When a breakup happens, it can feel like your life has been put on hold. All of a sudden everything you thought about your present and your future is thrown off course and trying to get through each day is a struggle. It's hard to figure out where you should pick up and start moving on with your life, as well as exactly how you're supposed to do just that. While many good things can come from a breakup, the immediate after-the-fact is the worst.
According to a survey of 2,000 people by OnePoll, marketing research company, and Yelp Eat24, American adults will endure the pain of a breakup an average of three times in their lifetime. With each breakup, the recovery process will average about six months and it will take anywhere from 12 days to month before people are able to start feeling like themselves again. The survey also found that people tend to give themselves four days to "wallow in sadness," before pulling themselves off the floor and get to moving again.
"Every disappointment is a learning moment," Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., aka Dr. Romance, psychotherapist and author of Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences, tells Bustle. "After the initial upset, review the dynamics of the relationship and analyze what went wrong, what you could have done better and what you learned. There's no need to give yourself a hard time about it. Just process the information, so you don't repeat mistakes."
But in between the tearful conversations (there will be an average two) and the crying fits (there will be an average of four), people do do other things as a means of being part of life again, even if they do it with a grin-and-bear it style.
Here are the top 10 ways people deal with a breakup.
10Browsing Dating Apps
Well, I guess you have to start somewhere and as my friend Ricardo always said, sometimes you just need to replace a nail with another nail. So, if that's you're thinking, then it makes sense to get back on that horse again and start browsing dating apps. Besides, swiping on Tinder is so addictive and sucks up so much time. After a breakup, you kinda want something to suck up your time.
9Avoiding Social Media
While the survey found that it can take as many as five weeks to get out of the habit of looking at your ex's social media, it did find that avoiding social media all together was a method some people used. Personally, I have never tried this. I'm that person who still, 18 months after the fact, am all over my ex's social media... I just want to know that he's OK and stuff, and nothing more. Obviously.
If you're browsing dating apps and meet someone cool, you might as well go on a date if you're feeling up for it. Coming in at number eight in the top 10 methods for getting over a breakup is dating. Although I do suggest staying mum about your ex on the first date, if you'd like to get to a second date.
7Ditching The Ex's Stuff
True story: An ex left behind his guitar after a messy breakup and I smashed it to bits. But that's not the best part. The best part was that when I brought the pieces outside to dispose of them, three women were walking by and when they saw the guitar asked if they could jump on some of the pieces in solidarity. And so they did and if I hadn't been so out of my mind in tears, I would have gotten their names and been friends with them forever.
But my point, because I have one, is that throwing out your ex's stuff, the things they were stupid enough to leave behind, is a really great way to deal with a broken heart. I'm not so sure how healthy it is to jump on a guitar, but ditching their stuff really does feel good and erases a lot of visible reminders.
Although the survey didn't specify to where these broken-hearted people might be headed, the very act of just walking, alone with your thoughts, can really help. Walking is a great way to sort things out and is likely to give you a new perspective on things.
I do believe another word for this is "retail therapy." Nothing says, "I totally got this," like treating yourself left and right with massages, expensive champagne, new shoes, a trip to Maui, you know, the works.
4Spending Time With Family
In fourth place in the top 10, we have spending time with the family. A tactic I totally support.
After a major breakup I went out to Colorado for three months to live with my sister. At the time, my nephews were tiny nuggety things, all of three and four years of age. I have to say that being around them made me realize what's really important: Throwing a fit when your sibling steals the pickle you were saving to eat last. All of a sudden a breakup can feel like a walk in the park in comparison to such a loss.
3Spending Time With Friends
Because who else is going to agree that your ex is the worst person ever? No one; just your nearest and dearest.
Ah, yes; overdosing on TV and movies can definitely be a great method for getting over a breakup. As long as you stay away from triggers, like rom-coms, your attention will be sucked into your television for weeks and weeks. When you finally come up for air, you might be a whole new person.
Although you may hear that you shouldn't be alone after a breakup, this particular method is the most common for those nursing a broken heart. It's important to acknowledge your feelings and let yourself be sad over your breakup, but you also don't want to isolate yourself. "Gather your loved ones around you — you need support," Dr. Tessina says. "Even if you don't think you feel ready to see people, spend time your closest friends and family members. They'll help you heal, and remind you that you still have people who love you."
There is no quick and easy way to get over a breakup. If there were like, say, a magic pill, that would be fantastic. But sadly, science hasn't come that far yet. All you can do in the days, weeks, and months that follow a breakup is do what you need to do for you and you alone. It's time for self-care and moving forward.