A breakup is the absolute worst thing you can experience. Been there. Done that. Heck, we’ve all been there. And it hurts like hell. Despite how long you’ve been together or how difficult the breakup was, it always hurts. Whether you break up with your girlfriend or your boyfriend, it breaks your heart. It breaks your spirit. It breaks your self-esteem. And to some extent, it even breaks your ego.
Regardless of who initiated the breakup or how it ended, it is hard for both of you. After all, it marks the end of a relationship that was so beautiful when it started. A relationship you invested so much in.
“To fall in love is awfully simple, but to fall out of love is simply awful.” – Bess Myerson
Breakups are devastating. It leaves you confused and vulnerable. You wonder if it was the right thing to do. You wonder if you can ever get back together again. You feel a rush of mixed thoughts and emotions that leave you feeling drained mentally, emotionally, and physically. And hence, you tend to make a series of mistakes right after the breakup that can make this even worse for you and your significant other.
This is not the best time for you to trust your instincts or your judgments as all your thoughts are directed towards fixing the broken relationship. However, what you should be focusing on is healing yourself. This is why it is crucial for you to know exactly what you need to do right after ending a relationship.
A breakup is an opportunity to focus on yourself
Immediately after you break up with your girlfriend or boyfriend, you feel a numbing pain that feels emotionally paralyzing. Saying goodbye to the person you were so deeply in love with is never easy. It can break your heart. The pain you feel is real for you. So we try to get back what we have lost. We crave that familiar feeling of being with them. Having them around, talking with them, laughing with them, and loving them once again.
We feel this intense desire to get back with our lover and get our lives back to normal. But the fact remains that the relationship is over and it’s over for a reason. The more we refuse to accept this fact, the more desperate we get to get them back. The more desperate we get, the worse we feel. This is why you need to start by accepting the end of the relationship. Once you accept that the relationship is final, you need to shift your focus from your partner to YOU!
Yes, you’re scared that your partner will start dating someone else soon. But that’s not in your control. You don’t own them. You never did. Do not think about what your ex will do next. Focus only on what you will do next. Reconnect with yourself. You are not this depressed and desperate person that you’ve become now. You are a wonderful, amazing, and talented person.
The person your ex fell in love with. A person who is perfectly capable of experiencing life alone and being happy by themselves. That’s exactly who you were before you met your ex-lover, right? So take this opportunity to rediscover that person. The keyword here is self-love. But more on that later.
As you’ve broken out of the restrictive mold of the relationship, it’s time for you to heal yourself and give yourself the gift of YOU.
What to do immediately after a breakup
“No one goes straight to happiness after a breakup.” – Estelle
After the breakup with your girlfriend or boyfriend, confusion and despair are the first things that will take hold of you. And this is why you need to know exactly what you have to do immediately after your breakup.
Here are 5 things to get you started on the road to recovery and self-healing:
1. Go No Contact
I cannot stress how important this is. The very first thing you need to do immediately after the breakup is going no contact.
No Contact Rule is the #1 rule for a breakup where you do not communicate with your ex. You don’t call, text, DM, or message them in any way for a certain period of time.
No contact includes:
- No telephone calls
- No texts
- No emails
- No instant messages
- No “accidental” meetings
- No contacting their friends/family
So block them. Unfollow them. Mute their notifications. Without any shame. Throw away your phone if you have to. But cut all contact. Right after the breakup neither you nor your partner is your best selves and you will say things that will make it worse than it needs to be.
From what I have experienced personally and what can be safely assumed, most of the time when we break up there are a lot of arguments and fighting that precedes, leads to, and follows a breakup. This war of words results in a lot of negativity which can often consume us and we eventually seek that negative energy as that is the only thing that keeps us connected to our ex. So even after the relationship is over, we crave the negative energy which is not good for you, your ex, or your relationship, IF there’s ever any hope of getting back.
When you cut all communication with your partner you cut off that negative cord. This gives you the time and space to think, reflect and heal yourself. It allows you to detach yourself and focus on your path to healing.
2. Give yourself permission to grieve
“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.” — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
It’s okay to cry your eyes out. It’s okay to scream, shout, yell and sob. Let your emotions out. There’s nothing wrong with being vulnerable whether you’re a man or a woman. You just lost someone you loved deeply. Someone you had planned a future with. And all those dreams might never come true now.
