How to Deal With A Breakup

Rachel Sharpe
Rachel Sharpe

There are two key ways to deal with a breakup: the healthy way and the unhealthy way. The unhealthy way to deal with a breakup is by calling your ex, stalking their profiles, and believing you’ll get back together if you change yourself. And honestly, you should never compromise yourself for another person because there’s someone out there looking for someone exactly the way you are right now. The healthy way to handle a breakup is to take care of yourself, develop good habits, and rediscover who you are with this change in identity. In this article, we’re going to help you learn the healthy method of how to deal with a breakup so you can heal faster, move on, and find love again.

What Is A Breakup?

A breakup is when a relationship you’re in ends. A breakup is typically the end of a romantic relationship though in modern times some people break up with friends, relatives, and other people in their lives. For the focus of this article, we’ll be talking about how to deal with a breakup of a romantic relationship. 

Free meditation appDeclutter The Mind is an app that will teach you how to meditate, help you form the habit of a regular practice, and expand your mind to the teachings of mindfulness.

Why Are Breakups So Painful?

Breakups are so painful because with a breakdown in relationship comes a loss of identity. Essentially, we lose the part of ourselves that we became by spending time with this person. This same effect also happens when someone we love dies. We forever lose that part of our identity that we were when we were with them. With a breakup, deep down you know it’s over. And quite likely, you’ll never be the same person again. It’s important to take time to grieve this loss of identity in a healthy way. 

Do Breakups Get Easier?

Breakups do get easier as time passes. However, if you go through multiple breakups, you might notice that every breakup is hard and filled with emotional challenges. But you eventually do get over every breakup you go through. We go through relationship losses throughout our entire lives. It’s never easy at first but we eventually learn how to deal with a breakup. 

How to Deal With A Breakup: 10 Ways to Handle A Breakup

1. Turn Off Negative Thoughts

Woman lost in thought

The number one evil in a breakup is actually in your own head: your thoughts. Your thoughts can take this breakup and turn it into a wonderful experience. This might be exactly what you needed in life to help you find someone more compatible with you. Or, and more commonly, your negative thoughts will destroy you. You’ll start asking yourself, “What is wrong with me?” and spiral down a path that puts you in a depressed, anxious, or angry state. Fortunately, the ability to turn off your thoughts can be taught through guided meditation. You can try a guided meditation for heartbreak or any emotion you’re feeling to help you cope with this unfortunate experience. You can download the meditation app Declutter The Mind to help you learn how to stay calm, in control of your thoughts, accept the breakup, and let go of the relationship.

2. Take Care Of Yourself

We’ve all seen the stereotype of a person eating a bucket of ice cream following a breakup. In the short-term that might make you feel a bit better because ice cream is sugary goodness. But long-term, it doesn’t help. Too much sugar will only make you crash. But when you’ve been crying and depressed, all your body wants is a bunch of sugar and carbs. It’s basic science. But you don’t need a short-term fix to solve a permanent problem. This breakup is real. And you’re going to be feeling unpleasant for a few weeks. So, and I know you’re probably dreading this, but you’re going to need to take care of yourself. That means exercising the sadness away when you feel like hiding in bed. It also means eating healthy meals as much as you can. It means making sure you take a shower every night or every morning because showers are really powerful at minimizing depression. The Romans swore by hydrotherapy.

3. Focus On Your Long Term Happiness

Woman smiling into the camera

Following a breakup, many couples temporarily hook up with their ex because they feel lonely. I know you might be thinking to yourself that this might be how you win them back, but it’s only how you’ll hurt yourself for many more months. You can’t keep running back to someone who doesn’t want to be with you or who you don’t really want to be with. Yes, there’ll be times when you want to be cuddled or want to tell your ex about how you finally landed that promotion. But is occasionally running back to your ex going to make you happy long term? Before you start telling yourself stories of friends who got back together with their ex and ended up marrying, remember you don’t have the full context. Maybe they’re married, but maybe they’re both miserable in private. When you know there’s an exit in a relationship because you’ve already taken it, it’s much easier to walk out at any time. Focus on finding the right person instead of crawling back to the wrong one. 

4. Determine Who You Want to Be

So, here’s the fun part when you’re learning how to deal with a breakup: you get to rediscover yourself. Wow. Since you started dating your ex, you’ve changed so much. You’ve developed new interests and hobbies. You’ve mingled with different personality types. You’ve worked in various jobs. Now, you get to figure out who you are on your own, without another person. Are there things you’ve always wanted to do but your ex wasn’t interested in? Have there been any interests or hobbies you’ve done that you stopped while you were dating your ex? By focusing on this part of your breakup journey, you’ll discover that there’s so much to learn about who you are right now and who you want to become. You can become anyone in the world by learning new interests right now. So, who is the 2.0 version of yourself post breakup going to be?

5. Look At Your Life As A Whole

Woman with her back turned walking along the beach

Take a moment to reflect on your life as a whole. Throughout your life, you’ve interacted with thousands of people. You’ve walked in and out of so many people’s lives. And many people have walked in and out of your life. In the grand scheme of things, most people don’t stay in our life forever. And when someone decides to stay in our lives the whole way through, that’s a huge thing to celebrate and be grateful for. Sometimes, people come into our lives at the wrong time. Other times, they teach us a valuable life lesson. Ultimately, we need to look at the big picture. Were there some amazing moments with this person we dated or even married? Of course! And you can continue to cherish and value those moments since they were big moments in your life. A breakup can be tied to a relationship with many amazing memories. But it doesn’t change the fact that the relationship is over. Now, you need to figure out who you are, what values you look for in your next relationship, and come up with ways to make this breakup easier for you.

