It may seem odd that I thought about writing on how to deal with a breakup on the eve of valentine’s day, but breakups and heartbreaks are things that are not being talked about enough.
By the end of this article, you would have learned how to slowly climb out of that muddy pit. I will be sharing some of the advice I got that personally helped my recovery, and I hope they will prove to be as helpful to you too. Let’s dive right in
15 Steps on How to Deal With a Breakup
Many therapists over the years have equated breakups to losing a loved one. While they are not exactly the same, it is not totally wrong to compare both.
This is because relationships and marriage, no matter how long or short they last usually make us get used to an individual so much so that getting to terms with the fact that they are gone from our life can be one hell of a struggle
In my own experience, the following are what pulled me away from the emotional wreck I turned into:
- Embrace Your Friends and Families
This is probably the best advice you will ever get on how to deal with a breakup. Always always have your friends around you as much as possible. If it means reconnecting with those old friends you have not spoken with in a long while, please do so.
They will be your support and backbone through this shitty time. Having a family member around is also another hugely beneficial factor because time spent with them is capable of diverting your thoughts away from the torture you are currently going through.
2. Cut Off Contacts
Yes, that’s right. The last thing you need is a constant reminder of the beautiful moments you had together with your ex, and keeping in touch with him/her is bound to bring back those memories
This does not mean you are shutting your ex out of life entirely. It is a temporary measure that will serve you extremely well now that you are still hurting. Who knows?
Perhaps they are also hurt by it all and need that space too. Just distance yourself from that individual as much as you can
3. Accept The Reality
You’re not alone if you find yourself living in denial of what has happened, I also found it difficult to accept what my reality was at the time. I had no iota of experience on how to deal with a breakup then, and it was hellish.
Just accept that he is probably never coming back again, and instead take the lessons you will gain from this experience and become a better version of yourself going forward. They will definitely come in handy when you are ready to give love another shot with someone new.
4. Love Yourself
You do not have to feel sorry for yourself because of a breakup. Go out clubbing, take yourself on a treat, get that skin therapy, dress seductively if it is your thing. Ultimately, do the stuff you’ve always loved but couldn’t do because you had a partner. Practice self-love and take it very seriously.
5. Exercise and Eat Right
Exercises have been scientifically proven to boost our physical and mental health. If you have not been taking it seriously before now, you should start doing just that.
The health benefits aside, exercises can enhance your looks a lot – which will lead to increased confidence in yourself.
In addition, a breakup should never be an excuse to switch to unhealthy eating habits. If anything, it should serve as a motivation to take extra care of yourself. Be selfish, spend on yourself, and savor the new journey that is ahead of you.
6. Go Out More
Now would be a good time to attend as many social events as you can. You must learn that your happiness should be your priority now and that life has so much in stock for you – only if you can get your acts together and give yourself another chance.
Personally, especially in the early days of my breakup, I found it helpful to be out in public places where I did not have to feel alone. It can be even more fun if done in the company of your friends and family.
7. Social Media Blackout
You do not want to go through the sort of devastation I went through one seeing pictures of him with another woman. The little gain I had made over the weeks felt like nothing. In response, I tried to “show” him I am also doing fine on my own without him
Trust me, it backfired. My recommendation would be to BLOCK him on all social media channels imaginable. If you can do without social media in its entirety, that’s even better
8. Discard Reminders
Your ex left you for a reason. The less you get reminded about them the better for your mental health. Ensure you get rid of those items and belongings that will have those memories rushing back
If you wouldn’t want to discard them entirely, consider putting them away in a box and locking it away in the basement for the time being
I gave out most of the stuff I got from my ex and the things I used to wear when we were together given away and replaced them with new ones. You must not go this extreme but the idea is just to eliminate as many emotional triggers as possible
9. Take Time Off From Work
Unless your job is not mentally demanding, you may be needing some time away from it when you’re trying to figure out how to deal with a breakup
I was working as a data analyst at the time of my own breakup. I tried my best to suck it up and pretend as if I could handle it all, but it soon began to tell on my energy level at work, on my productivity, and practically on my person
Looking back at it now, taking that break from work was well worth it. You should consider it too if it is a possibility for you
10. Engage in your Hobbies and Talents
It is time to turn to your hobbies again – whatever it is they are. If you love painting and drawing, spend more time at your studio than you had time for during the relationship. How about developing that talent of yours?
Start routines that aren’t like what you both were used to, switch back to your night owl life if it’s what you had to give up because of your ex
I will not recommend doing this in the early stage of your breakup, but it is another thing you should definitely have in your plans. Traveling will help clear your mind and give you more reasons not to give up on yourself
Do not forget to take pictures and have as much fun as you possibly can. Take advantage of the opportunity to appreciate the beautiful things about life
If you are not already practicing this, now could be a good time to give it a try. Start pouring your frustrations, anger, disappointments, etc into a journal on a daily basis.
