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Breakups are brutal. It’s never easy to have your life fall apart and watch the man of your life walk away. If you’ve been through a couple of breakups like me, you know that every breakup tears you into pieces every time. You think you know how to get over a breakup, but when someone tells you they want out of your life, those words hurt to the very core of your body.
It’s hard to face the fact, and harder to admit that your relationship is over.
The simple truth is that that you have no choice but to start over. Move on and live your life. And the first step of this recovery process is learning the steps to get over a breakup.
I know you’re feeling broken now, and you have every right to be. You’re heartbroken and afraid to think about what life will be like without your ex. You lose control and allow your mind to go into overdrive wallowing about the past and finding ways to see if there’s a chance to “fix” your relationship.
Don’t do that.
Your life is not going to feel better by going into desperation mode and trying to make things go back to what it used to be. No matter how hard you’ve convinced yourself that you deserve a second chance, your ex may not feel the same way.
So if you’re getting over a breakup now, learn to let it go. Embrace this hardship and turn it into an opportunity to revive your life and find yourself again.
I’m sure you have a lot of questions about your relationship and why it didn’t work out. A part of you demands closure to move on entirely. Trust me, now is not the time to seek these answers. Not at your worst state when you’re on an emotional rollercoaster.
Instead, look where your life is now and set a plan to reclaim yourself. Nothing else matters right now while your life is flipped upside down. And the longer you sit there wallowing about your breakup, the harder it will be for you to get out of this downward spiral.
You don’t want to hit a new rock bottom.
I’ll be the first to admit that the first few days or weeks are going to be tough and painful. There’s nothing to be ashamed of if you can’t control your emotions. What you’re feeling is perfectly normal and all part of getting through a breakup. Your life is adjusting to a new independent routine.
So let’s begin. In this guide, I’m going to provide the full picture of what it takes to get over a breakup so that you are prepared to start your journey in the best way possible.
Here’s a quick overview.
- Why Do We Break Up?
- Ground Rules For Getting Over A Breakup
- 7 Best Ways To Get Over A Big Breakup
- How Long Does It Take To Get Over A Breakup?
- How To Get Over A Breakup With Someone You Love
Remember, your priority right now is to deal with your heartbreak. Now is not the time to look for closure or overthink what went wrong in your relationship. Your ex is not going to sit across from you and listen to your reasons and suddenly ask for a second chance.
The only thing you need to figure out is how to move onward and upward. That’s it!
I know your relationship is special, and every breakup is unique in its own way. But there are common aspects in breakups that allow us to create a roadmap to guide us through the stages of heartbreak.
If you need additional help and guidance, I would highly recommend my breakup guide called Breakup Is Over. Its primary focus is to walk you through your breakup and help you get out of your misery fast. I also discuss how to set up a support system so that you have the best chances of moving on.
Why Do We Break Up?
I know you’re struggling to find this answer, especially if your breakup is fresh. It’s probably the only question you want to be answered right now, and you are using all your brainpower to find a reason.
What are you going to tell your friends and family? What will the people in your circle think now that you’ve broken up with someone they thought was your perfect match?
Will you feel embarrassed, ashamed, and worthless when you break the news?
How will you deal with their pity?
See how easy it is to drive yourself crazy with post-breakup questions? Don’t lead yourself into this downward spiral. It’s the wrong type of distraction you need to move on.
For now, just accept the fact that your breakup happened for a reason, and it was no accident that your ex called it off. Your ex-boyfriend didn’t make this decision lightly and must have weighed the relationship against his future to decide that being together isn’t aligning with his personal goals.
- He wants more space and freedom
- He doesn’t feel the same way about you anymore
- He feels pressure to keep the relationship going
- He feels suffocated by your “love”
- He wants something else
- He is emotionally unavailable
There are many reasons why your ex decided to call it quits. And there’s no point to determine what that reason is now. Just remember that your relationship was already broken before the breakup and that your ex-boyfriend checked out long before breaking up with you.
If you were the one who broke up with your ex, and you still have a hard time getting over the breakup, then you need to figure out what bothers you.
During the first stage of the recovery process, it’s common for people to get obsessed trying to pinpoint why they broke up. You will be spinning in circles trying to connect the dots and convincing yourself you’ve found the real cause.
Instead, go with a one-size-fits-all answer to get past this downward spiral. Here’s what I’d tell myself.
“Something wasn’t right in our relationship, and it just didn’t work out anymore.”
