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So You Broke Up, Now What?

Updated on April 21, 2009

The Breakup

After a period of bliss with who you thought was “the one”, he up and leaves. Now you're hurting in ways you never knew you could, you feel a hole in your heart that's tearing you apart. Every song on the radio reminds you of him, and you can't turn off your thoughts. There were no signs that warned you, there was no way of preparing, and now there is no way you can go on without him. Let me tell you a little secret: you can go on without him. Believe it or not, you survived before meeting him, and with a little recovery time you can survive after, too

So what's first?

The first step, as all dumpees probably know, requires ice cream and a fat box of tissues. Of course you feel like crying and eating comfort food – that is how we deal with stress. Don’t feel bad about it! We’ve all been there – and we’ve all moved on. So, take a little private time with that pint of Ben and Jerry’s and attack that depression! BUT after that pint is empty, you need to stiffen up that upper lip because ice cream will only get you so far. Plus, too much ice cream will have you feeling bloated and may even magically expand your waistline. (I know. It's crazy, right?)
The first few days are going to be the hardest, so you're going to need to find a way to get through them – and you will get through them! You're mind is more than likely going to be working against you, so you're going to have to teach it who's boss. Though your mind is being flooded with painfully happy memories, you need to push them away – far away. Don't let them deceive you; if every moment was truly such a good one, and that guy was so great, you wouldn’t be in this position. Though it is hard, and you are waiting for the phone to ring so that he can try to win you back, you need to push him out of your mind. He’s gone, and he’s not coming back. This breakup is real and it’s not going to un-happen because you wish it would. Try to stay focused and avoid thinking the things that will only make it worse.
Here are a few dos and don’ts:
DON’T call him – even if he answers this time, (and he probably won't – he's knows it's you, even if you dialed *67 to hide your number) it is only going to end up with him letting you down again.
DO call your friends – whenever you feel the need to call him, call a friend so that they can remind you what a bad idea it is. BUT, remember to thank them because you're going to be pretty annoying calling all the time.
DON’T drive by his house – even if it is on your way to work (or whatever your excuse may be), it’s only going to stab you in the heart to see him. Plus you'll really get on his nerves if he notices you driving by at 8:00am, then again at 3:00pm, and again at 11:00pm (you get the picture) not to mention you will be well on your way to becoming a stalker. No one wants to get a restraining order.
DO clean your house – I find that when I focus my energy on things like cleaning, I can get my frustrations out while doing something productive. Plus, depending on how hard you are working and for how long, you can burn major calories at the same time!
DON’T talk to his friends – unless you share the same friends, which can get a bit more complicated, you have no reason to call his friends. We all know – and they do too – that you are only trying to get some gossip about him or figure out if he’s dating anyone new.
DO pick up a book – there are a lot of books out there that were written to help people get through breakups and you should take advantage of them. I have posted some on this page that have received some great reviews. For my own worst breakup, a friend gave me a copy of "It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken" and it was just what I needed to get my head back on right.
DON’T stay in bed all day – I know, I know, the bed is so comfy and the daylight is so bright that it burns your dark and lonely to heart to see it, but you’re only making things worse. If you keep calling in sick you're going to lose your job, no matter how understanding your boss was the last time you called. By letting this breakup take such a toll on you that you can’t even greet the day, you are letting the breakup break you. Plus, it's unhealthy.
DO set simple goals – each day, set a daily goal like taking a walk or revising your resume. By having something challenge you each day you will feel more accomplished at the end and will eventually get back to greeting the day like a normal person.

What to do with that extra time

All of us that have been in long term relationships know that they take a lot of time and effort to keep going. So, now that you are single you also have a lot more time on your hands. Instead of using that time (that was once used to stimulate your relationship) moaning and sulking about your loss, get out and do something for yourself. Try to make it something productive like joining a gym or signing up for a class that you’ve always wanted to take. That way, like cleaning the house, you get a feeling of accomplishment when you’re done. Plus, working out gives you more energy and tends to result in happier moods. So hit the gym, sweat out your problems, and afterward head to the hot tub or take a hot bath to relax away the stress, calm your muscles, and reward yourself for a goal accomplished.
Go out and have fun! Remember that you are not “single” in the sense that you are alone; you are single because you don’t have someone else to worry about. So stop worrying! Get out and do something for yourself that you wouldn’t have been able to do while you were part of a couple.

What to do with his stuff

If you were together for a while odds are there are things around your house that are either his or things that just remind you of him. Get rid of them! In the process of getting over this breakup, everything that reminds you of him is going to get your mind thinking bad thoughts (seeing his chap stick = "He was such a great kisser.") and send you back a few steps. I'm not saying have a bonfire, but do what you gotta do. Box up his stuff and, if you really think the contents of said box are necessities for him, have a friend deliver the box to him or one of his friends. DON'T tag along for the ride; It will only hurt the process. The rest of the stuff needs to be boxed up too, but don't leave that box lying around your house where you can find it one drunken night. Ask a friend to put it in their closet or basement for you. Once you are completely recovered (and your friend will know if you really are) you can ask for it back and decide what you want to keep and what you want to throw away.
Once you no longer have memory triggers lying around your house, you can focus more on the recovery process without having to pause and mourn so often.

When you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel

Once you feel like you’re getting over the breakup – and don’t rush! These things take time – you can start going out and meeting new people.
Here are some things to remember:
“Hookups” are your enemy. Though hooking up may seem like a way to gain your confidence back, one night stands can leave you feeling used, more alone, and set you back a few steps in the healing process.
Love takes time. Once you are truly ready to mingle, don’t expect to find Mr. Right right away. Convincing yourself that you’ll find love on your first few tries is just setting yourself up for a feeling failure. It is important to remind yourself that there is someone out there, but remember that all good things take time.
Believe in yourself. You can get over this, and you will get on with your life. Remember that, though it may feel like you are, you are not the only one that's been in this situation. Others have gotten through hard breakups, and you will too! Live your life for you, and eventually someone will come along and sweep you off of your feet.


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    • Bo Bixbie profile image

      Bo Bixbie 8 years ago from Mid-West

      You can always try to stalk him.

    • Michellcat profile image

      Michellcat 8 years ago

      Excellent and very helpful hub!

    • lacey marie profile image

      lacey marie 8 years ago from United States

      Thanks for commenting :) Good luck and I'm glad I could be of some help!

    • profile image

      margot 8 years ago

      I'm recovering from a break up at the moment. This is the best advice I've received yet. Thanks for helping me put things in perspective :)

    • gksquire9 profile image

      gksquire9 9 years ago from America

      Ahhh, to be 22 again. Nice hub. I don't miss the heartaches.

    • lacey marie profile image

      lacey marie 9 years ago from United States

      Thanks! :)

    • Nicole Winter profile image

      Nicole A. Winter 9 years ago from Chicago, IL

      lacey marie: Great hub! You're very funny, I can't wait to read more from you. Welcome to Hub Pages!