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Five Tips to Handle a Breakup

Updated on November 28, 2020
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Hi! I'm an MBA grad, active in writing sel-help articles for you and yours! I hope my tips here will help you or someone you know! Thanks!

Crying and feeling self-pity are natural responses to a breakup.
Crying and feeling self-pity are natural responses to a breakup.

Breakups are Painful

Before I share my tips on how to handle a breakup, I think it is beneficial to start with the basics. As with any situation, more damage can be done if at first you do not assess how your breakup happened as well as actions you should do next to move forward.

First, face the fact that before the breakup, you were involved in a relationship that was heading nowhere fast. If you continued on this course, your relationship could have become toxic if some sort of action was not taken right away.

Oftentimes, long before the breakup actually happened, you probably had an inkling that something was not quite right between you and your significant other. Maybe you detected a loss of interest in each other, maybe there was a yearning to test the waters to see if you were truly satisfied with the relationship or you simply could have just grown apart.

Of course there could be other scenarios as well. The takeaway here is eventually you realized a breakup was imminent. Many times, unfortunately the woman realizes this, but hangs on with hopes that "things will change." This is a lose- lose proposition, because while you are waiting for things to change, you will only continue to be unhappy in the relationship because in the majority cases -- nothing realy changes.

It's important to own up to the fact that your relationship is no longer blossoming like it when it first started. In fact, think of your relationship as a dead rose that unfortunately cannot be revived to the beauty it once had.

You need to decide whether to continue down this dark path of hopelessness or to stand up tall, dust yourself off and make that first step to end your failed relationship so you can start anew.

After you have reached this realization that a clean break is necessary, here are 5 tips to help you navigate your breakup and even more importantly -- assist you in starting a new relationship.

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Remember, you are not alone in dealing with breakups.
Remember, you are not alone in dealing with breakups.

1. Realize That You are Not a Party of One in Handling a Breakup

Have you ever gone to dinner or a movie alone and the clerk asked how many were in your party. Usually the question asked is "Just one?" -- with an emphasis on the word "just." The polite answer from you of course is a simple "Yes." However, I think businesses should train their clerks to avoid asking this question. If you are the only one standing before the clerk and no one else is around, there is no reason at all for this question to be asked.

The above being said, first and foremost, realize that you are not alone in dealing with a breakup. The statistics have not changed much in recent years that over 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. I'm sure the statistics are not much different from couples who are not married, but living together.

Some may think this statistic is even sadder taking into account that children may be involved in these breakups. This is true; however, I believe that children and even grown adults realize when the relationship between their parents are not working regardless of how hard they try to hide it. The healthy action to take is to acknowledge this fact, make the necessary decision to stay together to try to make it work or to part and start new lives.

If you are single with no children and experiencing a painful breakup, the dynamics may be different, in that even though it is a sad event -- only two people are involved.

2. Be Calm, Cool, Collected and Levelheaded In Making The Decision to Break Up

Sometimes when you are in the midst of a breakup, it may be difficult to control your emotions, especially if you are blindsided with the news from someone else. You've probably heard the old school song, "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" about finding out about a breakup second hand.

We are prone to react to situations and circumstances that personally involve us. In other words, it's difficult not to take a breakup personally. If you are on the receiving end -- you may question your looks, your intellect, your personna and a number of other factors that you think may have attributed to the breakup.

However, one of the major cause for breakups is none of the above -- and is not a physical trait. You guessed it. The major cause for breakup is a severe lack of communications between the two parties involved. Communication breakdown remains the major cause for most breakups.

During a breakup, you may try to determine specifically what went wrong, when many times, the reasons may not always be apparent. For instance, there may be a feeling of not being as connected to your partner as you were previously in addition to the lack of communication.

I recommend you use your time construcively to absorb what happened and to determine what your next steps will be. Now is not the time to wallow in self-pity for long periods of time or drown yourself in a sense of failure because of the breakup.

A career -- if not your plan A, can be your plan B in case of a breakup.
A career -- if not your plan A, can be your plan B in case of a breakup.

