No one likes a breakup – well, not unless you are the person who wanted to call it off, you’re already over it, and you’re basking in the glory of your newfound freedom. But even mutual breakups can be difficult, and if you got dumped, that can be rough.
For many girls, breakups are a drawn-out emotional rollercoaster, and you might feel like you’re riding alone. The good news (well, kind of) is that heartbreak is common, so there are many tried and true remedies for broken hearts.
So. Got dumped? Wondering what to do now? Here’s what you should know:
You actually do deserve better.
If a relationship comes to an end, remember that you can find someone better for you. In some rare cases, this could be your beau (hopefully a better version of their former self), coming to their senses and coming back in your life. But more likely, you’ll find a new person with unimaginably amazing qualities who will make you realize why it didn’t work the last time.
Breakups are emotional and physical.
Being in love affects the same part of your brain as drug addiction. Loving someone becomes habitual. So, you’re not just separating yourself from someone and the legitimate sadness of an ending; your brain needs to adapt.
In relationships, you become accustomed to the set of emotions and actions that are associated with your relationship. Getting used to the absence of emotions and/or the absence of a loved one takes time, and it can be uncomfortable.
Here’s what you should do:
- Be patient with yourself. Part of the confusion, sadness, anger, disappointment, and heartbreak is a natural physical adjustment as well as emotional one.
- Be grateful that you can open yourself up and love someone. Not everyone can do it. The downside is that you might also feel sadness and letdown sometimes. But that’s okay. You can remind yourself “my heart is super broken right now, but at least it’s there.” Taylor Swift answered a fan’s Instagram plea for advice on this topic and nailed it.
- Un-follow your ex on social media. You can do it. Your mind is looking for your ex because that has been the default for so long – the habit mentioned above. Perhaps there was a time when maybe you knew your beau’s every move. Keeping that up now will only make you sadder and lead to FOMO. Give your mind a break and a way to focus on something else.
- Make your own decisions about how and when to make contact. You will be tempted to reach out to your ex. That’s okay. Some like to cut communication right away, and this is a popular piece of advice people like to give, but that can be easier said than done. Everyone will have an opinion, and they’ll love to tell you to “move on” and “get over it.” Gradually stopping communication works better for a lot of people. Feel out what works for you. Beware of hoping that continuing to talk to your ex might mean you’ll get back together (and besides, he may have his own feelings about how and when to make contact). Instead, focus on what you need to help you move on.
- Eat well. Exercise. Relax. According to our advisor, Darlene Mininni, PhD, author of The Emotional Toolkit, “Your emotions live in your body. That means that a breakup—with its feelings of sadness or grief or shock– can affect your physical wellbeing. When an important relationship ends, it’s an especially important time to take good care of yourself. Try to eat well and get the sleep you need so you can heal.”
- If you are looking for “closure,” it may not exist the way you think it does. Closure is not about something your ex will say or do to make you feel like this chapter is tied up whether for now or forever. It’s probably not about that one last conversation or letter. Closure is when you are ready to move on for yourself. You want your ex to say something like “I was an idiot. I’m over my issues now. I love you. I’m sorry.” Or “You don’t deserve me. You are amazing, and I am so sorry that I wasted your time and put you through this.” In truth, even if your ex did say something like this to you, you might not believe it and they may not mean it. Closure begins when you’re ready to say to yourself “Even though it makes me sad, it’s time to step beyond this and find the love I deserve.”
With a little time and the right moves to get beyond the blues, you’ll bounce back.