Whenever you have to end a relationship, be it the shortest fling or a decades-long marriage, the main question that you will find yourself asking is – how to get over a breakup?
First of all, there are so many nuances to every relationship and breakups that there isn’t a cookie-cutter answer to this question. However, as breaking up with someone is psychologically pretty similar to grieving a loss of a loved one, a lot of struggles can follow the end of a relationship.
When you break up with someone, you not only want to get over them, but also make room for improvement in your own life, and grow as a person. There are things that will help almost anyone to not only get over a breakup but also thrive as an individual.
How long does it take to get over a breakup or when do you start feeling better after a heartbreak is a very subjective question. While some people may feel better instantly, others may take a while to get over a broken relationship.
However, you are likely to feel better after about six weeks from the break up. After six weeks most people start to adjust to life without their ex, Durvasula, a licensed clinical psychologist tells Glamour.
“It could be a lot quicker, but typically it’s not much longer,” she says. “I tell my clients all the time: Give everything six weeks before you think you are not coping well.”
To know more about the stages of heartbreak, watch this video.
Understanding the grieving process after breakup
Although when you break up a relationship the other person is still there, the moment you realize that you can’t call them anymore, you can’t do the things you used to, and you are on your own, you get into mourning.
It is a sort of bereavement similar to that one experiences when their loved one passes. If you are wondering how to get over a breakup, you may need to understand the phases of grieving and buckle up, as it’s not going to be an easy ride.
There are stages of getting over a breakup that you must go through, in order to feel better and evolve into a better person. The first thing you experience when you are going through a breakup is numbness and panic.
This happens in the first hours or days after the event. You might be in shock, even if you were the one that initiated the breakup. And you could very well begin to experience panic when you realize that this is really happening.
Nonetheless, these states of mind are soon replaced by obsession and protest. After you’ve wrapped your head around the idea that the breakup is really happening, you will begin to obsess over the past, the presence, and the imagined future with your now ex.
You will be angry and yearn for things to go back to the old ways. When you realize that it’s not going to happen you will get into the phase of disorganization and despair.
However, once the depression and sadness are behind you, you can then begin to truly grow.
In psychology, this phase is called integration. It’s when you can actually start thinking about how to get over a breakup and become a better person. It means that you begin to form the new you that incorporates all the lessons you’ve learned from the experience.
Getting over a breakup is a long process, and it takes time. Stopping the hurt is one of the first steps, after that. Small steps towards getting over someone or getting over a breakup can help you go a long way.
Even as you have resolved that you do not want to give the relationship another chance, and have accepted that it is over, it does not mean that you will not miss your partner, or just snap out of the life you had with them.
We often think that the process of stopping to hurt after a break up is about the big things, but in reality, small steps can help you in building yourself up again, and stop hurting altogether.
Another great place to start and learn how to get over a breakup is from inspiring quotes about breakups that can transfer other people’s experience and collective wisdom right into your soul and help you thrive.
A quote that may make you feel better is “I can’t tell if it’s killing me or making me stronger.” So when you feel that the breakup is killing you, remember, it’s not. It’s creating a new, stronger, and improved you.
Another one that can make you feel better is “Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” Life is what it is; you rarely get it all the way you wanted it. Accepting this fact is a major lesson you get to learn the easy or the hard way.
But, once you accept that not getting what you wished for, you will start noticing how this situation opens many doors for you. So fear not, and discover all the wonderful things that await you.
4. Delete their number, at least for now
A move that may seem insignificant to a lot of people in the process of how to get over a breakup is deleting your ex’s phone number, or unfollowing them on social media. However, it can have a big impact on helping you move on.
Sometimes when you may not be thinking about them, when something they posted pops up on your feed and reminds you of them, and spirals you into the sadness of the breakup. It is best to maintain some distance, at least for a while to ensure you get over the breakup.
5. Make plans with your friends
We often forget our friends when we are in relationships since hanging out with our partners takes the front seat in our lives. However, after a breakup, catching up with your friends is the best way to ensure you get some after break up advice.
