Breakups are difficult, for men and women alike. For most people, the period (weeks, months, years) after a breakup can be an anguishing time, having strong effects on personal health, relationships, school and work. Different people manage breakups differently. Some allow themselves to sink into a sea of depression, while others turn their sorrow into anger (blackmail, voodoo dolls, etc.). Most people don’t manage at all. They endure the confusion, the emotional roller coasters, and bide their time till they can finally start fresh. The one thing that makes breakups especially difficult is the inability of people to move on. Many people are unwilling to let go of whatever is left of a broken relationship. Moving on is not easy. However, it is the single-most important step in getting over a difficult breakup. Here are a few ways that can help you move past a bad breakup…
1. Rediscover Yourself
Breakups are a good time to take stock of yourself. However, this should be done in a healthy way. We all have strengths, skills, and goals. Sometimes – especially in toxic relationships – we can lose sight of these. After a breakup, it is important to really ponder over what your life was like before the relationship and try to work your way back to that. If some of your character traits may have added problems to the bad relationship, then this is a good time to start working to weed these out.
Make sure you don’t allow the negativity of a breakup to affect your health in a bad way. Keep eating healthy and working out. This will keep you distracted from brooding thoughts and allow you to take care of yourself during a difficult time.
2. Take her off the pedestal
No matter how bad a relationship, at the end of it many guys say, “I’ll never find anyone like her again!” If that’s true, perhaps you should be happy. If a relationship didn’t work out, then there’s a reason for it. You two were not meant to be together. You may have wanted things to work out, but they didn’t. It is time to move on. A big part of moving on is to remind yourself that the girl was just a girl. She was one of many. You may have loved her, but she is not the most special person in the world – at least not any longer. Every single guy has that moment where he thinks he let the right girl get away. If she was the right one, then you two could have made it work. Now that she’s gone, it’s good to remember that there are lots and lots of good looking, single girls out there; and there’s one that’s waiting for you.
3. Cut her out (completely)
Some relationships end, but they don’t disappear. One part fear and two parts selfishness combine to make this grotesque creature called “post-break friendship”. You couldn’t stand each other while you were together, and yet, you can’t let each other go. So you decide to remain friends. The problem with this so-called friendship is that it kills your ability to move on. More often than not, the two parties are on two different pages. One (usually the one who got dumped) is in it desperately hoping to patch things up. The other (usually the one who did the dumping) is in it because he/she feels guilty or is afraid to let go. By staying involved in this strange relationship, neither allows the other to move on. Moreover, if either one starts seeing another person, this is a recipe for disaster.
If you find yourself in the throes of a breakup – one where there is no way of reconciling – the best thing to do is to cut her out. This can be a very difficult task. Some bad relationships can be like drug addictions: you know they’re bad for you and yet you can’t shake free of them. The solution: cut everything. Stop making excuses (e.g. “we have the same friends”; “I don’t want to be mean”; “it’s rude”) and delete her from your phone’s contact list, your Facebook friends, etc. As hard as it may be, make up your mind to start a new life…without her.
4. Re-connect with old friends
While you were in a relationship, you probably forgot all about your friends. If you’re lucky, they haven’t all forgotten about you. Breakups are tough, but they can be easier to endure if you have someone to talk to and share your thoughts with. Of course, don’t go running to your friends only for a shoulder to cry on. Start spending quality time with them. Getting out with your friends will remind you that you are still capable of having fun. In the beginning, it will be difficult to stay positive or find the motivation to be out in the social world. But, sooner or later, you will begin to feel better. It will also chase away any ridiculous notions that you can’t possibly be happy without her.
5. Start dating again
It is never a good idea to jump into something serious right after a recent breakup. However, you shouldn’t stop yourself from exploring the dating scene. Try to meet new people and go on casual dates. This will not only prevent you from letting yourself go physically (i.e. the post-breakup fat, haggard look), but it will also give a much-needed boost to your self-confidence. Most of all, it will remind you that there are plenty more fish out in the sea, and they are just as lost as you.