Ask Nancy

Ask+Nancy+is+an+advice+column+where+I+will+offer+my+candid+thoughts+and+advice+on+select+topics.+

Ask Nancy is an advice column where I will offer my candid thoughts and advice on select topics.

Honest is a word my friends often use to describe my way of communication. I’ll admit, I don’t mince my words when offering advice to those around me — but that’s just my way of expressing love. This character trait was my inspiration behind this new advice column: “Ask Nancy.”  

Every week, I will offer my thoughts on a topic, whether that be questions about academics, social life, love, or life in general. I find that in life, and especially at Webb, it can be hard to ask questions at the fear of appearing vulnerable in such a high-pressure environment. I want “Ask Nancy” to be a space for honesty and vulnerability, and an opportunity for us to reflect and grow together.

Happy reading!  

Dear Nancy, How do I navigate a breakup?”

— Sincerely, Heartbroken

Dear Heartbroken, 

The hard truth is, there is no set method to navigate a breakup. For some, it involves a lot of crying and ice cream in a dark room, and for others, it means spending every moment with their friends. But I will share how I managed to get over a breakup after a long-term relationship, and what I learned about love and growth. 

  • Allow yourself to feel. As cliche as it sounds, it is okay to not be okay. Cry about it. Eat whatever you want. It’s okay.  

During the first month of my breakup, I looked like a zombie every day. Like one of those “white-walkers” in Game of Thrones that groan while dragging their feet. Until one day, I looked in the mirror, and I didn’t recognize who I was anymore. That was when I realized it was time to make a change, so in the second month, I tried to find myself again.  

  • Find yourself again. Rediscover the things that made you happy before you were in a relationship. Explore new hobbies.  

On the second month after my breakup, I went to the gym every day. Working out has always been a hobby that never fails to bring me joy, so, I forced myself out of my degenerate state, put on some Lululemon, and I hit the gym. I didn’t realize it at the time but getting back into a routine significantly helped my mental state. It felt nice having a constant in my life — an activity that was exclusively for me.  

  • Realize that it is okay to be alone. But also, that you are not truly alone. Find your people, whether that be friends, family, or one of the counselors on campus.  

I have a crippling fear of being alone. And this is something I continue to struggle with every day. But now, I realize that I kept myself in a relationship that did not bring me happiness because of this fear. One of the most important things in life is to find happiness and satisfaction within yourself. This is advice people around you will continuously preach, but it’s easier said than done. I see the first step as realizing that you don’t need a partner to not feel alone — sometimes, people feel lonely even when they are in relationships.  

The truth is, we are perpetually alone. You might have friends, partners, and family in your life, but you are the only person that will always be there for yourself — for the rest of your life. So, it is important to first, accept that fact, and second, to find happiness within yourself. How? Start small. Appreciate little things about yourself and find beauty in the world around you. At the end of each day, write down one thing that made you smile. Happiness doesn’t always come from extreme ups or grand events — it is an accumulation of the little joys.    

  • To forgive but not necessarily forget.  

I think a true measurement of getting over a breakup is not hatred, resentment, or a desire for revenge — to “win” the breakup. It is understanding that they brought value to your life at some point in time, and to leave them in the past. To wish them the best, and to be thankful for your experiences in this relationship, no matter how toxic it may have been, which brings me to my final tip:  

  • Be proud of yourself.  

You did it! No matter if you broke up with them, or if you were broken up with, you made it out of a relationship that wasn’t working — and that is something to be proud of.  

Because of these experiences, you’ve learned more about yourself: what you seek in a partner, and what doesn’t work for you in a relationship. Although we are all on a path to achieving this illusive concept of “self-love,” you have learned that you deserve better, and that it is okay that this person was not “the one.”  

I hope that these tips give you an idea of where to start on this journey of healing. Know that you are loved by those around you, and that I, and many others, will be here to support you.  

 

Love,  

Nancy