How to Deal with a Break-up

If you're fresh from the pain of the ultimate rejection, you're probably hurt, angry, and frustrated, and that's okay! I'll tell you how to scrape through the first painful weeks after a break-up with your dignity and self-respect intact.

Stop. Do only the bare minimum in the hours and days following the break-up. Do what's necessary, but don't have high expectations of yourself during this time. Breaking up is a huge loss, and you need time to mourn the end of your relationship. It's normal to feel sad, hopeless, and lonely right now!

Don't stop eating, sleeping, working, or going to class. Burying yourself under your blankets indefinitely may seem like a good idea, but you need to keep doing things to take care of yourself and keep you moving toward your goals. You probably will not feel like doing anything, but when the pain subsides, you'll still have a life to live.

Remember that you are still you, even without your former partner in your life. Remind yourself of your good points, or have a friend remind you of them if you're feeling bad about yourself. Write these down in your notebook or journal, and look at them as often as you need to!

Try very hard to limit contact with your ex, at least at first. Your job after a break-up is to remind yourself of the whole person that you are, and to rebuild any sense of identity you've lost through the break-up or the relationship itself. This is often the hardest step, and the most crucial. If you do have hopes for a reconciliation in the future, DON'T pursue your ex right after the break-up. If your ex never has a chance to miss you, how will he or she know they want you back?

Have at least one support person you can go to at any time, day or night. Call or visit this person if you're considering doing something extreme, like stealing your ex's pets or keying his or her car. Revenge probably seem attractive right now, but vandalism, theft, or even stalking all have long-range legal and psychological consequences. Don't feel like you are crazy for having these thoughts and impulses, but don't act on them!

Be patient with yourself. The tears are okay. You are okay. You will feel better!

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Things You Will Need

  • Kleenexes
  • Journal or Notebook
  • Pen
  • Patience


  • Take the time to get over your break-up before moving onto the next relationships. "Rebounds" are almost never a good idea!
  • Keep doing the things that you enjoyed before the break-up. If everything you did for fun involved your ex, consider taking up a new hobby: take a class, do something creative, and express yourself!


  • If tears, sadness, and changes in appetite or sleeping habits don't get better after a few weeks, see a counselor or your doctor to discuss the possibility of depression. Don't be embarassed; just get help!
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