After the drama, the tears and the pain of a breakup, you may oftentimes see yourself in that numbing slump. Being single may start to feel new and almost alien to you. The “us” has been reduced to just “me,” and it can sometimes be very hard to deal with.
The typical picture of a person who is suddenly single is usually a person eating spoonfuls of ice cream while watching a sad movie or downing his tenth beer in a bar near closing time. This isn’t a healthy picture, but it’s not that far from reality.
You need to keep a hold of yourself. A breakup is not the end of the world. It’s the beginning of a potentially productive single life. Don’t ruin the start of this new phase in your life by burying yourself in your sadness. [Read: Surviving the first 168 hours after a break up]
What should you not do when you’re suddenly single?
But aside from wallowing in self pity, there are other things that you should be avoiding in order to make your transition from recently dumped to fabulously single much easier.
#1 Panic. Who’s going to call me? Who’s going to cuddle with me? Who’s going to love me?! These are some of the questions that may suddenly sink in when you’re single. But when all the questions, the doubts and the pain all pile up, you can start to feel overwhelmed and panicked.
Try to get a hold of your feelings, hard as it may seem. Articulate what you feel and allow yourself to experience your loss. But always keep in mind that a breakup doesn’t have to break you. You’re just separating yourself from someone who only occupied one chapter of your life. Your emotions may surmount, but you will get through it. Have faith that one day, this will all be in the past.
#2 Pointing fingers. It takes two people in a relationship to make it work. Blaming yourself won’t make your relationship suddenly become whole again. You’ll just end up thinking of a bunch of things you regret, but that won’t get you anywhere.
On the other hand, blaming your ex won’t do much good, either. It will just make you bitter and resentful. During these times, it’s just best to accept the facts. You both did what you could, or what you thought you should, and it resulted in the end of a relationship. [Read: 10 signs you’re letting a past relationship hold you back]
#3 Spending too much time alone. When a breakup hits you hard, it’s always a good idea to be in the company of people who can lift you back up. Being alone at such a vulnerable time can open you up to unhealthy thoughts. In the midst of your sadness, it’s easy to start thinking of what you did wrong, and this can do quite a number on your self esteem.
During these times, your friends and family should be able to understand that you’re in a state of loss. They can be the people who can help you through it, whether by simply listening or giving you advice on what to do.
#4 Talking about your ex too much. Your friends will be there to help you get through the breakup. But everyone has a limit to how much they can take. For the first few weeks you’re hanging out with your friends, it’s okay to go through a range of different emotions: sadness, anger, bitterness, the works. They’ll understand, and they’ll also probably humor you.
However, you should also know that your friends can’t be the recipients of your rants forever. They want to catch up with each other, too. Try to resist the urge to cry each time you have a night out. Otherwise, they may just stop inviting you out so they can avoid the drama.
#5 Letting yourself go downhill. You’ve lost the person you love, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose everything else in your life. You’re allowed to grieve for a while, but don’t let that grief take up the time you should be spending on other things like work, school or other obligations.
Being suddenly single will sting. But it’s the activities in your life that will help you get through it. Face the world head on, and show the world that this breakup won’t get in the way of your goals. If you need to, add more activities that you’ve always wanted to do like travelling, taking up a sport or learning something new.
#6 Holding on to your ex’s things. Every time you hug your ex’s old sweater, it may feel like your ex is back there with you. But when you open your eyes, you’re just holding on to a piece of cloth. Holding on to your ex’s stuff won’t prolong their stay in your life. It will just make it more difficult for you to move on.
Give yourself a day to gather up your ex’s stuff. Reminisce, if you like, or even cry your eyes out. But know that at the end of the day, you have to get rid of it all. Consider it as a physical manifestation of accepting the breakup. It can really lighten the load on your heart.
#7 Frequenting your old date spots. Unless you want to be reduced to a bucket of tears, try to steer clear of places where you used to go. It will only flood you with memories of the times you spent with your ex. Stay away from those places up until the time when you’re ready to make new memories in them. [Read: 8 most common post-breakup mistakes you should never do]
#8 Online stalking. At some point, you may be curious to know how your ex is doing. That’s where your old friend social media will come in. However, you have to prepare yourself for the possibility that your ex may be taking the breakup better than you. If you can’t take that chance, unfollow your ex or even swear off checking your online accounts for a while. [Read: 7 resolute ways to resist contacting the ex]
#9 Lashing out on social media. It’s very tempting to air out your grievances onto the internet where you can get sympathy from all sorts of people. However, there is never a good reason to turn a personal issue into a public one.
At first, it might feel good. But after a while, people will start getting tired of your drama. They may think you’re just looking for attention. Some online users may even bring you down even further. If you feel the need to express your feelings, use a journal or talk to a good friend. Facebook and Twitter are not online diaries!
#10 Using someone else to get over the ex. Ah, the wonders of a rebound! A breakup can make us feel unattractive and unwanted. This feeling can then get twisted into a desire to prove to ourselves that there are still some people who will desire us.
But before you hook up with that office mate you’ve been texting, you also have to consider their feelings. Don’t just use them to feel wanted and then drop them when you’ve gotten what you want. Be considerate of other people’s feelings, because you of all people would know how bad it feels to be abruptly dropped. [Read: 13 rebound sex questions you need to ask yourself]
#11 Your ex. It probably goes without saying that you should try to limit contact with your ex. Sometimes after a breakup, staying all chummy-chummy with your ex can bring back all those loving feelings. It can even make you forget why the relationship didn’t work.
Hanging out with your ex when you’re still getting over the breakup is like reminding yourself of what you can no longer have. Spare yourself from that and give yourself a boundary. It will make your transition into singlehood a lot easier. [Read: 12 reasons the no contact rule always works]
Avoid all these things, and your road towards getting over your ex will be much smoother. Don’t worry if you slip up from time to time. Just get back up, avoid the temptation to break down or contact the ex, and you should be fine.
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