A breakup can feel like the end of the world, and it some ways it is. Youíve lost the future you were building with your ex, and dealing with those emotions can be incredibly painful. However, you can start to feel better as you go through the process of grieving your relationship, and time will heal your wounds. By letting yourself grieve, you can process your emotions so you can move on to a bright future.

EditCoping in the First Few Days

  1. Take a few days to yourself to process your emotions. Ending a relationship is similar to a death because youíre losing someone from your life. Additionally, youíre losing the future you had with that person. Give yourself permission to spend 3-5 days dealing with your emotions and grieving your loss. During this time, focus on self-care and self-compassion.

    • For instance, do things that relax your body, like soaking in a bathtub, getting a massage, or snuggling with your pet. Additionally, nourish your body with nutritious foods and exercise to release endorphins that will make you feel better.
    • Give yourself permission to do what makes you feel better without judging yourself for it.

  2. Vent your feelings to a trusted friend or relative. Talk to someone you trust about the painful emotions youíre feeling. This can help you get everything out so you can start feeling better. Before you talk to them, let them know that youíre not asking for advice.

    • Say, ďI really need to talk about my feelings, but I donít want you to give me advice.Ē
    • It may help to talk to several people, so reach out if you need support.

  3. Spend time with family and friends to remind yourself youíre loved. When youíre going through the grieving process, relying on your community can help you get through. Reach out to your friends and loved ones for support. At first, invite them to spend time with you in your home. When youíre ready, go on social outings with the people you care about.

    • Itís important to remind yourself that your relationship with your ex isnít your only relationship.
    • For instance, invite your best friends over to watch movies or play games. Alternatively, join your friends for dinner or dancing.

  4. Create a routine to help you get used to your new normal. A breakup can throw your life off balance because it changes how you spend your time, as well as your expectations for the future. This can be disorienting, but a new routine may help you find your footing. Write out a schedule for your day that includes your responsibilities, time for your interests, and time for self-care. Adjust this routine until you find a schedule that feels comfortable for you.

    • For example, you might wake up at 7:00 a.m. to workout and take a shower. Then, you may spend your day at work or school. After work, you could set aside time to go out with your friends or work on a hobby. During the evening, you might plan a warm bath and meditation as part of your self-care routine.

  5. Distract yourself from your pain with a fun activity. Since being in a relationship made you feel good, the end of your relationship can flood you with painful emotions. Doing something pleasurable may help relieve your pain because it can release a flood of dopamine. Pick activities that make you happy, like playing with your pet, dancing, or getting coffee with a friend. Then, do at least 1 a day to help you cope with the pain you feel.[1]

    • For example, take your dog to a dog park, get a massage, or go roller skating with your friends.

EditCutting Your Ex Out of Your Life

  1. Remove all of the physical reminders of your relationship. Seeing items that remind you of your ex will make you miss them more. This makes it hard to move on! Throw out anything that reminds you of them, such as gifts, pictures, or cards.

    • If you donít want to throw away the items, put gifts, photos, letters, cards, and other mementos into a box. Give the box to a trusted friend or relative so you wonít be tempted to open it.

  2. Delete all of your digital communications and pictures. You might be tempted to read through your old texts or messages to look for signs of what went wrong or to relive the good times, but this will make it harder for you to get over the pain of the breakup. Delete the digital footprint of your relationship so you wonít be tempted to look at it. This includes text messages, emails, app messages, and photos.

    • If you have photos of special events, like your birthday party, that you donít want to delete, send them to someone you trust for safe keeping. Then, you can get the photos back once youíre over the breakup.

  3. Block your ex on social media so you wonít see their updates. Seeing your exís social media updates will only make the breakup hurt more. Seeing them happy may make you feel awful, so donít put yourself through that. Unfollow or block all of their pages, and resist creeping on their accounts.

    • If youíre having trouble unfollowing or blocking them, take a break from social media altogether.

  4. Delete and block their number from your phone. Itís normal to want to text or call them, but doing so will only make you feel worse. Every time you see or talk to them, youíll reignite your craving for them. Remove them from your contacts so that you canít give into the temptation to call or text. Then, block their number so they canít reach out to you.

