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How to Win the Breakup

Updated on November 1, 2022
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Andrea writes on various topics from dating, couples, astrology, weddings, interior design, and gardens. She studied film and writing.

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Acing the Breakup

Dealing with a breakup can suck big time. You may want to moan and groan to the entire world about your shambled relationship, but I’m going to help you to shine rather than look like a shriveled-up banana.

If you like Rick and Morty, perhaps this analogy will work for you: after a breakup, you want to look like Beth, not Jerry.

I’m here to help you move on like you’re a chessboard piece making your way into Mario World — that’s right, you’re getting out of that Chess game and into a new universe.

The following steps should help you to get your crap together, so you can project your confident and alluring side. Remember: what you put out into the world is what you’ll attract. So put out your best energy, and you’ll attract someone who is on par with you.

Winning the breakup is all about coming out on the other side stronger than you were before the relationship mess:

  1. You’re not easily controlled by your ex.
  2. Your emotions don’t go wild over little things.
  3. You keep a cool, calm, and collected demeanor.

You win the breakup if you move on successfully rather than getting stuck in the mud or, worse, quicksand.

I’m here to offer you a hand to get you out of that quicksand.

Tips to Win the Breakup

1. Don’t use social media to cry out about your painful breakup. Don’t make passive-aggressive posts about your new ex or ANYTHING related to your past relationship. First off: absolutely none of your Facebook friends care. The only ones who do care are people you can DM, who’ll come over to your house to clean dishes you’ve neglected, and will get a beer with you. I’m talking about your personal circle.

It’s a bad idea to talk about your breakup online. Don’t change that marriage status to divorced until your attorney gives you the go-ahead. Also, if you go on about your marriage on Facebook, your ex could use that against you in court.

2. Grab a garbage bag. Anything and everything that is related to your ex that you don’t need — throw it away. Throw out leftovers in your fridge, sentimental gifts, even clothes. You have the option to haul it to the trash, light it on fire, or donate it. Don’t keep this stuff. You don’t need it. Clearing it out will help. The ritual of cutting ties with things associated with your ex helps you to cut your actual ties with him/her/them.

3. Instead of bawling on your pillow at night all defeated, clean your house. Make sure that this person hasn’t won over you to the point that you stop cleaning, taking care of yourself, and showering. Clean to refocus your mind. A clean room can help your mind to think better. Also, some movement in your body won’t hurt if you’re struggling to get up following the breakup. Recommended chores: doing the dishes, laundry, vacuuming everything, major sanitization of bathroom(s).

4. Get involved in the community. Take classes in something you have always dreamed of doing. What you need to do is reinvent your social connections. This doesn’t mean go out and date everybody — your energy right now says “rebound” and that nonsense can get obnoxiously complicated. Go take a pottery or ballroom dance class instead. Make a new friend group.

You might need a new friend group because you probably don’t want to be surrounded by people who knew/know your ex-sweetheart.

5. Pamper yourself. Get your nails done, go to a spa, exercise, drink green juice. Get a haircut, go see a professional masseuse, trim the beard, buy a fancy pillow. You deserve to add comfort points to your day.

6. If your so-called “fiend from hell” contacts you, keep it brief. They don’t need to know where you are emotionally. They don’t need to know about your mom, your job, your cat, or the people you see. That’s your business, your best friend’s business, etc. Your emotional involvement with your old flame is over.

7. Unfollow them on Facebook. Do not delete them or block them unless they are a threat to your safety. Deleting them signals you lost the breakup. You’re overreacting by deleting someone. Unfollow — and go long streaks without looking them up. You’re not over them until you can one day look at their profile without feeling hot flashes.

Also, stop following them on all social media. Stop following their family, their best friends — you get the picture. Put up walls on all of that. Move on. Reinvent the energy you have. Your love is for someone else. When navigating social media, it’s better to unfollow people in a way that only you know about rather than signaling something to a wider audience. Unfollowing posts is a clever way to do that.

8. Spend approximately one to two months watching break-up movies and listening to break-up albums. Do this if you enjoy these things, if it makes you feel bad — skip it. It’s not required to surround yourself with sappy content. For some people, it helps them process and figure out what to do with themselves.

9. Watch movies that include extremely attractive people. Remember that you are attractive. That there’s a lot of attractive people. It’s not the end of the world.

John Stamos is beautiful no matter what age. Natalie Portman is infectious in any movie. Don’t dwell on your ex. Get over them. Move on. Rinse and repeat. Hey, there are a lot of attractive people in Korean dramas; their pretty faces might help you to forget your ex.