I’m not trying to belittle your relationship or take away how much your ex means to you. But this statement is strong and shows your indifference to the predicament. It’s your quick and effective PR statement to anyone that asked what happened.
And the more you use this line, the more you can take your emotions away from the breakup and move on faster.
Ground Rules To Getting Over A Breakup
We need to set some ground rules before we discuss the ways to get over your breakup. The reason why I’ve set up these rules is to help you avoid the common pitfalls that most people fall into and break their momentum to move on.
It’s so easy to slip back into your old habits, especially during the first few weeks after your breakup. Your life is in shambles, and you’re constantly looking for excuses to reach out to your ex-boyfriend and try to go back to how things used to be.
Don’t be that girl.
Stop trying to undo things and fix your way back into a broken relationship. Even if you still envision a future with your ex, that goal requires you to move on, look ahead, and see how you two can come back together when the time is right.
But during this breakup period, I need you to forget about your ex. Your relationship is over, and it’s time to move forward with your life.
So here are five rules to get you started on your recovery process.
1. Let It Out: Give Yourself Time To Grieve
Go ahead and cry a river. Scream out loud if you need to. Your life just turned upside down, and your heart is ripped into pieces. You have every right to wallow, b*tch, and moan about what you’re going through.
You’re sad. You’re supposed to feel sh*tty. After all, you’ve just lost someone who was your best friend, lover, and confidante. It doesn’t get any worse knowing that the person your life has revolved around decided to pack his bags and try his luck elsewhere.
So let it out. It’s part of the process. What you’re feeling is valid, and you should acknowledge it instead of hiding it. It’s okay to feel sad one day, mad the next, and in denial of your fate all at once.
Don’t try to bottle up your feelings inside. It’ll make you feel worse. Instead, talk it out with your friends or run a mile to release your sadness.
Again, feeling sad is all part of the process. Give yourself time and space to grieve your breakup.
2. Don’t Obsess Over What Ended Your Relationship
I’ve implemented this second rule to make sure you’re not spending your downtime thinking about what went wrong with your relationship. During this stage, you’re going to feel a wave of questions coming into your mind demanding answers.
You’re going to run in circles trying to analyze every problem that went on during your relationship and wonder if that problem caused your breakup. Then you’re going to hate yourself for not seeing the problem earlier and handling it better. Right?
Don’t do this to yourself, girl. It’s not your fault, and you shouldn’t put all the blame on yourself.
What you should understand is that you did everything to the best of your ability during that moment. But right now, there’s nothing you can do to change the past.
So stop backtracking your past relationship. It’s only going to keep you stuck in the past solving problems that don’t matter today.
For now, try to accept the fact that your relationship ended for a reason, and it’s not important to find out the cause of the breakup. The reason why I’m saying this is because knowing the reason why you two broke up isn’t going to change what happened. It doesn’t matter now.
It’s also not going to help you move on. Maybe you think having some closure will help you feel better and heal faster. But the truth is that closure only comes with time and is most effective when you have enough emotional distance to look back and see the big picture.
Right now, you’re still stuck in the middle of the storm. Your first priority is to get out and piece your life back together.
3. Delete Your Ex’s Number
There is no need for you to have your ex’s number right now. It’s only going to hinder your recovery process and lead you to regrettable, sad, impulsive actions that make you look stupid and desperate.
Late-night calls, three-part voicemails, and drunk “I want you” texts.
Keep in mind that once you hit call or send, there’s no going back to retrieve that message. Even if you hang up, it leaves a missed call on your ex’s end. It also tells your ex that you’re missing him, which shows that he still has a hold on you.
During this period, you have no business in contacting your ex. Therefore, there is no reason to have his number in a convenient place that will make you do something you’ll regret later.
I’ve seen many people try different loopholes and make excuses that they need to keep their ex’s number. But having your ex-boyfriend’s number is only giving you false hope! It puts your life in a standstill while you’re waiting to see if your ex will miraculously contact you and try to work things out.
It’s not going to happen.
Even if it did, your ex has your number and knows where to find you.
So do yourself a huge favor and lose the access. Delete your ex’s number for the sake of your sanity. If you want to truly move on, this is a huge step that will make a difference in your healing process as you make a firm decision to remove your ex out of your life.
If you have the courage to delete your ex’s number, it proves that you are ready to move one and let go of someone in your life who doesn’t deserve you.
