite your flaws, insecurities, as well as all the things you’ve been through.
These books won’t only ease the pain of each stage. But, they’d also help you pick up the broken pieces of your heart. So, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to complete the five stages. What matters is at the end of this process, you will be ready again for a new love.
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She's a web content writer, a playwright, and the author of the children's novel, Detective Boys of Masangkay: Ang Mangkukulam.