Get Over a Breakup

Young man resting his head in hands
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One thing is true no matter how great or bad a relationship was: Breakups aren't easy. Getting over someone is hard. Actually, it can be quite devastating if we don't take steps to take care of ourselves and minimize the damage. There's no quick fix that heals hearts fast, but there are ways to lessen the heartache.

Find a Support Network

Find someone or something you can lean on as soon as possible. A best friend, a favorite family member or even a pet will do. More than likely your emotions like sorrow, grief or anger are flying high. You need a steady ear that can give you rational and comforting advice, or at least an unconditional purr. Choose a support person who is objective most of the time. Don't be afraid to spill your guts or to be open about how you feel. Keeping those breakup emotions bottled up is never a good thing. Release them to a person who can give you rational and objective advice.

Find a Favorite Thing 

The beginning of a bad breakup is an emergency situation. You need comfort and reassurance from your loss. It's important not to slip into depression, so you'll need something to get you through the times when your support network isn't available. Some people have favorite songs, movies or locations that allow them to escape and heal internally. Your favorite thing doesn't have to be happy and upbeat – and make sure it's not a shared favorite of you and your ex – but it should be empowering and help you pick up the emotional pieces.

Find a Positive Anger Release 

Chances are your ex did something to you or you did something that you regret, so you're angry. Now's a good time to indulge in your favorite hobby: sports, singing, writing, walking or whatever it may be. Whatever your release, make sure it's positive and not a depressant like alcohol or drugs. Sing your heart out to numb the pain, but don't use alcohol to do the same. You'll get over the breakup and move on with time. You don't want a bad habit to follow you. 

Let Him Be 

There's a tendency to be curious about their life without you after you break up with someone. You might experience an urge to try to get information about them from mutual friends who always seem to volunteer unwanted details. This doesn't help with the recovery process. You need space to focus on yourself. Constant reminders of your ex only extend the anguish. This doesn't mean you should isolate yourself or become a hermit, but try to avoid encounters with them or unnecessary information until you get used to life without them.

Take Steps to Heal 

This sounds easier than it actually is, but it's essential that you try to move on with your life. It takes time to completely get over someone, but the more you focus on your own life and develop your own friendship base, the easier it will be to get over them. Do you have to erase them from your thoughts completely? Of course not, but many people obsessively think about their exes and some are driven by the hope that they'll get back together. If you do get back together, that's great, but you should be prepared to continue moving forward with your life if it doesn't happen.

Get Back into the Scene 

Don't be afraid to get back into the dating scene after you feel like you've taken enough time to gather your thoughts and emotions. It's normal to feel the need for "alone time" immediately after a breakup, but try going out and meeting new people when you've moved past this point and you feel ready. Just be careful not to use going out as a means of burying your emotions or over-compensating for your loss.

Leave Room 

Yes, you and your ex had some great times. Maybe they were even some of the best memories of your life. But it's important to leave room for others to develop a good relationship with you – which will also lead to great memories. It's common for us to compare new people in our lives to our exes, or to build a wall of safety around our emotions. After all, who wants to be hurt again? And of course, we've learned many lessons from past.

A little caution is a good thing, but sometimes this can develop into an emotional shutdown. No new person will be good enough or as good as your ex if you place your ex on such a high pedestal that no one else can reach it. There is also a tendency to place new people in scenarios that you and your ex shared to gauge if they would react in similar ways.

These methods almost always result in disaster. No one can ever replace your ex because they were their own person and the dynamic of your relationship was unique. There may always be a place in your heart for them. Just make sure it's not your entire heart! Leave room to develop better memories or a more fulfilling relationship with someone new. Give your new prospects a chance, and remember, you can't compare someone you've just met to an ex with whom you've shared many memories.