Few things in life are harder to deal with, especially really bad ones where things end with yelling and screaming and bitter arguments. The worst thing is when you’ve been together for a really long time, and maybe even thought it would last forever…but it didn’t.
The point is, regardless of the details, breakups are one of the worst things ever, and they’re going to hurt like hell no matter what.
This may sound like an odd thing to say in a guide for getting over a breakup, but it’s important to be realistic. Breakups are going to hurt, and they are going to hurt a lot, and you can’t change that simple fact of life.
What you can do, though, is to take the edge off, and make it bearable.
You may not be able to take the pain away, but you will be able to put it past you eventually and move on with your life.
We’re going to help you do just that with these ten best ways to get over a breakup.
1. Lean On Friends And Family
The day of the breakup, and the next several days after that, are a time to surround yourself with people who love and care about you unconditionally.
Siblings, parents, or other relatives you’re close to you, your best friends (if at all possible, not mutual friends of you and your ex, but even they can be good as long as you trust them not to take sides or bring up uncomfortable stuff).
Try to be alone as little as possible. If you can, sleep over at a friend’s place or at your parent’s house for a few days.
Be messy and vulnerable in front of the people you know won’t judge you for it.
2. Let it Out, Don’t “Tough it out”
Pretending like you’re fine and not hurt at all while part of you quietly sobs uncontrollably deep inside is hardly healthy.
Suppression doesn’t make the pain go away, it just buries it, and usually makes it worse when you have to dig it up later.
Instead, let it out. Let yourself cry. Allow yourself to fully feel everything, even if it hurts like hell. Think of it like a cold, where there’s no instant cure, but you have to take care of yourself and let it run it’s course.
This is much the same.
And in this case, taking care of yourself means letting yourself feel the pain fully and completely, so that you can eventually let it go.
3. Consider Therapy
There is zero shame in needing professional counseling at any point in your life, and if you’ve never had a therapist before, just after a breakup is a pretty good time to start.
In fact, almost everyone goes through a time when they could seriously benefit from swallowing their misplaced pride and making an appointment with a therapist.
A professional therapist will be much better equipped to help you process, accept, and move on from a breakup than even the best online guides.
4. Don’t Bury the Past, Learn from It
As we’ve mentioned already, suppression never helps, it only makes everything worse.
And if you bury the past and try to pretend it just didn’t happen, how will you learn from it?
Besides, there’s probably a whole lot of good memories from your past relationship, and even if it didn’t work out and the memories are bittersweet now, they’re still a part of your life, a part of you.
So remember good memories fondly for what they are, but don’t fixate on them.
And learn from mistakes you made so you can help yourself be less likely to go through with this again in the future.
5. Try Not to Talk Shit About Your Ex
You might think a little venting can be theraputic, and you might be right, but only to a point.
Here’s the thing: just because it didn’t work out between you two doesn’t mean either of you are terrible people.
Whenever the subject of your ex comes up in conversation and you’re not over them yet, just keep it short and change the subject quickly, rather than being bitter.
6. Practice Self-Care
Self-care is a term therapists like to use a lot, and it means pretty much what it sounds like: taking care of yourself, not just your physical needs, but your emotional ones too.
Do nice things for yourself for no other reason than to be kind to yourself.
Buy that gallon of ice cream (you know you want it), take time to do things that are fun for you to distract yourself, have a heart-to-heart with a friend, and tell yourself you’re a worthwhile person.
Over and over again, until it sticks, and then some.
7. Give Yourself Time; Avoid Rebound Dating
Take a few days off work or school right after the breakup, and after those first few days, just give yourself time to mourn what was.
Because if you’re honest with yourself…yeah, it sucks, but “rebounding” or burying yourself in a new relationship just so you can feel wanted again is just another kind of repression, and we’ve already explained how bad an idea that is.
So give yourself time. We’re not saying you should never date again; by all means, go for it! But make sure you’re really, truly over your ex before you do.
And if you’re craving attention and feeling wanted, remember what we said in tip number one about leaning on family and friends you feel close to.
They still love you. They still want you in their life. Focus on that, and appreciate them for it.
8. Be Very, Very Careful With Substance Use
Say no to hard drugs under this or any circumstance, and when it comes to acceptable-in-moderation stuff like alcohol, take it easy.
A little may help you feel better, and that’s fine, but alcohol is a depressant, and a lot will make you feel terrible.
Additionally, if you start using alcohol or other substances to cope, it will become a habit, and before you know it that habit will become addiction, and you’ll have an entirely new problem to worry about.
As a rule of thumb, while getting over a breakup or any other time in your life, limit alcohol use to 2-3 times a week tops, try to stick to social drinking rather than downing a bottle all alone, and cut yourself off after about two drinks, three to four tops.
9. Look for New Hobbies
Finding a new hobby or in general, something positive to focus on, is a good way to keep yourself form fixating on what was.
If you don’t want to be alone, get a friend to pick up the new hobby with you, or invite them over to give them a demonstration of your new skill.
Whether you take up painting, photography, ice skating, or really just about anything else you might find fun, it doesn’t really matter what, exactly, it is, as long as it’s a positive thing you can channel your energy and passion into.
And don’t forget old hobbies, either! Remember all those things that you love doing, that make you feel happy and good about yourself.
Keep doing them, and set goals for yourself you know you can achieve, then achieve them. Ask your friends and family to spur you on.
Doubtless they believe in you, so use them to help you believe in yourself.
10. Accept and Move On
And finally, once you’ve had ample time to mourn, cope, and deal with the pain on your own terms, you eventually do need to allow yourself to move on.
It’s not easy, even after some time has passed, but just keep reminding yourself that you can’t change the past, and no matter how bleak things seem, you will find happiness again, and yes, you do deserve to be happy.
So instead of focusing on the past, look to the future.
Try to practice all the tips on this list as much as and whenever you need to, and start thinking about what you want your future to look like, and how you can make a happy and satisfying life for yourself a reality.
Recognize that you don’t need a romantic partner to validate yourself.
Once you’ve had time to move on, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with looking for a new relationship.
But it’s important that you do so with the understanding that you are worthwhile and deserve to be happy with or without a romantic partner.
No, seriously, you’re awesome, you will be happy again, and you do deserve it. Try not to forget that.