6. Journal Your Feelings

When dealing with a breakup, some people choose to work with a psychotherapist to help them cope. This is mostly common for those who had failed engagements, a traumatic relationship, or a big divorce. If you’re struggling for months on end with your breakup, therapy can be helpful. Another way to deal with a breakup is to practice journalling. However, if everyday you’re writing all your negative emotions, thoughts, and feelings, you might notice that those feelings end up surfacing a bit longer than you’d like. So, while you journal how you feel and cope with each day, also be sure to include 3-5 things you’re grateful everyday. By practicing gratitude through this breakup, you’ll strengthen your mind. You’ll also realize that not only do you offer so much to the world, the world is still offering you a ton of stuff too. Look for the little wins each day. 

7. Spend More Time with Friends and Family

Friends and family gathered in the kitchen socializing

When feeling isolated from a hard breakup, it’s important to fill the time you would’ve spent with your ex with people who love you so much. This is the time to reinvest in your friendships and relationships with family members. Are there friends you can spend an evening with? Maybe watch a movie together, grab dinner, or chat about some of the crazy things you’ve done together. Get to know what they’ve been up to and be genuinely happy for them if life is going well for them. Be sure to spend some time with your parents, siblings, or cousins too. Many people don’t spend enough time with family because they’re too preoccupied with their own lives. But it’s those family relationships that stand the test of time. Whether you like or not, you can’t replace family members. So cherish every second you can get with them. 

8. Do A Good Deed A Day

When someone goes through a breakup, their whole life centers around themselves. It becomes all about me, me, me. And that’s exactly why you’re unhappy. Because happiness comes from making other people happy. 

While I know you don’t really want to read this, hearing you talk about how you’ve been wronged in a breakup for months on end, can be very draining for people to hear. For example, if your friend recently bought their first house with their new husband, rather than being depressed about it and running back to your ex, just be happy someone in your life is happy.  Don’t make every person’s happiness a reflection of your unhappiness. Their journey is different than yours. Instead, see the situation of someone else’s happiness as an opportunity to celebrate their new milestone. Buy them their first plant. Help them move in and unpack. Print out photos of the happy couple and gift them a photo frame. That’s exactly how to be a good friend

Every day ask yourself, “how can I make someone’s day today?” And by doing that you’ll get over your ex because instead of throwing a pity party in your head, you’re out there living and giving people the best of you. If you spent the rest of your life helping others at every opportunity without ever expecting anything in return, you would notice in a couple months how genuinely happy you’ve become. The problem is that most people give to receive. But giving for the sake of giving is what leads to true happiness. 

9. Get to Know Other People

Two people sitting at a table having a coffee

After dealing with a breakup, eventually it’s time to start dating again. You don’t need to start dating as soon as your ex does. You’ll know when going on dates is right for you. Being in the right mindset can help you find a long-term life partner. Instead of dating for the sake of replacing your old relationship, look at those first few dates as an opportunity to get to know people and practice mindful dating. In your mind, tell yourself, “this is my opportunity to get to know new people, discover new interests, and interact with unique personalities.” When you go on dates, become curious about the other person. Get to know everything about them. There are few opportunities in life where we actually take the time to get to know people deeply. Most of our relationships can be quite superficial. By getting to dig deep in the relationship, you might realize that sometimes true love is just listening. And the element of a long-term relationship is just the perk to getting to know someone really well for the rest of your life.

10. Find Your Inner Peace

The last part of dealing with a breakup is that you experience a sense of inner peace. There’ll be an epiphany moment in your life where you’ll realize that your ex played a role in your life but they weren’t meant to be in the whole story. And you’ll realize that the magic in life comes from your role in writing the story. You’ll have a moment where you realize that you can craft your life in any way you’d like. If you want to start a business, you can do that. Or you want to solve a burning problem, find love again, dance in the rain, hokey pokey on a rooftop, travel to exotic destinations, go back to school, start a new career, anything. You can do and accomplish anything within your control in life. And realizing that you might discover a greater happiness than any relationship can provide. So, when you do embark on that new relationship, you now know that you can still have an entire identity for yourself without having to compromise everything you are to be with someone. Mastering that will be the relationship that lasts longer than the rest because it’s the relationship with yourself.

Conclusion

Dealing with a breakup isn’t easy, can lead to an increase of negative thoughts, and can sometimes make you feel isolated from others. While there may be times you resent the happiness of others, it’s important to be mindful of that because that level of negativity is unnecessary. We all have to live in a world where people are happy when we’re sad because when we’re happy others may be sad too. When dealing with a breakup, you should consider minimizing negative thoughts, rediscover yourself, explore journaling and gratitude, and get to know other people among other things. Doing this will ultimately lead you to finding inner peace in life. You are a whole person filled with passion, love, and happiness. Don’t throw all that away because a relationship ended with the wrong person. You’re role in the world can be so much bigger than who you were in a relationship, don’t be afraid to explore this new identity. You might really admire the person you become.

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