It’s never easy to move on from a love breakup.
Whether you only dated someone for a few weeks, or you still feel a sense of heaviness in your heart a year after ending a long-term relationship, it’s clear that healing and moving on is more complicated that you might think.
Anyone who’s ever been through a breakup (which is mostly everyone) has probably wished that they could finally just be “over it” at some point.
No woman wants to waste time wallowing in self-pity or wondering what their ex is doing without her or feeling too damaged to get out there and start rebuilding her life.
But the heart does its healing in its own time, regardless of what the mind wants.
The trick is using your mind to help speed up your heart’s healing process rather than slow it down.
Of course, this takes a strong sense of self-discipline.
Here are just some of the different ways that your mind works against you after a love breakup:
- You start thinking obsessively about everything you could’ve done differently.
- You start romanticizing what you had and all the good times you spent together.
- You start telling yourself stories about how they probably miss you and want you back.
- You start telling yourself that you need answers (and then go looking for them).
- You get so angry that you start fantasizing about getting revenge on him.
These are the types of thoughts that can really spiral out of control and although they feel good in the moment, they actually prolong the healing process.
Would you rather take a month to get over someone, or a year?
The difference could lie in how self-disciplined you are with your thoughts (which then influence your choices of action).
This isn’t a blog post that will show you how to get your ex back.
I’m a firm believer that most breakups happen for a good reason and while some do have the potential to be repaired if both partners are willing to take responsibility and improve themselves, most broken relationships should just be left in the past.
With that said, here are 10 big tips you can use to help speed up your healing, get over your ex, and move on to someone who’s a better fit for you.
Take the No Contact Rule Extremely Seriously
The No Contact Rule is a general rule that states that you should cut all contact with your ex for a certain period of time.
That amount of time is typically 1 to 3 months, however it can be longer depending on long the relationship was and how serious you were.
This essentially means:
- No in-person meet-ups
- No phone calls
- No text messages
- No Facebook messages
- No social media likes or comments
- No passing along of messages between mutual friends
The ultimate goal of enforcing the No Contact Rule is to detach yourself from the ex.
Depending on the length and seriousness of the relationship, you might actually experience chemically-induced withdrawal symptoms in your brain that’s comparable to a drug addict who’s trying to get sober.
There will probably be times when you really want to see or talk to your ex, and those will be the times where you’ll need to call upon your sense of self-discipline.
Make it harder for yourself to get in contact with him during those times by:
- Deleting his phone number from your contact list
- Unfollowing, muting, or blocking/unfriending (if necessary) him on social media
- Avoiding places you know he tend to go
You don’t have to permanently cut him out of your life, but it’s very helpful to do so on a temporary basis.
Once you’re over him, you won’t be as upset by seeing his posts on Facebook again or running into him at a local venue.
Let Yourself Feel Your Feelings
Here’s something we all love to do after a love breakup: Tell ourselves we’re totally over him way too soon because we just don’t want to feel all the feels!
Unfortunately, suppressing your feelings can lead to long-term consequences.
Sure, there’s some merit to the whole “fake it ’til you make it” concept, but when it comes to emotional healing, the only real shortcut is through feeling.
Feeling allows your body to release old, stuck energy so you can grow and move on.
You can’t truly move on when you refuse to feel what you need to feel.
You’ll only think you’re moving on because you’re just running away from your feelings.
So take some time perhaps every day to just sit with yourself and check in with your emotional state.
Let yourself cry, feel angry, and grieve what was lost.
Remind yourself that you’re not weak for having such strong emotions.
In fact, you’re much stronger than most people who are unwilling to get that vulnerable.
Look Into What Went Wrong
Feeling your emotions opens up some much needed space in your awareness to take a step back and look at your relationships from a more objective point of view.
You’re a little closer to fully healing, and with that progress, you’ll have a much easier time seeing the relationship more for what it was rather than being engulfed by your feelings.
Ask yourself, what wasn’t working?
If you were a fly on a wall, watching the two of you throughout the entire duration of the relationship, what kind of conclusion would you come to about why things didn’t work out?
Being able to identify what went wrong is empowering, because it’s another big step toward setting yourself free from the past.
Don’t rush it.
If your emotions are still raw and running wild, you might need to work through them first before you can create enough space in your realm of awareness to be able to see the relationship for what it really was more clearly.
Identify the Lesson Learned (Or Several Lessons)
Upon recognizing what went wrong in the relationship, you have the opportunity to take responsibility for your role and decide how you can improve yourself and avoid making the same mistakes in your next relationship.
Relationships serve as some the biggest and most important life lessons.
They teach us about the connections we have with ourselves and how they influence our connections with other people.
There are lessons to be learned in every relationship (even the ones that don’t fail).
And usually, the ones that trigger the most intense negative emotions are the ones that are the most critical to be learned.
Remind Yourself Frequently That You Are Enough
All of this feeling of emotions, trying to understand what went wrong, swearing to do better, and being single again can certainly have a huge impact on your self-esteem.
A love breakup is a huge blow to the ego, and it’s very common to feel unworthy, unlovable, and inferior to other people when you’re still reeling from a breakup.
