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The Lowdown on Breakups

heartOn Wednesday night, the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) hosted a session called “Surviving Relationship Breakup,” meant to provide coping strategies for individuals who suddenly find themselves single.

Presented by Joyce Illfelder-Kaye and Maria Vinca of CAPS, the program drew an unexpectedly large crowd—over 100 students.  Unless you were among the first couple dozen to enter the room on the HUB third floor, you were without a seat.

The hosts began by explaining the four phases of the “mourning and recovery process,” involving shock, protest, disorganization, and reorganization.  A Q&A session followed, and then began the discussion forum, in which participants reacted to hypothetical breakup scenarios.  For example, “John leaves Kelly for a man.  Kelly feels….”  Feel free to fill in the blank.

If you missed this workshop, then check out these post-breakup suggestions:

  1. Stow away—don’t throw away—those cards, photographs, other mementos involving your former significant other.  You should move on, but keep these artifacts for posterity.
  2. Spill your torrents of emotion to a journal or a close friend—both will listen.
  3. Jack Daniels and Captain Morgan are superficial friends.  Alcohol is a depressant, and nights of drunken hookups will only lead to mornings of melancholia and emptiness.
  4. Don’t have sex with your ex.  Don’t fool around with him or her at all—it will only cause confusion regarding the boundaries of the pseudo-relationship.
  5. Men, swing by help sessions such as this one.  The crowd was about 95% female.  And hey—they’re all single!

Thank you, Penn State, for organizing counseling services such as this workshop.  A breakup is difficult, but it’s actually just a rediscovery of the self.  And remember, folks…with about 40,000 other students out there, you’re bound to find a new special someone.  With any luck, one more satisfactory than your ex.


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