Friends can remind you that you are loved and not lonely, and you are likely to miss your lost love way less when you are out, having fun, rather than sitting at home, all alone. People close to you can help you figure out how to get over a breakup.
6. Do things you love
Our hobbies and passions are very important, and they keep us going. If you are wondering how to get over a breakup and grow as a person, going back to the things you loved doing is one of the best ways to find yourself after a relationship has ended.
There is a chance that your partner did not enjoy doing them, and you may have subconsciously stopped giving your hobbies time.
7. Read the hurt away
Books have a way of taking us to a parallel universe, and you could really use that after a breakup. Books have a way of teaching us subtle lessons as well, so losing yourself in a good book while you try to get over a breakup is a perfect idea.
Some books specifically talk about how to get over a breakup and offer to break up help so you could also read them to get more perspective.
A new workout will keep you motivated, and also boost your physical and mental health to help you grow as an individual.
Travel helps everyone reset. Whether you are burnt out at your job or experiencing a bad breakup, a change of scenery is always a great idea.
Travel to some place you always wanted to go, make new friends, discover new places, and you will realise there is just so much more to life than just a breakup or the grief of not being in touch with someone anymore.
10. Remember why it did not work out
A famous inspirational quote reads – “Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” People split for many reasons, and many good marriages or relationships end, regardless of how delightful they might have been.
In some cases, the relationship itself has been great, but the partners just drifted apart, and it has to end. From a psychological standpoint, when a relationship is unhealthy, there is a lot to learn from it. And, it might even be easier to overcome, regardless of how toxic the breakup might have been.
But, it’s difficult for exes to grasp why the relationship has come to an end and to overcome it if there are many beautiful moments to come back to.
Paying attention to why you had to break up, and why it was for the greater good of both of you can help you deal with the grief of the relationship not working out.
11. Give yourself time
When moving on from heartbreak, one of the first things you need to come to terms with is that feeling better cannot happen overnight. Love is an emotion that is much stronger than other feelings we experience on a daily basis (such as anger or joy).
With this in mind, it becomes obvious that for it to diminish will take more time as well.
When getting over someone, you’ll have noticed that the first few days or weeks were the worst.
When emotions are fresh, it’s much easier to become overcome with them, to feel bouts of sadness, anger, or even be in disbelief. Still, people move on post-breakup– be it in weeks, months, or years. As they say, time heals all wounds.
12. Don’t push away your feelings
According to psychologists, one of the worst things we can do when coping with loss is ignoring our feelings and giving in to distractions. Without proper rumination, it’s impossible to move forward.
If you need to cry, cry. If you need to blow off some steam, find a healthy way to do it (like going for a run). Addressing and accepting a breakup and our emotions is an important step in our journey of surviving a breakup.
There are many things you can do to deal with how you’re feeling. Keeping a journal, talking with friends, or seeking out professional help are all great ways of working through the traumatic effects of an ended relationship.
You might also find that meditation or reading the right book can help you in getting over a breakup.
13. Say goodbye
At some point, the moment of acceptance will come when you’ll be ready to say goodbye. And it’s perfectly okay to let the past be the past. In fact, it may just prove to be one of the more liberating things you do!
You may find yourself asking why breakups are so hard, but the fact that you have to let it go remains and will also make it easier on you. So, if you’re ready for closure, don’t hesitate.
Do what feels right – whether that’s having one last conversation with your ex, getting rid of your engagement ring, going on a solo adventure, or even just changing your Facebook relationship status. In the end, this will allow you to feel at peace with yourself.
14. Don’t close yourself off to new love
Sometimes, the end of a relationship feels like the end of all romance. And sure, it might take some time for you to be ready to love again. But that doesn’t mean that the moment won’t come.
To be able to embrace it with both arms, however, you need to make sure you’re ready to start something new, life after a breakup. Before you jump into dating, be certain that you’ve accepted your breakup and that you’ve given yourself time to heal.
