Breakups are hard, especially if you’ve been dating for a while and developed a serious relationship. It may seem impossible to forget your former partner and move on, but it’s not. Even though this person was important to you, your world doesn’t (and shouldn’t) revolve around them.
Still, healing is easier said than done, and we’re quite aware of that. That’s why we’ll give you some solid tips on how to deal with a breakup healthily and move on to better things.
Most Important Steps to Get Over a Breakup
#1 Figuring out the Cause(s)
One of the first steps in dealing with a breakup is figuring out why things didn’t work. If you were the one who ended things, remember why it was so. It’s easy to recall only the nice things now that it’s over. However, try to keep in mind that if things had really been that good, you would probably still be together.
Things just get more difficult if you’re the one who got broken up with. If your former partner didn’t explain the reason behind this decision, you should ask for one after some time has passed. Dealing with a breakup conversation like this one is hard, be it over text or in person. You need to make sure tensions aren’t still riding high before you have it.
The most crucial thing you need to do for yourself is keep an open mind. Even if you disagree with the answers you get, remember that things look different depending on the perspective. Put yourself in your ex’s shoes, and you may see some truth in what they’re saying. Processing their reasons for breaking up won’t be easy, but it’s necessary if you wish to move on.
#2 Writing Yourself a Letter
Learning how to cope with a breakup might also get easier through this specific step. Write yourself a letter to process your negative emotions more successfully. Let everything pour out with the ink—all the love, anger, sadness, and frustrations you may feel toward your ex and the overall situation. It doesn’t matter how coherent it is or how much sense it makes once it’s written.
Now that your words are out there, go outside, take a lighter, and burn the paper. This is a very cathartic moment because it feels like all of those emotions are fading away. Dealing with a long term breakup becomes much easier when you say goodbye to those feelings in the most tangible, apparent way possible.
When you start feeling better about the given situation, you should write yourself another letter. This time, remind yourself why you broke up, why it didn’t work, and why you shouldn’t get back together. Your future self will thank you for it, as there will surely be moments where you miss your ex and really want to text them or ask them out again.
If that happens, instead of reaching for your phone, reach for the letter. Read it repeatedly until you get a reality-check from your past self and realize once again why getting back together would be a bad idea.
#3 Asking for Support
This tip is particularly important for people getting over a bad breakup or getting out of a very long, serious relationship. Talk to your friends and family. They may have their own things going on, but they love you and want to be there for you. Besides, they’ve surely been through a similar situation at least once in their lives, so they may have valuable breakup advice.
Still, having support is more than just talking about your feelings. It’s also about being reminded of the amazing people you have in your life and how much they mean to you. Go out for coffee with your bestie, make lunch with your parents, or watch a movie with your siblings, and rediscover the joy of spending time with them.
#4 Letting Your Emotions Out
It may seem like the best thing to do is push your emotions down and move on with your life. However, the more you ignore what you’re feeling, the worse you’re going to feel after it finally hits you.
When figuring out how to deal with a long term breakup, you must avoid hiding from your emotions. It may seem awful that you’re crying for hours, but let yourself feel the sadness and the pain. The sooner you let it flow through you, the sooner it will pass.
#5 Focusing on New Things
Look at it this way: Now you finally have the time to do the things you’ve always wanted. You no longer have to invest emotional energy into your relationship. This will free up your time to find new hobbies and discover new things about yourself in your process of learning how to get over someone.
Are you an artsy person? Start a new DIY project, join a photography class, go to the theatre more often, or take tours of the museums in your town. If you’re someone who likes exercise, try new sports or join the gym.
Dealing with a bad breakup can seem challenging if you don’t know what you like, though. In this case, it’s best to try various things! Dance lessons, cooking, gardening—there’s no better way to discover who you are than by experimenting.
Not only will these new activities enrich your being and make you a better person, but they’ll also help you not think about your ex. You’ll see that having fun and enjoying life is possible without them, too.
