32 tips from Web users to help get through a painful breakup
Breaking up is a difficult process that is often accompanied by a lot of stress, tears, and sad, depressing thoughts. And even if it was a mutual and considered decision, it takes time and a few psychological techniques to start a new life.
If you’re feeling broken, try tips from Internet users who have been in similar situations and dealt with negative emotions. Recently, BuzzFeed’s online community editors asked Web users to tell us how they overcame a breakup with a loved one. We have selected the most striking and interesting answers.
1. “Watch ‘Grace and Frankie’ on Netflix. The show depicts the lives of two feuding women in their 70s whose husbands have fallen in love with each other.
In the process of their divorce, the once nemeses become best friends. Even though it’s only a movie, I think if they could get through it, so can I. In some ways, the series made me feel that things could be much worse. I cried like a baby and laughed like crazy. The show was an escape route for me.
2. “I made a list of everything I accomplished without this man.
It showed me how wonderful my life is without my partner and what it could be again. After that, make a list of all the things you want to do in the future.”
3. “Cry your heart out. Don’t hold back. Invite your girlfriend over, put on some sad music and let your emotions out.
Holding back won’t help you in the long run. You have to let yourself spill out all your feelings before you can heal your wounds.”
Paramount Pictures / giphy.com
4. “Start paying attention to activities that take up all your time and that you couldn’t afford when you were in a relationship.
Go to a spa treatment, rewatch “Titanic,” play “The Sims” or “Age of Empires.” Enjoy these opportunities and reflect on how rarely did you get a chance to do this before.”
5. “Let yourself feel what you need to feel. Sometimes a breakup can lead to deep sadness and dramatic mood swings – and that’s okay.
Take care of yourself. Seek support from friends. Make new friends. Say yes to unfamiliar things. Do something you’ve always wanted to do but never got around to. Once you find something to do, start living and enjoying life, you’ll remember who you were before the relationship, and feel like you can be yourself again. No compromises!”
6. “Two words: take care of yourself! Do all the things your ex couldn’t do for you and enjoy your precious time of freedom.”
Channel 4 / giphy.com
7. “I’ve always tried to look at relationships from an objective perspective. Yes, it’s hard to do when you’re going through grief, but it’s very important.
When you’re heartbroken and feel rejected, you look for comfort (usually in an ex), but that’s not the right way to do it.
I tried to remember the reasons why we broke up. I tried to remember all those problems we didn’t want to work on. Then I took the time to do what I wanted to do without all the teasing and humiliation. My ex acted like everything I wanted to watch was automatically terrible.
So I watched every show I wanted to watch and listened to music loudly without interruption. I still hurt because it was an abusive, toxic relationship, but it helped in those first few weeks and months when I was heartbroken, believing I wasn’t good enough.”
8. “Stop believing that soul mates or ‘the one’ exist.
It makes breakups that much harder. You will love more than one other person in your lifetime. Yes, it hurts now, but after a while you will meet someone else.”
9. “I write letters that I don’t send. During breakups, I often feel like I can’t say what I want to say. So by putting thoughts on paper, I just get rid of them.”
10. “Go on a date. I don’t mean a date to find a partner, just a meeting.
I had a beauty day, downloaded Tinder and remembered what it was like to talk about myself again, have fun and feel interesting. Plus, I now know exactly what I won’t tolerate in new acquaintances.”
11. “Put down on paper all the feelings you can’t tell the people closest to you. There’s nothing worse than holding sad thoughts inside. Remind yourself why you broke up or why you’re not right for each other.
Nostalgia is kind of like sandpaper: time passes and you begin to remember the good times and miss them. But it’s also important to remember that there’s a reason it didn’t work out for you.
Three months after I broke up with someone I thought I would be with forever, I finally feel better and freer. By the way, a new hobby helps just as much!”
12. “As silly as it sounds, the first step for me was to sleep with someone else.
Not because of lust at all – it allowed me to stop associating sex with my ex-partner and start seeing it as part of a normal life in which I could do without him. Of course, you should only do it when you’re really ready, otherwise you’ll just regret it and only hate yourself.”
13. “Don’t have contact with your exes. At least for a while. Block them on social media, block their number, block everything.
If you think you want to get back to them – put their number down where it’s not so easy to get to. At some point you may want to contact them again. Maybe, on the contrary, you never want to talk to them. Either of these options is absolutely real (unless, of course, you have children).
