We’ve all had our heart broken. Sometimes it is by family, other times it is by a friend, sometimes it is from short-term romantic partners and other times it is from a long-term relationship.
Break-ups suck. Point blank.
Since I just went through one, I figured I should offer some advice to those who may be going through a similar experience. WHILE READING KEEP IN MIND I am:
- not a relationship coach
- not a Councillor or professional therapist or psychologist
- single af
This being said, I’ve been through several breakups and I’ve had my heart broken several times. I always come out alive and thriving, so here are my tips, hopefully they help you dear reader. 🙂
Whether or not you were broken up with or did the breaking up, it truly does feel like you lost a close friend. Breakups are difficult because there was so much riding on that relationship. At one point in your life, you may have considered that person to be your everything. It can be a difficult transition to watch them disappear from your life entirely, especially if you truly did love them and care for them. Relationships are so physical, intellectual, emotional and intimate that it can be challenging to fully get over them, even within a long self-allotted grieving time.
There is a high probability that your confidence level or self-esteem is suffering, likely more than you may realize. If there is anything that can knock you down a few pegs it will be a nasty breakup. You are constantly self-doubting yourself, how you acted in the relationship, what caused the rejection or in what ways you contributed to the failing relationship.
There are several important steps I will suggest, based on my own (non-professional) experience, regarding how I believe one should get over a break-up in a healthy manner. I’m not a relationship coach just someone who went through heartbreak, quite a few times.
1- No Contact: (30-days minimum)
So you’ve probably heard of this one before but it’s basically the decision to not contact your ex or visit their social media pages for 30 days minimum. A lot of people do 60 days, some will make the decision to not contact their ex ever again. That is entirely your call but I recommend starting with 30 days. If your ex broke up with you, they made a decision, if you had love for them you should respect it. If you were the one to call it quits, respect your own decision in taking the space you need from that individual to figure out what you really want (with the understanding that if you change your mind, there is no guarantee you’re dumpee will be coming back running into your arms).
I know it is difficult, but if they decided to move forward, or they want to re-examine what life is like without you for a little while, 30-days no contact is the perfect way to offer them this. While you are in no contact, you should make a positive choice to move forward. Try your best to get over them during this process, grieve if you have to, delete your social media apps off of your phone, hang out with friends, do anything you need to, but do not contact your ex. This is your time to heal and get better. You are offering your ex the same thing in pursuing no contact. Whether or not your ex reaches out to you during or after this time is irrelevant, it is your time to get over them OR if you do not want to fully get over them, it is your time to get to know yourself again.
Write yourself a little reminder on your phone, whenever you consider breaking no contact, read the note to yourself and remind yourself of your own strength. As weird as it may sound, having this little reminder can be very helpful. In no contact, you set your own rules. Start by putting a little note at the top stating when it started and what date you intend to end no contact. If it helps, write notes to yourself everyday tracking your process through the grieving. This will help you keep track of the low days and high days. This can be extremely helpful in reminding yourself to stay in-tune with your emotions.
2- Delete social media from your phone:
This one is entirely optional. However, when I go through a rough break-up, or just whenever I am going through a stressful time in general, the first things to go are my social media apps. I don’t want to be bothered by couple pictures, selfies your ex may be posting, the pressure to post my own content, etc. While posting on social media can be a confidence boost, especially if you post a new selfie and all of your friends support it through positive comments, I find the actual act of scrolling through the apps and seeing how happy everyone else is in their relationships can get distracting from your own self-growth and self-discovery process during this 30 day period.
3- Get in contact with close friends
I promise this isn’t an arbitrary tangent, but, let’s talk about cats. Cats are independent animals and like to hide their pain. They regard pain as a weakness and hide their physical injuries from their owners. This is problematic because if their owner knew about the pain, they could have taken their cat to the vet and they could have found a remedy or cure for their furry friend. Some people do the exact same thing.
They regard emotional pain as a ‘weakness’ and hide it from others. They do not want to be judged and they do not trust their friends will truly be there for them through thick and thin. This being said, having a friend be there for you during this time is CRUCIAL to recover. While many of this battle with be an independent one, having a friend you can vent to every once and a while can be extremely helpful. They may be willing to; take you out for dinner, spend time with you as you cry listening to music, message you frequently to check in. You will be pleasantly surprised when you discover the large hearts of those around you. You are not the only caring person around.
