No matter whether you’re the one doing the dumping or you’ve been dumped, the end of a relationship is painful and challenging (especially if you’re trying to figure out how he’s dealing with the breakup). Even if you were the one who ended it, even if you know you’re better off without that person, actually ending the relationship can cause all sorts of awful feelings and emotions that seem like they just won’t go away.
And if your partner decided to end things with you? Things can feel 100 times worse. Sometimes, things can feel so bad that you don’t even know what to do or how to keep going. Sometimes, you feel like you should just give up. You don’t know what to do with yourself to ease the pain. There’s something that jut breaks inside you and you can’t muster up the energy to trudge on through life, trying to be okay when inside you’re falling apart.
And sometimes, all you want to do is get through those awful emotions as quickly as possible, so you can move on and stop feeling so terrible (1).
The bad news is – it’s going to take time to work through all your feelings and start feeling better again. The good news is – all you have to do is follow the steps in this article and you can begin the healing process today.
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Ready? Let’s get you over that breakup.
1. Begin By Working Through Your Feelings
At the beginning, right when you’ve broken up, you’re going to spend a lot of time thinking about the relationship – where things went wrong, why things turned out that way, what you could have done differently, and more (2).
One super important thing to remember is to carefully go over and think about all the reasons you two broke up. When you think about why the relationship ended, it helps you to stop thinking about all the things you miss about the relationship – because you remember that something was wrong and wasn’t getting better.
Plus, when you truly realize why the relationship ended, and it was because of a mistake you made, you can avoid that mistake in the future (3).
Some important questions to think about: Ask yourself if you did something that hastened or brought about the end of the relationship… and would you do anything differently?
Also, ask yourself whether you’re choosing to date guys who are actually good for you or not. Do you always choose the same sort of guy? Are you happy with how those relationships go?
Finally, take a look at this relationship in the context of your other relationships. Do the same patterns happen again and again? Has anything similar happened in another relationship you’ve been in? If so, what can you do differently in the future?
One good way to start getting over a breakup is to figure out how you feel about it in the first place. Try writing down your feelings about your breakup in order to sort them out. It doesn’t matter if it’s a journal, in poems, or just on scraps of paper – the most important thing is being honest.
You might be surprised at how quickly a realization can come to you just from writing it down rather than thinking about it. You won’t go round and round in the same thoughts in your head – instead you’ll be able to get real insight.
One great way to do this is to write down how you feel each day after the breakup until you start feeling better. Try chronicling how many days it’s been since you broke up and how you’re feeling right at that moment, then explore your feelings a little more deeply.
Another way to get a lot more solid on your feelings is to write a letter to your ex – but don’t send it. Writing down your feelings is a great way to express them, but you absolutely don’t want to open up contact with that person again. The letter is just for you.
Definitely allow yourself to be angry. If you’re feeling angry and frustrated over the end of the relationship – that’s ok ! Those are totally normal emotions to be feeling.
Once you allow yourself to be angry and work through it, realize that it doesn’t serve you any purpose. You shouldn’t be contacting your ex again, so why are you making yourself angry all over again? The best way to deal with anger like this is to allow yourself to relax and let it go.
Make sure that whatever you do, you stick to your decision – or allow your ex to stick to his. If you broke up with him, it’s important to guard yourself against changing your mind. You made your decision for a reason – so don’t let memories of the good times change that decision and lead you to try to get back together with him.
On the other hand, if your ex broke up with you, recognize that he must have his own good reasons to do it, and there’s no use trying to change his mind after his decision is already made up. If you spend all your time thinking about the good parts of the relationship, you’re going to naturally second guess any decision that was made, so make sure to remember why the relationship wasn’t so good as well.
In that vein, remember to think about why your ex wasn’t the best person in the world. Every relationship has problems, as I’m sure yours did as well. Try to focus on the things you didn’t like, or even hated about your ex. This will help you get over the breakup more quickly, because you’ll remember all the reasons you weren’t so enthusiastic about him in the first place.
Finally, try making a list of reasons why you’re in a better place and happier without your ex in the picture. Every breakup has positives (yes, every one), and if you can make a list of all the reasons why you’re better off without that relationship, it will go a long way towards helping you get over him.
This could be something as simple as now you have more free time to hang out with friends. You could be happy because being around him made it easier for you to eat unhealthy, so now you can get in better shape. There are a million ways to look on the bright side, and once you start, you’ll start moving past your relationship in no time.
2. Work Through Your Emotions (Especially Painful Ones)
The first thing to do is to recognize that whatever pain you’re feeling about your breakup – it’s totally normal. Everyone responds to a breakup and emotional pain differently, and whatever emotions are running through your head, they’re totally normal ones to experience.
Remember, this isn’t the last relationship of your life, there will be someone who will come into your life again, you will and can fall in love again and everything you’re going through is normal… and will pass eventually.
One thing that lots of people find useful after a breakup is to take a short break from whatever they’re “normally” doing to help cope with the breakup. If you want to sit on the couch for a few days and eat ice cream – that’s totally fine!
