Breaking up is one of the most painful things ever. If I were to compare it to physical pain, I’d have to place it at the same level as kidney stones, or getting kicked in the nuts. (I’ve been told that really hurts.)
Breaking up, especially if you’re the one being dumped, fucking sucks. If you’re right in the middle of it, you might feel there’s no way out. Maybe you’re rehashing the final moments of your relationship over and over again, or trying as hard as you can not to send that last, desperate text. PUT DOWN THE PHONE, and start moving forward.
4 Steps to Getting Over a Breakup
1. Cut All Contact
Delete her contact info, try to forget where she lives, and ask all of your mutual friends to tell you nothing about the goings on in her life. This is a really hard thing to do, especially if you’ve been together a long time and you’re used to talking every day.
I know it hurts, but the pain of reaching out to her in a moment of lonely desperation only to be reminded of the reasons you’re no longer together is ten times worse. For at least the first 2-3 months after your breakup, stay away completely!
2. Unfollow and Unfriend
That means don’t stalk her Facebook or Instagram feeds. Unfollow her on Twitter. I repeat, you don’t want to invite anything into your life that will remind you of what you’re missing. When I was going through a particularly nasty breakup, I had a really hard time with this step.
I kept having this overwhelming urge to check his LiveJournal (yes, it was that long ago) so I asked my best friend to change my password and keep an eye on his page for me. Creepy? Perhaps, but it was also effective because I stopped obsessing about it.
3. Lean on Your Loved Ones
They love you, and they want to help. If you don’t have a really close friend to talk to about stuff like this, talk to your family, or even a therapist. There are new services out there that allow you to get therapy online and even via text message. I mention this because it can be hard to even leave the house in the event of a horrible breakup and any help you can get from the comfort of your bed can be extremely valuable.
Love is an actual addiction. Did you know that? When you break up with someone, your mind and body go through a similar process to when you stop smoking or give up crack or whatever. Be kind to yourself, and let the people who want to support you in.
4. Keep Busy
Once you’ve gotten to the point where you can leave the house, distracting yourself from your misery is an important step in the healing process. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Go to a movie or maybe a concert. Spend time with friends or on your own, whatever you feel is most helpful and would provide the most enjoyment. Having fun is important because feeling good about anything will help you feel a little better about your broken heart, at least temporarily. And when it comes to healing, temporary relief counts.
If you’re motivated enough, try taking up a new sport or hobby. That way you’ll meet new people and when you’re ready, you might even try dating again. Next week I’ll talk about the signs that indicate you’re ready to go there. Until then, just hang on and know you’re not alone.