Make sure you’re honest with yourself and your new partner, as well as that you’re clear about your needs and terms. Don’t let yourself believe you’re too picky or that you’re taking too long in healing from a breakup. Everyone moves at their own pace, so honor your own.
15. Take good care of yourself
Finally, when getting over a breakup, don’t forget to keep your health in check during this difficult period. Sometimes, feeling emotionally overwhelmed can make us forget about the importance of taking care of our bodies.
If your breakup is recent, try to pay a bit more attention to how you’re doing physically.
Eat well, don’t give up on your exercise regimen, and try to stick to good sleep hygiene.
Keep an eye out for behaviors such as turning to alcohol, drugs, or food for comfort, as well as for signs of depression.
16. Create a vision board
One of the many things to do after a breakup includes imagining a life without your partner. Create a vision board of what you want your life to look like, without the relationship that has now ended.
Having a vision for the future helps you have something to look forward to, and gives you hope. It also helps you take small steps in that direction and get better as an individual.
17. Establish a routine
Making a routine can help you get through bad days when you feel the walls are closing in on you.
Set a time to wake up, shower, do specific things, and you will realise that it becomes easier to get through the day. Sometimes, it is all about that.
Make sure you are clear about your emotional availability, and also take it really slow if you do start dating somebody.
19. Write a journal
One of the best ways to take control of your thoughts is to get them out there. You may not always be able to say your thoughts out loud to your friends, family, or even your therapist.
It is, therefore, recommended that you write a journal. It will help you record your feelings, and may also act as a good progress tracker as you start to get better and move on from your breakup.
20. Work it out with a therapist
If you feel the breakup has affected you a lot, and you can see your mental health spiraling into worse shape due to it, there is nothing better than seeking professional help.
A therapist can help you deal with your emotions better, and also equip you with a better understanding of your mind.
Whether you were the one who broke up with them, or they broke up with you, or even if you mutually agreed to part ways, chances are that you may be holding on to some resentment from the relationship.
Whenever you are ready, forgive them, and yourself, even when you think what they did was not justified, and even when they never apologized to you. Realising that holding on to resentment only makes life tougher for you can help you move on with grace.
22. Don’t lose sight of yourself
It is easy to lose yourself in a relationship, especially when you are too deep in love. However, as you try to move on from a breakup, it is important to get a vision of your own self, and not lose sight of the individual you are.
You are not defined by a person in your life, but by your achievements, and personality traits.
23. Do not resort to alcohol or substance abuse
When we are going through a tough time in our life, we want to escape reality. This can hold true even when we are struggling with a bad breakup.
You may want to resort to using substances or alcohol to numb the pain, but it is better to understand that it can only make your life worse.
24. Do not be too hard on yourself
Getting over a breakup takes time, and it can be even worse if you are too hard on yourself. Let yourself heal at your own pace, and do not give yourself a timeline. Do not beat yourself up if you miss them, or do not feel your best.
If you are looking for effective tips for getting over a breakup, this may be one of the most underrated ones. Whether you live in a small studio or a big house, rearrange your space, at least the areas that you hang out in, or interact with daily.
Remove things that remind you of your past relationships, and try to fill it up with new experiences, and make new memories. This will help you remove that part of your life slowly, and move on to better times.
Getting over a breakup can be difficult, and the best way to get through it is to listen to your body and heart. Take the time and make an effort to let yourself heal. Do not feel any shame in asking for help getting over a breakup.
It is important to understand how it can affect your body and your mind. Recognize, respect, address your emotions, and don’t feel pressured to move on right away. It’s okay to not be okay.
With time, your sadness will pass, as will any feelings of anger, loss, or betrayal. And there will come a moment when you’ll be able to accept the past.
To look at everything you have gained and learned from the experience – good and bad.
Once that moment arrives, you’ll know that you’ve moved on. And that going forward, you’ll be stronger, wiser, and prepared to invest yourself in a relationship once again.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.