How to Get Over Your Breakup in 10 Steps
Whether you’ve been dating for a whirlwind three months or a steady seven years, it’s never easy to break up with a significant other. When you’re in a relationship, you’re sharing every aspect of your life with a person you care about… and it can be devastating to have this partner suddenly exit your world. Even if you’re the one who did the breaking up, it’s still a difficult transition to go from coupled to single. However, there are a number of helpful ways to cope with a heart-crushing breakup—below we highlight 10 of them.
Depending on how long your relationship lasted, give yourself a set amount of time to grieve. If you dated for six months or less, a few days or a week should be sufficient, but if you dated for multiple years, a week or several might be necessary. Tell yourself, “I’m going to be really bummed about the breakup for the next 48 hours. Then, I’m going to stop grieving, let it go, and move on with my life.” During the grieving period, cry all you want! Stay in bed, wallow in sadness, be upset, get angry. Do whatever you need to do to mourn the life you had with your significant other. Call up your best friends and bitch, overanalyze, complain, and vent. Get all the negativity out of your system within the grieving period. Once that time is up, it’s crucial to focus on yourself and moving on. Remind yourself that although it may seem otherwise at the time, a breakup is not the end of the world.
Now that you’re ready to move on, put your attention toward cultivating other relationships. Many times when we’re in a loving relationship with a partner, we spend all of our time with that one person and let our other friendships fall by the wayside. That’s a perfectly okay thing to happen, but use the time after a breakup to go back and build upon these older friendships. Call up that friend you haven’t seen in forever to reconnect. Reach out to your high school pal through Facebook and see if she wants to get together and reminisce about the past.
Make regular dates with the most important people in your life. Hang out with your siblings, go to happy hour with your cousin, have your best friends over to dinner. Surrounding yourself with friends and family who have known you forever—long before your ex came along—will remind you that life existed before them, and it will continue to carry on after them. It’s also comforting to be with people who know you. You can simply be yourself and not have to worry about awkward silences or offending anyone.
Run, walk, swim. Do some sort of exercise on a daily basis. If you’re angry about the way things went down, invest in gloves and take up boxing. Imagine you’re punching your ex’s face each time you hit the bag. Exercise is good for you, and don’t you want to be in amazing shape the next time you randomly run into your ex?
Channel your energy into learning something new. Maybe you always wanted to speak Spanish, but your partner didn’t think you had the willpower. Now’s your chance to prove him or her wrong and learn the language. Start a blog, take up golf, join a local nonprofit—just do something to distract you from thinking about your ex.
Take a break from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Especially if your feed is going to be filled with photos of your ex and all of his buddies at that wedding you were supposed attend with him. Delete the apps from your phone (you can always download them again in a few weeks), change your homepage to something other than Facebook (perhaps MyDomaine?!), and tell your friends and family that you’re going on a digital detox. When you’re ready to get back to socializing over the Internet, be sure to take the necessary steps to protect yourself from your ex. Block or unfriend him or her, remove images of the two of you together, and unfollow any of his or her really good pals.
Nothing’s more soul-soothing than a little rest and relaxation in an exotic local. Book a trip to someplace that you’ve always wanted to visit, or call up that friend who lives on the other side of the U.S. and ask if you can plan a trip to visit. If you don’t have vacation days at work, go on a mini break, such as one of these fabulous weekend destinations. Turn off your phone, enjoy nature, read the trashy book that’s been sitting by your nightstand for the past four months, and unwind.
One of the biggest things I struggle with during a breakup is wanting to tell or ask my ex things. Anytime I get the urge to text, I pull out a small notebook and write down what I wanted to tell him. Sometimes, I’ll even write long letters in the journal. I won’t send these letters, but it’s helpful to get the feelings off of my chest and onto paper. It’s a form of release. As I start to forget about him, the less I write down. Read more about the benefits of freeform journaling, if you’re interested.
There is a saying that the best way to get over someone is to get under someone new, and if that’s the route you want to take, awesome. More power to you! Hop right back into the swing of things by experimenting with a dating app you’ve never tried before. Whether it’s Tinder or something fancier, like The League, it’s good to flirt and receive attention from someone other than your ex.
Get a massage, book a mani/pedi, or buy that jacket you’ve been eyeing. Do something for yourself for no reason. You are the most important person in your life, so be kind to yourself and do something you love just because. Treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant, get a blowout, or take a day off of work to explore the museum exhibit you’re dying to see. You deserve it.
Shop the products that may help you get over your breakup below.
How do you get over a breakup?
Opening photo: Jenny Gage + Tom Betterton