4. Block Your Ex On Every Social Media Channel
This goes both ways. You want to block your ex from accessing your social media accounts and prevent him from seeing photos and status updates.
Go ahead and deny your ex the privilege of checking up on you. He doesn’t deserve any more alerts and updates about your single and awesome life.
On the other hand, you will also want to block and unfriend your ex on your social media accounts. Having the ability to check up on him will do more harm than good. I know it’s hard to resist the urge to “stalk” your ex. After all, it’s just a force of habit and you’re just making sure that your ex is happy and doing okay.
But seeing his happiness will more likely make you sad, angry, and betrayed. When you sense your ex has moved on in such a short duration, you’re left wondering how he could recover so fast as if your relationship meant nothing to him.
And how will you react when you see a photo of him intimate with another woman? You’ll be fired up, jealous, and depressed that he’s ready to see someone else. Trust me, it’s not worth getting worked up over a photo or two of your ex enjoying himself.
Get My Guide To Survive Your Breakup: Breakup Is Over
A picture is worth a thousand words. Imagine how many thoughts will run in your head when you see a photo of your ex after the breakup.
So don’t dwell on their life. The more you stalk your ex on social media and keep tabs on his life, the more you’re going to feel the pain of losing him.
The only way to prevent this stress and pain is to block your access to your ex’s social media.
My biggest advice is to completely stay off social media when you’re trying to get over a breakup. Lay low and focus on your actual life. There’s no need to prove to others that you’re bouncing back by posting photos of fluff and fake happiness.
You’re transitioning to a new phase of your life, and you need the privacy to redeem your dignity and self-worth.
If you’re a social media addict, you need to cut off your old habits during this breakup recovery process.
5. Your Ex Is Not Your Problem Anymore
Okay, I know it sounds a bit harsh, but once the two of you have broken up, you are not liable for your ex’s responsibilities and well-being.
In other words, you need to stop assuming that you are still part of your ex’s life. You’re no longer his cheerleader, assistant, and lover. You need to understand that your ex can take care of himself and does not require your assistance and reminders from you.
He doesn’t need you around for a pep talk before his presentation.
He doesn’t need you to remind him of his mother’s birthday.
He doesn’t need you to book his doctor’s appointments.
Oh, and that promise made while you two were together? Probably long forgotten and expired. You are not obligated to fulfill it.
You might find yourself making excuses to check up on your ex. But the truth is that these helpful and romantic gestures are no longer wanted and may seem less desirable now that the relationship is over.
In fact, any sign of you trying to get your ex’s attention will only backfire and prove that you’re not over your ex yet.
Stop making excuses that your ex still needs you. Chances are he’s doing just fine.
7 Ways To Get Over A Breakup
Now that we have the ground rules set let’s dive into my list of effective ways to get through a breakup. There is no particular order to this list, and there is no need to do everything on the list. The more you can put on your plate, the better and faster it is for you to deal with your breakup.
Make sure you read to the last point. This is my personal method that saved me every time I had my heart broken.
1. Say YES To Every Invite
Best. Distraction. Ever. If you got an invite to a party, event, or a chance to take off to another city, do it. Just go with the flow and let this invitation distract you from your emotional burden.
Reconnect with old friends over brunch. Tag along with your coworker to their weekly toastmaster club and meet brilliant new people. Agree to paint the town red with your gym crew. Just make sure to bring your bells and whistle.
Being out of the house means you’re not curled up alone at home dealing with your breakup. When you get out and about, you force yourself to interact with others, which helps to take your mind off your breakup.
Just don’t bring your sorrows with you. Put on your happy face and see where the night takes you.
The other benefit is that you have a legitimate reason to buy new items to dress up for the occasion. Who doesn’t want that? Splurge a little and spoil yourself a bit.
When you accept new invitations, it allows you to create new friendships and bring back old ones. Even though you are single, it doesn’t mean you are alone. And the faster you put yourself out there, the quicker you’ll realize that there’s more to your life than your past relationship. You won’t have time to wallow.
Oh, and don’t feel guilty and ashamed of having fun. You might not be used to it at first, but being free to try new things is going to remind yourself that there’s a lot more this world can offer you than being stuck sobbing over a sore relationship.
So reconnect with people around you and take up on their offer to go out. I know you won’t feel like doing it every time. But all it takes is for you to step out the door and let your friends take it from there to celebrate your independence.
They will remind you of how awesome you are.
