Heartbroken? It happens. Whether it comes after a long-term love affair or a short but promising one, ending a relationship isn’t the most enjoyable life event. But to paraphrase the words of Orlando Bloom, take it as an opportunity to focus on doing you. Find out how to deal with a breakup and come out smiling with our tips below.
How to Get Over a Breakup
Why can’t you move on from a breakup as quickly as you would get over losing a piece of jewellery or other disappointments? According to the study “Romantic Breakups, Heartbreak, and Bereavement,” published in Psychology, a broken heart can lead to poorer focus, insomnia, and even a weakened immune system.
Moreover, the Journal of Neurophysiology states that a devastating split impacts the part of the brain responsible for motivation, reward, and addiction – which may explain post-breakup lethargy, apathy, and dependence on crutches like sweets, crisps, and other unsavoury habits.
With everything happening to your body, saying, “It’s time to move on!” is only the beginning of how to cope with a breakup. There’s no need to pressure yourself. Getting over someone doesn’t have a time limit, but whether you want to snap out of it fast or go through the motions, follow the tips below to guarantee you come up stronger.
1. Reappraise your ex.
A study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology revealed three necessary strategies for getting over your ex – and all have to do with acceptance. First off, you have to reassess your former partner. Focus on the things you didn’t like. Did he snore? Did she shop too much? Did he invalidate your feelings? Does she not like your dog? Being frank about what wasn’t working will soften the blow of the separation.
2. Don’t stay friends.
In an article for Oprah Daily, Dr Gary W. Lewandowski Jr, Professor and former Chair in the Department of Psychology at Monmouth University in New Jersey, explains why staying friends with your ex is a bad idea: “Keeping the connection helps things stay civil and makes the transition less abrupt, especially when you do it for practical reasons like if you work together, but it can be a tough task.”
Staying pals with your former flame may seem like a solution that will minimise drama, but Lewandowski says doing so could result in depression, jealousy, heartbreak, and a hard time finding a new romantic partner.
3. Give yourself a grace period.
Don’t forget to acknowledge your feelings, either. While you’re still in the getting-over phase, you must understand that you can’t turn off your emotions with a hand flick. The same study, which analysed 24 heartbroken people from long-term relationships, advises that it’s okay to love someone you’re no longer with – at this point, anyway.
4. Distract yourself.
One of the more torturous aspects of a breakup is remembering the “good times.” You see a sweater and reminisce about how you wore that on your third anniversary. You sit in the kitchen, thinking about the birthdays, milestones, struggles, and triumphs you experienced together. Pull yourself out of this vortex with distractions. You can do this with sheer will – mulling over things unrelated to your former flame – or through activities that sidetrack your thoughts. The latter will help you build happier, fresher memories without your ex.
The goal isn’t to repress these memories. According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology study, these diversions can help you overcome persistent ex-related recollections brought up by the breakup.
5. Focus on your growth.
When figuring out how to deal with a breakup, you must allow yourself room to wallow and think about your former significant other. However, will yourself to grieve only to a certain point. Life goes on. And like any other experience, use the relationship to grow as a person.
Understand that self-improvement doesn’t mean you are “fixing” yourself. Nothing is wrong with you – and having a broken heart does not mean you are broken! Some things just come to an end. Ask yourself where the relationship went wrong. Was he too demanding? Then now you know you want to be with someone a little less pushy. Did your jobs keep you apart? Practise better work-life balance in the future. Don’t be afraid to confront your weaknesses, too.
According to the paper, “I’ll Never Be in a Relationship like That Again,” people, particularly women, come out of a breakup with a strong sense of personal development. You recognise what you want and need from your partner and, likewise, realise how you yourself can compromise better. The study also reveals breakups lead to better relationships with the other people in your life, such as your family and friends, and encourages enhanced performance in school and/or work.
6. Find a change of scenery.
Besides focusing on yourself, turn your gaze to what’s in front of you. If your flat reminds you too much of the life that was, start browsing the home rentals section for a new place. Consider a home makeover and turn your space into an abode you can call your own instead of a shared living environment. Throw caution to the wind, pack your bags, and move abroad! In any case, spark excitement back and embrace the world around you.
7. Give your social media a spring cleaning.
There’s nothing better after a breakup than a good social media purge. You can mark it as a high priority or toy with the idea after some oblivious follower comments on an old date night post. In any case, delete all evidence that led to the scene of the (heartbreak) crime.
8. Do things that make you feel good.
Now that you are focusing on yourself, go ahead. Get that new haircut, call your friends, indulge in chocolate cake! Don’t shy away from pampering yourself. Little acts of self-care can make a huge difference in how you feel and show personal appreciation. Another way to do this is to inquire about clear aligners to straighten your smile. After all, you’re a brand-new person after a breakout. You should get a megawatt smile to match.
ClearCorrect uses patented ClearQuartz technology that applies subtle but precise pressure to get your teeth where they should go. Engineered for comfort and precision, these invisible aligners have a high trimline that makes them look inconspicuous, giving you no reason to be conscious of your smile. Consult with an orthodontist to discover your options for a more confident grin.
How Do You Accept a Relationship Is Over?
To help you move on, fully accept that the relationship has ended. You can busy yourself with activities to stay productive or distract yourself from the pain. But in the end, complete acceptance is what will pull you through.
Consider working with a therapist to help you sort through your emotions and develop an action plan to get you back on track. Remember, the relationship might have ended. But your new life is just beginning.
Now that you know how to deal with a breakup, go ahead and allow yourself to be happy. Don’t forget to pair it with your unique smile.
Koban, L., Kross, E., Woo, C., Ruzic, L., & Wager, T. D. (2017). Frontal-Brainstem Pathways Mediating Placebo Effects on Social Rejection. The Journal of Neuroscience, 37(13), 3621–3631.
Rhoades, G. K., Dush, C. M. K., Atkins, D. C., Stanley, S. D., & Markman, H. J. (2011)
Breaking up is hard to do: The impact of unmarried relationship dissolution on mental health and life satisfaction. Journal of Family Psychology, 25(3), 366–374.
Field, T. (2011). Romantic Breakups, Heartbreak and Bereavement—Romantic Breakups. Psychology, 02(04), 382–387.
Tashiro, T., & Frazier, P. A. (2003). “I’ll never be in a relationship like that again”: Personal growth following romantic relationship breakups. Personal Relationships, 10(1), 113–128.