So it’s over, and it was messy. It sucks, I get it. I’ve been there! Not all relationships, as good as they may have been, will end on good terms. Sometimes it just isn’t possible to remain friendly, whether it be because of the circumstances, or just your personalities. The most important thing for you to realize is that’s okay. You don’t have to be best friends with all of your exes. A bad breakup can feel like the end of your world, and believe me when I tell you: it isn’t.
Now, full disclosure: I’ve never been good at breakups (who is? and how?) But I can tell you some of the things that really helped me (or would have helped me, if I had more self-control) and offer them to you.
Cut contact immediately
This is the most difficult thing on this list, but it’s also the most important. Whether you want to remain friends or not, cutting contact at least in the beginning is the best thing for you. I’m a personal believer that no-contact is the only thing that will help you eventually get over this person. A lot of people will tell you this, and it’s because it works. If you talk to your ex regularly, it will only remind you of your unresolved feelings, and that isn’t healthy.
The less contact you have with your ex, the easier it’s going to be to move on and see that life really does go on without them. This is the one I always had the most trouble with, and it is really hard, but I know you can do it. You aren’t being rude by not responding to them, you just need to prioritize your own happiness now that you and your ex aren’t a unit anymore.
Gather the mementos
Notice how I said gather and not destroy? You can destroy them if you want to, that’s totally cool too. But if you’re like me, and have a terrible memory, the tokens you have might be fun to look back on at some point. But having them around you in the beginning isn’t the smartest.
Get a box, or a trunk, and put all of the things of sentimental value in there. You aren’t getting rid of them, just putting them away for the time being. It’s a lot easier and a lot less permanent than destroying all your photos or gifts. I still have a necklace that my ex gave me purely because it’s a gorgeous necklace, and it doesn’t hold that sentimentality for me anymore, so why would I get rid of it? You might find that you get to this point too with gifts you have or things that represent your relationship. Having the ticket stub from your first date ever can be fun, and it doesn’t mean you still have feelings for that person, it just means that you don’t ignore any part of your life.
Cut social media ties
This doesn’t necessarily mean deleting your ex, because that can sometimes just be too dramatic. If it ended really badly, then hell yeah, get rid of them, but if you want to make it seem like you don’t really care, just unfollow them on Facebook instead of deleting them. Don’t check up on their accounts. Their life is going to move on without you the same way yours is going to move on without them. Don’t dwell!
One thing I won’t advocate under this heading is deleting photos. It just looks petty and immature, to delete all the photos of them off your social media, etc. All your followers know you dated, so you aren’t fooling anyone into thinking it never happened, including yourself. Why bother? No point in pretending like they never existed. Just leave them be, and they’ll get buried beneath recent photos in no time! It’s the same type of idea as the mementos: maybe those photos will be fun to look back on one day.
Make plans with friends
Staying home by yourself can be needed for the first day or so, and sometimes being alone is the best thing for you to process, but friends are there for a reason. Make plans and get out of the house even if you don’t want to. I promise that after you’re out with them, seeing how hanging out with them hasn’t changed despite other things in your life, you’ll feel more normal. Injecting a dose of normalcy is the best feeling in a time like this.
Another aspect of this: your friends want to be there for you. If you want to vent, or talk it through, then use them as your resources! I always needed my best friends the most during this time, and I had different needs for different friends. My best friend was always there to lend an ear to my tears and my ranting, whereas my group of friends were there to remind me that life goes on, and fun was just around the corner.
One of the more discussed bad breakup remedies: the “treat yoself” mentality. Buying yourself a treat can be a pick me up for sure. Maybe there’s something you always wanted but decided to spend money on a date or gift instead. Now’s your chance to buy yourself a gift.
I always recommend beauty products, but that’s because I’m a makeup addict. There’s just something about a new lipstick that makes you feel like a brand new person. I have tons of beauty posts to help you pick something out if you decide to go that route! Or maybe a new video game? Steam is always a great resource, and that would also give you something to take your mind off of the situation.
Music is powerful, and a breakup playlist is something I always needed. Ditch those songs that remind you of your ex, and get into some breakup music. Sometimes it helps to cry it out to a sentimental song, or dance it out to an upbeat party song. Here’s my breakup playlist: (Honourable mention to all my Taylor Swift songs that I can’t add on Spotify)
Change your hair
It’s a common idea that haircuts follow a bad breakup, or major life changes. Sometimes you want to separate yourself from the person you were in that relationship. I always feel fresh after a change of hairstyle, whether it’s a haircut or a new hair colour. It can help you have a visible change to attribute to your newfound freedom. Have fun with it! You have so many possibilities, big or small.
I have a Pinterest board for beauty & hair inspiration to help you get started.
Hit the fitness grind
Working out at the gym, playing a sport, going for a run, all of these things are amazing ways to spend your time regardless of a breakup. Getting active releases endorphins that will help make you feel less down, and it just makes you feel better about yourself. Remember the golden rule: don’t cry, do some squats and make them cry over losing that ass.
Working out makes me feel more in control, and that’s a great feeling after a breakup when you can sometimes feel like you don’t have control over anything. You can do something positive for yourself and for your fitness! I have a post all about how to find workout motivation, and it includes a great gym playlist that will get you in the zone. A bad breakup won’t stop you from getting in better shape and looking better than ever before. There’s an entire show created by Khloe Kardashian around this type of thing, called the Revenge Body. Now, I’m not saying that you should workout purely as revenge, but it’s more of an added fun bonus. Everyone loves feeling better about themselves.
The moral of the story is…
Do things that make you feel better, and stronger, and more yourself. It’s easy to lose sight of who you are when you’ve been attached to another person. Take your freedom and use it as an opportunity to spend more time on yourself, and your goals. It might not seem like the best time right now, and I totally get it. It’s so easy to lose yourself in the downward spiral of a bad breakup, but you will get through it.
The important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t be defined by your relationships, but rather complemented by them. You should never feel drained by your relationship to the point that you feel like you’re losing who you are. A bad breakup is better than a life with someone who doesn’t allow you to be your best self.