6 Ways to Get Over Even the Worst Breakups post image

6 Ways to Get Over Even the Worst Breakups


Let’s talk about exactly how to get over a breakup.

When I was 17, I experienced an important rite of passage…my very first heartbreak. And it was more brutal and agonizing than anything I could ever have imagined. He was a boy I met at a party who stirred me in a way I can’t quite articulate. I felt something that no one else had ever made me feel before, and no one has since.

We talked every day, hung out on weekends, and he had this way of just making me feel alive, of making me feel like everything was OK. It ended because I wanted things to be more serious and he was a freshman in college and wanted to be young, stupid, and free, not tied to a relationship.

I was absolutely devastated, crushed, gutted from the inside out. I was interning at US Weekly magazine at the time and what I most remember from that period was replaying everything about our relationship on loop every morning as I took the train into the city, and every evening on my way back home. I couldn’t stop, no matter how much it hurt.

I didn’t properly deal with the pain and it followed me like a piece of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of a shoe. I always had a feeling of not being good enough, a fear that the guy wouldn’t want me the way I wanted him.

My next major heartbreak came a few years later when I was 21. This time was even worse because the relationship was a lot more serious, and a lot more toxic. The end was also much more devastating. He left me for someone else, and once again I didn’t process it properly; instead, I let it fester and eat away at me and I developed an even stronger complex about not being good enough, about not being worthy of getting the love I truly wanted.

These breakups both caused an insurmountable amount of pain but also brought a lot of good. The end result? I ended up marrying the high-school ex, and I started this website with the college ex and get to write about relationships for a living. So I guess it’s true that all’s well that ends well!

But back to the matter at hand: How to get over a breakup. They say time heals, and in some ways this is true, but it takes more than time. You also have to process the situation, you need to digest, you need to feel, you need to make peace, you need to get in touch with your inner strength, and you need to move on as a better, stronger person than you were before. This is not how I handled either of those breakups.

What I did was obsess and replay everything that happened and what I wish I had done differently. Then I got lost in an endless array of distractions. I was going, going going, keeping myself busy so I wouldn’t have to feel anything. I took it all way too personally and these feelings of inadequacy bled into almost every relationship I had after.

Here is something to keep in mind about pain: it doesn’t go away just because it goes unacknowledged. The more you avoid it, the more it merges into your psyche and becomes a part of you. These faulty beliefs get wired in and will remain unless you challenge them.

But let’s get a little more concrete and talk about how to get over a break up the right way.

1.Don’t Take it Personally

box of darkness quote
I know it feels personal, I know it feels like you weren’t good enough, that you should have done something else, been some other way. But it’s not. Sometimes the timing just isn’t right (as was the case with my high-school ex/current husband), or sometimes two people simply aren’t a match (as was the case with Eric, who is now my business partner). Maybe you made mistakes, maybe you wish you could have done something different, but chances are this isn’t the reason the relationship ended. (Unless you did something like cheat, in which case, it probably was something you did!)

It isn’t because you weren’t enough. I know this is how it might feel, but that is a destructive belief, and also a false one. Everyone has different things they want and need in a partner. There might be some things about you that one guy doesn’t want, and those qualities may end up being what the right guy loves more than anything about you.

2. Feel Your Feelings
pain will be useful to you quote
This can be the hard part, but it has to be done. Whatever it is you’re feeling, feel it. Don’t bury it, don’t hide from it, don’t ignore it. Feel the awful, brutal feelings. Mourn the loss, because a breakup is a loss. It’s the loss of potential, the loss of what could have been.

In the beginning, I’m sure you had grand visions of where this would go; that’s because the beginning is always a euphoric time. But things didn’t pan out the way you had hoped and you need to accept that.

Sometimes it can almost feel like a death when someone who was once so much a part of your life is now no longer in it, and that is very sad, even if you realize that this wasn’t the right relationship for you. Give yourself time to grieve and be kind and gentle to yourself. Don’t get mad at yourself for feeling what you’re feeling; accept it as a part of the process. But don’t let this drag on for too long. Life must go on and you’ll never move forward if you keep mourning this loss. I would say give yourself a week, max, to let it all out, and then try to pick up the pieces.

