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7 Ways to Get Over a Breakup

ways to get over a breakup

Breaking up, even when you know it’s the right decision for all parties involved, is never easy. When the breakup goes badly, there may be hurt feelings, on top of a sense that you have wasted time or that your someone special was not who you thought they were. If you had been together long enough to make future plans, the dismantling of those future plans is especially painful. Many couples are committed to remaining friends, but seeing someone move on without can be just as painful as a bad breakup. Dwelling on the pain and wallowing in the breakup is only going to make you more jaded, angry, and hurt. Here’s 7 ways to get over a breakup and move on.

1. Find a mantra.

Bad feelings and thoughts are going to creep in, no matter what you do to keep them out. Finding a mantra that banishes those thoughts and feelings can be a good way to help yourself move forward. A good example of a healthy post-breakup mantra might be, “Feelings are not facts.” You might still feel like you would be good together, but if you look at your relationship objectively, you know that it was not a good situation and it would be better to move on. Find a mantra that keeps you from dwelling in negative thoughts and emotions.

2. Understand exactly what you are feeling.

Are you sad because the other person broke up with you and you thought things were going great? Are you angry because the other person cheated on you? Are you afraid of no longer being part of a couple? A breakup can be a mixed bag of emotion, but in order to get over a breakup, you need to know what you are feeling and why you are feeling it. Shock, fear, anger, and sadness are some of the most common emotions. Identifying them will allow you to deal with each of them individually.

3. Don’t just distract yourself.

One of the worst things you can do is to simply try to distract yourself when you are feeling down. Many people will pretend to be totally fine, others will simply try to stuff as much media down their throats as they can. If you are constantly distracting yourself, you won’t feel the pain of the breakup. Some people think this is a good thing—it’s not. All you are doing is delaying the inevitable confrontation you are going to have to have with these difficult emotions. This is a very self-destructive tendency that will get you into trouble down the road.

4. Find the silver lining.

Every breakup has a silver lining and finding it can be a great way to get over that breakup. There are always positives, even in the most negative situations. Realizing that a breakup is not so much an ending as it is a new beginning is a good way to negate many of the negative associations most people have with breaking up. It can be easy to pretend that a relationship was perfect while you are in that relationship, but taking some time to look at that relationship objectively and realize that it was not perfect can help you move on.

5. Give yourself time.

The worst thing you can do is expect yourself to be perfectly fine after only a few weeks. When you are in the midst of heartbreak, you often feel that it will go on forever. You focus on the long term, how you can’t endure the pain you are feeling right now forever. Luckily, you don’t have to. Focus, instead, on the right here and the right now. Worrying about how you think you are going to feel like this forever is not going to help and you can only really change what you are doing in the moment. Then, give yourself realistic time. Studies have shown that it takes an average of eleven weeks before most people can look back on their relationship in a positive way.

6. Realize you don’t have to stay friends.

Many couples want to remain friends, but this can actually make the breakup much more difficult. If you have to go on seeing that person in your social circle, on a daily basis, it is only going to be awkward and intensify the heartbreak you might be feeling. You don’t have to stay friends and continue to hang out just to be nice. You are allowed to retract from that person entirely and give yourself space. There’s no reason that you have to pretend to be alright around that person, when the opposite is actually true. Give yourself a couple of weeks or even a couple of months before you try being friends.

7. Pick up something new.

As long as you are not using a new hobby to distract yourself, indulge in something new. A total change of your routine can be a great way to get over a breakup. Introducing a new activity into that routine is a great way to do exactly that. A good example might be to take up walking, jogging, or running. This gets you outside (which is great for your mood) and exercise helps your body process stress and triggers the release of endorphins into your system. Doing something new, especially something that jolts you out of your routine of feeling sad, angry or scared can significantly improve your chances of getting over that breakup as quickly as possible.

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Lori provides counseling to adults and couples in a comfortable environment in Rittenhouse Square. Through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MbSR), she helps individuals live fuller lives.


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