11 Ways To Get Over A Breakup
Let’s cut right to it: breakups suck. It’s the emotional equivalent of getting the rug pulled out from under you. It’s a difficult time, indeed, but we can help you. Read on to find out how to get over a breakup.
The end of a relationship is absolutely devastating. You’ve built a life together, made plans for the future together — now they want nothing more to do with you. Just where are you supposed to go from here?
Even worse, painful breakups are commonly treated as comedy fodder in popular culture. Women in ratty sweatpants, crying endlessly into a pint of ice cream — funny, right? Not!
Don’t let popular media fool you into minimizing the damage that a breakup can cause. Guy Winch, author of How to Fix a Broken Heart, cites scientific evidence to prove that getting over a breakup isn’t that easy.
Here’s the thing: brain scans have shown that a breakup activates the same signals as opioid withdrawal. Guess that cheesy love song’s right: might as well face that you’re addicted to love — literally.
You don’t expect someone going through opioid withdrawal to just “power through” the challenge without any professional help, so why would you laugh at someone going through a painful breakup? It makes absolutely no sense and is completely unhelpful, to boot.
Your brain keeps going back to the happy times, and you start to crave those beautiful memories. This makes it incredibly difficult to move on and find someone new. Nostalgia makes things even more complicated, as your brain starts to cast a magical (if unrealistic) glow on the past.
It feels like the end of the world when the person you love has walked out of your life, and you may feel like there’s no light at the end of this tunnel. But getting over a breakup isn’t impossible — it’s difficult, true, but you can get through it.
Want to know how to get over a breakup? We’ve got 11 excellent tips for you.
Give yourself time to mourn.
Here’s the thing — your friends are all ragging on you, asking you when you’ll move on. Your family doesn’t understand; they think you should have gotten past the breakup two weeks ago.
But that’s completely unfair — your world is shattered, and there’s no reason why you should be forced to pick up the pieces right after.
You deserve some time and space to mourn the end of a relationship. You gave up so much of yourself, poured everything into this connection. Why would anyone expect you to just get over it in a snap?
Let yourself cry — you need this outlet. Allow yourself to be weak. Process your feelings; work through it and allow yourself to be vulnerable at this moment. Let it all out and give yourself time to exhaust the pain.
Remember that it’s okay to be angry.
These days, people try to jump immediately to the “I’m okay” part of things, but that’s not realistic. You don’t have to put up that facade of strength just so you can say you’re doing well.
A breakup is difficult — it’s okay not to be okay.
After a period of mourning, it’s natural to feel anger next. This person you’ve given your heart and soul to has just thrown all of that away. Of course you’re angry!
You’re not a bad person just because you feel anger towards another. The key is to channel this anger in healthy ways. Anger can be productive, if it fuels you to better yourself.
Stop hoping that you’ll get back together.
The first rule of a breakup: stop hoping you’ve got another shot. Sure, some people get back together. However, you of all people should know where you stand. When the breakup is clearly permanent, there’s no reason to stay on and hang around.
You don’t even have to say it — even if you don’t verbalize this strange hope that you can still patch things up, it can affect the way you work towards healing and moving on. There’s really no way for you to break free of this breakup if you don’t acknowledge that things are over.
More importantly, don’t accept a relationship facsimile for the sake of clinging on. Don’t get into a friends with benefits situation with your ex, especially in the hopes of rekindling your relationship.
Find an outlet for your feelings.
A journal is a great way to let it all out. You can write down all your ugliest and most painful emotions. Short of seeing a therapist, writing in a journal is the next best thing.
If a journal isn’t your cup of tea, you can always look to other options. Some people prefer to make music or create art. That’s perfectly fine, too. The goal is to find an outlet so you don’t end up bottling your emotions.
When you are allowed to express your feelings, you can work through them much more easily and realistically. Bottling up your feelings leaves you vulnerable to overthinking and nostalgia. Instead of seeing the relationship for what it really was, you can end up romanticizing it, even the bad parts.
You don’t have to be friends with your ex.
Some people pride themselves on their ability to be friends with their ex, but let us tell you right now: you don’t have to be.
You’ve broken up, the relationship has ended. Whether or not you can be friends years for now is a different matter entirely. At this very moment, you owe it to yourself and your mental well-being to focus on what you need.
You don’t have to be the bigger person and pretend that you can be in your ex’s social circle right after the painful breakup. You don’t have to subject yourself to such torture. Being friends with your ex isn’t a necessity or an iron-clad rule.
Definitely give yourself the time and space that you need, and if that means no contact, then that’s what you ought to pursue.
Practice self-care as often as necessary.
Taking care of yourself during this challenging time can be a real difficult task. Some people can’t even muster the energy to shower when they’re heart-broken. That’s completely understandable!