10. Learn something new. Try new recipes. Learn a new language. This will help to focus your brain on something else and to learn new skills. If you have restless thoughts about your ex that you can’t control, it’s best to redirect that energy to something else.

What helps the most in a break up?

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11. Give yourself time to be introspective. If you are feeling mad or sad, go somewhere and think about those feelings intentionally, creatively, and give them a chance to express themselves privately. These feelings will eventually subside, especially if the relationship was short. It’s okay to feel crappy emotions. You don’t want to dump these on others — so get introspective with yourself, whether that’s thinking deeply or journaling.

12. Do not listen to songs that remind you of the person. If you two had songs you loved together or whole albums, don’t listen to those for a while.

13. Do not go on walks or visit places you used to with that person. Hit up new bars. Hit up new streets. Take different paths. This will help you avoid people and make a new path for yourself.

14. Be kind to yourself. You’re probably not going to be 100% peachy consistently or overnight. Tell those you love how you really feel even if they can’t tell you’re down underneath it all. Especially talk if it is hard to tell your upset underneath it all. Some of us have an impossibly good poker face.

15. Dance out the emotions. Be a closet dancer. You can do it, tiny dancer. Seriously, there was one breakup where every time I started to get mad, I would just dance in a room by myself. With music blasting. (It helped.)

16. Stay healthy. Eat right. Go to sleep at a decent time. Drink more water. Seriously, the basics are the basics for a reason.

17. Only get into a new relationship when you are absolutely ready. Not before that — otherwise, you’ll be too much of an emotional roller coaster. Rebounds can bring some spice into your life, but they also tend to come with diminishing returns.

18. Don’t angry text your ex. They do not need to know about your angry emotions. It’s none of their business. Own that. It’s yours. They gave up on those rights when the breakup materialized.

19. Don’t lower your standards. Just because your ex was the worst doesn’t mean you need to start being an awful person too. Try to uphold yourself to some decency.

20. Hang out with your friends. Celebrate life. Listen to others rather than talk too much. Use those ears of yours. They’re beautiful times ten.

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21. Give yourself daily goals. Conquer, seize, be ambitious.

22. Take long, relaxing baths. In fact, relax. Take deep breaths. You owe it to yourself. Now is the time for a holiday. Relax some more. Listen to tranquil music. Go for a walk. Go on lots of walks. Garden. Write poetry.

23. Compliment yourself. Put sticky notes on mirrors if you have to remind yourself of what makes you lovely.

24. Travel, get out of the city, and take lots of irrelevant pictures. When is the last time you took a day trip?

25. Don’t show hate and don’t show love to your ex. It’s time for indifference and apathy.

26. Write angry letters and never send them. This can help you to process your emotions.

27. Get a pet. If you have the right schedule for it, a furry friend might be the right companion for you at this time.

28. Make yourself more attractive. What are some little things that would help push the needle? Lift some weights? New make-up?

29. Rearrange the furniture in your house. Little changes in your house can help ground you in the present and future.

30. Run a marathon. Getting over someone is a marathon. Running an actual marathon has more benefits.

31. Write yourself a letter from the future explaining how great the future will be. Kind of weird, but imagine your ideal self from five years from now. What would they tell you? This is your pipe dream, so run with it.

32. Laugh. It’s good for your abs, it comes with endorphins, and you might need an exercise in not taking things so seriously.

33. Do not stalk your ex or their new beau. This screams crazy. Leave them alone. Preoccupy yourself with your own business.

34. Do not contact their family and try to keep relationships with their family. They may have the coolest little sister or brother, but who cares?

35. It’s time for a polka dance break down. Right now. Just get up and move those cells in your body. Do the polka. Just do it. Do it right now.

36. Burn your sheets. Buy new sheets. New clean sheets.

37. Dream about kissing new people. When you start daydreaming about your ex, interrupt those dreams with something else.

38. Get crafty. When you’re feeling those weird emotions, express them with colored pencils and paint.

39. Give yourself a month before you see this person again. You don’t need to see them. You need to realign yourself. It’s like realigning your back with a chiropractor. That’s what happens in a breakup. Realignment.

40. Don’t indulge in your dark side for too long. Also, it’s okay to consider your dark side for a moment and not be afraid of it. If you’re not aware of yourself… you may do stupid and regrettable things.

© 2015 Andrea Lawrence

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