Step 1: You try to be strong. You are a grown adult, after all. You have endured difficult times. You have grown stronger because of them. You make an Amy's frozen dinner and drink some LaCroix. You believe you'll be okay.
Step 2: After a song that meant a lot to you comes on Spotify, you convince yourself it wouldn't hurt anything to send a short, lighthearted text about how much you still love said song.
Step 3: When you receive no response, you are made more aware of the distance and absence and decide to pour yourself a bit of bourbon. After all, he hated it when you drank bourbon and started "letting the creative juices flow."
Step 4: You get out your laptop to write because, well, the creative juices.
Step 5: Writing's going well, glass number two.
Step 6: You cry. For minutes, could be hours. You don't try to stop because that would be denial, and your therapist said the denial phase wouldn't last more than a few weeks.
Step 7: You make a note to find a new therapist.
Step 8: You send another text apologizing for texting. While you're at it, you text the guy you met at the show the other night.
Step 9: You put on pants and lipstick in case he texts you back but keep your laptop and bourbon out in case he doesn't.
Step 10: He texts back almost immediately. You add a jacket and perfume to the pants and lipstick and head out the door.
Step 11: There are fewer people at the bar than you thought there'd be. He's sitting at it, two Makers' neat in front of him. You sit next to him after you check your phone one last time.
Step 12: You scan the room, hoping for conversation inspiration. He does the same. He notices the "I Posed Today" Playboy bunny pin on your denim jacket and inquires.
Step 13: You tell him you had access to a button maker and thought it would be funny. You don't have the energy or desire to be charming tonight.
Step 14: You take a page from Julia Roberts' character in "Friends," and ask him, "how many times do I have to touch your arm for you to ask me if I want to get out of here."
Step 15: You get out of there.
Step 16: As he opens the door to his clean-enough apartment, you briefly remember that he's not him, but shake off the thought because an orgasm would be really nice right now.
Step 17: You assure him that there's no need for small talk or pleasantries and gently shove him down on the sofa. He responds accordingly.
Steps 18-23: You do things a little differently, because doing them the same way feels like cheating.
Step 24: You start putting your jeans back on before he can ask you to stay.
Step 25: You thank him for the drinks and make your way back home.
Step 26: You put in your ear buds and play the song that meant a lot to you.