And if they start bending the old “I hope we can still be friends” line, don’t feel obligated to agree if you don’t want to. Just say, ‘I already have great friends,’ and then remember how great it is that you can now enjoy life by giving more time to your acquaintances.”
14. “Listen to sad breakup songs and have a good cry.
And when you’ve calmed down, put on some tracks that will lift your spirits and provide an opportunity to put the negative emotions behind you. Dance, sing, and just remember how awesome and amazing you are.”
15. “Just accept that this is a temporary feeling that you will eventually get over–probably without even realizing it.
Give yourself time to heal: distract yourself if you need to, but sometimes allow yourself to feel sorry for yourself. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re moving backwards, but eventually you’ll get over it all.”
16. “Think about yourself! What’s good about a breakup is that it takes you back to a time when you weren’t in a relationship yet.
Now you have the time and energy to focus on what you really like. Get a manicure. Buy a new pair of shoes. Eat at a fancy restaurant. Whatever it is, give yourself a treat!”
17. “After you’ve been sad and gotten your life back on track, make sure you’ve learned all the lessons from the breakup. Think about why you allowed yourself to be treated in a way you were not comfortable with.
Think back to what messed up your relationship. Read some self-development books, talk to a therapist, or ask friends for advice. Then you can be sure that the next time your relationship will be much better.
18. “One thing I’ve always used in moments of particular sadness is to make a list of all the positives of life without that person. In the end, I was very happy that I didn’t have to deal with my ex anymore.”
19 . “This may sound weird, but have a blast!
Feel free to do things that seem silly to you. Jump in the fountain! Go on a fishing trip! Go on a quest! Dance in front of people around you! Even if these are all distractions, later they’ll turn into memories that will displace recent grief.”
20. “Make a list of ‘expectation’ vs. “reality” – how you remember things versus how they actually were.
Many people tend to romanticize the past by remembering that it was better than it was in real life.”
21. “Invite all your friends over, drink wine and watch First Wives Club!
22. “The first thing I turn on is “Legally Blonde” because Elle Woods is to me the best example of someone who has survived a breakup and remained a winner.
Then I change something in my life, like dyeing my hair a new color. It’s very rewarding to focus on things that make you feel especially good.”
23. “Get distracted. Take a hike and leave your phone in the car.
In fact, it’s best to stay away from your smartphone (especially social media) on those days when it feels like there’s a huge hole gaping in your soul. It’s better to spend time with people who really know you, love you, and are willing to listen to all your thoughts. Cry. Listen to aggressive music (a personal favorite of mine). Pet the dog. Go out to dinner with your friends.
The more time you have, the easier it will be for you. Distract yourself with other activities until the pain dulls and you can perceive the relationship more rationally.”
24. ” Every time you feel annoyed, want to call or text your ex, go for a walk outside in the fresh air.
It will help get rid of all the negative thoughts.”
25. “Dress up and take some cool selfies!
This will allow you to love yourself again. Don’t forget to post the picture online with an uncomplicated caption.”
Walt Disney Pictures
26. “Sometimes therapy sessions can be a great option to help you get back on track.
After my husband left me, my therapist helped me rebuild my life and prepare myself for a more conscious relationship in the future.”
27. “Every breakup is just an opportunity!
Dating is trial and error until we find the one. Why would you want someone who doesn’t accept you for who you are? Now is your opportunity to use what you’ve learned in this relationship, to find yourself-and a new love won’t be long in coming.”
28. “Get a pet or buy a plant.
In other words, have something or someone whose life completely depends on you. Even the simplest fish can bring you back to your old life. Just keep in mind that you’re getting a pet forever, not just until you start feeling better.”
29. “Wait a while before becoming friends.
And after that, really evaluate whether you want the ex to remain a part of your life. Chances are, you need him a lot less than you thought.”
30. “During my last breakup, I looked in the mirror and noticed how unhappy I was.
Find something you are passionate about. Take up something you’ve been putting off. I lost 20-30 pounds because I was eating out of boredom when my ex-boyfriend wouldn’t let me hang out with my friends. I’m halfway there now and I feel like I’m blossoming. Focus on yourself and what you want out of life and you’ll never look back.”
31. “After every six-month relationship, I gave myself two weeks to recover.”
32. “My mantra is ‘that was a good chapter, but far from the whole story.’
It helps me focus on the good aspects of the relationship, learn some lessons from it, and remember that my story is not over. It also helps me to stay positive and not look at the other person with hatred. This mantra has really helped me calm down!”
