Unless you’ve been No Boyfriend Since Birth, you’ve most likely been through a breakup or two. When we’re lucky, relationships end peacefully, mutually, and we might even still be on good terms with our ex. Other times though, a nasty breakup can leave us truly devastated and heartbroken, and it can be really hard to move on. Most of us have been there at some point in our dating lives, so here are some tips on how to move on when you find yourself reeling from a bad breakup.
1. Cry it out.
It’s not good to keep strong feelings bottled up inside because doing so can lead to a much bigger explosion of emotions later on–and perhaps in a less appropriate setting. It is perfectly okay to put on some sad music and cry about your broken heart if you need to. Crying can be a big part of the healing process, so don’t be afraid to let it all out.
2. Keep yourself surrounded by close friends.
When we’re dealing with hurt emotions all alone, bad decisions can be made. While you’re still healing, it is essential to surround yourself with good friends, friends that know what you are going through and will support you all the way. If you have the energy to go out of the house with them and distract yourself, that’s even better. Having a drink with your friends is far better than getting drunk on your own in any situation, and even more so when you’re hurting.
3. Remove things that remind you of him.
It’s amazing how memories can attach themselves to the most mundane of objects, especially where relationships are involved. During the healing process, it can be very helpful to box all these memories and hide them away, at least for the time being. Don’t just throw things out in a fit of anger, though, as you may regret it later on. Just put them into storage until you’re in a better place, and decide what’s worth keeping or throwing out when you’re thinking with your head, not your heart.
4. Don’t badmouth him.
No matter what horrible things he may have done in the course of your relationship, don’t go out of your way to slander him post-breakup. It’s okay to rant to your close friends, but don’t make a public scene about times where he came up short in your relationship. It just makes you look petty to people who don’t know the details and it could come back to haunt you later on.
5. Don’t try to stay friends ASAP.
At least not yet. Maybe later, once you’ve truly moved on, becoming friends again might be a possibility. But while you’re still dealing with the pain, it’s going to be more torture than anything else. If you try to stay friends right from day one, you will have a much harder time moving on as you might unknowingly be retaining some hope of getting back together. Then, it’ll be almost like breaking up a second time when reality hits. Don’t try to reconnect as friends until that’s truly all you can see him as.
6. Date yourself.
Some women find rebound sex or dating someone new to be a big part of their moving on, but not everyone is ready to take that step. It’s okay to slow down for a bit, and date yourself instead of another man. Take some time to enjoy being single. Do the things that make you happy, even if it’s alone. Rediscover who you are when you are not in a relationship.
7. Unfollow him on social media.
As with the tip about not trying to stay friends right away, this can be revisited down the road, but during the healing process, it’s best to do what you can to cut him out of your thoughts. When you’re having a good day and then spot a photo of him with with another woman on Facebook, it can send you spiraling back into a depression just like that. Unfriend him, unfollow him, even block him if you need to; don’t let yourself develop the toxic obsession of stalking him on the internet.
8. Spend time outdoors.
A bit of sunshine and fresh air can do wonders for our mood, so don’t shut yourself indoors with your sadness. Make an effort to get out of the house whenever possible. Go for a stroll around the neighborhood or spend a weekend at the beach with your girls; it will do a lot of good for both your physical and mental health.
9. Write a letter that you’ll never send.
Writing your feelings down on paper will be a very cathartic experience. There’s a reason some people like to write journals and diaries; it’s a great way to work out and process your emotions. Write a letter to your ex telling him how you feel about the breakup, how you felt during your relationship, and don’t hold back–just don’t actually send it to him, either. Even though he’ll never read what you said, penning your frustrations and pain is a great way to let it all out and can be a big step toward moving on.
10. Stop blaming yourself.
After a breakup, we often start over-analyzing every tiny aspect of the relationship that just ended. What could I have done differently, why didn’t I try harder? Stop right there. The relationship ending was not your fault, just as it takes two to be a couple, it takes two to make a breakup happen. Some things are just not meant to be, and you need to accept that in order to move on. What’s done is done, so just accept it and let it go.
The most essential thing in moving on from a breakup is realizing that you alone have the power to do so. You don’t need other people to tell you to get over it, and you certainly don’t need permission from your ex! Take the time you need to heal and move on your own terms.
Featured Image from The Vampire Diaries courtesy of the CW Television Network