20 Things You Should Never Do to Get Over a Breakup
Whether you’re the one who was left heartbroken or the one who ended the relationship, breaking up is hard to do. Immediately post-breakup you may feel angry or lonely, but try to stay positive.
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Don’t beat yourself up
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Don’t be too hard on yourself when you’re getting over a breakup, advises Guy Winch, PhD, a Psychology Today contributor. “Remember that your ego and self-esteem are already hurting—don’t make it worse,” says Winch. “Be as compassionate toward yourself as you would be to a friend whose heart had just been broken,” he says. If you are struggling to move on, or wish for some outside clarity from someone who doesn’t know your ex, consider talking with a therapist. These are 11 daily habits of couples in healthy relationships.
Don’t stay home
It’s so easy to wallow in self-pity and check your phone every 30 seconds hoping your ex will text, begging to start fresh. However, many experts believe keeping yourself busy is a great way to get over a breakup. “Find at least two, and up to five, things that you can do every single day for yourself that make you feel great, and that help you fill your time,” says Bonny Albo, About.com dating expert. “Keeping busy, even if it is a bit cliché, does help, and soon enough you’ll have so many new things going on that you truly love and are passionate about, you won’t even have time to think about your ex.” Find out the 10 things you should never do after your partner cheats.
Don’t lose sight of who you are as an individual
Embrace your “me” time, and cultivate your interests as an individual, as you gradually move on from the relationship. “After you regroup from the loss, have fun in your singleness and learn to establish yourself without the relationship. Take a class to enhance yourself as a person,” says Felicia Pressley, PhD, LPC-S, assistant professor in the counseling department at Argosy University in Washington, D.C. “Now’s the time to learn a new language, join a swim club, or cook—solo.” Perhaps you’ll meet a new friend or a love interest in your yoga, cooking, or kickboxing class! Here’s how to find a new hobby you’ll love.
Don’t neglect any responsibility
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No one wants to feel like it was their fault that a relationship perished, but the reality is that relationships are a two-way street. “Although the other person may be mainly at fault, they are not solely responsible for the end of the relationship,” says Morris. Consider examining your part in the breakup to help you figure out what lessons you can take away from it all. Instead of blaming the other person and quickly moving on, David Klow, a licensed marriage and family therapist, owner of Skylight Counseling Center, and the author of You Are Not Crazy, recommends doing a self-assessment and learning about your role in relationships. Don’t miss these signs you may be the one causing a toxic relationship.
Don’t be a hater
At the end of the day, your ex is a human who is trying to figure out their own life. Release yourself from pain and resentment. “You don’t have to wish rainbows and a hot new romantic partner to your ex, but tap into the love you have for that person and use that goodness to help you move into happiness yourself,” says Morris. This positive energy will be useful for your healing too. Are you giving off a bad vibe without realizing it? Find out.
Don’t turn to alcohol or other substances
“Any external coping mechanism, such as the over-use of food, drugs, alcohol, or sex, only numbs the emotional pain of the breakup,” warns Walter. “Substance use also goes hand-in-hand with additional risks, such as potential criminal charges, increased substance dependence, sexually transmitted infections, and victimization, among others.” Turns out these 31 dating habits you think are loving are actually dangerous.
Don’t see the relationship as a failure
We all fall for a person for different reasons. Just because it didn’t work out doesn’t mean it was a giant mistake. “If you connected to this person, were vulnerable enough to connect in a way where you felt loved and gave love, it was not a failure,” says Morris. “See the purpose and need for the relationship to be completed and how it served you as much as was needed.” These are the subtle signs you’re in a toxic relationship.
Don’t start a restricting diet
Unless this is a diet you were planning on trying before the breakup, why start it now? “You’ll only binge later to make up for the calories that you’re depriving yourself of now,” says Tammy Nelson, Ph.D., certified sex therapist and author of Getting the Sex You Want.” Now is not the time for deprivation. Instead, you deserve something sweet.” Find out how one man found that being single for years ultimately made him a better partner.
Don’t over idolize your ex
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In acute relationship withdrawal, it’s easy to over idealize your ex and focus solely on the positive parts of the relationship, explains Bobby. But she warns that this is a big mistake. “All relationships are a mixed bag, and at the very least…you loved a person who did not love you back the same way,” she says. “Remind yourself that love and attraction are complex and just because your ex didn’t feel the same way about you does not mean you’re not worthy of love and respect.” These are the 10 signs your partner isn’t the one.
Don’t jet off somewhere spontaneously
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“It might be tempting to jump on a plane and take some time in some romantic-sounding citadel exploring beach resort, but exploring the jungle seems is not a good way to heal,” says Nelson. This only distracts you for so long until you’re back at home. In other words, it only delays the healing temporarily. “Stay home and watch documentaries instead—you’ll avoid having to get shots and waking up without your mosquito netting,” she says. Over 40? You’ll want to avoid these dating mistakes.