Even when a split was amicable, just thinking about moving on can tempt you to fall into a pit of despair and soggy tissues, hatching a fail-proof plot to win them back. However, once the crazy fades, it’s time to find a way to move forward.
Work on yourself
Take time to reflect on areas where you can improve. Think about behaviors and habits you have that might have been detrimental to past relationships. How can you become a better partner going forward? Could you be a better listener, better at supporting your partner’s interests, kinder to their friends? Think about who you want to become and make a plan to get there.
“Every past relationship can teach you a lesson,” said Katelyn Whiteley, from Saratoga Springs, Utah. “It’s super important to appreciate and learn from those lessons, instead of just being bitter that a relationship didn’t work out.”
Don’t rush it
After a breakup, the idea of finding someone new and jumping right back into a relationship can seem attractive, without taking any time to process what contributed to the end of the relationship. However, it’s important to take time to find closure. Jumping into a relationship too fast can backfire if the other person thinks they’re just a rebound, or if you’re not ready to be in a relationship. Take some time to refocus, and just enjoy being single.
Cultivate meaningful relationships
When in a serious relationship, it’s common for other connections, such as those with friends and roommates, to take a back seat. Now that you’re unattached, focus on strengthening those connections and catching up on what you missed while off in la-la land. These relationships can keep you grounded, and will be a strength to you in your weak “what if they want me to call them” moments. However, when you get back into a relationship, don’t just throw your friends to the side again.
Make a Change
Whether it’s trying a new hairstyle, buying a new pair of shoes or starting to actually work out, change something in your daily routine that will make you happier and more motivated. With a fresh start comes a fresh perspective that can help lift you out of the post-breakup blues.
Clear the clutter
Those notebooks where you doodled your initials next to theirs? Toss them. The teddy bear they won for you at the carnival? Donate it to the D.I. Photos from a special date? Move them to that dusty box of mementos in the top of your closet. Getting rid of these daily reminders can help you find closure and be more prepared to eventually start a new, healthy relationship.
Write a wish list
After you’ve gotten to a stage where you can look back on the relationship without bursting into tears, consider the things you liked or disliked about it. Was your ex supportive of your interests? Did they get along with your family? Did your friends think they were weird? Compile a list of things you would like to continue having in future relationships, as well as things you want to avoid.
Clear your phone
The application of this principle really depends on the nature of the breakup. Still going to be friends? Try changing your ex’s name in your phone from the cutesy nickname with a heart to their actual name. Bad breakup? Delete it altogether, or change it to something along the lines of “Do Not Answer.” While it might seem tempting to keep old messages to remember better days gone by, keep yourself from falling into that trap by deleting them from your phone. Reading and rereading them won’t change anything, and won’t do anything but make you miserable.
Like Elle Woods said in the movie “Legally Blonde,” “exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” But really, use this as an opportunity to get out any negative emotions, and to get out of the house. Channeling your energy and emotions into something productive can help change your perspective and change your outlook.
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