Going through a breakup can be one of the most heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, anxiety-ridden things anyone can experience. Whether you are the instigator or the party being dumped, breakups are incredibly difficult and it's important to get over your ex in a healthy way. When the life you were accustomed to, as part of a couple, is suddenly turned upside down, you'll have to re-learn how to be happy on your own.
Of course, the need to get over someone doesn't come exclusively after a breakup. You may be besotted with someone who is already in a relationship, a person not wanting to be in a relationship, or someone who's not interested in you in a romantic way. When this occurs you can either continue hoping that one day something will come of your unrequited love, or you can gather up your strength and let them go.
There have been tons of folks in our favorite TV series, books, and movies who have shown us how not to get over someone in a healthy way. Elle Woods of Legally Blonde follows her ex to Harvard Law School, 500 Days of Summer's Tom Hansen's pining quickly turns into resentment, and an array of females get their "revenge" on cheating males who broke their hearts, as seen in The Other Woman and John Tucker Must Die . None of these methods are particularly good for your wellbeing, so use these tips to help you get over someone in a much healthier way instead.
In an article for Psychology Today, Jennifer Kromberg PsyD wrote, "Even if you are the one that initiated the breakup and believe that the breakup is the best thing for all involved, letting go of a relationship follows the same process as mourning a death." However, in this case, your friends and family may be happy to see the back of the person you were with (or the person you wanted to be with) so they might not understand that you need some time to heal. But you do.
Suzanne Lachmann Psy.D., also writing for Psychology Today, advised, "Take it one minute or even one second at a time. It’s OK to stay in bed and eat a lot of ice cream. If you are able to eat, eat food that comforts you. It’s OK to cry while watching movies about other people's near perfect but fictitious relationships. It’s OK to have your friends and family babysit you. It’s OK to feel utterly incapacitated... It’s a colossal loss and must be understood as such. Your whole life has just changed."
She continues by explaining, "Eventually by allowing yourself to be in this difficult process rather than postpone it, you will begin to see the difference between a breakup and a death. A death is final." Going through a grieving period after the end of a relationship is important so you can come out the other size and realize that life continues.
2. Write Your Ex A Letter But Don’t Send It
There's something to be said about the therapeutic powers of writing someone a letter; it can help you get out all of those negative feelings and help empty your emotional tank. You could send it if you want to, but the beauty of not sending the letter is that you can be brutally honest and "tell" your ex exactly how you feel, without fear of hurting their feelings, making them feel guilty, or re-opening old arguments. If you're a fan of snail mail you could even go all satisfyingly dramatic and burn your letter afterwards. The release of letting go of all those unwanted thoughts and emotions could help you on your road to recovery.
3. Cut All Ties For The Time Being
Is stalking on social media, drunk calling, or texting your ex just to find out "how they're doing" really going to help you get over them? College student Melissa Silverman told readers of HelloGiggles about her experience of unfollowing her ex on social media and she explained, "If you stop keeping up with his/her life, you’ll move forward with your own." Maybe one day in the future you can be real life and social media friends, but if you're still licking your wounds, it may not be the best time to see them popping up in your newsfeed all the time.
4. Talk To A Professional
If you feel like you're drowning in pain and you can't cope in everyday life, it might be a good idea to see a therapist. There is absolutely no shame in reaching out for professional help when you need it. People are becoming more aware of mental health and the struggles that others face. If you sat down with a bunch of friends, family members, or colleagues and asked them if they have ever had assistance from a professional during an emotionally difficult time in their lives, you'd probably be surprised about how many people had received help.
Although you may feel like curling up in a ball underneath a blanket, eating pizza, and watching Disney movies, socializing after a breakup is important. The Huffington Post reported, "Whether this means booking a spa day or getting together at a friend's house for wine, dinner and pedicures, the intention is the same — spend some quality time with friends. While in a relationship, we sometimes have a tendency to go into hibernation mode. So schedule some time to meet friends out for coffee, dinner or a day at the spa." Friends are a great distraction and you may have a laugh together which could make you feel better. Plus, depending on how serious your relationship was with your ex and how busy your life has been, you may have actually neglected your friends a little and you'll probably feel better for rekindling those relationships.
Erin Gloria Ryan writes in her article for Jezebel, "...even though it's hard to do just about anything after a breakup, or a death, or a job loss, or another life disruption is hard to spin as a positive activity, there's nothing sad or pathetic about focusing on your own health and having that manifest in adopting a new workout regimen. Don't do it for "revenge;" do it for you." Whatever it means to you (running, yoga, playing Just Dance) multiple studies have proven that exercise can boost your mood — which can only be a good thing if you're wallowing in sadness after a breakup.
7. Pick Up An Old Hobby Or Try Something New
You’ll have more time and possibly more spare cash on your hands post-breakup to put into a beloved project that you’ve always wanted to get off the ground. You may want to try an artistic endeavour like pottery, collage, or writing a book; or you might wish to dive into a new, practical hobby such as gardening, baking, or learning a new language. Whatever tickles your fancy, throw yourself into an old project or hobby, or learn something new — it'll be a great way to spend your spare time instead of reminiscing about your ex. Plus, if it involves taking classes, you'll likely make new friends to surround yourself with.
Take it slow, take care of yourself, and heal your broken heart by getting over someone in a healthy way. The worst is over.
What would it take for you to unfollow someone on social media? We discuss unfollow horror stories & more on the latest episode of Bustle's The Chat Room. Listen here:
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