Don’t think of self-care as selfishness. You need to take a break and focus on you for a change. It can be something cheap and silly like a sheet mask to hydrate your skin, or you can go all out and splurge on a massage at a high end spa.
It’s not going to completely eliminate the pain in your heart, but try to understand that you’re in a vulnerable place right now, and you deserve some time to unwind. Caring for yourself is a perfectly necessary step to moving on and healing.
Stop checking their social media accounts.
Don’t lurk on their Instagram, checking out who they’re with on a night out. That’s not going to do you any good. You’re not helping yourself at all, wondering about your ex’s whereabouts on a Friday night.
You might not want to go so far as to unfollow them completely, but you can always mute them so you don’t have to see their posts on your timeline. There are a lot of ways to clean up your social media radar and minimize the contact you get.
Work on self-improvement — this is the best time for reinvention.
Getting a haircut after a breakup seems like an absolute cliche, doesn’t it? That’s because it works.
One of the easiest ways to feel like a new person is to get a haircut. Dye it a new color, pamper yourself at the salon, just go out and change things up. We’re not necessarily talking about weird changes — just do what you have to do to feel rejuvenated and refreshed.
It’s also a great time to work on your body! Go to the gym, find a sport you enjoy, or just get moving. Whatever you need to do to improve yourself — get to it!
Of course, some might assume this is a revenge thing — after all, there’s nothing better than looking hot after a breakup. Whatever your motivation, the goal here is to be better than the person you were before. The focus is you — not your ex, not your ex’s new love, not anyone else.
Accept that you can’t always get closure.
Are you the kind of person who always needs to have the last word in an argument? Unfortunately, breakups won’t always allow for closure. You don’t always get a neat bow to tie up the end of a relationship.
This can leave you unsatisfied and wanting. It might even spur you to contact your ex directly, or to leave vague status updates on social media. Bad form, definitely. How are you supposed to move on if you can’t let go?
Here’s the thing: when you’re an adult in an adult relationship, you just have to accept that closure isn’t always possible. You don’t always get clear cut answers. You’ll have to work through the dissatisfaction and accept that you can’t always have the last word.
Alright, that sounds weird. Why would you have to forgive yourself? In a breakup, people usually focus on the other party — the one who hurt them. Even in popular culture, there’s a very big focus on revenge and hating on the ex.
That’s not what we’re talking about here.
In the demise of a relationship, it’s inevitable to blame yourself. What could you have done better? Maybe if you were a little more understanding, maybe if you were a little more thoughtful — all these maybes float around your head. Sure, thinking about your ex makes you angry, but in this breakup post-mortem you can’t avoid assigning some of the blame on yourself.
Stop it. You’re not perfect because you are just human. You need to forgive yourself for your flaws, otherwise you’ll never be able to move on.
Of course, it’s a good idea to work on improving yourself and working on real flaws so you can be a better partner in your next relationship. Even then, forgiveness is the first step. You have to give yourself the chance to grow by acknowledging your weaknesses and letting them go.
Change your narrative.
During a breakup, you may feel like you’ll never be happy again. You assume that this is it, your one true love has left you. What if you never love anyone the way you loved your ex, ever again?
Remember this: mind over matter. Take control of your future. Don’t let these thoughts take over. You can always change your narrative. You build your own story, so block out the negativity and stop thinking that your ex is the best you can do.
The most important thing is to keep going forward. Believe in yourself, and believe in a future where you can find new love. Don’t sell yourself short!
Take note that there are a few things you ought to avoid when you’re getting over a breakup. We can teach you how to get over a breakup, but if you insist on doing these things, you’ll be sabotaging your efforts.
Stop checking up on them. In this day and age, you can easily see what your ex is up to. Even if you unfollow them on social media, you can easily stay updated by fishing for information from your mutual friends and others in your social circle. Refrain! This will only make things harder for you.
Don’t jump into a rebound relationship. You may think it’s a great way to heal the pain in your heart by finding a new replacement, but that’s a really selfish and self-destructive move. You’ll hurt your rebound and yourself because feelings are complicated — especially when you’re still hung up on someone else.
Don’t bad-mouth your ex to your mutual friends. It’s perfectly okay to be angry after a breakup, but you don’t want to be the person who goes around bad-mouthing their ex to everyone in their social circle. It’s not cool, and will eventually alienate your friends who can’t handle the negativity.
Stop pretending that everything’s fine. You don’t have to play “bigger person” in this matter — give yourself time! There’s no reason to put up a strong facade. In times like these, vulnerability is absolutely understandable.
Don’t hide yourself away. In the middle of a bad breakup, the last thing you want is to go out and get back to work. It just doesn’t seem worth it when your heart is already ripped to shreds. But isolating yourself and hiding in your room isn’t the answer.
There’s life after a breakup, even though it seems impossible while you’re in the thick of it. Keep going, love yourself, and soon you’ll be ready for new adventures — and new love.
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