2. Revisit Your Past Passions
When we’re in a relationship, we tend to let go of our passions to make room for couple activities. Or we stop enjoying a certain activity because our ex wasn’t into it.
Now with your newfound freedom, you can restart your long-lost hobbies and do what you love for yourself.
- Practicing yoga
- Going to Broadway shows
- Make your own jewelry
- Take Indian cooking lessons
- Join a painting workshop
Even if you don’t have any past hobbies, there are always unique activities you can try.
- Learn to sculpt garnishes
- Sand art
- Release some stress with Muay Thai
- Volunteer as a mentor
- Make your own wine
There’s no shortage of hobbies to explore. The hardest part is getting out there and trying new things to get your life moving forward. The best part of taking up a hobby is to meet new people who are passionate about what they do and letting their energy revive yours.
If you can see the silver lining about your breakup, it’s the opportunity to start over and redefine who you want to be.
3. Make A Breakup Playlist
Music helps us express our emotions and feelings. It can raise our mood, get us excited, or make us calm and relaxed.
Music gives us hope. Lyrics like “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson reminds us that we have everything we need to be independent and strong.
So build a new playlist of songs that will help you keep your head up.
Listen to it when you’re feeling down or when you need a reminder of your self-worth.
The songs you pick will help you process your feelings and give you the words to how you think and feel. The lyrics will help you relate to your life experiences which can help cope with your breakup.
Make sure to end your playlist on a high note by finding an anthem that both inspires and energizes you. Pick a song that empowers you and helps you find the strength to move on.
4. Date Other People
I know it’s a bit early to discuss the topic of dating other people, but hear me out. If you have the mindset that you’re having dinner with some guy to see if he’s worth getting serious with, then you are way over your head.
But if you see having coffee with a new guy just to relax and get to know him, then there are no strings attached for either of you. Treat it as a casual encounter with no intentions of hooking up or getting serious. You’re out with a guy who doesn’t mind your company.
I know this feels way left field from your comfort zone, especially when you’re not even close being ready to meet new people. But you’ll never feel ready unless you take the first step.
Trust me, the only time when you know you’ll feel ready is when you actually go out there on a date with someone new and see how it feels. You might feel guilty, ashamed, and a little rusty with your social skills. But it doesn’t matter if you fail and look stupid.
What matters is that you’ve taken a huge leap to get out of your misery and expand your comfort zone.
If you don’t make a big deal, then it isn’t.
Here’s an alternative, go on a double date, and have your friend back you up. Just make sure your friend isn’t too proactive in pushing you to be with the guy.
5. Write Out Your Breakup In A Journal
One of the most effective ways to get over your breakup is to process your feelings on paper. Just spill out everything you’re feeling and see your emotions in front of you. This helps you identify problems in your relationship and possibly connect some dots to see if there any underlying patterns.
Don’t think, just write it all out—your feelings, thoughts, and why you feel your relationship ended. Write your side of your story and compare it to how you think your ex feels. The key is not to edit anything out but just be as honest and open as possible with yourself.
No one is going to read your journal. It’s your personal space to vent and be true to yourself.
The benefit of writing out what you’re going through is that you’re able to reflect in a more effective way by releasing your thoughts. You’re not keeping everything bottled inside while trying to find answers. You’re using a simple and free therapy method to release your emotions.
Another great thing about keeping a journal is that you can learn from your breakup. This is a significant life experience you just went through with many ups and downs. By truthfully writing down how you felt about the relationship and what could’ve been better and avoided, you will be able to acknowledge the ideas better and learn not to make the same mistakes again.
So spill your guts girl. You have nothing to hide.
6. Schedule Your Day
One of the worst things a breakup can do to you is mess up your daily routine. You sleep in, skip work, and lose count of how many pints of Ben & Jerry’s you finished while bingeing on Netflix.
You simply lose track of time and frankly don’t give a sh*t about the world while it’s moving forward without you.
For the first few days after your breakup, you have permission to slack off and curl up in your bed. But sooner or later (hopefully sooner), you need to get back on your feet and live your life.
While you’re going through an emotional rollercoaster, it’s more important than ever to stick to a routine and let your schedule carry you through the day.
Set up time blocks and reminders on your phone to help you keep a schedule. Book appointments and gym sessions in advance, so it shows up on your calendar.
The key is to set up a steady new schedule.
