Nearly everyone has to deal with a breakup at some point in their life. It’s one of the hardest things to go through, isn’t it? We often feel like we have lost a part of ourselves or that we are not good enough to be in a relationship. It can take months or even years to get over a breakup, depending on how emotionally invested you were. But, eventually, you will move on.
So, how can you make a faster and better breakup recovery? Well, we’ve come up with eight things you should avoid— and eight you should do— after a breakupThey’ll save you from embarrassing yourself and prolonging your negative feelings. We’ll start with a list of things to avoid post-breakup. Let’s get started!
16. Going on social media
Social media has become interwoven into our lives. If we eat a sandwich, we take a picture of it to post on Instagram. If we’re waiting in a long line at the grocery store, we post a tweet complaining about it. And if we break up, we change our relationship status on Facebook. In regards to breaking up, the Facebook activity really should end there. Ah, if only life were that simple…
When we break up with someone, we tend to write countless statuses about how we feel and post quotes that we can relate to. We also stalk our ex on social media. But, this isn’t right and it’ll only delay your healing further. The best thing to do after a breakup is to avoid social media. You don’t want to post something you’ll regret later and you don’t want to keep crying over pictures of your ex having fun, right? Right.
15. Seeking revenge is not cool
A wise man once said, “Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” In other words, being bitter or angry is only hurting you, not your ex. So, let go of the idea you have that one day, you’ll key their car or mess their life up somehow. While your blood is boiling thinking of your ex and how to get back at them, your ex may not even be thinking of you. If they treated you badly, they will eventually get what they deserve.
Just focus on yourself and how you can make yourself a better and happier person. If anything, success is the best revenge. But, you should want this for yourself, not just to show off to your ex or anyone else.
14. Dating someone new right away
Dating someone new right after a breakup is never a good idea. It doesn’t matter if you liked each other before your recently-ended relationship or if you “feel ready.” The effect of the breakup might not hit you until much later and you don’t want to have to cry on your new partner’s shoulders for days on end, having to make up a fake reason as to why you’re so sad. You also run the risk of being with someone for the sole purpose of having a rebound—someone that will make you feel better and forget all about your ex. But, that’s not the way to get over someone. You need to face your feelings first.
13. Blaming yourself for the breakup
We tend to overanalyze our relationship after it ends. We wonder if that thing we said last week was the reason our relationship fell apart or if we weren’t exciting enough for our partner. But, we should remember that it takes two to make a relationship work. So, unless you cheated on your partner (or did something else that was really terrible), don’t blame only yourself for the relationship ending. Sometimes, people just don’t click.
You may also feel as though you were too needy or criticize yourself harshly, but remember that you are human. Both neediness and imperfections are a part of being human (and they tend to be magnified after a breakup). Accept yourself for who you are and realize that there may be a good reason your relationship ended.
12. Withdrawing from the things you enjoy
Want to know how to make yourself even more depressed after a breakup? Stop doing everything you enjoy, including hanging out with your friends and family.
After a breakup, it sure feels easy to sit down with a tub of ice cream and watch Netflix alone. But, this will only make things worse. Even if you don’t feel like seeing your friends and family, they will make you feel better by reminding you that you are loved and awesome and everything else you need to hear. And if you’re really not up for socializing, at least continue doing the other things you enjoy (whether that be reading, writing, painting or working out). This way, you’ll remember that you do have a life outside of a relationship and occupying yourself will take your mind off of any negative thoughts.
11. Getting a haircut
Many people feel the need to chop off all their hair, get a tattoo, or get an entire makeover after a breakup. Some say it’s because they feel like a new person and want their looks to reflect that. Others cut off their hair as a sign that they are shedding the past and starting fresh. While it may be freeing for some, it’s important to realize that even though your hair may be changing, your situations are still the same. Of course, they may change, but your hair doesn’t really play a role in that. It’s all about your mindset.
10. Going to places where you’ll likely see your ex
If you know your ex works on weekends at Forever 21 in your local mall, don’t go there at that time. If you know your ex always hits up a certain Starbucks location in the morning, find another location to get your coffee fix.
If you run into your ex right after a breakup, you may be tempted to talk to them (which will likely end up in you making a fool of yourself) or you may let out all your emotions in public (embarrassing yourself). Of course, once you are truly over the breakup, you can visit those places again, if you must.
9. Drowning your sorrows destructively
When we’re sad, we sometimes wish we could erase the pain and feel nothing at all. Many people turn to alcohol and drugs after a breakup, thinking that these things will make them feel better or that they will have more fun this way. While alcohol and drugs may feel good in the moment, they will definitely have you feeling like crap the next day. They might even cloud your thinking and could lead to you doing things you’ll regret (like sending your ex a drunk text).
