7 Things To Avoid Doing During A Breakup


Being in love with someone can feel like a drug, and when you break up, you’re cut off from that drug, so to speak, you’re left with a craving and intense feelings of withdrawal — and sometimes inexplicable pain. Studies have shown that heartbreak can be so intense that some scientists suggest that it can feel the same as being in physical pain. According to a study published 2011 that appears in PNAS, when people where shown a photo of a former lover, they showed similar brain activity to when they felt extreme heat on their arm.

After the breakup begins the rationalization of irrational thoughts and longing to figure out where exactly it all went wrong. And while it's important to let yourself reflect, feel all the feelings, and mourn the relationship, there are certain things that may only lead to further pain.

"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."

So what should you avoid doing when you're getting over someone? From Here are the things to avoid when you’re going through a breakup.


Looking At Their Picture


“[The] first thing to do is stop looking at their picture," sex coach and author of The New Rules of Sex, Lauren Brim, tells Bustle. This is a tough one, especially because our ex — and our old relationship — lives on in the world of social media.

But studies show that even looking at your ex can cause physical pain, as well as the lingering pain of rejection, and not to mention a bruised ego. On the other hand though, looking at people whom you have a secure attachment to can do the opposite. Take the breakup day-by-day but avoid looking at their picture again until you’re ready to do so without the sting of the breakup. Out of sight, out of mind.


Blaming Yourself

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It's easy to do this, but blaming yourself for the breakup is one of the worst things you can do during the recovery process. "The important thing to remember is that the breakup is not any body's fault," Brim says. "People that respond healthiest to breakups don't blame themselves for the relationship ending and know it just wasn't the right fit."


Communicating With Them If It's Unhealthy

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You may want to text them when you pass your usual date night restaurant or you read something you know they'll think is funny, but for some, it only prolongs the recovery process. If you find that talking to them feels impossible, but is actually making things worse for you, you may even want to consider blocking them from social media so you're not tempted to reach out. It's all about doing whatever communication post-breakup is right for you in the long run.

"I personally find that the communication that happens after a breakup can be really life-enhancing, brings understanding, and helps one to process the feelings of loss, and sometimes even see that person in a different light, meaning, that maybe they were never right for you any way," Brim says.


Withdrawing From Social Activities

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Sure you're upset and heartbroken and your first inclination is to curl up into a ball in your bed, and when it's appropriate you should. It's OK to feel it, but try not to isolate yourself too much. You can be sad, of course, but there's no need to punish yourself — you deserve to have fun and enjoy life.


Getting Out Of The House


In addition to being social, it's important to get outside and do what you love. Keeping busy is one of the best things you can do during a breakup — and if you enjoy working out, endorphins and positivity are major benefits that are there for you.


Using Alcohol To Cope


Overdoing it on the alcohol, especially when you're sad, is a recipe for disaster that Brim advises against. You're way better off relieving stress through meditating, journaling, working out, or other ways that benefit your health.


Talking About It With Everyone You Encounter


If you're a Sex and the City fan then you know that after Carrie and Big broke up for the hundredth time she began to speak incessantly about him and their breakup. After a while, her friends just couldn't take it anymore. Brim advises against telling the world about it, too. If it's really all that's on your mind, and you need to talk about, don't be afraid to go speak to someone or get some help if you need it.

Breakups are tough, but you can learn so much through the process — and you never know how things will pan out. Perhaps all that time apart will do you well. "Many people get back with their ex after a breakup and go on to have a great relationship," Brim says. "Both people have to be willing to show up and work on the issues though, whether in therapy, or some other way. If the relationship is deeply flawed, it is probably best to let it go though." Either way, there's so much you can learn during the process. Just remember be kind to yourself — you deserve it.