Going through a breakup is hard. You may feel lost, like you’ve lost the best thing that ever happened to you, like you’ll never be happy in the same way again. But it’s possible for a broken heart to heal, and you won’t feel like this forever.
The only true cure to a broken heart is time, but there are some things you can do to help the process along. Read on to discover tips for how to get over a breakup and start reclaiming your happiness today.
Talk About Your Breakup
When we’re getting through a breakup, it helps to know we aren’t dealing with it alone. Talking about your breakup with friends and family can be very therapeutic. It’s an important way to work through your thoughts at a time when your mind is a pretty chaotic place to be.
But it’s important that you keep these conversations as constructive as possible. It’s okay to feel sorry for yourself for the first few days, but after that, your focus should be on feeling better. Talk to your friends about what you’re feeling, how you’re processing, and what you’re doing to feel good.
Hang out With Friends
One of the worst parts of getting over a breakup is the loneliness that can set in. This was the person you spent the most time with, and now that they’re not in your life anymore, you may feel alone. Head that off by hanging out with your friends as much as you can.
Not only will spending time with your friends help keep you from feeling lonely, but it’ll also make you feel better about yourself. A breakup can be a vulnerable time for your self-esteem, and your friends will be there to help. They can remind you of all the wonderful things about you and show you some love when you’re needing it most.
Avoid Your Ex
Because a breakup is literally akin to trying to quit drugs, it can be easy to want to go back for another “fix.” This may include stalking them on social media, texting them, or even having sex with them “one last time.” Trust us when we say this is not one of the ways to get over a breakup.
Avoid your ex for the first few weeks or months after the breakup. Unfollow them on social media and don’t let yourself go stalk their profile. Tell them you need to avoid talking to them for a while, and then follow through; it’ll be hard at first, but cold turkey really is the best way to go in the long run.
Write It Out
When you’re dealing with a breakup, your thoughts are all a jumble of pain and grief. It can be hard to sort out why you’re feeling a certain way or to keep certain memories from playing over and over in your head. One great way to handle this is to write everything out.
Something about committing our thoughts to paper is cleansing. Write down all those memories, the good and the bad, and you won’t feel like you have to carry them around all the time anymore. Write about how you’re feeling and the process of picking the right words and putting them on paper will help you understand what it is you’re feeling and why.
There’s scientific proof that being happy is a choice, and it’s the choice you should be making post-breakup. The fact is that the relationship is over, and you can sit and stew in that sorrow long term, or you can make the brave choice to start being happy again. We know it’s an incredibly difficult thing to do, but you’re strong enough to make that choice.
Start small by keeping a gratitude journal. Every day, write down five things you’re grateful for; they can be things as big as friends being by your side during this time or as small as the cafeteria having pizza sticks for lunch today. When you look for these things and write them down, you’ll start to feel more grateful for them, and you’ll start to appreciate how beautiful your life really is, even without your ex.
Focus on You
During a relationship, a large portion of your attention is focused on making your partner happy. You’re checking in with them, planning nice things for them, and trusting that they’ll do the same for you. But when you’re working out how to get through a breakup, it’s the perfect time for you to love on yourself.
Spend time focusing on what you want your life to be like and who you want to be. Do things that make you happy and challenge yourself to try things you’ve always wanted to. Set up a solid self-care routine, buy yourself nice things, get a haircut you’ve always been too scared to try, and just focus on you for a while.
Try Three New Places
A great way to focus on yourself and keep from stewing in your sadness when you’re asking, “how do you get over a breakup” is to challenge yourself to try three new places every week. Mary Jo Rapini, author of Re-Coupling, suggests this in her book. It’s a great way to discover new things and build new memories that aren’t tied to your partner.
Every week, try to go to at least three new places; these can be restaurants, coffee shops, parks, museums, or bars. Ask friends to go with you sometimes, and sometimes go on your own. Explore places you’ve always wondered about, and see what beauty the world still has to offer.
Avoid a Rebound
When you’re nursing a broken heart and are lonely, it can be easy to look for comfort in the arms of another person. When you’re looking for how to get over a breakup fast, what better way is there than to find love again with someone who will treat you the way you deserve? But rebounding almost never works out well, and a lot of people can get hurt in the process.
