Breaking Up and Bouncing Back: Author Samantha Burns, The Millennial Love Expert

Monday, June 25, 2018
Everyone is in for a real treat today because we are lucky to talk with Samantha Burns. Samantha has written an amazing book for women and men who are surviving a breakup and looking for love, Breaking Up and Bouncing Back: Moving on to Create the Love Life You Deserve.   

I was very excited when the opportunity came to review this book and chat with Samantha--as many of you know, I'm divorced and a single mom, and I date, too. I love the positive vibe from this book and all the practical advice, as well as important information, Samantha provides. To give you a glimpse into her philosophy and writing style, she really took a lot of time with our questions here. So if you like what you read, please check out Breaking Up and Bouncing Back at the link above or at the end of the post. So, here we go!

WOW: Welcome, Samantha, to The Muffin! You start your book on a very personal note about your own breakup. Why did you decide to share that experience with readers?

Samantha: I wanted readers to know that they aren’t alone, that the person sharing advice has been in their shoes, and that I understand the pain that they are in. I didn’t want to just come off as an expert because of my education and research, but because I had also survived my own soul-crushing split. I also wanted to stress the point that although we each have our own unique circumstances that led to the breakup, heartbreak is a common human experience, and we typically share a similar emotional process. There’s so much isolation and loneliness that comes with a big breakup, so I thought by sharing my story people could identify, relate, and feel more connected.

WOW: And this is probably exactly what someone going through a breakup needs to feel--connections. Who will benefit from reading this book?

Samantha: This book serves a wide audience. Obviously it’s targeted at people who are going through a difficult breakup or divorce and teaches essential self-care survival skills and boundary setting that will help you cope with the obsession and depression that often accompany heartbreak, as well as explores the major underlying reasons why a relationship didn’t work out. It’s also perfect for those who are starting to date again or who have been on the market a long time and want to dig deeper into their dating dynamics and past patterns in love, so that they can ensure they are dating with intent to meet an ideal match and feel more confident in who they pick as a partner. It will help inform you how to know that you’re creating a healthy relationship, in which you feel like you are your best self, and that it’s on track for long-term success. Though my tone may appeal more to women, the content and advice applies to any gender and sexual orientation. The voice feels like your therapist and BFF combined to kick your breakup in the butt!

WOW: All of that sounds great, especially the "creating a healthy relationship" part. If someone is currently going through a breakup, what is the first thing you suggest they do (besides buy your book! ;) ?

Samantha: Give yourself permission to feel your emotions. You’re grieving the loss of the future you envisioned with someone. We don’t like to sit with uncomfortable emotions, especially the extremely painful ones that come with rejection. However, brain research shows that just the act of identifying and labeling how you’re feeling can decrease the intensity of these emotions. So rather than ignore your feelings, compartmentalize, or do harmful behaviors such as self-medicate, sleep around, or abuse food, simply carve out some time and space to ask yourself how you’re feeling. Then tend to yourself lovingly by acknowledging that there are parts of you that can stay strong, while allowing the other parts to feel whatever feelings come your way. Try to avoid judging them as good or bad and know they won’t last forever.

WOW: That is terrific advice! The book is divided into three sections: "Surviving Your Break-Up and Learning From Your Love Lessons", "Cultivating Self-Love and Creating New Purpose", and "Life Beyond Breakup". Section 2 is full of a lot of advice and tips I haven’t seen in other dating books. Can you tell us how you figured out why it is so important to create a new purpose and make sure there is plenty of self-love?

Samantha: Often times, you feel extremely lost after a big breakup. You question who you used to be, who you are now, and whether you have to return the “borrowed” parts of yourself (ex. how you’ve changed, the hobbies and interests you adopted from your ex). The reality is that you’re never going to be the same person you were before the relationship that ended. This is your opportunity to grow into something new and redefine your self-concept. By creating new purpose, you create direction and goals in your life that make you feel more grounded. When’s the last time you really got to focus on yourself and rediscover what you love, enjoy, and brings you fulfillment?

Part of our self-concept is influenced by how much love we have for ourselves. Self-love is a practice; it’s not an end state that once you love yourself that you’ll forever love yourself. I often compare it to happiness, which is fleeting, and needs to be cultivated every day. When we operate from a place of self-love, we believe we are inherently full of worth and value. The relationship we have with ourselves impacts all of our other relationships, and the state of our romantic relationship can be a mirror of how we feel about ourselves. Self-love includes actions such as consciously speaking kindly and compassionately to yourself, making sure you fuel your body with healthy foods, surrounding yourself with supportive friends and setting boundaries with toxic people, spending and saving money in line with your values, practicing gratitude, and realizing that self-love is not about perfection and requires that you appreciate yourself as enough, just as you are.

