We’ve all gone through it, and breaking up truly is hard to do. Some people handle breakups more easily and respectfully than others, but even the most calm and "adult" breakups can cause pain. Working through that pain is important, and the process is almost the same whether you broke up the relationship yourself or got broken up with.
If you were the one who was broken up with....
Allow yourself to feel horrible. Keeping in your feelings isn’t going to do you any good, so let yourself be a mess if that’s how you feel! Stay in bed all day, mope, cry and do anything else you need to get those feelings out. Your feelings are just going to eat away at you if they're bottled up inside you.
Rely on your friends to get you out of bed at some point. It’s perfectly normal to feel bad for a long time after you’ve been broken up with, but it’s not worth losing your job and getting your electricity shut off. Have your friends help you with those little things like making sure you call in sick to work and pay your bills right after your breakup.
Keep the desire to see your ex at bay. You might want a further explanation or just some extra closure, but curb that desire. In order to move on, no contact is better. This means no visits, no phone calls and no attempted run-ins at the grocery store. Your friends can help you with this too. If you're close to calling your ex, call one of your friends instead.
If you did the breaking up...
It’s OK if you’re bummed. Even if breaking up was your choice, you're probably feeling sad anyway. You might feel bad for breaking your ex’s heart, or just melancholy for the loss of your relationship. All of this is perfectly normal, and you should allow yourself to have these feelings.
Stick to your decision. You’ve broken up for a reason, so try and remember that reason if you start regretting the breakup. Your ex may try to change your mind, but don’t let him. Go over the reasons why you decided to end the relationship if it helps. Stick to your guns!
Tell your ex to keep her distance. This is important in the "moving on" process. Your ex might be feeling very hurt that you broke up with her, and she might still want to see you. Seeing your ex after the breakup is not a good idea.
Advice for both...
Focus on other things and stay busy. Once you’ve moped for a while, it’s time to get your life back in order. Go to work, exercise and do all the normal stuff to keep your mind off your ex. See friends and family and surround yourself with wonderful people who make you feel good. It will help, I promise!
Give yourself time to be sad, and eventually you'll feel better. If you allow yourself time to have your feelings at first, you’ll get them all out and be able to move on. Feeling better will come one day, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while. One day you’ll wake up and things will be back to normal.
Let plenty of time pass before you start dating again. Wait until you’ve truly gotten all those sad breakup feelings out before you get out into the dating world again. When you’ve stopped thinking about your ex every day and your relationship seems like just a blink in time, you’re ready. Dating before that might confuse and hurt you even more, so wait until you’re ready to move on.
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- If you find yourself unable to move on after months or are still feeling depressed, consider seeing a counselor to talk about your feelings further.