It doesn’t have to be a demanding new routine. You just want to keep yourself active so that you don’t slip back into bed and think about your breakup.
Now that you are single, there’s a lot of free time on your hands. Here are some ideas to fill those slots.
- Sign up for yoga sessions
- Get a pedicure and manicure
- Make a spa day
- Go for a long walk (yes, schedule it!)
- Join a crafts workshop
- Redecorate your apartment
- Shop for new clothes
- Check out local bands
- Become a foodie influencer
Now is the time to spoil yourself. Do whatever your mind wishes and put it in your schedule.
On top of having a new schedule to follow, make sure you are always eating right and getting enough sleep.
7. Throw Yourself Into Your Career
This is my personal favorite and what I’ve found to be the best way to get over a breakup. I even have a whole chapter in my guide Breakup Is Over on how effective work can be to distract your heartbreak.
Throw yourself into your career.
Take on new projects, ask for more responsibilities. Take a part-time job or a new course to enhance your skill sets.
This is the perfect moment (or should I say excuse) to take a break from relationships and dedicate yourself to your career and passion.
I know you may be hurting inside and don’t have the energy to deal with your workplace. But once you enter your office, you are forced to hide your personal emotions and present your professional image.
Let your professional side kick in and kick ass at work. You’re used to making decisions, completing projects, and offering great ideas. The fact you are doing all of these things will distract you from your heartbreak. Your work will remind you that you still have total control of yourself.
Plus, it’s much better to be at work with people that will carry you through the day rather than sitting alone at home battling negative thoughts in your head.
Get dressed. Go to work. It’s time to reach more goals.
Want to know how to get over a breakup fast?
Check out my guide Breakup Is Over.
How Long Does It Take To Get Over A Breakup?
Short answer: it depends. And frankly, it doesn’t matter.
Every relationship is unique, and everyone handles their breakup differently. Some people may be able to move on within one month from a two-year relationship while others may take up to a year or longer.
Everyone deals with their broken heart their own way and use different methods to relieve their emotional pain. Some even break the No Contact Rule several times before they finally realize the need to fully cut off contact with their ex.
What’s important here is that there is no magic equation. There’s no specific timeline to how much time you need and when you should recover from your heartbreak before it’s too late. You can’t just set a date and expect to wake up refreshed feeling you’ve moved on.
Here’s the best answer for you: as long as you are making an effort every day to pull yourself together and find yourself smiling and laughing again, you are on the right track.
That’s all that matters.
As days and weeks go by, you will start to notice that you have found your “new” normal and thoughts of your ex aren’t there anymore.
Your recovery time depends on your situation and how fast you want to recover from your breakup. The more you put yourself out there and find ways to distract your mind, the faster you will see results.
Remember that this journey is yours where you are in total control. Don’t compare it to others and feel you are behind or slow with your recovery.
How To Get Over A Breakup With Someone You Love
For some of us, it’s a little harder to move on, especially when we still have strong feelings about our ex.
It’s tough to let go when you know he’s the perfect guy for you. It’s even harder to let go of the perfect future you’ve always pictured and dreamed. Now that the relationship is over, it’s hard to get over the fact that your fairytale future is broken and lost.
So how do you get over someone you still love?
One of the reasons why it is hard to let go of your love-of-my-life ex is because you are only thinking about his strong qualities and beautiful moments during this period. You want him back, so your mind is playing tricks on you by playing back the best moments you shared together.
What about your ex’s weaknesses? Does he have any flaws that you’ve always looked the other way? Have you ever compromised your integrity just to avoid an argument about your ex’s pet peeves
Everyone has weaknesses. It’s what makes us human and lovable. And you can always argue that your ex is perfect for you and be able to live with his flaws.
But guess what? He wanted out of the relationship.
And that’s the only reason why it doesn’t matter if you still love your ex. He doesn’t love you back. Without your ex’s reciprocity, you can’t carry a relationship along when it takes two people to make it work.
Your ex is just not on board anymore to ride it out with you.
So remind yourself why you two broke up and make peace with it. You can love him all you want. But if he doesn’t love you back, then your ex isn’t worth any more of your time.
For now, the only thing that matters is you and those in your corner rooting for you. Pull yourself back together first. Then when you’ve allowed some time to pass, look back and evaluate whether your ex is as “perfect” as you think he is.
That’s when you’ll have the right perspective to make the best decision for yourself.
Get My Guide On Dealing With Breakups: Breakup Is Over
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