How to handle a breakup

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How do I handle a breakup?  This is the million dollar question. And it seems like no matter how hard you try, in the midst of it all, you will never find the answer. Fortunately, That’s not truth.

“Trust that an ending is followed by a beginning.”

-Faraaz Kazi

I know. It sounds so simple, but it is the best advice I can give.

Breakups…. they’re a part of life, especially if you’re part of the dating world.  Many of us have been through at least one and let’s be real… breakups suck.  Even when it’s mutual and handled with benevolence, a breakup can be one of the most stressful and emotional experiences of your life.  

Post breakup is a good time to rebuild and rebrand

Whether the breakup occurred because of miscommunication, infidelity, or a lack of attraction, there are many things you can do to rebrand yourself and a few reasons you might want to do so. This isn’t for everyone but it does tend to help boost self confidence.

For some, this may mean optimizing your chances of successfully getting back together with your ex.  It could be the boost your relationship needed to relight the flame. Just keep in mind, depending on the relationship, this might not work. It may simply be the end. And this is ok. No matter the outcome, there are ways to handle this breakup.

Now, for those us who feel getting back together with your ex is not on the radar, it will still help you occupy your thoughts and focus on yourself. It will give you the opportunity, if not an excuse, to treat yourself with a bit of extra self love.

Rebranding doesn’t mean you have to change the whole you. It’s about rebuilding and regaining the parts of yourself you feel had been lost. It can be done on any level, minor to major, as long as it makes you feel good about you.

Breakup recovery paths

There are many paths you can choose when thinking of how to handle a breakup. This road will be ultimately different for everyone. This is just a part of the human experience, geared by individual experiences and beliefs.

In the end, the goal is to successfully move on and meet someone new (if you so choose).  Regardless, the steps laid out can be used for whatever route you decide to take.  This consists of:

  1. Reaching out to a support system
  2. Gaining perspective on what led to the breakup
  3. Maintaining Space – The No Contact Period
  4. Focus on rebuilding confidence
  5. Focus on personal growth
  6. Stay Active

The anatomy of a breakup

Many people, the moments right after a breakup, are upset and depressed, which is completely valid and understandable.  Your heart is broken, even if only for a moment. This is when the breakup is hardest to handle.

Feelings of grief are inevitable so allow yourself time to grieve the loss of your relationship and understand that you do not have to go through this alone. 

In fact, do not go through it alone

7 things to remember post breakup

  1. Reach out to others for support like friends and family and surround yourself with trusted people.  You might feel like being alone and closing yourself off to others, but isolating yourself will only make the breakup more difficult.  Support during the grieving stage is the first critical step in coping with a breakup. Even if it’s in the form of counseling.
  2. Once you are in a stable mindset, consider to gain perspective on what happened during the relationship that may have led to the breakup.  Assess the highs and lows and how it made you feel.  
  3. “The No Contact Period”. This typically lasts around 30 days and can be longer depending on your situation. In this scenario, you absolutely do not under any circumstance, text, call, or communicate with your ex. The whole idea is to show that you are attractive, busy, independent, confident, and strong. This method of distancing yourself from your ex and the breakup shows that you can break up without breaking down.
  4. Build confidence in yourself. Especially if you have already made the mistakes mentioned above.  Go back to number 2 and evaluate what started making you insecure to begin with. You may find this relationship to be toxic and see you are better off. You may also find there was something creating your insecurities before your current relationship. Either way, acknowledgement of the true cause to your pain is a major step in recovering happiness.
  5. Focus on personal development before reaching out to your ex.  Take time for yourself.  Building stability and self confidence will shine through to everyone, including your lost love.
  6. Make sure you’re changing, being active, and building space to focus on you and not your ex.  Activity is the best thing to keep your mind in the right place.

Post breakup takeaways

  • Go no contact, giving you and your ex space.
  • Rebuild and/or rebrand.
  • Love yourself. Strive to be the best YOU, you can be.

Give your ex the gift of missing you, be positive, eliminate negative mindsets and behaviors, and make a plan for the next 30 days to improve your lifestyle.  

In light of rebuilding yourself, have your own life and find your own purpose.  Be sure to stay active, pick up new hobbies, maybe hit the gym, and make plans to catch up with friends.  Do whatever you can to stay busy to remember you have a life outside your ex. 

But remember. It is up to you to regain your self-esteem and be positive.  Focus on what you can control and be patient with the process.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Once you are able to plant your feet again, you can decide if you want to reach out to your ex.  

For those of us that prefer to maintain a friendship or still feel the urge to rekindle the relationship, it can be as simple as a text or phone call. If things ended on bad terms with your ex, an email is not a bad idea, either.  

Essentially, ensure that you are in an neutral place emotionally. Use confidence, courage, and charisma to display to your ex, your fun and evocative transformation. If it is meant to be you will know.

Should you give it another go?

Whether your relationship lasted a month, a few months, a year, or longer, there is always hope in re-attracting ex. 

couple on a ladder painting

If you choose to do so, make sure they are for the right reasons.  Take the break up as an opportunity. Stay positive and stay optimistic.  Time will heal and understanding that there are ways for you to reverse the breakup together is key to giving it a second chance. Sometimes this is best done in counseling where the environment is neutral and mediated, but again this depends on you, your partner, and your shared beliefs.

Be patient and the right person will come around. If your ex cannot see the goodness in you, it is okay. There is an abundance of people in this world that you can and will meet.  Every relationship is a learning experience and every failed relationship and rejection is one step closer to the one you are looking for. 

Every end has a beginning.

Colby Yu -Associate Outpatient Counselor

If you feel your breakup is simply too hard to handle, Makin Wellness counselors are a great support system. Please feel free to call 1-833-274-4325 to get paired with a top rated counselor.

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Sara Makin MSEd, LPC, NCC

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