Surviving a Breakup

Surviving a breakup is hard – especially if you don’t know what you need to do to get through it.  If you’re looking for ways to smooth out this turbulent situation, and speed this process up, take a look at the tips below on how to survive a breakup.

Coming to terms with reality
Breaking up sucks.  Make no bones about it.  Surviving a breakup is painful.  And that pain is going to last longer than you think it should.  Even when you think you’re over it you may stumble across something that reminds you of your ex which unleashes a flood of pain and emotion.

So when you’re surviving a breakup just be aware that this is a process.  Be patient and don’t beat yourself up for not being over it when you think you “should” be.  It’s going to take time until you are back to where you were mentally and emotionally.  Be easy on yourself and don’t expect to move on overnight.

Don’t bottle everything in
As guys we have a tendency to try and survive a breakup – or any other painful event – solo.  We won’t talk about it and will just try and keep ourselves busy (maybe picking up extra hours at work) to avoid even thinking about it.

But without acknowledging and processing the emotional pain of a breakup that pain won’t go anywhere.  It will be buried somewhere inside and lash out at unexpected times.  If you don’t deal with how you feel about the situation now, you may very well bring that emotional baggage into other areas of your life – including your next relationship.

So take the time and talk your situation out.  It can be with a therapist, a close friend, a men’s group – anyone you trust.  If that sounds like too much then at the very least keep up a journal.  Write down the thoughts and feelings you have about the breakup as well as anything else that pops up during your day.  Get those thoughts and feelings out of your head and onto paper and they won’t cause so much anguish down the road.

Cut ties
An important step in surviving a breakup is cutting ties with the woman you were dating.  Avoid making contact to “check in”.  Block her temporarily on Facebook and any other social media so you’re not bombarded with pictures of what she’s doing.  Put that shirt she bought you (or anything else in your living space that reminds you of her) away where you won’t see it.

Getting rid of these “reminders” is going to help you avoid unnecessary pain throughout the day.  And it will give you the chance to refocus and rebuild your life without her.

Take a break from women
A recent article I say said one of the best things to do after a breakup is go out and try to get laid immediately – for the confidence boost.  As someone who is just getting out of a year and a half relationship I’ll be the first to tell you this might be the worst possible thing you can do.

When you’re getting over a breakup the last thing you want to do is run around trying to get validation and “confidence boosts” from women.  It’s just going to cultivate a mindset where you are dependent on attention and affection from women to feel good about yourself.  Plus, if you don’t get those things (which is likely, because women can sense when a guy is just seeking validation and it’s a huge turn-off), you’re going to feel even worse about your situation.

Instead of trying to “fill that hole” that’s left from the previous relationship by chasing women, give that wound time to heal on its own.  Take time for yourself and focus on building a life you enjoy regardless of whether or not women are in it.  Then when that wound does heal, you’ll be able to enter the dating scene a new man.  You won’t be trying to “fill a need” or get validation, you’ll be out there enjoying your life and sharing that enjoyment with other women.  And that is going to make you way more attractive, and draw in the high-quality women you ultimately want.

Pick up a hobby
If you’re getting out of a relationship you’re going to have a lot of extra free time you didn’t have before.  And it may be very tempting to use that free time wallowing in your room feeling sad.  Of course, that’s likely just going to make things worse.

What you want to do is refocus your energy and fill your time with something that makes you feel good about yourself and your life. And a great way to do this is to pick up a hobby.  Learn a new language.  Dust off that guitar you haven’t touched in years.  Sign up for Tae Kwon Do.   There’s no doubt some activity that’s been in the back of your mind that you’d love to do.  Now is the time to do it.  It’s going to help you feel better about your life and as you see your skills improve your confidence is going to grow, too.

Stay active
Depression is a very real possibility for anyone surviving a breakup.  And one of the best ways to avoid depression and build a positive outlook is to stay active an exercise.

Not only does exercise release endorphin that will get you feeling good, but getting yourself in shape is going to give you a nice boost in confidence as well.   So look to build a consistent exercise regimen you can stick to everyday (it doesn’t have to be too rigorous, it’s more important that you’re consistent).  And give yourself a chance to cultivate a more positive mood and mindset (along with a stronger body).

More Insights
For more insights into surviving a breakup check out the Art of Charm’s podcast on the subject here.