How to get over a breakup, heal, recover and regain happiness

Category: Better Endings | Author and Publisher: Elly Prior | First published: 21-04-2014 | Modified: 07-05-2019

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Expert advice and words of comfort for when you're getting over a breakup

Part 1, Part 2

When you're searching for how to get over a breakup, it's likely that you’re feeling as though you've been unceremoniously dumped.

I suspect you might not have seen it coming. You may well have been dismissed out of the blue.

I really get that you're experiencing that blow as a physical pain. It's like you're gasping for breath, barely able to speak and desperate to shake yourself awake from this nightmare.

Let's get you sorted!

Know that if you want to speed up your recovery after the breakup, there are things you should expect to happen. There are also things you should do and some you should avoid.

So, in this article (see also Part 2 How to forget someone you love), I'm going to help you move forward. I'll also help you to think about whether or not you could or should communicate with your ex.

Be sure to also read my highly rated article How to get over someone!

Here goes…

Expert advice and words of comfort for when you're getting over a breakupStep-by-step guide on how to get over a breakup

New! Do let me know...

Who do you want to get over?
Someone you had a long-term relationship with
Your ex-spouse
Your ex-fiance(e)
Someone you had an affair with
Someone you wanted to have a relationship with but who rejected you
Someone who never knew how much you liked them
Someone who you knew you could never have
Someone you had a short but intense relationship with
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How to get over a breakup: letting go of anger and resentment?

Yep! I know, you probably won't want to hear it but I do like you to let go of your anger and resentment.

Here's why it's important to do that as soon as possible:

Remaining mad with your ex is only going to hurt you.

And just in case... revenge really doesn't work either (it might stuff your lawyer's wallet, though). That’s regardless of whether or not your ex was cheating, or doing anything else hugely upsetting.

I can totally understand that you may feel bitter. So it’s natural to think that revenge would relieve some of your pain and even give some pleasure.

But believe me when I say: it does nothing for your own recovery.

Just know that you're in the middle of a process, and that letting go won’t happen overnight. Expect it to take a while. And know that that while is different for everyone (see my article on how to get over someone).

If you feel more bitterness and resentment than pain and loss, you need to take action now.

I highly recommend you get the help of a licensed therapist as soon as possible. It's easy to set up an online session. For further information see my page on how to get professional, online breakup advice....

How to get over a breakup by managing your social media

1. Don't spill the beans all over social media.

The evidence of your - very understandable - unravelling and emotional upset will be forever publicly recorded! That won't help you get over the breakup!

2. How to get over a breakup? By not becoming a victim!

I understand you're desperate for some loving kindness because you've been let down. And when you're asking your online friends how you can get over a breakup, their kind words (or even those of a complete stranger) can feel satisfying for an instant.

However, I guarantee you that it won’t contribute to your recovery. In fact, there's a risk that you’ll continue to make do with those brief interactions, instead of making real progress towards healing yourself.

Choose good quality support and advice from trustworthy friends and family members. Or connect with an online professional counsellor.

3. Don't start tracking how your ex is getting over the breakup

The two of you are finished! (Yes, I know that sounds a bit harsh, but it might need to be said...!)

Use your time and energy on moving forward, not looking back. Checking what your ex is up to all the time will only get in the way of your recovery.

Manage your friends

Don't ask your friends what's going on with your ex after the break-up. Instead, focus on yourself. You need their attention... don't give it all away to your ex.

You may have to let go of a few friends if they intend to make life after the breakup more difficult for you. Know that those kinds of people aren’t actually real friends at all. 

Chances are that this unfortunate experience will lead to you finding new friends. Those that are empathetic and considerate of your feelings, and who’ll help you get back on your feet again.

Good friends are vital! They can all offer different kinds of support: a shoulder to cry on, a great night out or funny company that makes you cry with laughter. 

Stop torturing yourself

At first, wear that T-shirt or jumper your ex loved and left behind. It can soothe and comfort you when the hurt seems too much to bear.

But! You will have to let go of that eventually. Trust that you will know when it's time to donate that particular item to the charity shop!

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How long ago did your relationship end?
Less than 7 days
1 - 3 weeks
3 - 6 weeks
6 weeks - 3 months
3 - 6 months
6 - 12 months
12 - 18 months
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Should you stay in touch with your ex and remain friends?

It's totally understandable that you just want to hear their voice. You want to see them, be with them, and you long to feel their touch.

However, the harsh reality is: the relationship is over.

You can’t be friends with someone who you may feel has dealt you such a grievous blow.

And you can't go from being lovers to being pals if you didn’t see the end of this relationship coming.

Don't agree to having sex with your ex for any reason whatsoever. Listen to the story you tell yourself when you're tempted - it's a false one! I totally understand you may see it as a great opportunity to feel close again. You may even think (or perhaps have been made to believe!) that it could heal your relationship. However, you're likely to end up feeling even worse afterwards.

Dividing Your possessions

You may need to negotiate on the division of your belongings. If your ex is kindly inclined, sympathetic to your pain and understanding of your need to discuss it more, you can do it in person. However, if not - do it by email.

Your miracle is never in what you lost, it is always in what you have left. -T.D. JakesOf course you can mourn the loss of a relationship for a time! But, if you want to know how to get over a breakup, my advice is to not lose sight of what you've still got and all that you've gained during the time you were together.

Sharing time with your children

Of course, the two of you may need to stay in touch if you have children. For more information, help and guidance, see my articles:

Trying to stay in touch through apps and calls

Beyond the above, don't keep contacting him or her. You're likely to set yourself up for further disappointments and simply prolong the agony!

I totally get that you're feeling desperate, want to know why they broke up with you, can't understand how they can be so uncaring, why they're not responding, etc.

However, I'd like you to really think about your dignity. You are a star in your own right! You are worthy of true love. So, if you happen to be suffering from low self-esteem, it's time to do something about that.

I highly recommend you connect with an online counsellor, it's so easy these days! It's a paid service, but the best.

Alternatively, use self-hypnosis with the aid of a hypnosis download - it's super user-friendly and affordable. See my article: Hypnosis FAQ and downloads for further information.

Getting over a breakup faster

Here's what helps:

3 tips to help you heal from a painful breakup

  1. Don't hold on to reminders
    Jewellery, clothes, photos etc. are all receptors and containers of memories. Pack them away (or return them to your ex as soon as possible). It's okay to look at them or hold them every now and then… but don’t build a shrine to your relationship. If you have children, be considerate of their feelings. Anything you or your children don't want to keep you can ditch - in stages if you need to. There's no need to do it all at once. You can let go of all that stuff completely when you're ready.
  2. You decide when it's time to move on
    Don't expect to be over it when other people tell you it's time to move on. You’ll know yourself when you need to reach out for help because you feel you’re still stuck in the pain and grief of it all.
  3. Don't buy into any gossip
    Don't allow yourself to be guided, distracted or upset by people with ill-intent or who thrive on gossip and other people’s misfortunes.
Good things are coming down the road. Just don't stop walking. Robert Warren Painter Jr.However much you're hurting now, you're going to have to rebuild your life and move on

For more information, tips and advice on getting over someone, see also...

Part 1, Part 2 of How to get over a breakup

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