Let yourself feel all the complex and confusing emotions that you’re feeling right now. Feel these emotions without judgment but do not hold on to these feelings. Let them pass naturally at a pace that you are comfortable with. Do not fall into depression either force yourself to get over it as soon as possible. Give yourself time to mourn. There’s nothing wrong with it.
This is a crucial part of the healing process and if you skip through this, these negative emotions and thoughts will stay and fester within you for years. Respect your feelings, even if they are negative, and eventually, it will get easier and pass. So let your emotions run wild, observe what you feel and allow yourself to heal.
3. Find closure
“Some people think that it’s holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it’s letting go.” – Unknown
Finding closure after a breakup with your girlfriend or boyfriend is crucial for your inner healing and moving on. However, if you are looking towards your ex to get closure, then you’re making a big mistake. Understand this. They are as hurt, angry, and emotionally wrecked as you are. And they are looking for that same closure from you. But sadly, none of you will hand it out to each other.
The fact is, your ex cannot give you closure, as nothing they do or say will make you feel better about this breakup. You have to create your own closure and that will start with focusing on yourself and your feelings.
Start writing a journal or a letter that you don’t intend to send and pour your heart into it. Write about exactly what you are feeling, how you think your ex might have hurt you, what wrongs they have done, what you think your fault was if you have any hopes of ever getting back, how angry you feel for what they have done to you…everything!
Express yourself by writing it all down on that paper. Share all your thoughts, feelings, worries, and regrets. Let it all out. But don’t send that letter. One of the best things you can do is burn or bury that letter as a symbol of letting go of all those emotions and finding your closure.
Once you’re done, let go of all the emotions that are holding you back, let go of the relationship and let go of your ex. Forgive them for what they have done. Forgive yourself for what you might have or should have done. Forgiveness is never about the other person. It is always about allowing yourself to move ahead from the past.
4. Move your body
A breakup can leave you with a lot of stress, anxiety, and nervous energy that can quickly bring you down. So the best thing you can do to release all that negative energy and feel a lot better about yourself is by joining a new workout class. You can take a membership in your local gym, join a boxing class or a dancing class or even start doing Zumba.
No matter what you do, exercising will give your body, mind, and spirit the boost you need right now. Studies have found that physical exercise is among the top self-help methods to treat depression. Working out helps in the production of serotonin and endorphins that help you develop a positive mindset.
Moreover, a recent online survey by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) revealed that exercising helps in reducing stress. It was found that over 14% of individuals do regular physical exercise to reduce stress. So get started and get moving.
5. Love Yourself
“Don’t ignore the love you DO have in your life by focusing on the love you DON’T.” – Mandy Hale
Give yourself the love you seek from your ex. If you believe you are worthy of being loved by your ex, then you should start by loving yourself. And that means not pursuing your ex or begging them to get back together again. Respect yourself enough to walk away and let it go. Once you’ve gone through a breakup and you feel your worth is tied to your ex-partner, it can be really hard to love yourself, especially if you have a low sense of self-esteem.
Hence, you need to shower yourself with love right now as strong and healthy self-esteem can empower you to get through this difficult phase of life. Accept yourself with all your flaws and weaknesses and tell yourself that it’s okay to feel lonely. It’s okay to miss your ex.
Show kindness to yourself as you would show to a friend going through a breakup because you are your own best friend. Through self-development, self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-respect you can rebuild your self-esteem to the point where you feel comfortable and happy being with yourself without feeling the need to run back to your ex.
So take some time off, follow your passions, get some good sleep, watch some of your favorite movies, learn something new, treat yourself to your favorite food and just enjoy the little things in life. Allow this breakup to help you grow into a more independent, confident, and happy person.
Look at the positives
“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” – Marilyn Monroe
As sad and painful as this breakup with your girlfriend or boyfriend is, this is not the end of the adventure known as love. It’s just another turn in your path that will take you to your intended destination. The place where you will meet the person you are supposed to be with.
Relationships are important in life, even the bad ones. They teach us valuable lessons and push us towards the path we are supposed to be on. Appreciate the relationship you had, respect your ex for giving you the love they did, accept that not all relationships are meant to last, and move on with life. That’s how it works.
And no matter what your breakup story is, I have a feeling you will do great. Just give it some time and let life unfold at its own pace. Love is magical. It may be painful. But it’s still magical. Keep believing in love.