How To Get Over a Breakup.

How To Get Over a Breakup.

Whenever I do an instagram Q&A, I get asked for breakup advice. Also just in my own life, both during and after lockdown, I have seen so many couples split up. I’ve written a few posts about this over the years and definitely have some experience in the breakup department.

In 2012 I went through a really devastating breakup with my boyfriend at the time. We lived together and I was certain we’d get married. It was the first time I’d ever been certain about anyone and the whole thing was pretty dramatic. I was completely gutted. I honestly didn’t think I’d ever recover or feel happy again (spoiler alert: I did). In hindsight now, I’m actually grateful for the experience. I learned a lot from it and think it made me a better person. I realized how resilient I am, and it made me get really clear on what I actually want out of both my own life and a partner.

This comes up a lot in both Q&A’s and in the Facebook group so today, I thought I’d share my best breakup advice… but also, (as this community always has the best most thoughtful advice), I would love for you to share your own advice and experiences, if you feel comfortable.

How To Get Over a Breakup

Take on a project or learn something new.

One thing I did after that really bad breakup was taking French classes. Full disclosure: At the time, I was still working my 9-5 and class started at 6 and I was late too many time. I wound up having to drop out. But that didn’t really matter (though I’d like to pick it back up someday), it was an amazing distraction and something I could really throw myself into.

I also really threw myself into the blog. In hindsight, I don’t think I would have been able to quit my 9-5 if I hadn’t gone through all of that – I dedicated every spare minute to working on my blog and growing my audience (and then a couple years later I left my day job and went full time with it).

Redecorate.

In this case, I had no choice… I moved out of my ex’s apartment. That was probably a blessing. But I had a whole new apartment (it was a tiny studio with a loft bed) to decorate, and owned very little furniture. I had such a good time choosing art, figuring out a lay out for the space, and slowly picking out new pieces of furniture. I guess this one could be looped in with taking on a project… but projects make for amazing distractions.

Lean on your girlfriends!

Now is the time to load up on girl time. I can have a hard time being vulnerable with my friends and family. I am also (generally, not always) just not a very emotional person. But when I went through such a bad breakup I really leaned on my friends for wine nights, walks, vent sessions, and more. I am still so grateful to the friends that helped me get through that really terrible time. In a weird way, going through that breakup deepened a lot of my friendships.

Work on YOU.

I’m not talking about revenge body. Gross, lol. I mean working on you on the inside. Now is the time to think about what you want, what truly makes you happy, and so on and so forth. It’s also (maybe wait a while until you’ve done some healing) the opportunity to reflect on what went wrong, and how you can be a better partner the next time around.

Take a solo trip!

You know that I love to travel alone, but I didn’t really do much of that until that breakup. I took a trip to Tulum by myself and it was one of the most healing, amazing things ever. I laid on the beach, read a million books, drank margaritas, and ate ceviche for pretty much every meal.

Don’t pressure yourself to date until you feel ready.

I don’t agree with the idea that you need to get under someone to get over someone (is that the expression? ha!). I think that a breakup is a time for healing and self-reflection, to work on yourself, to load up on self-care and girl time, and to get to a place where you are comfortable being alone. Maybe that is just an introvert’s take on a breakup, but I am glad I waited to try to meet anyone until I felt ready (in my case I think I went on my first date 3 or 4 months after the breakup).

When you do start dating, don’t be discouraged if dating is awful at first.

I remember the first few online dates after my breakup. I went on a ton of bad dates. And the first time I slept with anyone after that breakup, it was awful. Like really bad. I freaked out and was like “THIS IS WHAT IS OUT THERE?” I’m here to tell you it gets better. Don’t let bad dates (and bad sex haha) dissuade you. Your person is out there (probably also going on bad dates), you may just have a lot of weeding through to find them and you will appreciate the good dates even more.

Remember, it just takes time.

So let yourself be sad. Cry in the shower. Cry on the way to work. Feel your feelings. With time you will feel better. You may backslide at times, and you’re going to feel terrible. But it will get better and that is the thing to remember. So be gentle to yourself and just feel the feels and know that it WILL get easier. I promise!

What is your best advice to someone going through a bad breakup? I’d love to hear it in the comments section.

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Comments

  1. It sounds almost too simple, but something that really helped me during my last breakup was deleting all of my ex-boyfriends from my contacts (all of them, not just the recent breakup). Somehow getting them off my phone helped to clean the slate and truly get them out of my life.

    • MD says 7.23.21

      I went through a really similar breakup in my mid 20s. The best advice I got was to write down all the ways we weren’t actually compatible or times he had really annoyed, angered or hurt me on a note card (this was 2013 and I still did not have a smart phone), and carry that card with you everywhere. I had mine folded up in my wallet and every time I’d start to feel said I’d take it out and be like oh yea, he hated cats!!! Remember that thing he said that time, ugh that was incredibly incredibly mean. He secretly looked down on my disfunctional family and I could tell, gross. He didn’t like running or the gym or hiking, how did I even stay with him for so many years? It really helped.

