There’s a famous saying — originally attributed to British poet George Herbert — that living well is the best revenge. If you really want to piss off someone you hate, be successful, as that’ll hurt them more than any evil plans you could scheme up against them.
In the immediate aftermath of a tough breakup, you’re probably feeling a little bruised and emotionally vulnerable, and you might be looking for a newfound sense of purpose. What’re you trying to do with your newly single life??
If it was a short relationship, things might not feel much different than they had before it began, but if you and your ex were dating for a while, you might feel like a totally different person. At this point, some hard mental and emotional work might need to be put in to figure out who the new you is.
In a transitional period like that, it can be comforting to clamp onto an easy source of motivation. For many recently single people, proving the person who dumped them wrong becomes priority No. 1. The term “revenge body” is commonly used to describe the physique of someone who got in killer shape right after a breakup, hoping to make their ex jealous with their new look. There are other ways we show our exes up, of course. Things like going out with someone more attractive than them, getting a better job, a nicer place, an expensive new car, or going on a trip to a jaw-droppingly gorgeous tropical island and instagramming the hell out of it could all be considered a form of getting back at them.
The idea of living well in those material senses stops being the best revenge, well, when it actually is a form of revenge. Anyone obsessively trying to make their ex jealous by broadcasting measurable material successes on social media is not exactly living well, no matter what their new partner looks like, or how many gargantuan yachts they take selfies on.
If you spend your time obsessing over a relationship that’s over, your ex is living rent-free in your head. You’re not living well, you’re actually just stuck in the past on a sad treadmill of regret.. You’re not processing and moving on, you’re stagnating. Truly living well is focusing on your own life, your own choices, and your own successes.
If you want to try new things, go new places, or get in shape, then do it. Do all of it post it all on Facebook, and set the world on fire. Don’t forget to sign your name at the bottom, though.
Sure, you might piss off a few people, but the best part will be that you’re not thinking about any of them while you’re doing it. That’s what living well really means.