MORE: The Real Reasons It’s So Hard to Get Over Him

3. Write Him a Letter You Don’t Send
love wrong person quoteThis can be a part of the grieving process, and while it may sound pointless, it is incredibly therapeutic and can assist in helping your feelings process.

After a breakup, your emotions will probably start spiraling all over the place. Rage, sadness, longing, anger, nostalgia, emptiness – you could feel it all in the span of just 30 minutes. No matter what state you’re in, write a letter with all the things you want to say to him, whether you’re feeling fury and want to let him have it, or you’re feeling nostalgic and want to reflect upon the happier times.

Whenever you feel an urge to reach out to him, or to speak to him, or even if you start thinking about things you wish you had said, just write it out in a letter. (I still have a bunch of mine and it’s so wild looking at them all these years later!)

4. Surround Yourself with Love
The loss of someone who you shared a relationship with will inevitably leave a void that can make you feel empty and more alone than ever before. The best way to combat this feeling is to fill the hole with more love, either from family or friends. Don’t isolate yourself from the world, get out there and rebuild some of those relationships that may have been neglected due to your relationship. Spend as much time as you can around people who truly love you and care about your happiness and wellbeing.

You should also immerse yourself in some self-love. Do some things just for you. Get a massage, a facial, buy a pair of amazing shoes. Give yourself a self-indulgent treat for no other reason than you love yourself and want to treat yourself kindly.

task seek for love quote

5. Do a Self-Check
Everything that happens in life, especially when it comes to breakups, has the potential to tear us down or take us to a higher place. As brutal as breakups are, they are a great time to do some reflection and inner work. Rather than stewing in feelings of hurt and pain, try to find a way to come out of this better than you were before. Here are a few good questions to ask yourself:

  • What did I learn from this relationship that I can use in my next relationship?
  • What did I do in this relationship that I won’t ever do again in another relationship?
  • What qualities do I truly need in a partner? (Think of qualities your ex had that you appreciated, as well as areas where he was lacking that you realized you need.)
  • Why did I stay even though the relationship wasn’t working?
  • What did I learn about myself through my time with him?

6. Get Excited About Your Next Relationship

reach for whats in front of you quoteOnce you have felt your feelings, found ways to love yourself, and learned the lessons that will help you be an even better person, get excited to use these newly acquired tools to have an even better relationship with a man who is even more suited for you.

MORE: Why Do Guys Move On So Quickly After a Breakup?

I know how daunting it can feel to dive back into the dating pool, but don’t focus on the annoying sides of dating, think of the exciting parts. Think about how thrilling a new relationship can be…that first date, the first kiss, the excitement that comes with the unlimited potential that lies ahead.

Think about how amazing it will be to start clean with someone new – a blank slate, a new beginning. Think about what it will be like to be with a man who truly gets you, who appreciates you for the sum of all your parts, who cherishes you and would do anything to make you happy. He exists; he’s out there. You’ll just have to have faith on that one because until he shows up, it can feel like you’ll never find it, and then when you do, you’ll wonder how you ever could have been worried about not finding it because what you have is just so right and it’s so clear.

Finding the right guy entails two things. First, you must make yourself a vessel to receive love. You will never recognize the right guy when he comes along if you’re still stuck on thoughts of the wrong guys. And you have to get over whatever issues are holding you back from receiving love.

The next stage is to put yourself out there. Go out and date, get on the dating sites, download the dating apps. Most people think that this is the most important step, but it’s not; this comes secondary to making yourself a vessel.

Trust me, I know how hard it is. I know how lonely it can feel. Heartbreak can be an isolating experience; it feels like this pain is yours and yours alone. Remember that you will get through it, just as many before you have. You will heal, you will feel again, and you will find love, the right kind of love that will make you wonder how you ever mistook the wrong kind for the real thing.

