Breaking up with someone is never easy. You have shared a history of good times together and loved each other to bits before everything went south. But that shouldn't stop you from moving on in. After all, if everything was so hunky dory, you wouldn't have taken this huge step to split from them in the first place!
So if you have recently axed your relationship and are feeling that extra rawness in your heart, or if you went your separate ways a while back but still can't seem to get over their beautiful eyes, their sweet smile, and all those happy memories, this list is going to help you get your life back on track and, hopefully in another few months, prepare you to jump right back into the dating pool and finally find the Mr. Right.
So here are 10 things to do right after a breakup that will help you heal that gaping wound in your heart, and 10 things NOT to do because you will regret them sorely later!
But before we begin, here's a tip that might come handy in the coming weeks: bookmark this page and implement a new point each day. Trust us, you don't want to overwhelm yourself by trying everything at once.
20 DO: Blow Off Steam At The Gym
Sad. Angry. Depressed. Terrified. Broken. Lost. Breakups bring with them a whole deluge of contrasting emotions one after the other. And it's very easy to get lost in them, thus, derailing your whole life (and career) along the way.
That's why relationship experts suggest blowing off steam at the gym regularly after you have split from your partner. It's because exercising hard gives your mind a break from constantly wallowing in misery and also releases endorphins in your brain (a.k.a the feel-good hormones), which helps reduce your emotional pain to some extent.
And it doesn't have to be the gym if that's not your thing. Any aerobic activity, like dancing, walking, or swimming, is a good idea at this time.
19 DON'T: Stalk Him On Social Media
It's very normal to want to keep tabs on your ex after a breakup. After all, you got used to keeping tabs on them throughout the day while you were in a relationship. And now that you aren't together, a part of you wants to know if they are hurting just as much as you are.
That's why people stalk their exes on social media. Their ego needs them to hurt! It wants to feel the validation that their ex cannot live without them.
Unfortunately, stalking him is the quickest way to hurting yourself even more because men are raised to suppress their emotions, and so tend to pretend they have moved on by partying hard or hooking up with someone else immediately. And seeing all that on his social stream will break your heart even more!
18 DO: Unfriend/Unfollow Him A.S.A.P
In fact, don't just resist stalking him on social media. Unfriend him immediately for at least 60 days, which is enough time for you to grieve properly and move on.
And if unfriending sounds too harsh to you, block him so you don't see what he's up to on your social stream and are not tempted to go check out his profile either.
Trust us, it's best to focus on the reasons why you split up rather than reminiscing the good ol' times together. That way you can get your life back on track sooner.
17 DON'T: Pretend Everything Is OK
A lot of people throw themselves into their work right away after a painful breakup or pretend everything is okay by jumping into the dating pool immediately or socializing more than usual. If you are guilty of doing the same, trust us, you aren't fooling anybody. Least of all yourself.
It's because denying your pain doesn't make it go away. All it does it cause the wound to fester underneath the surface and grow cancerously into your subconscious mind, waiting to destroy any and all relationships you start in the future.
So cry it out and grieve hard. That's the only way you can unburden yourself of this pain.
16 DO: Take Good Care Of Yourself
It's very easy to fall into bad habits right after a bad breakup, like not taking baths, eating tubfuls of ice cream, and binging on rom coms when you have work piling up on the side. In fact, a lot of people become so depressed that they refuse to even get out of bed for days on end or even go get some fresh air and sunlight.
But all that does is erode away your self-confidence even more. That's why it's very essential to take good care of yourself right after a breakup by eating on time, going to bed during your usual hour, and making sure you get at least half an hour's worth of fresh air each day, if not more.
Trust us, these tasks will feel like tremendous undertakings in your current state, but they will help you get your life back in order and move on.
15 DON'T: Compare Yourself To His New Bae
As mentioned earlier, most men suppress their emotions and pretend to move on in life right after a breakup. And this includes getting into a relationship right away with someone else.
So if that happens, don't compare yourself to his new bae. That will just erode your self-esteem. Just remember the reasons why your relationship with your ex went downhill and focus on your life instead. Trust us, what your ex chooses to do or don't after your breakup has got nothing to do with you anymore.
And if you know the new girl is not a rebound, just be happy for your ex and know that you will find someone more compatible for you soon enough.
14 DO: Seek Out The Support Of Your Best Friends
If there's one thing you can always count on, it's your best friends always being there for you. They never went anywhere anyway!
So seek them out after your breakup and ask them to help you get over it. If they are truly your best friends, they will know what to do immediately to support you, like telling you how amazing you are and why it's a good thing the relationship ended. And then taking you out to your favorite cafe so you can munch on your favorite comfort food and feel better again.
13 DON'T: Remain Friends With Him
If your relationship with your ex was H – E – Double Hockey Sticks, drop the idea of remaining friends with him immediately. In fact, don't even bring it up when you break up with him and don't entertain the idea if he suggests it.
Trust us, if your friends treated you the way this guy did, you wouldn't be friends with them at all!
The only time this is okay is when you both were respectful with each other during your relationship but split because you were basically incompatible as partners. But even then, allow yourself time to move on from the relationship first (for at least a few months), and only then consider remaining friends with him.
12 DO: Get Rid Of Everything That Reminds You Of Him
Holding on to things that remind you of him, like that teddy bear he gave you on Valentine's Day or that t-shirt of his you told him you were nicking cause it looked better on you, will not help you move on after the breakup.
They will just skew your memories towards the good and make you forget the bad things that led to your breakup in the first place, thus, inducing you to try to get back together with him. And we all know what that leads to. A toxic, on-again-off-again relationship!
