1. Have members of the opposite sex tell you that you’re too intense. Don’t apologize for it though, because that’s not something to be ashamed of.
  2. Grow a wild beard, it should be unruly and reminiscent of a lonely lighthouse keeper watching rain-laden clouds roll in over the darkened sea. Make sure you have a good haircut though.
  3. Drink too much beer, the cheaper the better. Preferably enough so that when your booze soaked feelings float to the surface, you’re numb enough not to notice.
  4. Run a lot with your weird friend, have conversations about his successful marriage. Feel guilty for thinking about sleeping with his wife.
  5. Listen to music that reminds you of your ex. Turn it up loud. Punk rock lovesongs are preferable. Nostalgia will wash over you until you think you’ll drown. Let it. 
  6. Take up painting because it seems romantic to be able to capture a scene close to, but not quite, real life. Hate what you paint. Keep doing it anyway.
  7. Write poetry. Ask your exes to read it. Compare romance to ivy climbing up an abandoned building. Realize you’re full of shit. Keep writing anyway.
  8. Watch movies about breakups. Realize that the guys in them are often assholes. Realize you’re an asshole. 
  9. Don’t download, delete, download, delete, then download Tinder. Your ex is probably on there. Don’t swipe right on them while you are drunk.
  10. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off. Count the bruises and know that all of this pain will lead you to somewhere good eventually.

AJ Buckle is a poet and teacher living in and writing from his apartment in Ottawa, Canada. He holds an Honours BA in Literature and enjoys listening to records and tending to his houseplants when not having an existential crisis.  You can read his shitty tweets at @buckle_aj

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