—-
While it can feel like fate has dealt you a brutal hand and life just isn’t fair, try not to panic in the middle of the sentence because you truly have no idea how your story will unfold. Take my story as exhibit A, I never ever in my wildest dreams could have predicted I would marry the first guy who ever broke my heart and become business partners with an ex who hurt me so bad I felt like I had been gutted, but such is the story of my life!

Just because a relationship didn’t work out doesn’t mean it was a waste of time or it wasn’t meant to be. Some people are meant to be in your life, you just won’t and can’t immediately know if they are meant to be in your life forever, or for a short period of time to teach you some sort of life lesson.

MORE: Scientifically Proven Ways to Get Over a Breakup

Rather than looking back on your former relationships with pain and regret, try to be grateful that you had the experience and recognize that it gave you something you needed, you might realize what it is now or maybe you’ll see it later in life. And above all, remember that you will get through this and you will be OK.

Please share your thoughts/questions/feedback in comments!

Take The Quiz: Can You Get Your Ex Back Or Is He Gone Forever?

Click here to take our quick (and shockingly accurate) “Can You Get Your Ex Back” Quiz right now and find out if you can get your ex back or if he’s gone for good…

 

7 comments… add one

Leave Your Comment Now...

Ochi

Hi, I feel miserable, betrayed hence the reason why I’m writing here.

We were together for two years plus, our relationship was nice – no violence and lovely. We fought like other couples but we never go to bed without solving it – in fact we fought rarely.

We believed we were a team. All those times I knew I was his no. 1 priority. He texted, he called, he spent time with me, he made efforts to be with me as much I did for him. We went holidays together, I met his parents and family. His niece loves me, such a cute girl.

I was always there when he needed me, when he feel depressed and upset. He never like his job field, but before his contract ended in January this year, he earned a lot that’s why he can save money for the deposit to buy a flat in London.

From mid-2016 to mid-2017, we met two weekends per month by staying in the hotel. That was how much we wanted to spend time together as we can’t spend at his parents’ place (as he was living with them to save money for the flat deposit) and my flatmate isn’t cool with people sleeping over.

The stress of looking for a flat to buy for a year, helping him from legal side to buy a flat from beginning to his name is registered as the owner on the title deeds, decorating his flat together from main door to all areas together to make it cosy as much as possible and it turned out to be such a lovely cosy flat. I was there for him in every single steps.

He admitted that I brought positive changes in his life. He never thought that he will buy a flat. He will never thought that he will do this/that if not without me.

He told me that I was the best, amazing and wonderful girlfriend he ever had and I was the longest relationship he ever had too. He felt lucky and felt appreciated to have me as his girlfriend. He was also grateful for having me in his life.

But all turned sour in a week after Valentine’s this year. He bought me flowers on Valentine’s. He said he was not in love with me. He feel sad because he acknowledged that he cares deeply about me and he feels lucky of having me in his life and as his girlfriend but he said he has stopped being in love with since last year, even before my birthday last year.

I said I understand and we discussed. We felt at that time the sparks gone because after he bought the flat last year, we were busy decorating it – we didn’t go out, no dates, no movies, we became sloppy and lazy by spending weekends at his flat since he moved in for six months.

So we agreed to make it worked – we went out for dates, we visited museums, and we were not lazy anymore.

I lost weight too and I went a short weekend trip to outside U.K. on my own and he was impressed with my independence.

I told him I’ll not seeking your assurance by asking do you love me all the times and I said only say I love you if you meant it. No pressures.

All went well – in fact he said that his feeling was growing in March/April and he did say he loves me few times from March till July this year. I said again don’t say it if you don’t mean it. He said he really meant it.

Since his contract ended in January, he was unemployed till he got a new job in May. Lesser pay, and he’s having difficult to adapt. He used to be self employed for three years and he earned a lot. He can’t adapt to the new job as he used to work for himself with his own schedule and procedures. So he becomes stressful with this new job as he has to commute like most of us to work and work according to the internal procedures of the new job.

