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Breakups can be really tough, especially if it was not a mutual decision or your ex is your soulmate or twin flame. And I’m pretty sure you did some rather stupid things after a breakup you immediately regretted. I indeed regret a thing or two I’ve done in the past. But, we live and learn, and wisdom often comes with age. When browsing the web you can find a lot of feeble advice. So, here is the no-nonsense list of the thirteen things you should never do after a breakup.
1. Stay in touch
It’s never a good idea to stay in touch with your ex after a breakup. You need to move on and breaking the habit of connecting with him or her is essential in that process. You need to create new habits and get used to the new situation in your life, and staying in touch with your ex is simply not going to make it easier.
Maybe at some point in the future, when you’ve really moved on, you can reconnect and catch up. But now is not the moment. You need clarity and a clear focus on the things you want in life. Staying in touch with your ex does not fit in that picture.
2. Continue to be friends
Even worse than just staying in touch is continuing to be friends. Regularly meeting up and talking to them does not allow you to process and heal properly. You need a break from each other to adjust to life without your ex.
If you have a lot of friends in common, it might be a good time to start creating a new circle of friends for yourself. Seeing the same people and running into each other all the time can keep you stuck for a long time and can cause you to need much longer to recover from the breakup.
In a few years from now when both of you have moved on you might be able to create a new relationship based on friendship. Although personally, I’m not a big believer in close friendships with the opposite sex.
3. Remain connected on social media
Social media has done a lot of damage to our society in a very short time. While the use of social media has made a very negative impact on the world in itself, it’s even worse after a breakup. Where in the past you would break up and never see that person again, now you have the possibility to follow their every move. Even while not staying directly connected you still can find ways to find out about your ex.
Move on, stop following them, remove them from your friends list, and set your profiles to private. Or even better, delete all your social media completely.
I’ve now been living without social media for years and it has drastically improved my life. I’m more productive, focused, and much happier overall. And I’m pretty sure deleting your social media will make you feel much better as well.
4. Let your ex dominate your thoughts
When you’ve just broken up with your ex it can be difficult to think about anything else. You’re sad, disappointed, heartbroken, and most likely you still have a lot of unanswered questions. This keeps your ex at the center of your attention.
You must understand that not having someone at the center of your attention doesn’t mean you don’t care for them. You have to live your life and you want to feel good, your thoughts determine whether you will or not. Putting someone else at the heart of your life other than yourself is not healthy for you, and neither is it for them.
You thinking about your ex will not make them come back and it will not change the situation. What will change the situation is taking control over your thoughts and centering your attention on yourself and creating the life you want to live.
5. Idealize your ex
We’ve all done it at some point. Idealizing our ex. After an unwanted breakup, we tend to remember only the good things. We put our ex on a pedestal and idolize them while we use that skewed concept of who they are to compare them with anyone who comes into our life. Making it impossible for anyone to even compete with them.
Until you stop idealizing your ex, nobody else will have a fair chance of stealing your heart. It’s ok to remember the good things, but don’t forget about the bad ones. Nobody is perfect, even your ex is not.
6. Start dating others immediately
After a breakup so often people feel lonely and immediately start dating again. Not allowing themselves to process the breakup and heal any traumas and emotional pain. This obviously leads to another unsuccessful relationship.
You can break that cycle by taking a break. Does it hurt to be alone? Instead of seeking company, ask yourself why. Why does it hurt to be alone? Does the breakup hurt so much just because you cannot be alone? Is the pain you feel even related to your ex at all?
This is the perfect moment to focus on yourself. To get to know you, to take time to treat yourself well, and to heal and become stronger, both mentally and physically. And the next time you meet someone you like, you will be ready to start a healthy and well-balanced relationship. You can start with a clean sheet, and no one will need to pay for what your ex did in the past.
7. Look for a rebound
Something else people often do after a breakup to not feel lonely is going for a rebound. Not realizing it’s a trap that will only emphasize the broken heart and void you were feeling because of the breakup.
It can be nice to hook up and spend some good moments with someone. And chances are you will forget about your ex for a while. But a rebound might fill your bed, but it won’t fill your heart.
The best thing you can do right now is to spend time with yourself. When you feel sad and lonely, learn about yourself. Understand why you feel that way, and go deeper than thinking it’s because your boyfriend or girlfriend broke up with you. That is never the real reason.
If you were truly happy and at peace with yourself, it would be impossible to feel lonely. Instead of going for the rebound, choose to dig deep within. Work on yourself, for yourself.
