It happened. I was getting ready for a friend’s birthday dinner when I realized that the dress I had planned to wear no longer fit. No, not just any dress: The Dress. The one that would always take me to the best dances and parties, the tastiest dinners, the most fun evenings out with my girls, and even join in as the “third wheel” on dates.
I wouldn’t wish this moment on anyone. It’s one of the most heart-wrenching, lump-in-the-throat moments ever. My dress had decided: our relationship was over. I was (yet another) dumpie of my string of (short) relationships.
As with any breakup, grieving time needed to happen, but this time it was different. How was I to get over a breakup this intimate? One where unhealthy smoke clouds of negative body image, low self-esteem, and just an overall shitty feeling surrounded and fogged my vision of myself?
The stages of a Dress Breakup are emotionally taxing and time demanding, so here’s a guide to help you move on and find a new love:
No more words needed.
“Maybe I forgot to undo the zipper?” Once you realize that yes, this is happening, stop and take a moment to breathe. Step two? Take off The Dress. That’s it – just take it off. I know it’s hard, but you shouldn’t risk hurting yourself even further by working for something that isn’t meant to be.
After taking off The Dress, that’s when the pain kicks you right in the gut. “I just want to be alone and try to figure out what went wrong.” In a rush to figure out what to wear to the birthday dinner, I scrambled around my room and eventually threw something decent together, but that was the exact time when I felt the worst.
I wasn’t in the dining-out party mood. Instead, I was so upset about The Dress that I felt removed from the party and even from myself. I wanted to curl up into a ball and get a nice hug from a jar of Nutella and my bed. I recommend taking this moment as a time to process your feelings before moving onto the next stage.
This is when emotions run high. A search for who is to blame can turn you terribly bitter, feeling only anger towards the ex-clothing or yourself. This is often the part with the most self-talking (and not always the nicest).
Self-anger or self-hatred may develop, causing a plummet in self-image and self-esteem. Try your best not to let this happen because in the long run, no one is at fault …except society and its stigma surrounding weight gain. Remember to stay strong and always love yourself.
Ah, the most degrading and humiliating moment: when you become so desperate to make it work that you barter with yourself in exchange for The Dress. Maybe I could go on a diet? Work out more often? What will it take to get it back?
Let me tell you something: The Dress is a selfish asshole and will always choose itself first. The Dress probably cost you between $20-$75, so why let such a cheap thing keep you from feeling like a million bucks? If the relationship is ending, it’s in your best interests to just let it go and find a new dress that won’t sell you short.
This stage is similar to isolation but much more emotional. You may not like it, but this moment needs – no, demands – to be felt. #tfios
Sadness is an emotion which at the time seems horrible and never-ending, but try understanding this as the most challenging transitional stage. You’ll come out of it clear-headed and light-hearted, feeling better and ready to move on.
The moment of enlightenment when you understand and accept the breakup is like no other. This is the part of the night when I raised my second glass of wine to myself, my love for my foodie-body, my ability to learn, and the anticipation of finding a new Dress that would treat me better and make me feel like the f*cking goddess that I am.
I ended up selling that Old Dress and using the money I earned toward the New Dress. After all, moving on with a smile is the best revenge.