Breakups! Even the most amicable of parting ways can sting.
When mourning the end of a relationship, be sure to avoid the following “don’ts” of breakup etiquette.
Let yourself mourn. Cry. Punch a pillow. Journal. Surround yourself with friends who listen. The temptation may be to pretend you’re unaffected by the breakup; don’t let pride get in the way of being real. You don’t have to sob at the office, but take some quiet moments to reflect and be honest with yourself. It’s okay to be angry, hurt or humiliated. It’s healthier to express yourself honestly than grow numb.
2. Try to be “just friends.”
Very rarely can a breakup lead to a solid friendship, and until you’re okay with the idea of your ex dating someone new — and vice versa — you’re not ready to be pals.
Create intentional space for a while and let yourself mourn the end of the relationship. If your ex is pushing for friendship, stand your ground if you’re uncomfortable with the idea. Right now, you’re not looking for a friend who looks exactly like the person who broke your heart.
3. Seek revenge.
Don’t key his car, kidnap his cat, or destroy his stuff. And never, ever do something that could land you in legal trouble. (If you share the lease, deal with it like responsible adults. Don’t lock him out.)
The thrill of revenge only feeds bitterness and hatred. You may have been deeply wronged, but “getting even” won’t heal any wounds. Forgive and move on. Carry your head high and spend your energy on people who deserve it.
What helped you heal after a breakup? What advice would you give others going through the process?
4. Communicate. In any format.
You broke up last week, but you still “have thoughts” you want to process with the ex. You pick up your phone. Something makes you laugh on your way to work. Your first instinct? Text your ex about it. Don’t.
There will be times when it’s important to communicate with an ex. Maybe you need to return his things. Maybe you have to deal with a shared lease or pet custody. Resist the urge, however, to call or text whenever you would have when you were still dating.
Breakups create voids. Ask a close friend if you can call him/her every time you would usually reach out to your ex. Recruit a support system of friends and family to help you fill the time normally spent with a significant other. Many people feel lost after a breakup; not because they miss their ex, but because so many of their daily habits once revolved around someone else. Give yourself some time to adapt to single life.