8. Throw away or delete memories
I’ve seen many blogs recommending throwing away any objects that remind you of your ex and deleting the pictures on your phone. I don’t think you should do this. I’ve done it in the past and once I moved on I regretted not having the memories to look back at.
It’s normal to think about the good times you had with your ex. And that old t-shirt or those pictures on your phone can actually serve you at some point to understand whether you’ve really moved on. Do you still get sad and overwhelmed with emotions when you see them? Or do you simply smile and feel grateful for the time you spent together?
So, my advice is, keep those memories, don’t throw them away. But store them somewhere you can’t easily get to. Put the stuff in a box, and move the pictures to a folder on your laptop. And once you’re healed and feel better you won’t have to regret throwing away valuable memories of an important period of your life.
9. Go back to places in common
Another thing you should avoid just after a breakup is going back to places where you used to spend time together. Restaurants, parks, beaches, there are plenty of them, there’s no reason to torture yourself with places that will inevitably paint images of the past in your mind.
Instead go to a new place, experience something different, create new connections with the people you encounter there, and stimulate your mind with change. It will pull you out of the negative feelings you’re experiencing because of the breakup and expand your zone of comfort, which is great for your personal growth and can help to overcome the end of your relationship a bit quicker.
Once you’re in a better place you can freely decide to go back to one of those places and verify if you’ve really moved on.
10. Feel sorry for yourself
Feeling sorry for yourself has never helped anyone to feel better. When you feel sorry for yourself your thoughts are giving attention and energy to the things you don’t want in your life. And where your attention goes, your energy flows.
Life is full of ups and downs for everyone. It’s up to you how to use each and every experience you get to live. Anything that doesn’t kill you can make you stronger. But it’s up to you to decide if that is also true for you.
You can wait, days, weeks, years, or even decades, it’s never too late to stop feeling sorry for yourself and start to own your life, and mostly to own your thoughts. Because your thoughts create your life. So, you better think of good and positive things.
11. Give in to addictive substances
In moments of despair and extreme heartache people sometimes reach to alcohol, drugs, or any other type of addictive substances or behaviors in an attempt to relieve the suffering. Not consciously realizing this relief will only be temporary and opening up a dangerous possibility to fall into an addiction that can be far more destructive than the breakup itself.
No external things will alleviate the pain of a breakup. And the moments it feels like they do, it will only be temporary. If you want to feel better, you need to go within. Face the grief, look the hurt in the eyes, and say it doesn’t control you, or your chance for happiness.
You own your destiny. You might be in pain today but that doesn’t determine how you will feel tomorrow. Don’t hand your destiny to a few beers or pills.
12. Replace your sadness with food
Food, specifically unhealthy food, is also regularly used to escape from feelings and emotions. Providing a momentary boost of feel-good hormones while destroying your health at the same time.
When you use food properly and eat the right nutrients, making sure you fill your stomach with plenty of vegetables and fruits, nourishing your body for optimal performance and health, unfortunately, you don’t tend to get these emotional highs and feelings of euphoria that you can experience while stuffing your mouth with a bucket of ice cream or the typical junk food from around the corner.
But I encourage you to stay strong because this is a great moment to improve your health. If you stick with it at some point you will start to take great pride in maintaining the discipline to treat yourself well and after a short period, you will notice the difference.
Your health is more important than any relationship you could ever have with anyone else. Food is a huge part of that health.
13. Neglect your physical health
A breakup is often a turning point for people. You see that people either use it as a trigger to change their habits for the better or others are sucked into a depression through negative thoughts and behaviors.
You don’t have to become a professional athlete to reap the benefits of exercise. But moving your body daily is extremely beneficial for your physical and mental health. It doesn’t matter what you do, whether you go out for a run, play tennis, or hit the gym. Get your blood flowing, stretch your muscles, and make sure your body releases those feel-good hormones.
You will feel better, you will look better, and the perseverance and discipline you need to take care of your body every single day gives you something to look forward to and to feel proud of. This alone can already be enough to overcome the negativity caused by the breakup.
A breakup can be a blessing in disguise
A breakup is never easy. But depending on your attitude it can trigger one of the most important moments of your life. Often people stay stuck in suffering. But this doesn’t serve anyone. It doesn’t bring your ex back, and it certainly doesn’t make you feel good about yourself.
Instead, use adversity as motivation. Learn from it, own it, and start to take responsibility for how you feel. Understand that at all times you feel how you feel because of how you react to what happens to you. Nothing external can cause your feelings. It’s how you process your external world that creates your internal world. And although you might not always be able to control your external world, you can always control your internal world.
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