WOW: Yes, that really is so true--thank you for that detailed answer. I'm sure many readers are getting so much out of this interview that they are already on their way to buying your book! Questions about online dating are sure to come up because (take it from someone who is a divorced mom), it seems to be one of the most popular ways to meet someone these days. You cover a lot of terms associated with online dating that have surfaced the last few years, including ghosting and catfishing, but those are the negative aspects! What is a positive spin or two you discovered about online dating while writing your book?

Samantha: I’m a huge fan of online dating. I actually met my husband online (just three months after my breakup), so I know it works! The biggest benefit of online dating is that it’s a tool for connecting with hundreds of people with whom your paths may have never crossed. So rather than get bogged down in all the negative aspects, just look at it as a tool for connection, which then requires you to take responsibility to get offline and meet in person. You have opportunities every single day to meet your next significant other; how incredible is that! Online dating is also extremely helpful if you have a small social network, you’re stuck in a daily routine, or maybe you’re a single parent without a lot of free time because it makes it so easy to start chatting with someone new that you can go out and meet in a relatively short period of time.

WOW: Great points! Then I have to ask you about Rule Number One: Never Be Anyone’s Number Two. What do you mean by this? And should this start at the very beginning of a relationship? What about single parents who also have to worry about their kiddos?

Samantha: Rule number one: never be anyone’s number two means to me that you’re setting the standard for how you want to be treated. And when you love yourself, you believe you deserve to be someone’s priority, the same way you prioritize nurturing and cultivating a relationship with them. This is tied into the bigger theme of the book that you are worthy and deserving of a loving, fulfilling, committed relationship. After a big breakup, your self-esteem may be at an all-time low, and you may find yourself putting up with poor behavior from dating prospects because you feel desperate for attention, or you don’t believe that you’re worthy of more. When we date from a place of insecurity, feeling unlovable, or not valuing ourselves, we attract people who only validate those negative feelings. It’s important to remember that you’re in control of the type of attention you’re willing to accept, and when you value yourself, you will only accept behaviors that are in line with your self-concept. You need to develop this confidence, self-love, and self-respect before you even start dating so that you can approach dating in the right mindset, believing you are a catch! If you’re dating someone who can’t make you a priority or put in equal effort, than I wouldn’t wait around hoping they will change.

If you’re a parent, being ready to date again also means you’re taking care of your own needs as an adult who craves a romantic connection, and you’re no longer just wearing your mom or dad hat. You deserve a date night out; and if that means you have to hire a babysitter, doing so does not make you selfish. It will be a balance of learning how to date again, while taking care of your child and their needs. It’s important that you disclose to potential partners that you do have children and that being there for them is hugely important to you. However, if you’re someone who on a first date says your kids are your entire world and they come before anyone else, then someone who is open and ready for a commitment may be turned off by this because you’re making it sound like there’s no room in your life for someone else. The key is to convey how much you care about your children, but that you also know you’re willing and able to take steps to invest in a romantic relationship. Dating doesn’t mean you have to put your kids on the back burner; it just means you may have some extra juggling to do. I’ve come across singles who will only date people whose custody weekends align with theirs because they don’t want to be put in a situation where they have to choose between seeing their kids and seeing their lover. Dating someone who also has kids means they will typically be more understanding and lenient around things like cancellations and rescheduling because something came up with your kids. At the end of the day though, if you want a relationship, you have to put in the effort to make it work.

WOW: This is all so true. I know from experience--and you just gave more great advice. Anything you want to add?

Samantha: For anyone who loves the book but feels they need more intensive support in getting over their ex and creating the love life they deserve, I offer a Breakup Bounce Back program, which is 12-weeks of coaching support and a private group community of women going through similar situations who will understand what you’re experiencing. You can learn more on my “How to Get Over Your Breakup” webinar. Sign up here:

WOW: Thank you, Samantha, for talking with us today! Readers who are interested in Breaking Up and Bouncing Back, can check it out here. You can also connect with Samantha at these places around the web: 


Sioux Roslawski said...

Margo--Thanks for doing this interview. I'm not single now, but almost 40 years ago I was a divorced mom, so I know how hard it is to juggle the responsibilities of being a parent and working... and then squeezing in an occasional date.

Samantha--I so agree with your point about the importance of a single parent dating. The instructions they make on an airplane--"Put the oxygen on yourself before you put it on your child" applies to life, too. If a single parent doesn't take care of their own emotional and mental health... if they don't take the time to have some fun occasionally with an adult, they won't be able to be the best and happiest parent they possibly can.

Good luck with your book and your support group.

Angela Mackintosh said...

Fantastic interview, ladies! :)

Samantha, I love the advice of cultivating self-love because it all starts there. "The relationship we have with ourselves impacts all of our relationships, and the state of our romantic relationship can be a mirror of how we feel about ourselves." So true! I feel like as women we're sort of programmed to tend to others needs in our relationships, but if we can instead focus on ourselves then our relationships will naturally become better.

Congratulations on your book launch! :)

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