EditReleasing Your Emotions

  1. Recognize and name the emotions that youíre feeling. Youíre likely feeling sad, angry, confused, and possibly regretful. Give yourself permission to feel your emotions, then name what youíre feeling. This can help you process your emotions so you can grieve.[2]

    • For instance, you might say to yourself, ďI feel sad because I thought this relationship would last forever. I also feel confused because I donít know what went wrong.Ē

  2. Close your eyes and identify how your emotions are affecting your body. Emotions are often physical as well as mental. That means your feelings will be causing sensations in your body, like pain, tightness, heat, coldness, or tension. Focus your attention on what youíre feeling in your body so that you can work on releasing it.[3]

    • As an example, you might feel a tightness in your chest, a knot in your stomach, or coldness throughout your body. Similarly, your face might feel hot or you might have cold sweats.

  3. Respond to the emotion by giving it a natural release. You need to release your pent-up emotions to help you feel better. Sometimes you can do this by talking or writing out your thoughts. However, you might need to do something physical, like crying or doing kickboxing. Do what feels right for you.[4]

    • For instance, you might cry, scream, or exercise to release your feelings. Similarly, you could talk to your best friend or write in a journal.
    • If the first thing you try doesnít work, try something else.

  4. Reflect on your experience by writing out your thoughts. Use free writing or journaling to help you process what happened. Examine how you feel, what you learned, and what you can do moving forward. During your reflection, try to answer the following questions:

    • Whatís upsetting you most?
    • Whatís frustrating you?
    • What is your body trying to tell you?
    • What can you learn from this experience?
    • How will you approach your next relationship differently?
    • How do you see your future?

  5. Forgive your ex if they hurt you. Itís really hard to forgive someone who hurt you, but doing it will help you feel better. Acknowledge to yourself that what they did hurt you and that they were wrong for doing it. Then, accept that what happened is in the past and thereís nothing that can change it. Finally, state your forgiveness to yourself or in a letter that you donít send.

    • You donít need to tell your ex that youíre forgiving them. This process is about you letting go of your hurt feelings.

EditMoving on After a Breakup

  1. Use mindfulness to help you focus on the present, not the past. Being mindful helps you ground yourself in the present, which helps you stop thinking about your past. To be more in the present, engage your 5 senses and describe your surroundings. Additionally, meditate for at least 10 minutes a day to help you stay grounded in the moment.[5]

    • For a simple meditation, sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. If you want a guided meditation, try an app like Calm, Insight Timer, or Headspace.

  2. Focus your energy on yourself, not your ex. After a breakup, itís natural to want to talk about your exís bad qualities, and you may be curious about what theyíre doing now. However, any time that you spend thinking or talking about your ex is time thatís stolen from yourself. Donít let your ex take any more of your energy than they already have. Instead, spend your time and energy building a life you want.Advertisement

    • At first, itís good to vent to friends about how your ex hurt you. However, donít keep coming back to this topic. If you find yourself bringing up your ex while youíre trying to move on, switch the topic to something good thatís happening in your life. You might say, ďThatís enough about Ted. Did I tell you I started taking an art class?Ē

  3. Pursue hobbies and interests youíve always wanted to try. Typically, relationships take away some of your independence and part of your identity. Being single lets you focus on what you want, as well as living your best life. Spend time every day doing at least 1 thing that helps you pursue a hobby, goal, or interest. For example, you might do the following:

    • Take a class.
    • Join a meetup.
    • Learn to play an instrument.
    • Spend more time with your friends.
    • Travel to a place youíve always wanted to go.
    • Pursue a dream youíve always had.

  4. Do things your way without worrying what others think. One of the best parts of being single is not having to answer to anyone. You can wear what you like, keep your room how you like, and go and do what you like. Forget about the things your partner liked and try to do things as you like to do them.

    • For instance, letís say your ex liked long hair but youíve been wanting a fresh style. You might go get a haircut. Similarly, if your ex hated Italian food but you love spaghetti, go get some pasta.
    • If you lived with your ex and they liked doing laundry a certain way, ignore their rules and just do what makes you happy.

  5. Start dating again when youíre ready to make a connection. When your heart feels ready to love again, begin the process of finding a new partner. Focus on meeting people who spark your interest, not on finding your soul mate. Then, get to know the people you meet and let a natural connection blossom.

    • Donít try to recapture what you had with your ex. It takes time for a relationship to grow, and each relationship is different.
    • If you find yourself comparing new people to your ex, you might want to wait a little while longer before you start dating.


  • Being in a relationship makes you feel a rush of dopamine, which is a feel good hormone. That means that a breakup can cause you to feel actual withdrawals. As painful as this is, the best way to get over them is to avoid your ex.
  • If youíre struggling to deal with your emotions and move on, itís best to talk to a therapist. They can help you process your emotions and start moving on.


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