So either get rid of the whole haul or pack them up in a box and hide them away in a hard-to-reach place.
11 DON'T: Start Dating Immediately
We all have, at least once in our life, cautioned our heartbroken friend from engaging in a rebound relationship. Yet, when it's our turn to do the smart thing and stay away from the dating scene right after a hard breakup, we still manage to convince ourselves that our story is different and that we really have moved on!
Why do we do this? Because we want to feel desirable again. We want someone to tell us that we are not worthless just because our ex does not want to have anything to do with us anymore.
Unfortunately, nobody can validate you when you don't believe in your own worth. So stay away from the dating scene after a breakup and just focus on healing yourself and your self-esteem first.
10 DO: Cry, Cry, And Cry Some More
Did you know that crying is the body's mechanism to get rid of excess cortisol, a.k.a the stress hormone, from our system? That's why it feels so good right after we have cried our heart out and have no more tears left to cry.
So don't hold back your tears after a breakup. It's perfectly natural to feel devastated. After all, you two did love each other a lot before it all went south. It would be weird if you did not feel the need to cry. That would mean you never loved your ex at all!
9 DON'T: Ignore Opportunities That Come Your Way
Here's the truth: emotional wounds may not be visible but they are just as bad as physical wounds. Studies have proven this fact!
But having said that, it's important to not remain in heartbreak mode forever. That would mean you are in denial that you and your ex are incompatible together and are absolutely not willing to heal yourself.
So grieve as long as you need to, but make sure you don't ignore the opportunities that come your way, which you instinctively know will help you move on, like a good job in a new city, or the chance to interact with good people.
8 DO: Listen To Sad Songs
Sometimes we need an extra nudge to let our emotions well up to the surface and spill over. That's where sad love songs come into the picture. The lyrics speak to our broken heart and the haunting tunes bring up the pain we might have unknowingly buried.
After all, the world has taught us to ignore our emotions since we were little. They have told us that emotions are for weaklings and they will get your fired from your workplace.
So create a sad song playlist and unwind at the end of the day with these. The day you don't feel the need to listen to them anymore and have been energetic all day long is the day you have finally healed your broken heart.
7 DON'T: Text Or Call Him Late At Night
Especially not after you have had a glass or two of 'el vino'. Trust us, that's bad decision just waiting to happen.
So if you are desperate to hear your ex's voice again and want him to tell you how much he misses you too, just hand your phone over to your best friend and make her the captain of the calls for that night. And since your friends won't be over all the time, it's best to download an app that will make you solve hard math problems in case you want to call a specific number.
In fact, the way to prevent this mishap from ever happening is to delete his number from your phone completely and block him on chat messengers.
6 DO: Vent Your Anger In A Safe Manner
It's perfectly normal to feel betrayed and angry at your ex after a breakup. After all, things did go bad that's why you are not together anymore.
But breaking all the fine china in your house or smashing your phone on the floor is not a good way to vent this frustration and pain. The money you will have to spend later to replace these items will add insult to your injury.
So if you are angry at your ex, the best way to vent it is to write him a vile letter with all your feelings and then burn it. You can also plug in your earphones and pound away on the treadmill until all your frustration is gone.
Just remember: don't hold on to the grudge/anger for too long. You will harm your health in the long run if you do.
5 DON'T: Visit Spots That Bring Up Memories Of Your Good Times
This point is very similar to the one about throwing out or stashing away all the things that remind you of your ex. After all, visiting the spots where you shared important memories will make you forget the reason why you split up and will only fill your head up with the good times you two shared.
And that will make you run back to your ex – or worse, beg him to take you back!
The only time it's okay to visit these spots is when you are absolutely certain that you have moved on. (It's when you can think of your ex fondly but don't feel any desire to get back together with him.)
4 DO: Occupy Yourself With Your Favorite Hobbies
Engrossing yourself in your favorite hobbies is another great way to give your mind a break from wallowing in the misery caused by your breakup. In fact, if you are creative, you can pour your frustration and pain out into your art.
And while it's very normal to not want to do anything fun when you are feeling low, just the act of trying to do so will help you considerably. In fact, the best time to try this is right after a bath. It's because baths wash away the toxic elements stuck to our aura just as much as they wash our physical body.
Haven't you wondered why you always feel good after a bath?
3 DON'T: Waste Your Time Thinking What He Might Up To
This is very similar to the tip on never stalking him on social media and unfriending or blocking him everywhere. It's because you need to heal yourself and learn to move on from this person. And asking your mutual friends about what he's up to or checking out his social media feed will not help you do that.
Also, different people heal differently. So if you waste your time thinking of what he might be up to, you will be devastated even more when you find out that he has moved on before you did.
2 DO: Analyze What Went Wrong And What Was Right
Journaling is your best friend after a breakup. So make sure you don't lock away the memories of your good and bad times together before you have analyzed all of them.
This will show you what went right in the relationship (which you will definitely want in your subsequent relationships as well), and what went wrong (which you can file away as signs of incompatibility when you finally do start dating someone new).
Plus, journaling is a great way to take responsibility for your own hand in the ultimate demise of the relationship. And that will help you grow into a better individual in the future.
1 DON'T: Go On A Spending Spree
Finally, make sure you do not go on a spending spree right after a breakup.
Trust us, it can feel good to immerse yourself in the sweet scent of a shopping mall and then walk out with bags loaded with beautiful and supple clothes that make you look (and feel) beautiful. But once the credit card bills come in the next month, you will curse yourself for not finding a better way to make yourself feel better.
So read the other points on this list once again if you don't know how to make yourself feel better for free. You will thank us later.