It’s something I later realized to have contributed a lot to me getting closure. Trust me on this, in a few months’ time, you will go through that journal and smile. You would be proud of how much you have grown since he walked away from your life
13. Learn a New Skill
“Studying is the best distraction in this world” is a cliche that will always be true. I am sure there is something you have always wanted to learn. Some skill you’ve always wished you had? Is it baking or basic car maintenance?
Well, you might not get a better motivation for it than the circumstance you are currently in. When my ex left after 3 years, I was forced to learn how not to depend on someone else for basic survival skills. You should do the same.
14. Seek Help
We are all different. We all have different emotional tolerance and a breakup is something that can stretch you to the maximum. It’s still ok if you cannot handle it.
A lot of people can’t as well, but you should cautiously watch yourself and know when you need help – especially when you find suicidal thoughts crossing your mind.
If things ever get to this point, please seek help. Rather than wallow in self-pity and frustration, get an appointment with a therapist as soon as you can. They can be very helpful in addressing whatever guilt or self-blame you may have regarding the breakup
I saved this for the last because it’s bound to happen. You will have those moments when you just can’t help but be lazy and uninspired. Accept them when they come.
In moments like that, if spending the entire weekend on your couch watching Netflix and feeding on some junks is your way of coping, by all means, indulge yourself for the time being. Just be careful not to let it become a habit.
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What To Avoid
Hitherto, we have been talking about the actionable steps on how to deal with a breakup. However, there are things which are of equal importance that you must avoid if you really want to recover your old self back:
- Shutting The Door On Relationships
While it is such a terrible idea for you to rush into a new relationship without properly healing, you should be careful not to shut the door on love and companionship entirely. Give yourself another chance, you never know what might come out of it
It’s always hard to see someone you love walk away from your life but you must remember that life will give you many opportunities to meet new and amazing people down the road
- Rebound Romance
Unfortunately for a lot of people, their idea of how to deal with a breakup is getting into a brand new entanglement. While it does work out for a few people, It is usually disastrous for many others, and chances are that you belong to the latter category
Most rebound relationships fail because they are usually started with the wrong motive and expectations from the new partner are unrealistic and over the rooftop.
You are better off healing completely before considering a new relationship. With that, you have successfully had an introspection and come up with a lot of lessons that will guide you in going forward
- Drugs and Alcohol
Resist the urge to use drugs and alcohol to suppress your pains. It is not in your best interest at all. Instead, you will only end up digging a deeper hole for yourself.
Going through a heartbreak is one of the worst feelings on earth, so you must be very careful not to slide out of control. It’s a good thing you are learning how to deal with a breakup the right way.
Yes, it will take a while to move on completely, but make sure to be positive-minded and always look on the bright side of things
- Becoming Enemies
While it’s in your best interest to keep a safe distance from your ex, you must be careful not to let it turn into outright animosity.
Once you are fully healed, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to speak with them once in a while either as a friend or an old acquaintance. This is even more important if you have things in common with them such as kids or investments.
- Cutting Your Hair
This is specifically for women. Please wait a little longer before making drastic changes to your look. It can be very tempting to want to feel and appear differently from that hurtful person you see in the mirror but believe me, it isn’t that effective
You may even end up not recognizing yourself anymore after that. If you must make changes, it should be a decision you took with a sound mind – not one fueled by grief and hate
How To Deal With A Breakup Alone
One of the most effective pieces of advice you will ever get on handling a breakup is to spend time with your friends and family as much as you can.
In reality, though, some of us are not very good at keeping close friends and would also not be comfortable sharing our grief with family members.
If you fall into this category, the following could be highly beneficial to your recovery:
- Accept that they are gone
- Love yourself even more
- Seek therapy
- Get busy with work or hobbies
- Volunteer for community service
- Work out
- Avoid counting the number of days since you broke up
- Read self-help books
- Stay away from their social media
- Travel when you are emotionally stable
- Try meditation
Books To Read
Rather than spend the entire weekend thinking about your ex, why not dedicate that time towards becoming a better you? Here are a few books that could help you do just that:
- Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
- Unf*ck Yourself by Gary Bishop
- The subtle art of not giving a fuck by Mark Manson
- A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
- Heartburn by Nora Ephron
- The Wisdom of a Broken Heart: How to Turn the Pain of a Breakup Into Healing, Insight, and New Love by Susan Piver
- When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön
- The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater by Alanna Okun
- The Idiot by Elif Batuman
- Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
While they are not strictly on how to deal with a breakup, they cover topics that are very relevant to getting your acts together
We have arrived at the end of this little discussion on how to deal with a breakup. Hopefully, you have been able to learn a few things
Truth is, my journey of moving on from a heartbreak was not a smooth ride. It felt like I was stuck on an unending bumpy road but I managed to pull through with the help of what I have just shared with you
You are responsible for yourself and whatever your life becomes. Will you let the end of a love affair define you?