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).
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.