Question for the psychologist: How do you get over a breakup?
Breakup is an event that, in one way or another, is familiar to all of us. How to get through it with the least losses? How to forgive and let go of man? And maybe, on the contrary, go back to him? “Rules of Life” asked the psychologist to give detailed recommendations.
Why do people break up more often?
Because they have stopped seeing and hearing each other. Or never really noticed and did not hear.
When we get acquainted, we often begin to project a desired image of the partner, while ignoring his or her actions, actions, desires that could signal that this person is not quite right for us. And then we cannot understand why the picture does not add up.
When I find out from a couple in counseling how their relationship began, it often turns out that the partners have not changed: they were the same before, had the same habits, the same reasoning, broadcast the same goals and values. It’s just that everyone expected that the “unsuitable” traits of the partner would change over time.
Unfulfilled expectations lead to disappointment and loss of trust. Partners begin to realize that they differ in their views, goals, values, and preferences.
The other extreme is to project onto the partner what we fear most in the relationship. Fantasies in this case are based on past experiences, and again we don’t see or hear the real person.
What are the stages of experiencing a breakup?
Breaking up is tantamount to loss. There are seven stages of grief that apply to living through a breakup: shock, denial, anger, guilt, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
At first, the news of the breakup comes as a shock, and then it turns into denial. It seems like a dream: I’m going to wake up and everything will be as it was before. Then we gradually realize what has happened, we begin to experience different feelings: hatred (“How could a partner do this?”), turning into guilt (“What’s wrong with me?”), prompting us to try to fix everything, to start over (“I will lose weight, I will change my job, I will go with him to his mother, she is not so bad, sometimes we had good nights without a fight, etc.”), and then despair sets in, we want only to cry. Sometimes a person can get “stuck” in some stage or cycle of stages. In a healthy version, after healing the loss, the person comes to terms with the fact that the relationship no longer exists, lets go of the partner, completely switches to the daily routine and making new acquaintances.
How long does it take to get over a breakup? Is there a norm?
The time it will take you to recover depends on the characteristics of your character. Some enough for one or two months, and someone suffers for years. But the duration of the relationship has no effect on this.
There is no norm, but there are criteria that are worth paying attention to. As I said above, sometimes people get stuck in one of the stages of grieving. If you notice that enough time has passed, you do not live together, do not date, but you still think that this is a temporary phenomenon, that your partner “will change his mind and come back” (he just needs time to calm down); or you can not give up trying to get your partner, you keep following social networks; or you do not leave the thought of revenge; or you are always thinking about the past and how you would act otherwise – it is worth to seek help from a psychologist. Specialist will help sort out your feelings, live through them and let your partner go.
What exactly you shouldn’t do when you’re breaking up?
Do not follow your partner’s social networks, do not comment on his posts and photos, do not write him messages. Out of guilt you often want to prove something else, to change, to change his mind. Out of pain and resentment you want to take revenge. Or you want to remain under the illusion that you are still in touch, that everything is about to change and your partner will return.
Don’t try to stay friends. For someone with whom the relationship breaks up, it sounds treacherous, he had other expectations. If you were the initiator of the breakup, it will be an attempt to hide from feelings of guilt, the illusion that this way you can reduce the pain and resentment of your partner. Any rejection, a breakup, is unpleasant and painful always and for everyone. If abandoned, it’s an attempt to hold on to the relationship, a self-deception with the hope of getting your partner back.
Many people cut off and break up the relationship without figuring it out. And they hurt, and the partner is perplexed, and the wound does not heal for a long time. Try to be honest and openly talk to each other to make a reasonable decision: discuss what led to this outcome, express mutual expectations that are not met. And if you understand that your relationship really can not continue, thank each other for all the good things. So you can calmly let your partner go. And maybe come to the realization that you can maintain a friendly relationship. Or maybe this conversation will make you both think: Is it worth separating?
Do not try to idealize the past relationships, if you were bad in them. Fear of loneliness pushes to remember only the good moments, and the bad – erase from memory.
Do not blame only yourself or your partner. There is always a mutual contribution in the breakups.
Don’t rush into a new relationship right away. You may repeat previous mistakes, fall into a similar story, which will lead to even more disappointment in the relationship.
Don’t try to numb the pain with alcohol, stimulants, food, shopping, promiscuous relationships, work, games, and more. Any addiction only temporarily dulls the suffering, but does not solve the problems.