#6 Reflecting on Yourself While Coping with a Breakup
Besides taking up new hobbies, now you also have time to reflect. Each relationship is an opportunity to find something new about ourselves. So, what did you learn from this one?
Take a look at your behavior in past relationships. Focus on the good and the bad things equally. This is a great way to feel better about yourself as a partner, but also pinpoint any toxic traits you may need to work on.
It helps to write these thoughts down and analyze them one by one. If you’re comfortable with it, you can also ask your friends and family for their input and anything they may have noticed.
#7 Seeking Professional Help
Unfortunately, issues like depression and relationships breakups sometimes (or often) go together. So, if you want to recover but don’t know how to solve the mental difficulties you’re facing, seek professional help. Sometimes it helps when an objective stranger gives their assessment of the situation you’re placed in. It especially helps when that stranger has a background in psychology and probably holds the answer to your problems.
What you have to bear in mind is that therapy won’t work unless you’re willing to invest yourself. No therapist out there can instantly cure what ails you. They can, however, offer you a fresh, objective perspective and show you effective coping mechanisms and ways to healthily deal with your difficulties.
A big part of getting professional help when dealing with a breakup is doing homework and investing additional effort into boosting your mental health. We should also stress here that it’s perfectly okay to switch to a new therapist if you don’t click with the first one right away.
#8 Getting Closure
Closure can play a huge role in getting over someone. However, we should mention that it’s best to seek it after some time has passed and you’re feeling better about yourself and the situation. Once you’ve looked at the breakup from different angles, there may be new things about the relationship that you’d like to share with your former partner.
Naturally, the closure you’re getting is exclusively for you. Sometimes nothing helps us heal more than letting our feelings out to the person with whom we have so much unresolved emotional business.
Meet in a neutral location (like a coffee shop) and get things off your chest. Be polite, concise, and calm. You can also jot down your thoughts on what you wish to say. Keep the meeting short and reward yourself with a little treat afterward.
#9 Accepting the New Reality
An unavoidable phase of healing and learning how to move on is accepting the new reality. No matter how desperately you wish to get back together with your ex, you have to accept that your life no longer includes them.
Instead of being sad about this fact, turn it into a source of positive changes. You may be anxious or disappointed now, but you have the whole world in front of you waiting for you to discover it. This is an opportunity to grow as a person, and step out of your comfort zone.
Anxiety after a breakup can lessen if you’re thankful for the time you got to spend together and for all the joy they brought into your life. They made you a better person, but that doesn’t mean their role was to stay in your life forever. The value of your connection doesn’t diminish just because you’re not in contact anymore.
Once these lessons set in, you’ll finally be able to move on to better things. Focus on strengthening the relationship you have with yourself, give yourself time to heal, and keep reminding yourself why it’s all for the best. After a while, you may even start to realize that this new reality is actually even better than the old one.
How to Deal with a Breakup when You Live Together or Work Together
If you live together, start looking for a new apartment right away. Crash at a friend’s or your parents’ until you find a new place for a fresh start.
In case you work together, distance may be more difficult to achieve. What you can try to do is transfer to another department or location if you have the option. Depending on your job, you might also be able to ask to work remotely more often.
In cases where the relationship was really serious and the breakup acrimonious, some people even consider changing their job. Though challenging, this change could be just the right thing for you in the long run. Still, whatever your final decision, think it through very carefully before making big changes.
How to Deal With a Breakup When You Still Love Him or Her
If you still have their stuff at your place, put them all in a box and give it back to them. Don’t surround yourself with pictures of the two of you and delete all old messages.
If everything and everywhere you go reminds you of them, perhaps it’s time to take a short vacation. Getting out of town will help you process your feelings and make you see your usual environment with a fresh pair of eyes when you return.
Hopefully, this article has helped you see things from a new perspective. Getting over someone is never easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The most important relationship you’ll have in your life is the one you have with yourself. You’d lived normally before you met your partner, and there’s no reason you can’t do so again. It may take some time, but you’ll learn how to deal with a breakup effectively and find your true self again.