Instead of drowning your sorrows destructively, talk to your friends or family. If that doesn’t help, try writing or seeking professional help. There’s no shame in any of these alternatives. Now that we’ve covered things you need to absolutely avoid, let’s talk about the things you SHOULD DO after a breakup!
8. Delete ex’s number
There’s no reason to keep your ex’s number on your phone after breaking up (unless it was a completely mutual split and you both want to remain friends). You may think that you have willpower, but it all goes out the window in the few weeks following a breakup. And the last thing you want to do is get drunk and text them or butt-dial them (because they might think you called, but were too afraid to answer).
When we’re dealing with a breakup, we’re not thinking straight. We might suddenly think our ex is the best person alive and we need to win them back. Or, we might suddenly remember that one little thing we did five months ago and think that it was the reason they broke up with us. So, we call our ex (rather impulsively) apologizing and begging them to take us back. All it does, though, is make us look desperate and a little bit crazy.
7. Create an epic playlist
When you’re going through a breakup, one thing you need is an epic playlist. Music always makes us feel better—especially if it’s sad music. It may sound ironic, but research shows that sad songs are actually associated with positive feelings (i.e. feelings of happiness and calmness). That’s because lyrics of breakup songs are often very relatable, allow us to express our emotions, and allow us to feel empathy. So, don’t be ashamed to cry while listening to breakup songs all day, if that’s what you need to do.
6. Appreciate being single (for now)
There are so many good things about being single. You can finally go to that place you (but not your partner) always wanted to go to. You can catch up on that new Netflix series your partner wouldn’t give a chance. You can do all the things you didn’t have time to do when you were too busy being in a relationship. So, go ahead; take a trip to Bali and eat, pray, love.
Being single can force you to get to know yourself again, especially if you were with someone for a long time. Sometimes, we lose ourselves in a relationship. We become used to doing everything with our partner and give up some of the things we enjoy. So, after a break up, simply appreciate the time you have with yourself.
5. Go out and live your life again
The worst thing you can do after a breakup is cooping yourself up in your house, all alone. Go out and have fun with your family and friends! They’ll be glad to show you a good time, especially if they know that you’re going through a tough time. You may not want to go to the club or flirt with anyone new and that’s understandable (in fact, it’s probably best to forget about getting into a new relationship right after a breakup). But, that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to new people or hang out with your friends at your favourite spots. It’ll definitely take your mind off the breakup and allow you to see that you can have a good time without your ex.
4. Take care of yourself
It’s hard dealing with breakups, especially if it marks the end of a serious relationship. But, you shouldn’t make things harder on yourself by neglecting your health and wellbeing. Many people either lose their appetite or begin binging on junk food when they’re heartbroken. But, this will only lead to feelings of lowered energy and sadness.
When you’re going through a breakup, it’s important to eat healthy, exercise and practice self-care. When you eat healthy foods, you’ll feel more energetic and the foods you eat will combat the negative effects of stress on your body and mind. Exercising will also make you feel better by releasing endorphins (the “feel-good” hormones). Of course, it’s also important to get adequate sleep and to take care of your mental health.
3. Let your friend hold onto your keepsakes
When we break up with someone, we usually want every single reminder of them out of our life. But, don’t go burning all your movie stubs, photos, love letters and gifts the moment the relationship ends. Instead, let a trusted friend hold onto the keepsakes until the storm cools down a bit. Then, when you’re feeling better, decide what you really want to do with the items (whether it’s throwing them out, selling them or donating them). Otherwise, you may end up regretting getting rid of them. It may also be a bit awkward if you and your ex do end up getting back together in the near future!
2. Forgive and move past the hurt
Forgiving your ex means accepting what happened and letting go of all the negative feelings you have towards them. You may not necessarily forget what they did, but you can eventually come to a point where you think of them without having feelings of anger or resentment popping up.
Forgiving actually has to do more with you, not your ex. You are the one who will benefit. You don’t even need to let your ex back into your life or tell them you forgave them (unless you really want to). If you don’t forgive your ex, you will carry the bitterness and hurt with you to your next relationship and that can only mean bad news.
1. Do something nice for others
It’s so easy, after a breakup, to focus on ourselves and how crappy our lives are. But, there’s so much to be grateful for. To put things into perspective, go out and volunteer. You can do this anywhere— a homeless shelter, a food bank, a hospital or wherever else you would like to dedicate your time and efforts. By volunteering, you will see that there’s so much you have in your life that others could only wish for. You’ll also feel a lot better knowing you’re helping others and accomplishing something great. This will definitely increase your self-confidence and sense of self-worth (two things that typically decrease dramatically after a breakup).
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