There is so much dating advice out there for what to do when things are ideal. How do I attract someone? What should I do on a first date? How can I keep my partner happy? But there is an entirely different aspect of relationships that needs even more attention when it crops up its ugly head… the breakup, and more specifically, how to get over it. It’s an unfortunate step that most people have to encounter in their quest to find the right person(s) for them, but it always royally sucks. While I can’t take away the painful reality of a breakup, I’ve compiled a short list of things that might help you get over one a little easier.
Firstly, it’s incredibly important that you actually take the necessary time to grieve. So many people try to immediately rush past the pain and into the next person, but rebounds rarely last or help. When you’re in a relationship with a person, you create future plans that include them. In your brain, these plans embed themselves in a similar way as memories. When a breakup happens, those ‘memories’ are severed, as all the dreams you’ve built with that person disappear. This can be remarkably painful, even physically. So understand that your heart, mind, and body are going through something traumatic, and give yourself a break to recover.
Once you start feeling a bit better, you should give yourself something to look forward to. Figure out what YOU want (where/who you want to be and how you want to live), and start making new plans. If you’ve been with your ex for a long time, this can be particularly difficult. It can be hard to view yourself as an individual unit, but it’s important that you start making some big decisions on your own. Did the two of you plan a trip? Take it by yourself! Did you have plans to move to another location? Make that leap! It’s important that you don’t react rashly and ‘run away’ from your pain, but when you build a future with a person, you’re thinking big. It’s 100% ok to continue thinking big for YOURSELF and take action on the things you’ve daydreamed about. Create new plans, so you can live your fullest life.
When you’ve figured out what you want, it’ll be healthy to start integrating with other people again. Hang out with those you haven’t seen in a while, join a fitness group, start exploring new places in your city, make new friends. You need to start doing things that make YOU happy and surround yourself with people who support that version of you. Remember that the opposite of depression isn’t happiness… it’s action. So go out and fill up your schedule with all the things you’ve been wanting to do, and DO THEM. Get out of your shell a little bit, so you can (re)discover the things that bring you joy.
If you take all these steps, recovering from a break up should be a little bit smoother. It can be hard to imagine life on your own, but don’t let your pain hold you back from enjoying yourself. Let yourself heal, and you’ll find a life that is worth living and maybe even sharing with someone new.