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We’ve all been there.
Whether the breakup came out of nowhere or we saw it coming a mile away, whether we initiated the breakup or not, breakups still inflict tremendous pain and suffering.
And yet, even though this is one of life’s darkest moments, it is also one of life’s greatest opportunities for growth.
In this article, I’m going to explain how to get over a breakup – the right way!
Here we go…
1) Do not contact.
This is the most difficult – and yet the most important – rule for breakup recovery!
There are several reasons for this.
First of all, it allows you both to contemplate the causes for the breakup. Sometimes, you were not given a reason by the other person, and this is the most heart-wrenching situation of all. Nevertheless, it is good to ponder and to examine your own behavior.
Second of all, it gives you both a chance to miss each other and see if the relationship has any potential for reconciliation. It gives the initiator of the breakup a chance to contemplate the decision – and gives room for regret.
Third of all, it preserves your dignity. The most pathetic thing in the world is begging someone else to love you and give you attention. You deserve more than that!
The next question that arises is – when should I break no-contact? If you were not the initiator of the breakup, it is critical that you are not the one to break no-contact. Let the other person approach you.
Let me repeat that.
If you were not the initiator of the breakup, it is critical that you are not the one to break no-contact.
As agonizing as it is to stare at your iPhone hour after hour, day after day, hoping for a text from the other person, it is vital that you do not break this cardinal rule of breakup recovery.
I’d recommend a great book about this topic, Ignore the Guy, Get the Guy: The Art of No Contact, by Leslie Braswell and Brittany Goodwin (see below). This book is short but packed with great tidbits and breakup encouragement.
Exercise is a terrific outlet for stress and will help you get over the breakup. Not only does it allow you to work out much of the tension stored in your body (especially in your muscles), but it also triggers the release of endorphins – our “feel good” hormones.
It also helps you get in shape in order to attract your next relationship, which may come along sooner than you think!
3) Delete the other person from your social media.
This rule is controversial.
You may say, “But this is my only way to keep tabs on this person, especially if I’m not contacting him or her!”
It is still very important to de-friend and unfollow the person on social media.
First of all, you will constantly be tempted to check his or her Facebook or Instagram page. This makes no-contact much more difficult.
Second of all, it also makes moving on impossible. You are not in the correct frame of mind to attract another (likely better!) partner if your mind is filled with thoughts of the other person. You need to clear this person out of your mind, and constantly seeing his or her posts on social media will sabotage those efforts.
Third of all, if you want the other person back, you need to keep him or her guessing about what you are up to. Mystery is a powerful attractant.
Fourth, the last thing you need right now is to see pictures of the other person with a new partner filling up your newsfeed. Talk about heartbreak!
I’m asking you to do quite a lot of difficult things!
Socializing is the last thing you want to do after a difficult breakup.
Yet, it is one of the most important to help you get over the breakup!
Even if you don’t feel like doing this, it is vitally important that you “put yourself back out there.” Force yourself. DO IT AFRAID.
Even if you do not meet a new love interest immediately, you will in time – and will also quickly make new friends, which will take your mind off unpleasant things.
5) Date again ASAP.
This one is also controversial!
But bear with me…
Many, many people have met the love of their life shortly after a brutal breakup. (I’m one of them!)
If you have examined your own behavior prior to the breakup, and do not feel you need to work on any major issues in your own life (such as alcoholism, for instance), please do NOT turn down a date with a new person just because you are mourning the loss of the old relationship.
You have to look out for yourself and remember that the initiator of the breakup is probably dating again too. Why should you stay at home eating ice cream and crying over them – when they are probably out having a grand time with someone else?
Also, if you have any aspirations to re-attract the initiator of the breakup, you must appear in demand. There’s a wonderful book about dating – The Rules by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider – which I’d wholeheartedly recommend. It’s a classic! This book (link below) will also show you how to date properly next time, so as to better protect yourself in the next relationship.
6) Take a Big Trip if you can.
You must enjoy life during this difficult time.
Taking a big trip is a fabulous idea!
Go with a friend if you must.
Planning the trip will give you something fun into which you can invest your energies. It will keep your mind off the other person. The cherry on top is that you will be making memories to last a lifetime!
Taking big, once-in-a-lifetime trips is not something you can do very easily once you are married, so you need to do this while you are single. Trust me on this one!
7) Invest in self care.
Now is the time to get that massage, pedicure, etc. you have always wanted. Go shopping at your favorite store. Go to that football game. A breakup, even if it is amicable on both sides, is traumatic; now is the time to pamper yourself. The goal is to feel good. This places you in the correct frame of mind to move forward from the relationship and get over the breakup.
8) Start a new project.
The goal here is to begin a project that you are passionate about – something that you have been wanting to start for a long time but have been putting off for whatever reason.
Start a blog, write a book, start your own business.
These types of projects will give you something positive on which to focus your energies and emotions. They are also things that are much harder to do (although not impossible) if you are dating or married.
ONE FINAL WORD…
Many people follow the rules above after a breakup and eventually get back together with the person who broke up with them or with whom they broke up.
These rules give you both some space. But the most important thing is – you first have to let the other person go. If they come back to you, then you know it was meant to be.
If not – there is always someone better suited for you out there.