So, you’ve just been dumped.
Most of us have been through this at least once. Regardless of the reasons, or the number of times it’s happened, it hurts.
And it hurts a lot.
Usually, breakups seem to come out of nowhere. Things were all sunshine and roses, then suddenly you’re left heartbroken and confused.
You might be left wondering what you did wrong, feeling ashamed that you allowed yourself to be so vulnerable…
Or maybe you’re worrying that you’ll never meet anyone again.
These are all common feelings. But no matter how difficult it feels right now, your life isn’t over. As the cliché saying goes, “time heals all”.
And that really is true.
But until then, we’re sharing some practical steps you can take to make life a little easier for yourself. We want to help you heal and rebuild your confidence during this difficult time.
1. Don’t Feel Guilty for Being Sad
Breaking news: it’s OK to grieve!
In today’s world, people typically praise one another for being able to handle the ever-increasing stresses of life without complaining.
“Mind over matter” and “good vibes only”, right?
When you’re going through a breakup, it can be tempting to act like you don’t care and try to “suck it up”. This is just something we humans do to guard ourselves and our pride.
But this way of thinking can also be detrimental to your mental health.
Yes, it may be difficult to admit you’re feeling down. Maybe you even feel a lot of anger towards your ex.
But trying to put on a brave face doesn’t make the pain go away. In fact, it will probably make you feel even worse.
Don’t pretend that you don’t care if you’re actually falling apart inside.
A big breakup is one of the hardest things a person can go through—of course you’re going to feel sad! There’s no shame in expressing that.
Cry as much and as often as you need to. Let yourself be angry. Honor your emotions and allow yourself to grieve for what once was.
It’s OK to mope around for a while and feel utterly sorry for yourself if that’s what you want to do. Sometimes, it’s an essential part of the healing process.
2. Focus on Moving Forward Instead of Pining
Do not—I repeat—do not stalk your ex on social media. As strong as the temptation may be, it’s wise to completely avoid checking up on them.
At best, you’ll become obsessed with them. At worst, you’ll see something you didn’t want to and end up feeling even worse.
And don’t fall into the trap of trying to stay friends with your ex. Keeping in touch with someone you still have feelings for will stop you from moving on completely.
It’s usually best to cut all contact, at least until you no longer have feelings for them.
It may sound harsh, but you need to act like they don’t exist for a little while.
Remove all mementos from your surroundings, at least temporarily, and delete their number from your phone if you can’t resist the urge to contact them.
It takes a lot of strength to cut someone out of your life but it’s an essential part of moving on after a breakup.
Of course, being friends down the line might be an option, depending on the circumstances. But right now you need to focus on getting used to life without them.
3. Make Peace with the Situation
As much as you might not want to accept that you’ve just been dumped, try to accept this situation for what it is.
Yes, it will be hard, but letting go of the resistance will make things way easier for you.
Instead of seeing your relationship as a waste of time or holding a grudge against your ex, think about what you gained from that relationship.
What did that person teach you? Did they help you let your guard down, show you the value of good communication skills, how to handle conflict?
Maybe they taught you that you need to raise your standards when it comes to relationships.
Even if all they taught you was what not to look for in a partner, everyone comes into our lives for a reason. Have a good think about what that reason might’ve been.
Viewing the relationship as a learning experience that you can grow from is incredibly healing. It will also make it easier for you to move on.
4. Find a Positive Distraction
Something a lot of people do when they get dumped is to immediately hook up with someone else, otherwise known as “rebounding”.
More often than not, rebounding will only make you feel worse about yourself.
If you’re struggling with post-breakup loneliness, try taking up a new hobby or set yourself some goals instead of trying to replace your ex.
It can be common for us to “lose” ourselves in a relationship and become so infatuated with the other person that we forget to work on ourselves, too. Now is the perfect time to change that.
Whether you’re trying out a rock-climbing class, starting a food blog or simply reading a new book, make sure you have at least one positive thing to work on.
Setting personal goals and trying new hobbies will not only take your mind off of your ex but will also help your personal development.
5. Surround Yourself with Good People
Having a good support system will help you to heal a broken heart much faster. It may be easy to withdraw when you’re feeling sad, but it’s so important to allow love into your life too.
Being around people who love you will help you to raise your confidence and self-esteem and ultimately move on faster.
If you don’t have many friends around you, now is a good time to try to make some.
It can be a little bit trickier as an adult, but it’s possible. Taking up new hobbies should help with this.
6. Take Care of Yourself
Nurturing yourself physically and mentally is one of the best things you can do after a breakup.
Instead of longing for someone else to be there for you, show up for yourself and do things that make you feel really good. And do them often.
Here are some ideas:
- Bake your favorite dessert
- Watch a comedy movie with some friends
- Take a luxurious bath
- Go for a run or walk in nature
- Put on your favorite outfit and dress up for yourself
- Cuddle your pet
- Buy yourself those shoes you’ve had your eye on for a while
It doesn’t have to be a massive or expensive gesture, but treating yourself well will help you to set the new standard for your life.
It might also be nice to incorporate some new healthy habits such as journaling, meditating or exercising. Although not for everyone, these habits can be incredibly healing.
They’re also a great distraction in the evenings, as this is when post-break-up-feels tend to be the strongest.
Try to reconnect with yourself as an individual, separate from your ex, and realize how amazing you are as your own person. You’ve got this!