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How to Rediscover Yourself After a Devastating Break-Up: The Dos and Don'ts

Updated on January 6, 2020
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Heather has a Bachelor's Degree in English from Moravian College and has been freelance writing for more than 14 years.

How long do you think it takes to overcome a break-up? A day? A week? A month or a year? It's hard to say what the time table is, because it ultimately depended on the person and the kind of relationship it was. Are you able to remain friends or have to block your profile on social media from them? Let that be your guide. In the end, you have to find a way to move on with the new person you've become.

When it comes to break-ups, it's always very hard to deal with as the song goes. They are never easy to contend with in the slightest. If someone stated that their break-up was amicable, that's one thing. If they said that their break-up was easy, they're lying because breaking up is never easy. Hearts and dishes often get broken together. Friends have to pick and choose sides. It's just a factor of life, but you still have to learn to adjust to the hole in your heart where your ex once was. Decide how you're going to fill it.

In the efforts to move on and heal what's left your broken heart, learn how to deal with your pain in constructive ways and build a new type of future that didn't include them. In a nutshell, work on yourself before taking any drastic steps. Here are ten steps you should take to fix your broken heart and five suggestions to avoid. Read on to see if you've done any of those things.

Find a new path once the heartache subsides a little bit. It'll help a lot.
Find a new path once the heartache subsides a little bit. It'll help a lot.
  • Do be kind to yourself and allow some time to adjust. Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day and heart will need a lot more than a matter of days to overcome getting your heart broken. You pictured a future with your former partner and could actually see it in your mind's eye. You visualized having breakfast in your dining room from here to eternity and embraced their imperfections as well. If you were together with someone for more than two years, your broken heart will need some time to rebuild itself. Ignore what other people have to say about how fast you're coping with it. Just realize that you are coping and that your ex hasn't beaten you, yet.
  • Do know that this isn't the end of your individual story. The relationship may have ended, but you didn't cease to exist. You're still here and standing taller than ever. Okay, that might sound kind of cheesy, but it works to be aware that your future may have went up in smoke and you didn't. Learn to find out what makes you happy as a whole person and not just as part of a pair. Reidentify what made you unique that you put on the backburner for too long and embrace it once again. Never let go this time, not for anyone.
  • Do have some fun on your own because you're worth it. Do you regret not ever having gone on a trip with your ex-partner? Did something always get in the way of taking that much needed vacation or did your work schedules never jibe at the same time? Whatever the reason, it's about time that you took one. Sadly, it might be as a newly single person, but you're due for one so take it. Don't be afraid to book that trip you've been dying to take. Life is short. Enjoy yourself for a change.
  • Do make a clean break from any shared activities. Did the two of you have the same workout schedule or join a bowling league together? If your break-up was a contentious one, it's time to change your schedule. No need to run into them; unless you have to. Control that situation as much as possible.
  • Do try some form of therapeutic relief to stay positive. Some people learn to paint watercolors to cope with stress, while others managed to write poetry. Choose a medium to cope with your feelings and stick with it, especially if it helps you in the healing process.
  • Do remember that there will good days and bad days. For everyday you're on top of the world, there are two or three where you're underneath it all. Without realizing it, there will be certain triggers that will make you think about the break-up and what you lost from it. Understand that it's normal to have those feelings. Talk about them with someone you trust and understand that things will get better.
  • Do understand that altering your appearance won't change how you feel on the inside. Plastic surgery to change your physical imperfections will never cover the emotional scars you're dealing with. Work on those scars before seeking physical ones and a long recovery time. Not to mention, spending thousands of unneeded dollars when you're fine just the way you are. If you want to change something about yourself, get a haircut. It's a cheaper way to change something and fixable, because hair always grows back in a matter of time. Going to a plastic surgeon is just too drastic of a thing to do.
  • Do try to discover what makes you happy and learn to laugh. Okay, be aware that you're going to come across certain things that will remind you of your former partner. You'll hear a song on the radio that makes you think of them or watch a movie that makes you remember the last time you watched it together. Don't avoid those things even if it's painful to watch or listen to. Power on through those feelings, because one day it won't be painful to hear that song at all. It'll just be a song that you like and nothing else.
  • Do be kind and courteous to your ex's friends and family if you run into them. No need to go into too many details, or any details at all about the break-up. It's not their business to know why the relationship failed. No need to be the bitter former flame by insulting your ex to their loved ones. It makes you look very bad and might prove a very negative point. Always maintain a level of maturity that your ex might have lacked. Be the better person, because it will help you in the long run.
  • Do find a way to maintain some positive memories about the failed relationship without always looking at the bad aspects. Realize that not every portion of your relationship was bad. You shared some laughs with them and had some fun. The two of you bonded in ways you never thought possible. You realized that you had a big heart that had the capacity to love and nurture someone else. Okay, you might have made some mistakes by giving your heart too freely, but don't let one relationship define your ability to love anyone.

Take the trip you've wanted to take for years.
Take the trip you've wanted to take for years.
Don't give up for interests. Just change when you do them to avoid your ex as much as possible.
Don't give up for interests. Just change when you do them to avoid your ex as much as possible.
  • Don't give into any negative impulses. Block them on your social media accounts and lose their phone number to avoid going down the rabbit hole of looking them up. That situation is a trigger in itself. If you might as well block their family members as well, it's just another loophole to look at your ex through social media. Cut the cord once and for all.
  • Don't avoid a public run-in with your ex. Embrace it and maintain a level of cordiality that will drive them nuts. If you see them in the mall, keep walking to where you're originally heading to. Changing course will make you look childish. Face your fears of speaking to them. Also, understand that you might run from you if they see you. Be the brave one and keep on going. If they choose to talk to you, be polite in your conversation before making a quick and graceful exit. It doesn't always happen, but it's best if you at least try.
  • Don't give into temptation for a reconciliation. If the relationship failed the first time, it'll likely fail again. There's a very slight chance that your ex might realize that they made a mistake and shouldn't have broken up with you. Don't take them back, because your trust in them is gone. You will always wonder if and when they'll end things again. There's no point in trying, so just don't bother. Getting your heart broken twice by the same person makes you a fool indirectly. Sometimes, a reconciliation could be successful, but it's a rarity that doesn't work too often. Be realistic if your ex throws that position your way.
  • Don't overlook the possibility of moving on. It will happen when you least expect it. Could be a week from now, or several months down the road. Don't force yourself back into the dating world, unless you're ready to do so. Try not to wait too long, because it will be difficult the first time out.
  • Don't settle for anything less than what you're worth. If you want to have certain things in your next relationship, make it known before you become fully invested in someone else who doesn't feel the same way. Honesty is the best policy, but not too close to the first date.

Never settle for less.
Never settle for less.

In the end, breaking up will never be a sprinting type of sport. It take running the longest every marathon in order to heal from it. Look at divorced couples. It can sometimes take many years for the wounds from a messy divorce to heal. That messiness also made them hesitant to give love a second chance. The best way to cope with any break-up is to never give up, because you're so much better than that. You might not feel that way in the moment, but it will get better as time goes on. That's what the relationship experts often predicted. Time will heal all those nasty wounds, but your heart will never be the same after that. You will be cautious and very tentative on your very first date post-split. Take baby steps on that date and embrace the future with partially opened arms. It's the only way to do so because there was no point in going backwards now.


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