The process of getting over someone you love is complicated and emotional, and there’s a lot of baggage hidden under the surface that you won’t realize you had until months or years later. Bringing a new romance into that dynamic will make things even more confusing, both for you and for your new partner. Give yourself some space and put an embargo on dating of any kind for at least a few months to give yourself time to heal.
Remind Yourself Why You Broke Up
Have you ever heard of drunk goggles, the idea that when you’re drunk, everyone looks 10 times more beautiful than they really are? Well, breakup goggles are a thing too – after a breakup, every ex looks a thousand times better than they did when you were in the relationship. Going over everything that was so great about them will only make things worse though.
When you start looking through the breakup goggles, snap yourself out of it by reminding yourself why you and your ex broke up. If you split up with them, remember all the reasons why you made that choice and why it was important. If they broke up with you, remind yourself that they did not appreciate what a beautiful and amazing person you are, and you deserve to be with someone who does.
Write Down the Bad Things
When the breakup goggles get really bad, you can also break out of that mindset by reminding yourself that your ex is not perfect. We’re willing to bet they did some things that frustrated you at best and hurt you at worst during the relationship. When you get to feeling like they were the perfect partner, sit down and write down every bad thing about them.
The things you write down can be as serious or silly as you want them to be. If they cheated on you, that goes on the list; so does the annoying way they ate spaghetti, the way they were a blanket hog, and the fact that their mother always looked down her nose at you. This list will remind you that you haven’t lost the perfect partner; you’ve taken a step away from a relationship that was far from ideal.
Don’t Look for Meaning
Often, when you’re trying to figure out how to get over someone you love, you start looking for a reason why all this had to happen. Why did we meet them in the first place, and why did we have to fall in love with them? What was the point of spending all that time loving them only to lose it all in the end?
The truth is that sometimes, breakups happen, and there’s no good reason why. Searching for that closure can leave you confused and even more heartbroken than before. So let go of the search for meaning, and try to come to peace with the fact that these things do just happen sometimes.
Find Things That Keep You Grounded
Part of the trauma of a breakup is you may feel like you’ve lost a part of your identity. For the duration of that relationship, you defined yourself as this person’s partner, and now that’s gone. So in its place, try to find and engage with the things that keep you grounded.
If your family is a huge part of your life and your identity, spend more time around your family. If you have a hobby or a sport that grounds you, practice that more. And if you aren’t sure what grounds you, talk to the people you love about what they think defines you and start exploring those ideas.
Get a Hobby
Learning a new skill can be a great way to distract from the constant rumination that comes along with a breakup. You’re focused on figuring out how this new thing works, and it breaks you out of the old routines that remind you of your ex and cue those repetitive thoughts. Picking up a new hobby can be a great way to engage this part of your mind.
Research what sorts of craft stores you have in your area and see if any of them are offering classes. You could try woodworking, painting, knitting, throwing pottery, making glass mosaics, or scrapbooking. You could also try out a new sport or take a cooking class.
Make a Playlist
There are few things more cathartic than listening to really good music after a breakup. Whether you prefer sad love songs or power ballads, hearing a song that resonates with you can be very empowering. So when you find yourself Googling, “how long to get over a breakup,” try making a playlist.
Put together all the songs that make you feel powerful, amazing, and strong. You can also add in some songs that get you right in the feels and seem to describe the exact hurt you’re feeling. Listen to this playlist when you’re needing some validation or are looking to shut down your brain for a while.
Give It Time
The most important thing you can do to get over a breakup is just to give it time. We know it’s a heart-wrenching, difficult process, and there’s no one answer to the question, “how long does it take to get over a breakup,” but we promise it does get easier with time. You’ll get used to not having that person in your life; the hurt will fade, and you’ll find that you’re happier and happier with each day that passes.
Learn How to Get Over a Breakup
Dealing with a broken heart is a long, miserable process. But the key to how to get over a breakup is to stay busy and surround yourself with people who love you. Things will get easier with time, and in the meantime, you need to remind yourself that you’re loved and there are great things coming for you.
If you’d like to find more tips for how to get over a breakup, check out my one-on-one coaching.