3. Negative Financial Impllications from the Breakup

It's a known fact that many people experiencing a breakup, women in particular, hang on because they are afraid of what will happen if they are not "supported." In other words, if the wife or girlfriend is not working and wants to break up, the main question is how will she continue to live in the same manner she is accustomed if the income is now zero. This situation would occur if they are married or living together.

Hopefully women have learned from the experiences of other women in this situation the importance of having a career of her own, regardless of her relationship status. It's nice to have two incomes coming in -- however when that income is sliced in half -- immediate results, mostly negative in nature can be experienced.

Many women choose to be stay at home moms -- which I have no problem with. In today's environment, women can choose to work or not work -- this is strictly their choice. My gist here if you are left suddenly single -- realize the full repercussions if for some reason there is a discontinuance or a reduction of funds coming into the home as a result of a breakup. Ask yourself these questions:

1. Will I be able to pay my bills on my own without any other assistance?

2. Do I have the means to secure an income in a short time period?

3. What is my plan for financial stability after the breakup?

My advice is to always have a backup plan, whether it is your level of education as well as work experience that will help you secure employment during or after a breakup. If you have an entrepreneurship spirit or aptitude -- hone into that also.

If you are married and children are involved -- you may receive child support, spousal support, etc. However, I see no reason to limit yourself to financial support that you may get from your ex-significant other.

Of course if you are living separately from your partner before the breakup--your financial impact may be minimal or none at all from the breakup.

Always have a back up plan.

4. Do not Rebound Into Another Relationship After A Breakup

Some people may advise you to quickly get into another relationship to forget about your breakup and to ease the pain. Beware. This is not the correct course of action. You will not only be doing yourself a disservice by not taking the needed time to heal -- but you will be bringing along someone else to suffer with you. This someone could have been a good relationship choice -- if only you had waited until you were completely over your breakup.

Let's suppose you decide to date someone right after the relationship. Unfortunately, you will compare him or her with your ex-partner, whether you intend to or not. You may find yourself questioning why you broke up in the first place and even worse -- you may start talking to your new romantic interest about him or her.

They may at first seem curious to hear about your past relationship -- but, in reality they are probably wondering what does this have to do with him or her. If you wait awhile before starting a new relationship, the person you broke up with will probably be long gone from your memory -- which will enable you to be open for your new partner or love interest.

Even though there is no exact time frame as to how long you should sustain from a new relationship after a breakup, my advice is to stay single for at least three months. Of course, you may see friends who are not contenders to be your soul mate during this time. However, there is a lot to say about the value of alone time -- just for yourself. This time will allow you to reflect and to plan your next move.

Remember, you are not under a schedule or a timeline to get into another relationship. However, if by chance you meet someone short of the three-month time frame -- do not immediately write him or her off. Just take it slow and be sure that you are completely over your past relationship before embarking on another one.

Refrain from dating, including using dating apps immediately after your breakup.
Refrain from dating, including using dating apps immediately after your breakup.

5. Leave Your Baggage Behind When You Start a New Relationship

This may be your first breakup or you may have experienced multiple breakups. Remember that with each breakup, there will be baggage that may or may not stay with you. It will be difficult at first to forget some of the things that irked you about your ex-partner -- and then there may be factors that you absolutely loved about him or her. The important aspect to take into consideration is your relationship with him or her is now in the past. There is no need to go down memory lane to rehash what went wrong or even right with your past partner. Make the breakup as clean as you can so you can start over like a breath of fresh air.

Another consideration is your new partner may have baggage of his or her own. Hopefully they know that with each new relationship comes a chance to get it right and to make it work. A step in the right direction is to leave their baggage in the past where it belongs.

You may have seen television shows where one party spills all the milk regarding their past relationship to their new partner. This happens on television shows for a reason -- mainly to impart information to the viewing audience. In your case, you were not on television but experienced a real-life breakup and you are now attempting to start over. If you feel the need to share, then it's fine to have a blog of your own, a journal etc. However, remember not to share this information with your new partner because he or she is more interested in who you are as a person now rather than about your failed relationships.


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