At the top of 2017, I brought in the New Year with a girlfriend and we wished for positivity and stability. Literally two weeks later the relationship ended.
Why? I’d rather not say, but what I will say is this, after months of consistent arguing, loss of sleep, and continuous stress, we mutually decided that it wasn’t the right time to continue the relationship. How backwards is that? We went from kissing when the ball dropped to actually doing what we tried to avoid.
As a young, 21-year-old attending an HBCU and being exposed to attractive, intelligent, young African-American women, love and dating can get pretty stressful, especially if you’ve dealt with one person for the past two years and it ended badly. I’ll admit it, she was amazing, I just wasn’t ready for the commitment (or at least I thought I wasn’t). Now, post-relationship, we did what young people do, act up!
If she did something and I found out, it literally turned into war, eventually turning the smallest love we had for each other into hate. Things just got toxic; we had a similar friend group, which made things no better because all of our actions got back to each other somehow.
Instead of moping around and expressing my deep anger on social media (Snapchat, because Instagram is completely banned from expressing my emotions, and who really vents to Facebook at my age anymore?) I should’ve been more focused on my studies and bettering myself as a young man. Basically, I learned some lessons. So I figured, why not elaborate on how to move post relationship? I know you older folks are going to be like “who are you to give advice? You're not a seasoned grown man that’s been through a “real break-up”. “You have a lot of life ahead of you.” Or “Don’t let this break up consume you, there’s plenty of fish in the sea.”
To be honest, this experience was pretty intense, which is why I feel like I need to reach out to my millennial brothers and sisters so they won’t look crazy.
So here’s six post-relationship tips I feel will be effective for my age group.
1. Make sure this is right decision for YOU.
Look my millennial brothers and sisters, I get it, we get pissed easily, especially at this point of our life. Sometimes, hell, majority of the time, we’re going to say hurtful things out of emotion to someone that really takes us there.
Think before you make that drastic decision! Is this what you really want? Yeah, she danced on that guy at that party when you weren’t there, or yeah he was in a room with another girl, but is it really worth ending the relationship? I can honestly say my generation reacts to the “now” rather than thinking about the future. Which is expected because our brains aren’t fully developed until the age of 25 (which is debateable because I know childish grown ass men).
2. Social media will make things worse trust me.
I kid you not; social media is the devil when it comes to situations like this. Expressing your feelings for the world to see will only make you look crazy. Remember, your social media page is like a brand for yourself. You always want to show positivity; never bash or subliminally hurt anyone and I don’t care if she had sex with your brother, the world doesn’t need to know.
3. Cope to your CLOSE friends or family not associates.
Look y’all, everyone is not your friend nor does everyone have your best interest in mind. Watch who you express your feelings too. The same person that you cried too could be talking behind your back to their right hand man while plotting to get at your ex! Same goes for women: Don’t do it! Yeah you’re vulnerable, and yeah maybe that person wants to listen at the time but eventually you’re going to look up and be the hot topic on campus. Who really needs all that negative attention at a tough time like this?
4. It’s cool to explore, but don’t do things out of spite.
Hop in your crush’s DM’s; you’re single and I’m pretty sure there’s someone you’re interested in getting to know. However, don’t be a creep, if she doesn’t reply it just wasn’t meant to be. If you actually have some type of intentions of making it work again with the ex, I advise you not to make the drastic decision of sleeping with his cousins best friend, or having sex with her worst enemy. It will mess up any hope of restoring what was broken.
5. Don’t be a depressed couch vegetable. Handle your business and live life.
Go out with your friends, it doesn’t hurt! Especially if you haven’t been on the scene since you’ve been in a relationship. Go to church and pray consistently! Don’t let this be an excuse to put your life on hold. Never let anyone or anything steal your joy. We all have been through rough times with our significant others. I literally looked in the mirror and said, “Get your shit together man.” Learn how to make yourself happy without that person.
6. Music helps
Make a solid playlist of songs that match your mood. That’s what I did and it really helps. Some hip-hop songs may help, but explore the R&B/ Soul Genre, especially the oldies, you know, a little Tank, Luther, and McKnight won’t hurt. (Editor’s Note: Hilarious that Tank and Brian McKnight constitute oldies. Millenials, man. - PJ) Drake’s whole Take Care album is also a great album to listen too.
I honestly hope these tips helped out in some form or fashion. I also hope you older readers approve of this article. As you can see I somewhat have an old soul mindset. It will only get better with time, just like this break up process. Trust me!
Collins McClain is a Junior Sociology Major, Journalism Minor attending Morehouse College. He was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI (where there actually a ton of black people). He enjoys listening to different types of music, writing, values spending time with family, loved ones, and enjoys doing things young black college students do! He hopes to one day be rich, give back, and push education to young black men. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org?