From October to February, a certain phenomenon happens among singles—they couple up for the winter months. We call this cuffing season. But what happens next? Well, for a lot of people, when cuffing season ends, so does the relationship. In fact, March is one of the most common months for breakups. So, for those who’ve just been “un-cuffed,” here’s how to deal with a breakup.
7 Ways to Deal with a Breakup
There are countless articles out there on how to deal with a breakup. Which makes sense—in 2021, it was even the most googled relationship question for 6 states. But that means a lot of the advice is the same.
That, too, makes a lot of sense. Healing might look different for everyone, but there are certain universal truths for handling a breakup. For example, after a breakup, it’s important to take space from your ex and practice good self-care.
Doing No Contact is still my number one piece of post-breakup advice. But there are other ways to deal that aren’t as commonly cited. So, here are my top, (less common) tips for getting over a breakup:
1. Stay Off Social Media
Part of the ‘No Contact’ rule means avoiding all contact with your ex. That includes passive contact, like looking at their socials.
But who the hell can resist that kind of temptation? (Almost) no one! For that reason, a lot of relationship experts recommend un-friending or blocking an ex, but I’m not a fan of that approach. It can come across as petty and childish, or even like you’re trying to get your exes attention. Instead, it’s best to remain low-key. Staying off social media completely will eliminate the temptation to check up on your ex.
Plus, most people only post happy things on their socials. Right now, you’re in a vulnerable place, so seeing your friends sharing pictures of their romantic date nights will only make you feel worse.
2. Find the Right Resources
That abundance of articles on getting over a breakup? Use them! Even if a lot of the articles you read say the same thing, the important thing is to read them. It’s a way of being proactive in your own healing. You’re essentially telling yourself that you want to move forward.
But make sure you find the right resources. Articles, books, and podcasts on the psychology behind breakup emotions and how to deal with it are great. Those about how to get back together with an ex, on the other hand, are NOT. At least, not right now.
When I’ve gone through some of my most difficult breakups, I was constantly seeking that type of “win him back” material. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to reconcile, but at this stage, you’re not in a place to do that yet. By focusing on getting back together, you’re keeping yourself stuck in an obsessive, heartsick state. Focus on healing first.
*PS – if you’re looking for a resource, I have a few breakup guides available on Payhip.
3. Experience Your Emotions
Breakups can be genuinely distressing. They can bring up a lot of anxiety, loneliness, and sadness. All of that is normal.
It’s also normal for people to try and avoid difficult or painful emotions.
Often, those going through a breakup will use distractions—random hookups, nights out with friends, overindulgence in alcohol—as a way to cope. But, typically, that just makes the pain worse. Those emotions will inevitably come back and they might hit you twice as hard when they do.
Don’t try and numb or push away your pain. Experience your emotions. Wallow, cry, feel sad and heartbroken. Basically, give yourself time to grieve.
4. Recognize Your Limits
After a breakup, people typically feel desperate to talk to their ex. Often, they want to try and convince them to give the relationship another shot. They sometimes want to figure out if they’re seeing (or sleeping with) someone new. Or, they might just want closure.
But, at this point, that’s probably not possible. And even if it is, it’s not recommended. Asking for closure before you’re ready to hear it will just lead to irrational behavior.
For now, recognize that you can’t control what your ex does. You also can’t control whether or not you’ll ever figure out exactly what happened.
5. Focus on the Negative
In a state of heartbreak, people tend to put their ex on a pedestal. They think about all the good times, which in turn, leads to feeling like nothing will ever be that good again.
That’s not helpful to anyone. Instead, think about all the things you didn’t like about your ex. Give yourself closure by allowing them to be the bad guy.
6. Wellness Shouldn’t Be Work
Self-care is an important part of learning to deal with a breakup. It’s one thing to let yourself grieve, it’s another to let yourself go. As tempting as staying in bed downing Ben & Jerry’s for weeks on end may be, it isn’t going to do you any good.
At the same time, the social pressure of practicing good “self-care” can be just as damaging. It can lead to feelings of failure and ineptitude.
But wellness shouldn’t be work. You don’t have to force yourself to start a new workout routine when just getting out of bed is hard enough. Instead, focus on doing things slowly and at your own pace. If all you can manage for today is getting up and taking a shower, do that. And let yourself feel proud of this small act of self-care.
7. Acknowledge Your Role
It is important to see your ex as the bad guy and to recognize that it wasn’t entirely your fault. But if you continue to do this, you’re perpetuating a victim mentally which also isn’t good
When you’re ready, think about the things that you did to contribute to the breakup. Not in a self-deprecating way, in a personal growth way. Understand your role in everything so that going forward, you can improve.
Going through a breakup is never easy. But you WILL get through it. Hopefully these 7 tips are helpful to you.
Do you have any other advice on how to deal with a breakup? Let me know in the comments below!
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