      • MD says 7.23.21

        Sorry, I’m not sure why this came as a reply to your comment Beckett! But yours is spot on as well 🙂

      • Julia says 7.30.21

        YES! Amen. I’m 2 weeks out from a breakup (ughhh) but that list is my lifeline. Thanks for inspiring me to keep adding to it! 😉

  2. Katie says 7.23.21

    I think it’s also best to NOT find reasons to text them, reply curtly to any of their texts, and for the love of God restrict or block them on Instagram. My last ex continued to like all of my posts and it was maddening. Eventually I made myself a rewards chart calendar, like for a kindergartner, and each day that went by with no contact initiated by me/ curt or no response to his reaching out, I crossed off a day. When I got to 30 days I bought myself a dress I had been wanting. I was going to have another reward at 100 days, but I ended up not needing it. I used post its, 4 days per page, and still have my little stack in my top drawer at work. It reminds me that I’m strong and don’t have to take any BS!

    • Julia says 7.30.21

      This is beautiful!! I love that you kept those post-its, too. 🙂

  3. Wendy says 7.23.21

    Agree with unfollowing your ex on social media right away, delete their phone number too so you won’t be tempted to contact them. I usually get rid tons of the gifts or things that remind me of them. Stay busy for sure, lean on friends, and therapy.

    It’s ok to be sad and take the time you need to mourn. That person may have also been your best friend, and certainly occupied a great deal of your time. All of that requires readjusting.

  4. Jessica Camerata says 7.23.21

    Such good reminders. Doing something for yourself and working on yourself will help not only get over them, but make you overall a happier human.

    xo Jessica
    an indigo day

  5. Meredith says 7.23.21

    Maybe this is common sense but my advice is absolutely do not “just stay friends.” Even if my ex and I were on good terms it was weird and it prevented a lot of new relationships from forming (until I came to my senses, hah.)

  6. arlene says 7.23.21

    dont loose yourself in anyone else to begin with

  7. Emma says 7.23.21

    Agree with everyone on blocking it’s SO helpful. I’ve been in a breakup where I blocked right away and feel like I was able to move on in a few months on my own. Another breakup I kept going back to him (a lottttt) and I feel like it dragged the breakup on forever. It hurts so much at first and blocking feels so extreme, but dragging out always feels way worse in the long run.

    My other tips: take it day by day. You really will think about the breakup and feel devastated every day until one day you do not. And you start to have more days of not thinking about it than thinking about it, and it slowly starts to feel better.

    I also have to be super upfront with my best friends about dealing with it. I am not a very emotional person (clearly ha) and I don’t like to talk things out for hours on end. I guess the cliche rom-com, get the girls together with Ben & Jerry’s is not something I’ve ever been drawn to. Don’t be afraid to tell your friends “I’m super down and don’t feel like talking about it, but thank you for checking in. I love you and will let you know when I’m ready.” Don’t talk about things or do anything drastic until you’re ready. Breakups are THE WORST so be kind to yourself and know what is best for you.

    • grace at the stripe says 7.23.21

      “I don’t like to talk things out for hours on end. I guess the cliche rom-com, get the girls together with Ben & Jerry’s is not something I’ve ever been drawn to.”

      It sounds like we have the same personality.

  8. Patty says 7.23.21

    My tip is the 3-3-3 rule (the one shelters give you about getting dogs, haha.)

    For 3 days, it’s going to be all-consuming and terrible and life is just going to suck.
    In 3 weeks, you’ll start to adjust. You’ve got 3 weeks under your belt, probably had some good days mixed in with the bad days, and the sun starts to shine again.
    In 3 months, you’ll be completely adjusted to your new life. Not to say you’ll be over it, or have moved on, but it will feel normal and less shocking.

    Oh, and wine.

    • Maggie says 7.23.21

      I’ve never heard of the 3-3-3 rule before, I like it!

    • Julia Lindsey says 7.30.21

      I love this so much! I’m in the middle of that initial 3 week period after a breakup (ugh, the timing of this post could not be more perfect) and the comment about ups and downs is really comforting.

    • Julia says 7.30.21

      I love this so much! I’m in the middle of that initial 3 week period after a breakup (ugh, the timing of this post could not be more perfect) and the comment about ups and downs is really comforting.

  9. Danielle says 7.23.21

    I wish that I had seen this post a couple of years ago when I split up from the last douche!

    Danielle | thereluctantblogger.co.uk

  10. Kerry says 7.24.21

    The two things that got me through my last break-up were physical activity and reconnecting with friends. I used the opportunity to reach out acquaintances I hadn’t seen in months and, conveniently, it filled my calendar and kept me preoccupied. I also set my sight on physical goals: I did yoga ~4 days of the week and started training for a half marathon. I have a dog, and I would take him on long, long walks listening to podcasts (about news and politics, professional growth – anything but romance) to distract me. I think time heals, and these were ways to pass the time, and take it day by day, without feeling sorry for myself or dwelling in the past. But these didn’t just help in the short-term: within a few weeks, I felt better about my health, my body, and my social connections.