Finding love after heartbreak

Finding love after heartbreak (esolla, Getty photo illustration)

They traveled back and forth for four months and met each other's daughters, relieved to find that everyone got along. Foster moved to Orlando, and they moved in together in April 2011. Last month, they got engaged.

"There's something bigger out there that controls things," said Foster, 36. "At that (breakup) point in time, you can't see it. You hate life, you don't like yourself, you despise people with good relationships. But once you get to the other side, you realize how great it is."

Actions that lead to a better place

There is life — and love — after heartbreak. So pick yourself up off the bathroom floor and get yourself ready for better things to come. Breakup veterans Maryjane Fahey and Caryn Beth Rosenthal, authors of the new self-help book "Dumped" (Sellers Publishing) and the blog, offer some big-sisterly advice.

Forget closure. You're never going to hear what you need or want to hear, and there will always be gray areas you won't understand. Don't keep the wound open by seeking resolution.

Cut off all contact. If you check in with your ex every once in a while, you relive the whole relationship, want it back and make it harder for yourself to move on.

Allow yourself to wallow (for a bit). Take a hot bath, cry, give yourself time to come out of the victim phase.

Stop the drama. Remember that this is not a tragedy; it is a bad moment in your life, and it will pass.

Forgive your ex — and yourself. Be grateful for the time you had together. Let it go.

Declutter. Get rid of all memorabilia of your relationship and defriend your ex's friends and family on Facebook.

Practice gratitude. Be grateful for what you do have: your friends, your home, your job, your health.

Turn negative thoughts into positive statements. You will stop missing your ex. You will meet someone new.

Say "yes" to everything. Salsa dancing? Yes. Karaoke? Yes. Biking tour through Bordeaux wineries? Um, yes.

Reinvent yourself. This is a time to figure out what you want for yourself in life as well as in a mate. Explore the things you enjoy.

Raise your standards. Remember all the things you dreamed of having in a relationship and go after them.

Enjoy nature. Take a hike, go to the seaside. Being in nature is calming and stokes creativity.

Be kind to yourself. Do yoga. Meditate. Go to the gym. Volunteer. Clean your home. Get rid of the toxic people in your life.

Do joyful things. Travel. Explore your city. Have adventures with friends. Don't go hunting for a new love; just live and have fun.

Tell friends and strangers you're dating again. Meet lots of people, be curious and date for practice. You might like 1 out of 10, but the others might make good characters in a book someday.

When you relapse into missing your ex, a particularly potent danger around milestones and holidays, remind yourself of all the reasons you're grateful to not be with him or her anymore.

— A.E.R.