10 Ways to Deal With a Breakup
What have I learned? That pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.
Trust me: I feel like I’ve done everything wrong after my past breakups. I’ve tried to be friends, only to be left with a sobbing man on my sofa every night for a week. I’ve hooked up with the wroooong guy the night after the breakup and regretted it immediately.
What have I learned? That pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. Here are some things to avoid and some things to do after a stressful breakup:
1. Cut contact.
Do not text or call him. If it consoles you (and you have no other involvement with him other than romance), get a new number and unfriend him on Facebook. If you want to move on from someone, remove him from your world. This is the way to avoid the feelings from flooding back and confusing you, especially if he doesn’t feel the same way.
2. Admit you’re hurt.
It’s always the SOP of every counselor and psychologist. In order to resolve the distress, you have to trace the source of the trauma. Acknowledge your pain. Accept that you have loved this guy and you miss him. Mourn the break-up. Cry for a day or two. This is the way to recover. When you get tired of self-pity, you will realize you have already cried enough and you want to move on with your life.
Think about what went wrong in the relationship. It would be helpful if there’s an objective friend who will tell you her thoughts on the relationship and why it ended. Trace these issues to your previous relationships. Is there a pattern? Identifying the reasons for the breakup will help you avoid committing the same mistakes again in your future romance. Also think of the good things that make the relationship work and what makes you happy. When you are able to pinpoint the good and bad things in the relationship, chances are you will become a better mate in the future.
4. Get a new life.
The good thing about being single is the freedom to do things that you try to curtail while in a serious relationship – late night parties, meeting new guys, and hanging out with people you like (but your ex hates). Do what makes you feel good — volunteer, take a dance lesson, run a marathon, travel the world, foster a pair of cats or dogs (they’re better in two’s!), apply for a new job, put yourself first! Sometimes, the Better You emerges after the breakup, when you open your world to new people and welcome new possibilities.
5. Be happy.
Happiness is a work in progress, as they say. It’s good to admit the hurt, but no one is telling you not to act happy. If you keep on smiling and laughing with people – even at some point you are only faking it – they will be drawn to you. As you “force” yourself to hang out with new people, you will get used to the idea of being with them and you will slowly forget the breakup strain. Date, giggle and be silly. Move on already!
6. Don’t contact him.
I’m saying it again, just for good measure. Seriously. Why would you call a guy who just dumped you to tell him that you miss him? It’s human nature to think of someone whom you just shared memories with. But hey, it’s over! It doesn’t follow that you should call, text, chat, email, or contact him via telepathy just because he’s still on your mind. Stop obsessing. Your emotional dependence on him is irrelevant after the separation.
7. Don’t Facebook your issue.
Constantly posting your breakup issues on Facebook, regardless if you write it in a humorous way, will not benefit you. It makes you look bitter. It presents you as the “loser.” It suggests that you have not moved on from the breakup just yet, and perhaps will not move on anytime soon. It’s somewhat acceptable to post just one update of your romantic status, though. It alerts potential boyfriends. If you’re too clueless to pinpoint who those potential BFs could be, check the ones who eagerly comment on your breakup updates and generously offer love advice. Duh.
8. Don’t get a haircut.
When you are still suffering from post break-up stress and you decided to get a new haircut, chances are you will be
wild reckless enough to go for a pixie cut. The break-up strain is like a drug that clouds your rational thinking to make you do things out of impulsiveness. “I’m newly single anyway because a stupid guy just dumped me. I might as well go bald like Britney Spears.” Give yourself a time for healing. Go for a makeover once you are cool and sane again.
9. Don’t get a new guy.
Rebounding with a new guy a day after your split? Blah. Everybody knows you’re just faking it. Like it or not, it takes time to recover from breakups. It takes time to heal wounds. It takes time to trust people and consider having romantic involvement with anyone again. Getting a new boyfriend a day after the end of your 7-year romance is foolish. You are not only being unfair to the new guy, you are also being unfair to yourself. Before moving on to a new romance, take some moment to think what the previous relationship has taught you. The realizations that you make will help you find a better man in the future, who will also up the chances of a lasting relationship. But take note, we do not mean you cannot go to bed with another man just yet. Being newly single actually has its pros and one of them is the new-found sexual freedom. Enjoy!
If you want to move on from someone, remove him from your world.
10. Don’t become his friend.
Of course it’s OK to remain friends with the guy after ending a romantic relationship with him. But to be friends right away, you are one-of-a-kind. It’s either you really don’t love him or you love him too much to bear the pain of hearing him talk about the new girl he’s into.