With his new job, his salary was cut into half and after paying all bills, he will only has about 100 surplus per month. He knew for a fact that I was always there for him.

In fact when he stressed out about work, I came over he hugged me and said he feel good that I’m here.

He has no other friends except friends from his childhood/previous job of five years ago. So when he started at this new job he got excited he met new people of different backgrounds till he met this girl, A.

I found out about A when one day I texted him if he wants to watch a film tonight (Tuesday’s night). He said no, someone asked him to go to this an event because another colleague at work bailed out. So I asked who was this person. He said “she’s a girl but don’t worry, she’s not pretty.” I said it feels weird for her to ask you unless you’re close with her. I said I’m not comfortable with this as I don’t know her. So he cancelled on A and said to me thanks for ruining my evening.

Since that day, I feel A has feeling for him – it’s just weird I got this feeling. So they talked the next day where A said “I understand why your girlfriend being insecure obviously some trust issues, I’ve been there so I know.” Sadly he replied to her – the way he replied he wasn’t defending me when A said like that. They talked again until I found out and I told him to delete and block her on FB. A knew he has a girlfriend but I just feel she’s pursuing him. So he did block her. I admitted it wasn’t reasonable for me to ask him to delete and block her… I was angry at him because I told him to avoid her as she has an agenda I can feel it. In the end he stonewalls her.

We went to a beach holiday last month – had wonderful time. He said I love few times and after we got back he said to me that he agreed that A was playing innocent and victim. So he said he’s not going to deal with her anymore. He agrees that A has an intention on him.

Two weeks after back from holiday, we argued – he said I don’t want to do this anymore. I wanted to break up with you. I wanted to break up with you next week but because we argued just now I said it.

I broke down I wasn’t expecting this, after all I thought his feeling was growing again and we had good holiday. He said the holiday was terrible he wasn’t happy at all. I felt like a fool because he was displaying loving and was affectionate during the holiday. I packed all my stuffs I called Uber and cried.

The next day I texted him do you need a two weeks break to re-evaluate. He said yes because he felt empty and heartbroken after I left but he needed two weeks without me to figure things out and space was best for that. I gave the space.

After the break ended, I met him last Friday and I told him to hear me out of what I feel went wrong in the relationship that causing him to lost attraction to me therefore he is not in love with me.

I told him I acknowledged my neediness. I told him I was needy and insecure because I gained weight. I feel paranoid about A because she’s slimmer and he used to tell that “if you lost weight, we would have more sex” few times.

I told him that I was insecure because he said he lost attraction to me physically and emotionally because I now have belly. I was 60kg before but when I met him last Friday I’m 56.5kg because I wanted to feel confidence again and also to show that I’m doing my diet right and discipline about it.

I told him we never talked about the actual root of the problems – neediness, insecurity, paranoia, lack of discipline to lose weight. I asked for him to consider and check in in two-three months. If it’s not working, fine at least we tried it.

He said no, he feel that this is not right. He told me that he never attracted to me from beginning but because I gave him the good feeling and we are compatible as we like 99% of the same things so he went along in the relationship with me for two years plus.

He said from beginning he told himself that this relationship with me will not become a long term relationship and he never properly love me. Those I love you and growing feeling he felt for me were the feeling of I care about you deeply.

So I agreed to break up as I feel no point to convince him. Plus he told me during the two weeks break he didn’t miss me and he CHOOSE not to think about me. He went out his friend for drinking. He removed all our pictures together from his bedside table and wall of his flat. He said although he agreed that I was the best girlfriend who knows him very much but it’s not enough because he is not attracted and he is not in love with me.

He also said he’s not happy with his life in general, his job and for a three years straight he was in relationships. One year with the girl before me where they broke up because he didn’t feel in love with her. Two years plus with me also with the same reason. So he said he wants to focus on himself, fix his life on his own and refuses to be in any relationship including with me.