It’s important to work on your confidence and self-esteem during this time, although it will probably feel harder than ever to do so. At the very least, make a morning or evening ritual (or both) out of repeating the simple mantra, “I am enough” to yourself silently or out loud a few times.
You might not feel like enough while you say it, but in time and with practice, you’ll begin to believe it.
Help yourself out by engaging in activities that build your confidence like:
- Hobbies that you enjoy
- Physical exercise
- Side projects that bring in extra income
- Any form of art that you love
- Reading books that expand on your knowledge on topics of interest
- Cleaning, decluttering, and organizing your home
Action builds confidence. When you see that you’ve accomplished something — even something small — you’ll feel good about yourself.
Beware of Destructive Habits
The post-breakup period is a time where you have permission to indulge in anything that helps you cope when grieving a love (or potential love) lost.
We all know that the stereotypical millennial woman is known to cry-eat ice cream right out of the tub every night during the first week after her breakup.
The truth is, everyone copes differently.
Some women gorge themselves while others completely lose their appetite.
Some feel numb about everything, others burst out in tears when they least expect it.
It’s fine to try and soothe the pain with some kind of guilty pleasure for a period of days or sometimes even weeks, but after that short-term period is over, you need to get over it.
The longer you do it, the harder it will be to exercise self-control and avoid hardwiring those bad habits into your behaviour in ways that potentially impact other areas of your life.
You need to watch out for destructive habits like:
- Drinking alcohol
- Taking medication or drugs
- Having one-night stands
- Not sleeping enough or sleeping too much
- Zoning out for long periods in front of screens (Netflix, video games, etc.)
- Isolating yourself from others
- Calling in sick often to work or underperforming at work
If you experience any of the above for a prolonged period (more than a few weeks), you might be suffering from a more serious condition like depression.
Definitely talk to your doctor about what’s going on so they can get you the help that you need.
Begin Building the New and Improved You
Right after a love breakup is arguably one of the best times to make some big changes.
It marks the end of a certain stage in your life, so what better way to refresh your sense of self than by trying new things?
Trying new things is also a great way to build your confidence and self-esteem.
If you’re stuck on regret, guilt, and shame about a past version of yourself, making changes to your appearance, your environment, your social life, your work, your habits, your hobbies, and other parts of your life can make you feel like you’re leaving past you behind and ushering in a new stage of your life where future you lives and thrives.
Make sure you make these changes for you — not for others.
The goal shouldn’t be to gain attention and validation to help fill fill the hole left there by your ex.
The goal should be to become the you that you know you want to be.
Spend Time With People Who Make You Feel Good
It can be really hard to pull yourself out of the funk you’re in when you’re always sitting all alone at home.
Friends, relatives, and even coworkers can help distract you a bit from your grief and remind you that you can still laugh and have fun.
Positive energy is contagious, so surround yourself with positive people.
You might still go home after and feel that sense of sadness sink in, which is normal, but it won’t last forever.
One day, perhaps sooner than you think, you’ll come home after having a good time out with friends and you’ll feel just like yourself. That’s the power of people.
Other people can’t ultimately take away your pain for you, but they can help remind you that life goes on and you’re not always going to feel so miserable.
Be Open to Meeting New People
Some people spend months or years being single before they get into another relationship.
Others have new partners within a week.
Because every person’s healing process is unique and individual to them, the rate at which people moves on to someone new can vary drastically. Typically, men are driven to move on quicker than women.
You don’t have to throw yourself back into the dating world just because a certain amount of time has passed, or because your ex has moved on already, or because you’re at a certain age.
If you don’t feel like dating, then don’t.
You should, however, be open to meeting new people in general.
Be open to meeting new friends, new professional contacts, and perhaps even new neighbours.
New people help you grow.
You never know where a new connection could lead you down the road in the future.
And you never know what they can teach you.
When you’re ready to date again, you’ll know.
Whether someone of interest will exist in your life already or you make the conscious decision to start dating again, you’ll just know when the timing is right.
Understand That Healing Isn’t Linear
There are five general stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Grief is most often associated with death, but it applies to relationships too.
After all, the end of a relationship is a certain kind of death.
It’s the death of a previous version of yourself, plus all the hopes and dreams you had for the future.
People who grieve the end of a serious relationship typically endure the five stages of grief without realizing it.
An important thing to recognize is that grief nor healing is linear.
Many people find themselves shifting back and forth between the middle phases — anger, bargaining, and depression — for months or even sometimes years before they reach acceptance.
You can also be stuck in two stages at once, and even after acceptance is reached, there can be certain things that trigger old feelings, which could briefly bring you back to the stage of anger, bargaining, or depression.
Healing doesn’t happen in a straight line.
You’ll feel good sometimes and bad other times.
You might have a really great week followed by an awful day where you can hardly bring yourself to do anything.
Eventually, though, you’ll make it.
Not because you can, but because you have to.
Nothing tests your ability to grow like enduring something because you simply can’t not get through it.
I hope these tips on how to move on from a love breakup served you well, and I wish you all the best in your healing and personal growth endeavours!