Breaking up is hard to do. Contrary to popular belief, snuggling in bed with a few dozen tissues boxes and a couple pints of Ben & Jerry’s won’t mend the heart. Going to class bleary-eyed and clad in sweatpants will make you feel even worse. To move on is to understand and accept the fact that your relationship has ended, and it is the only thing that will make you feel whole again.
Those who suffer a tough breakup often hang on to what used to be, though they are well aware that things would be better if they just let go. It is as if they are scared to lose something that they no longer have. Most claim they would rather have something than nothing at all. Yet the truth is having something halfway, especially something as meaningful as a relationship, is actually much harder than having nothing at all.
To avoid the depths of depression, follow these steps:
1. Do not stalk your ex, on Facebook or in real life. Monitoring and documenting your ex’s every move will only increase your stress level, and bumping into him or her can be painful. Avoid being labeled the “crazy ex.” Instead, keep yourself occupied with activity. Visit the gym and get your endorphins flowing, or plan a night out with friends.
2. Don’t call or text each other. Keeping in contact only promotes the idea that things aren’t really over. Staring at the phone for hours won’t make it ring. If you need someone else to text constantly, talk to a sibling or best friend.
3. Don’t look for signs of getting back together. In some instances, breaking up is only temporary, but you should never assume that this is the case with your relationship. Getting your hopes up only to have them crushed can be just as hard as breaking up
4. Don’t be friends. Don’t feign a friendship immediately after ending your relationship. Obviously you two were together because of some common bond, but rushing into a friendship can be dangerous. Give yourself a little time and space to help clear your head.
5. Don’t self-medicate. Drinking to feel better will surely lead to a tearful night followed by a painful morning. Alcohol does not solve problems –and oftentimes creates new ones. Let yourself have a little fun, but know your limits.
Moving on after a breakup will take some time, but you’ll feel much better afterwards.