I left I cried to my Uber driver, bless him such a nice guy.

Today, I don’t know why but I checked A’s instagram and she posted a view from my ex boyfriend’s balcony last night… a day after he broke up with me. I texted him to call me as I need to ask something. He did. I asked him if he was/is seeing someone else or ever cheated while with me. He said no, never.

I asked did you have someone to come over to your flat last night. He said no. I said I know A was at your flat. He asked how did I know. I said to him I know we broke up and I have no right to ask you but a day after we broke up you already invited A to your flat was just not right. The feeling is still raw.

He said he was feeling sad so he invited her to eat pizza and watch movie. Of course we knew it happened more than that.

I asked so my gut feeling about A was right. He said yes, he admitted that they were flirting at work but they stopped. He said A likes him and I asked do you like her too. He said yes I like her too but right now I don’t want any relationship.

Reddit readers,

I feel betrayed. I feel humiliated. I thought he was different, I never thought that he would cheat/ flirt when in a relationship. That’s how I know him. I spoke with our mutual friend that we hang out once per week and she also said she cannot believe that he invited A to his flat. No wonder he turned her offer to come over to her flat for BBQ with our other mutual friends last night, because A was coming over.

I fought so hard for him and our relationship because I saw him as a guy who is nice and will not cheat/flirt like this.

My heart break into pieces. All those two years plus with memories we created together means nothing to him. I was a great girlfriend to him as admitted by him – I cooked, I cleaned, I was there for him, I brought positive changes in his life. I encouraged and enriched his life.

He invited the girl who I suspected something was wrong since June this year just a day after we broke up. She posted on her instagram saying “full of surprise and added hashtag of his flat postcode”.

He said I was the best girlfriend he ever had who can tolerate him. He always grumpy and cranky but I was always there for him.

I’m feeling down and sad like I’m being used and throw away like a garbage.

I texted him my closure that I can’t believe what he did. I know we broke up but inviting her after a day broke up with me and she posted on her instagram – sort of like bragging that I will find out is just heartbreaking.

I told him don’t worry I will forget everything about him and I’ll not hope for getting back together because what he did with A just opened my eyes. I feel he determined to end our relationship because he likes A and he wants to pursue her. That’s one of the reason why. Before this when we had issues, he always wanted to work it out with me as we were a team.

I want to move on but I’m still feeling sad, I feel like a garbage. I’m shocked.

Reply August 19, 2018, 5:12 pm

M

Just caught fiance cheating today in total shock.
He left me at a concert in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere on Wed night and went home. I picked up my stuff today said he doesn’t see any point in talking just like that over after 4 years together even though we were gonna get a house after Christmas. I left his appartment came home forgot my phone charger rang and told him he said he would send it by taxi i said no. I went over he wouldn’t open the door his tv was on bedroom blinds shut wouldnt let me in. As I drove off the bedroom blinds started to open but he txt and rang my phone to say he was at the bank machine??? I hadn’t even left him 15 mins so she was there when I first went over.

Reply August 11, 2018, 3:49 pm

Ace

I don’t know they ripped the heart pretty good even going so far as to ay I was cheating and on drugs. I was so shocked and in pain I didn’t feel for like two days like litterally I felt 0 for two days. Even now I made a list and realise except honesty they fit my list. Bleh I’m just hoping I’m not completly ruined by the time somone wants me.

Reply December 13, 2016, 12:21 pm

Alysia

Amen.

Reply September 27, 2015, 9:00 pm

G

Congratulations and I wish you and Charles all the best!!!!! Oh my gosh!!

Reply September 22, 2015, 11:35 am

Alyssa

How did you and your ex become business partners? How long did it take before you could speak to him again?

Reply September 13, 2015, 5:03 pm

Maria

very helpful tips. Thank you for sharing it.

Reply September 4, 2015, 12:32 am

Leave a Comment

STOP LETTING MEN
CONFUSE YOU

Sign up for our
free newsletter
and get a free chapter
of our book,"He's Not
That Complicated"