“It is important to realize that you can miss something but not want it back.”
— Paulo Coelho
What happens after a breakup?
If you have been in love, you know that it can be addictive. You want to text that person, hear their voice, and spend time with them. If this doesn’t happen, you feel sad, anxious, and maybe even frustrated. Doesn’t this sound like how we describe addicts? Research(2017) proves that it’s true; you can be ‘addicted’ to love or to a person. An addict experiences physical and mental health reactions once a drug is cut off. Similarly, people who are in love experience changes in their bodies after a breakup. Thus, experiencing a breakup with the person you have loved can be very painful.
Things to do after a breakup
We have agreed that a breakup is a difficult experience. Yet, there are promising strategies that can help you break out of being addicted to that person. Here we have listed 5 Dos and Don’ts for you to get over a breakup and be the awesome person you truly are!
5 DOs after a breakup [LEARN]
- 1. L-Learn from the experience
- 2. E-Engage with work or studies
- 3. A-Associate with family and friends
- 4. R-Reclaim yourself
- 5. N-Nourish your body
1. L-Learn from the experience
The experience of a breakup is painful. Yet, the journal of Personal Relationships (2003) says it also causes personal growth. There is a lot you can learn about yourself from your breakup experience. For instance, you understand your expectations of a partner and a romantic relationship. Further, it is important to list the possible reasons for the breakup. Being sure of the reasons for your breakup will promote better adjustment.
2. E-Engage with work or studies
“An idle mind is a devil’s workshop”-it is more likely that you will think of your ex when your mind is unoccupied. An article published by the American Psychological Association (2018) suggests using distraction and reappraisal of love feelings. It will reduce the attention you pay to your ex and will promote positive emotions in yourself.
3. A-Associate with family and friends
We are ‘social beings.’ Now that a key person in your social circle is present no more, you need to socialize more to fill up that space. You can do so by reaching out to your family and friends. It is also essential for you to talk about your emotions to someone you trust to process the information. Researchers Berman and Turk (1981) find that involvement in social activities showed better post-breakup change.
4. R-Reclaim yourself
You would have changed certain aspects of yourself or your routine to adjust to your ex. Now is the time to reclaim yourself and your routine back. You can also focus your time on your career and passion as well as on improving your mental well-being. According to the Journal of Relationships Research (2014), listing the benefits of the breakup will promote adjustment.
5. N-Nourish your body
Do you watch home decor or DIY videos? Well, don’t just stop watching. Now that you have the time, and frankly, not many other options, try decorating your room! Mental health professionals state that the way your space is arranged and decorated can easily influence your mood. (So maybe it’s not you, it’s your room!)
5 DON’TS after a breakup [CHASE]
Relationship psychologist Field (2011) suggests that we lose our regulator of stimulation when we break up. It leads to changes in body functioning, such as changes in sleeping and eating patterns. Hence, it is important to eat good food, drink plenty of water, and exercise.
- 1. C-Connect with the person
- 2. H-Hold on to memories
- 3. A-Aim for immediate closure
- 4. S-Suppress your emotions
- 5. E-Engage in self-blame
1. C-Connect with the person
It is tempting to try to remain ‘friends’ or to stalk your ex on social media. Yet, Anabel Quan-Hasse (2014) says that staying connected with your ex after a breakup can increase distress. So, it is best to resist the urge by unfollowing and blocking your ex on ALL platforms. You can also delete their number to avoid calling them in some low moments you may experience.
2. H-Hold on to memories
Retaining any photos, emails, or gifts related to your ex will not help recover from the breakup. Relationship research has found that keeping such possessions reduces post-breakup adjustment. Hence, take the step right now and delete anything online or offline related to your ex. It will help you forget the negative experiences and enhance your adjustment.
3. A-Aim for immediate closure
Kubler-Ross (2005) suggests five stages of how we process the loss of any relationship. These stages are-denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. You may experience these stages in a different order or for various lengths of time. The critical takeaway is that-grieving takes time. So don’t force yourself to feel better immediately, but start living your life gradually.
4. S-Suppress your emotions
You may tend to hide your feelings and not discuss the breakup with anyone. To recover and adjust well, you must express your emotions. You can do this by talking to someone you trust or through expressive writing. Whichever technique you use, you must accept the fact that you have broken up with that person. Then, let yourself process that information, and remember not to rush the process.
5. E-Engage in self-blame
It is common for someone who has experienced a breakup to engage in self-blame or blaming the ex. Psychologists have found that this can lead to more emotional problems. It would be best if you remembered that there are always two perspectives. So don’t get into the blame game. You can focus on your positive qualities and engage in activities that make you happy.