Heartbreak is a big topic this Autumn, so I wanted to dedicate a blog to those of you saying ‘so long’ to a lover. It’s not easy to overcome the biochemistry and mental exhaustion that floods you when you break up with your significant other, but you can make it easier on yourself by following my top 8 rules for getting over your ex husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/lover.
Take it Easy on the Booze
If you’re prone to acting out your frustrations with a bottle in hand, it might be time to rethink your strategy. A few too many drinks and suddenly calling your ex at 3am while you’re slumped on the street feels like a rad plan. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and clouds your thoughts, so there’s a good chance of you acting out of character and saying a few things you don’t mean. Add into it the misery of a hangover and dealing with the ‘what did I do last night?’ fall out.
Filter Your Social Media
If you’re one for sitting around lamenting on things and obsessively checking your ex’s various social media profiles, you are quite probably making your break-up recovery harder than it needs to be. By checking up on your ex’s social activity, you’re not only likely to see things you don’t want to – you’re also more likely to post things to create reactions. If you have a lot of mutual friends, think about hiding posts from the ones you won’t be spending much time with. If there’s a channel that feels especially bad to see, consider blocking your ex for the time being. Just until you heal.
Don’t Make Excuses to Make Contact
I’ve found that book you brought over a year ago. Some of your laundry was still in the basket. Are you going to be at Kate’s party? Post break-up you’re likely to find 100 reasons you ‘need’ to talk to your ex, just make sure they’re all valid – Don’t play games. How much more stuff are you likely to find about the house in the next month? Do you really want that XBox controller you paid for back? Sure, if your ex owes you a bomb in rent or you really can’t find out their social plans through a friend, do the do. But remember that the less contact you have, the better it’s likely to be in the long run.
Learn to Back Off
If you’ve managed to exercise self-restraint (no, not in the bondage sense) and haven’t got in touch, good work. It’s not uncommon for ex partners to get in touch just because they miss each other and that’s harmless if dealt with in the right way. Although it can bring memories back, you need to keep the reasons you broke up in perspective. If there’s no hope of reconciliation, it might be time to back off and stop replying. Don’t be afraid to tell your ex, kindly. It’s better to explain you don’t want to stay in touch than to leave them hanging on for your reply.
Rebound with Consideration
Relationship rebounds can make break-ups ugly. If rebounding is on your agenda, ask yourself why you want one. Looking for a new relationship? Chances are it isn’t going to be with your rebound. Want to hurt your ex? Revenge tactics won’t make you feel better. Really want to get laid because you’re horny? OK, you’ve got a case. Just be thoughtful about who you rebound with. Mutual friends, work colleagues and family members are out. Have safe sex, preferably with someone you know won’t rob your possessions overnight. And watch your alcohol intake, you don’t want to regret your rebound decisions.
Ditch Your Anger
Easier said than done, but the longer you stay angry at your ex – the longer the relationship fallout tends to be. Try to let go of any hostile feelings you have and if there’s something in particular that your ex did, forgive them for it. Dwelling on old anger issues isn’t going to do your mindset any favours and it also increases your desire to cause hurt or seek revenge in some other way. Do a Frozen, let it go.
Reach Out (to the right people)
Find constructive ways to talk about your feelings and be selective about who you discuss them with. The mate who always gives you the eye or the club crush you kissed a year back isn’t the one. Passive-aggressive social media statuses like sad lyrics or emjois don’t tend to help much either. Pick up the phone and call your closest confidants for the best help going – they know you well and are the perfect ‘salt of the Earth’ influence you need to guide you through things. They’re not afraid to call you on your bullshit and most of all, they want you to be happier. What better therapy is there?
Take Some You Time
Losing love hurts. If you don’t take some time to learn to be on your own, it’s likely to take longer to heal. You spend a lot of time in close contact with a partner and grieving the loss of that feeling of being ‘half of something’ is arguably the biggest hurdle you have to overcome.Spend your solo time constructively. Give airtime to your thoughts and feelings but use it to better yourself and your mood. Exercise, reading, taking walks, watching TV… whatever helps you feel at peace in your own company. Just make sure you’re looking after yourself physically and emotionally while you recover.