Just because you feel your ex hurt you or was very selfish in regard to love, it does not mean others will be the same. There are many selfless people out there who want the best for you and who will be there for you through thick and thin. You just have to keep your eyes open and practice being vulnerable with others. The initial struggle is worth the end result.
4- MEMES, YouTube compilations, Tik Tok, Reddit, animal videos
Social media can be either a blessing and a curse. Funny memes, gifs, YouTube channels and online communities are definitely one if its blessings. If you are an animal person, start looking at cute panda videos and kitten videos. They will cheer you up INSTANTLY. INSTANTLY. It’s like a switch in your head, you will be crying one minute thinking about your broken heart, *watches kitten video* you forget your ex and fall in love again with a new ADORABLE creature. Same goes for vine compilations on YouTube, meme accounts, etc.
They WILL make things better. When you’re going through a rough time people always remind you ‘you’re not alone’ it’s because you really aren’t! If you could find some humor in the situation, it will make everything better. Pain is temporary, memes however, those will always be there for you.
5- Get into something new
So now you don’t have some dude you’re messaging 24/7. Now you’re saving money because you aren’t buying presents for someone else or attending events you don’t want to, or googling weird things about your ex and trying to figure out why they are ignoring you, thinking about what to get them for their birthday, worrying about what their friends/family think of you. YOU ARE A FREE PERSON. Free time will be your best friend. The trick is, you have to figure out how to fill it in a healthy way. So, start a hobby. I am a writer (that is why I have this blog account) so when I went through a breakup I was like, screw it, I’ll write a novel. And, better yet, I’ll write a novel about my past and show my character overcoming it. Beautiful. Original, therapeutic, AND I’m crossing something off on my checklist. If you are an artist, perfect your art. Pain is a motivator when it comes to art.
Look at Ariana Grande, she was going through so much and rather than curl up on a ball in bed for hours on end, she decided to drop two albums and go on tour. We can do the same. If you have always wanted to try boxing lessons. Do it. If you’ve wanted to take a cooking class, do it. If you wanted to read Moby Dick, do it. Want to give yourself a make-over, do it. Hell if you want to travel, DO IT. We only get one life. One. Enjoy it. Enjoy your time apart from a significant other, you’re allowed to be selfish. You’re allowed to go on dates, you’re allowed to just be free.
6- PLEASE avoid negative drugs, alcohol, risky/unsafe sex, and/or smoking habits to develop or resurface
I get it. Easier said than done. But by developing a harmful habit or indulging in risky behavior, you are amplifying the pain of a breakup with long term highly problematic consequences. There are healthy ways to cope with trauma. It’s a time you really test your own strength. I had a friend constantly message me telling me I am strong. It took me a while to really let that message sink in, once I did, I realized they were right. A breakup is a test. A nasty one, but a test none the less. You will have ups and downs, but do your best to deal with them in a healthy manner.
If you feel as though you are slipping talk to a counselor or psychologist.
Spend lots of time with loved ones, at the end of the day, your physical, mental and emotional health comes first. It’s important to take care of yourself to truly get over a breakup.
7- Create a bucket list and cross off one thing from it every day:
Here’s an idea, why not make no contact fun? Put a small activity on your bucket list every day and make a conscious effort to cross a new activity off every day. Get your mind off of your ex and onto something fun. If you’ve always wanted to walk a specific trail by your house, grab lunch at a restaurant, try a coffee shop, now is the time. Do it while you have no obligations to a romantic partner in regard to time. We all have to make small sacrifices and compromises for those we love, the beauty of not being in a relationship is that YOU HAVE NO COMMITMENTS TO ANYONE. You can enjoy life on your own terms and you don’t have to meet any parents, sacrifice girl night for an anniversary date, watch any stupid shows your ex always wanted to put you through NO SPORTS!!! (If you don’t like watching sports, that is).
Those are my tips in getting over a breakup. Honestly by the end of writing this, I’m kind of forgetting why one would want to be in a relationship to begin with!
Jokes aside, you will find someone who will love you and care about you through thick and thin, not just when it is convenient for them or when you’re in a good mood. Right now (and always as a matter of speaking) you should just focus on keeping things light and enjoying life!
Good luck my strong readers! Put your health first, be kind and have fun. If you do that, you can’t go wrong. <3