Hi! Can share a little about yourself and what you do?
I work as a writer, and a marriage and family therapist. I live in Los Angeles with my husband and two kids — one is 14 years old, the other is 2 years old, eek! I love Mexican food, laughing, and dancing in the kitchen.
Can you tell us about a significant heartbreak and how you recovered?
When I was 23 years old, I ended an engagement 8 weeks before the wedding. We’d had a baby when we were young, and we were trying to make the best of it. It was the hardest time of my life. I was in a complicated relationship in college, and when we got pregnant, we got engaged–it felt like the right thing to do. Despite a lot of dysfunction, I was determined to prove that love could conquer all our problems. But as we got closer and closer to the wedding date, a lot of denial we’d been building up began to crumble. For me, it was unfathomable to cancel the wedding–until the moment we did it, and I felt a huge wave of relief. It took me a long time to get back on my feet again. I spent a lot of time being single and learning about myself and growing strong in what I wanted. Ten years later, I married the love of my life who is an amazing stepdad to my daughter and I am so happy that I stayed true to myself despite feeling pressured to make other choices.
What are major red flags for you when you start dating someone new?
The more clarity I had about what I wanted for my life, the easier it was to walk away from situations that didn’t work for me. The biggest red flag for me was self-destructive behavior; recreational drug use, frequent drinking or partying, impulsive life or money choices are all things that freaked me out pretty quickly. Since I had a daughter through my whole 20’s, it was important that the man I dated not only liked children but wanted to be a parent one day.
What are your favorite mood elevators to uplift and inspire you?
I love exercise that gets me moving with music, I love wine with friends, silly movies, stand up comedy, cooking, and chocolate – always chocolate.
Do you stay friends with your ex? Unfollow or follow them on social media, etc?
Whether or not I stay friends with my ex isn’t something I decide right away. First, I give myself time completely separated from them. I recommend 60 days with no contact – including social media and deleting phone numbers! That gives me the time to get through the initial withdrawal pain without risking painful setbacks.
Any tips for our users on moving on from heartbreak?
It was crucial for me to learn how to be single and alone — it changed my whole perspective on dating. I knew how to make myself feel whole and happy without needing someone else. When my heart still hurts, however, I initiate the “matinee cure”: a good movie that requires concentration, parking far away from the theater to force me to walk and get a little exercise, and hearty food with water for hydration. Trust me.