What you’re looking to do is schedule some time to relax and process your emotions at your own pace, rather than trying to soldier through your typical day pretending everything is “fine”. Skip the things you can skip (like maybe the gym or going out to the bar) and keep up with the things you can’t (like work and school).
When you’re taking your break from your routine, what you want to do is give yourself a chance to mourn the end of the relationship. Grief is grief, the only way to get through it is to “put in the hours” as they say.
That means taking the time to mourn your relationship so that you don’t have to keep thinking about it for weeks or months afterwards. Experience all the pain and loss of the end of your relationship – and do it in a safe space.
One good tactic is to set a daily limit on the time you spend mourning the end of your relationship, and then after that do something fun, or something just for you. That way you don’t get stuck feeling horrible all day.
This is the time you want to rely on your friends. You want to have supportive people surrounding you in your life while you’re feeling the loss of your relationship – and that means friends and family.
These people are there to make you feel better, to remind you that you’re worthwhile, and to be with you when you’re feeling your lowest. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, you’ll be surprised at which of your friends comes through big.
A good thing to do is to find an outlet for the emotional loss and pain that you’re going through. This is a great way to channel some of that negative energy and help yourself feel better.
Avoid drugs, food, and alcohol as a solution – because they’re not going to help long term. Instead, try taking up a hobby that you can keep doing, even after you’re already over your breakup. It’s a great way to both take your mind off things, build up your self-esteem, and meet new people – all at the same time.
If you really just can’t deal with the pain of the breakup and you feel like nothing is helping, you should find a therapist to talk to about it. Some relationships leave deep scars that take a long time to heal, and if you find yourself struggling to deal with them on your own, a therapist can be a huge help.
ok – so you’re working through your emotions and taking some time for yourself and you’ve picked up a hobby to take your mind off things and help you meet new people. Great! You’re doing a great job moving past your relationship.
Let’s make sure it stays that way.
The first step in truly moving on from a relationship is staying away from your ex. You absolutely must stop talking to, contacting, texting, “running into”, or even looking at your ex on social media. Even if you decided to ‘stay friends’, trust me, you’re much better off cutting your ex out of your life.
This is because you’re at your most vulnerable right after a breakup – and so is your ex. You both might be vulnerable enough to make a decision you’ll regret later… so the only way to move on and get past him is to absolutely stop seeing him.
He might reach out to try to see you again. If he does, and you find yourself tempted, ask yourself what the point of seeing him again would be. If it’s to relive what life was like in the relationship, you’d be putting yourself in a lot of danger by going to see him. Avoid him instead and you’ll feel a lot better.
Time to do some redecorating. Chances are, if this was a serious boyfriend, you’ve probably got stuff that reminds you of him all over the place where you live.
It’s time to do some housecleaning. You want to box up all the stuff that strongly reminds you of him – at least for the moment. Be smart about this – the stuffed animal he bought for you has to go in the box, but the TV you both watched Netflix on is OK to stay where it is.
Clean up your space after you’re done, and maybe rearrange the furniture or add some new decorations to the walls and tables. You’ll be surprised how much good a change of scenery does, for your peace of mind and your mood!
Feel like you’re beginning to move on? Good. It’s time to take that feeling out into the real world. A lot of the time, if you’re sitting around in your house moping, you’re only going to wind up making yourself feel worse.
Now, you had time to mourn your relationship back in the second section. That mourning period has to come to an end, and when it does, it’s time to get back out in the real world and start enjoying life again!
Go out and get outside. Do some of your favorite activities that you’ve been neglecting lately, or didn’t’ get a chance to do in the relationship. Start going out to see your friends again out in public at the park, or the mall, or the bar.
Don’t worry if you don’t have someone to go out with, try going out by yourself! It’s a great idea to get out on your own and give yourself some time to think while you’re not staring at the four walls of your apartment – so go on walks, head to a café, do anything, but get out of your house.
Be wary of getting right into a ‘rebound’ relationship soon after your breakup. You might be craving some attention from the opposite sex, and it might seem like a good idea at the time, but chances are someone’s feelings are going to get hurt.
If you’re not ready to date, you’re not ready to date yet, period. Don’t put some guy’s heart through the ringer because you missed being with someone, but you weren’t ready to seriously date so soon after your breakup.
Take care of your body! After the horrible, stressful, painful period right after a breakup, your body is going to be in rough shape from all the stress, grief, crying, and possible ice cream.
A great way to rebuild your self-esteem and grow your confidence again is to start going to the gym. Start a new fitness and diet routine and take all the negative energy you feel inside you and pour it into that new routine. Chances are you’ll be able to go extra hard at the gym when you’re channeling the pain of the breakup into your workout!
3. Time To Move On
Want to find out if he’s really selfish? Click here to take our quick (and shockingly accurate) “Is He Selfish” Quiz right now and find out if he’s really selfish…
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How To Get Over A Breakup
- Start by working through your feelings
- Don’t try to deny the pain or anger and push it away, let yourself experience it
- Think about the reasons you broke up and write down your feelings about it
- Talk to friends or family to share what you’re going through and get support
- Don’t have any contact with your ex
- Take a mourning period to reflect on the relationship and process your feelings
- Put yourself back out there and be open to seeing other people