How to Get Over a Break Up

So it’s over. Now what do you do? At a time when things feel helpless, like you won’t ever stop crying or second guessing yourself, what you really need is a guide on how to get over your relationship. Stick with me and we can get you over this hump in a jiffy… or at least make you feel like you can get out of bed today.

We have all been there in our live at one point or another. We feel like there is no possible way that you will ever feel whole again. And no, I am not trying to make anyone sound desperate or pathetic. However, when you give your heart to someone, and it doesn’t work out, there is always a period of second-guessing and being upset (sometimes even to the point of isolating oneself, possibly falling into a rut). I am in no way a doctor or professional… but I’ve been there. Here is a short guide to help get you up, out, and over this relationship crater.

How can I stop crying?

Well, I hate to say this, but it is therapeutic to cry. Crying will release a lot of the tension and stress the ended relationship puts on you. It is a loss, almost as if someone has died. You need to grieve for your loss. There is nothing wrong with sitting with a few friends of family members and just let it out. You may just feel better (what, with all of them telling you how great you are and how you deserve better). Expelling all of that emotion through liquid means may lead to a faster recovery. Bottom line, don’t be ashamed to cry… and yes, I mean you too guys!!

What should I NOT do after a break up?

For starters, please please please do not try to be his/her friend. Make a clean break. It is definitely easier said than done, but when you continue contacting or seeing your ex after the break up, you are headed for heart break all over again. It is virtually impossible to feel good about yourself when your feelings are not reciprocated. Many dumpees feel that if they spend time with the dumper, he/she will realize their true feelings and they will get back together. This rarely happens. Why put yourself through that? Explaining to your ex that the pain is too great right now to be friend is your best option. Maybe in the future the two of you can learn to be friends again, but now is NOT the time to learn your lesson twice. I would recommend deleting your ex’s number out of your phone and blocking him/her from your buddy lists or e-mail accounts. This way, if/when you have a bad night, you won’t be tempted to contact your ex. I would also avoid self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. This coincides with the cell phone number deleting I mentioned earlier. There is nothing worse than waking up hung over and realizing that you drunk dialed him the night before, rambling/crying/blathering on. Like I said… I’ve been there.

Tips to make the best of it

The following are a few tips I have on how to wipe away your relationship blues:

1. Change your environment up a bit. Now I don’t mean join Greenpeace (well… that is still an option I guess), I mean make some changes to your apartment or room. Paint you room a new exotic color. Buy some higher thread count sheets. Box up all mementos and pictures that remind you of your ex. You don’t need to torch them just yet, but get them out of view for a while.

2. Spend some time and money on YOU. Going along with number one, for the next few weeks, do everything within your power (and bank account) to make you feel better.

3. Keep yourself busy. Join something that you never thought you would have had time to do before. Go on a trip. Do little projects around the house. Volunteer (yeah Greenpeace!). The more distractions, them more you will eventually realize that you are doing these things for yourself and not just as an attempt to divert attention away you from thinking about your ex. And, by paying more attention to you and what you need, you may re-discover something that you loved doing or find out more about yourself. In the end you will be happier having been a little self-indulgent during this time.

4. Bond with other singles. Everyone has two groups of friends, the singles and the couples. Spending time with the couples right now may be hard, so don’t be afraid to look up some of your single friends. Even if you may not have spoken to some of them in a while, take this opportunity to go out with some of them on the weekends. You may even renew an old friendship, or get introduced to someone really great through those friends.

5. Write in a journal. As 8th grade as it sounds, it really helps get the frustrations out and gets you to verbalize how you feel and where the relationship went wrong. After a few weeks or months, go back and re-read what you had written. You’ll be surprised how far you have come since then.

To rebound or not to rebound…

Should you rebound? Well many swear by the phrase, “You can’t get over a man (or woman) until you get under another.” Some believe that a harmless fling is the best way to get over an ex. While having another be attracted to you may feel good, it is only superficial. I am no prude, but I tend to believe that after a one night stand, you will feel lonelier than ever after. This of course is just my opinion, however, dating (or having sex) before you are ready can possibly set you back further. Take this time to focus on you and your needs. But is you do decide to date right away, make sure you go easy on the next person you meet. Do not continue unfinished business with this new guy/gal. Projecting your open and unresolved issues to the new person will only lead you down a destructive path. Ergo, don’t date until you have gotten past your last relationship and its issues.

How do I know if I am over my ex?

That is the $64,000 question. A good gauge is when you no longer want to get back together with the person. That, and when the thought of your ex having a relationship (and, gasp, sex) with someone else doesn’t turn your stomach. You may not have to necessarily be “happy” for him/her, but when you are over your ex, you won’t care either way. Now go out there and heal!

Graduate from the University of Michigan. Want to eventually publish a book… will YOU by it? ;-)  View profile

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