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17 Science-Backed Secrets to Get Over a Breakup You Caused & Not Regret It

Breaking up is hard enough—but what if you caused it? We’ve put together these steps to begin healing and get over a breakup you caused.

get over a breakup you caused

Breaking up with someone is a lot like binge-watching a Netflix series you can’t decide if you love or hate. You’re invested, you’ve spent hours, maybe even days, engrossed in the drama, and then you hit “end series.” There’s an odd mix of relief and emptiness. The remote is in your hand; you had the power, but what now? If you’re here reading this, chances are you’re wrestling with how to get over a breakup you caused.

It’s like navigating an emotional labyrinth, and guess what? You’re both the Minotaur and Theseus in this Greek tragedy. Yup, you’re the villain and the hero, tied up in a complex web of feelings and repercussions.

[Read: Dumper’s regret – A timeline and stages of remorse when you dump someone]

The Emotional Toll of Causing a Breakup

Dealing with a breakup is hard enough, like getting gum stuck to the bottom of your emotional shoe. But when you’re the one who initiated it, you’re not just trying to scrape off that gum—you also have to clean up the mess it’s made.

As you’re grappling with how to get over a breakup you caused, you might notice a cocktail of emotions swirling inside you.

The truth is, being the initiator of the breakup doesn’t free you from the emotional weight. Ever heard of “cognitive dissonance“? It’s a psychological term that refers to the discomfort you feel when you hold two conflicting beliefs or attitudes.

You wanted the breakup, yet you’re hurting.

Your brain is, metaphorically speaking, playing emotional ping-pong with itself. This dissonance is your mind’s way of asking you to pay attention, not to escape.

If you’re feeling like you’ve been cast in the role of the villain in a telenovela, you’re not alone. The emotions you’re feeling are what psychologists call “moral emotions“—guilt, shame, and embarrassment.

They’re part of the emotional upholstery when you’re figuring out how to get over a breakup you caused. Think of these emotions as sticky notes your psyche is using to mark pages for future reflection.

Ignore them, and you’re skipping essential chapters in your emotional book.

Surefire Ways to Get Over a Breakup You Caused

Regardless of how heavy your heart may feel, the fact remains that you’ve shaken up someone else’s world while navigating your own emotional earthquake.

Instead of getting lost in the labyrinth of ‘could-have-beens’ and ‘what-ifs,’ let’s focus on actionable steps to not only climb out of this emotional pit but also plant some flowers along the way.

This is your roadmap to the complex task of getting over a breakup you caused, without making a pit stop at Guilt Central Station.

1. Self-Reflect

If you’re on a mission to get over a breakup you caused, knowing thyself is step numero uno. Enter Carl Rogers’ idea of “self-concept.” This is all about painting an authentic portrait of yourself, not the Insta-filtered version.

When you look in that metaphorical mirror, the clearer the reflection, the better you’ll navigate your emotional maze. [Read: Honest, self-reflection questions to recognize the real YOU inside]

2. Address Your Motivations

Keep yourself grounded by remembering why you broke up with them in the first place. Are your reasons anchored in “intrinsic motivations,” like core value differences or personal growth? Or were they swayed by “extrinsic motivations,” such as social pressure or circumstantial factors?

Either way, knowing your why is like reading the recipe before baking a post-breakup cake—you’ll end up with fewer emotional burnt edges.

3. Accept and Learn

Right now, you’re sifting through emotional debris but finding gems in the rubble. Polish those gems using the concept of “positive disintegration” by Dąbrowski. It’s a way to rebuild stronger after experiencing emotional crumbling.

In the context of getting over a breakup you caused, positive disintegration isn’t about wallowing in guilt or regret.

Rather, it’s acknowledging your flaws and learning from your mistakes to set new standards for your future relationships.

It’s taking that unpolished gem of personal insight, giving it a good buffing, and setting it into a new piece of emotional jewelry that you’ll wear into your next relationship.

4. Finding Closure Inside

Who says closure is a two-player game? In your quest to get over a breakup you caused, consider the idea of internal closure.

Newsflash: You don’t need their signature to complete your emotional closure document. It’s a self-signed PDF, my friends. [Read: Closure after a relationship – 29 signs you haven’t got it & ways to move on]

5. Leave the Ex Alone

It might sound harsh, but maintaining no contact could be the best gift you give to both yourself and them.

Even if you’re drowning in guilt and want to “check-in,” remember that they also need space and time to heal. Your intentions might be golden, but silence is sometimes the most empathetic response. [Read: No contact rule – What it is, 29 secrets and why it works so well]

6. Building Emotional Resilience

Emotional resilience is your built-in shock absorber for life’s bumpy roads. It’s that invaluable quality that helps you rebound from setbacks, and it doesn’t appear overnight.

By acknowledging your emotional triggers and learning to reframe negative thoughts, you equip yourself to face challenges head-on.

Add to that the art of learning from setbacks rather than getting mired in them, and voila, you’re well on your way to becoming an emotional Einstein.

7. Social Media Hiatus

We know that the urge to chronicle your emotional journey can be strong, especially when you’re scrolling through everyone else’s curated lives.

But when trying to get over a breakup you caused, keeping a low profile online can be incredibly beneficial. Social media is neither a therapy session nor a courtroom for airing grievances.

Stepping back from the digital world allows you to focus on genuine healing without the distractions of likes, shares, or unwarranted advice from internet strangers.

In essence, a hiatus can be your emotional detox, helping you center your thoughts and navigate your feelings without an audience. [Read: Still attached to your ex? 26 signs, why it happens and how to break free]

8. Journaling

And whenever you feel like posting a full-on emotional essay on social media, consider redirecting that impulse to the safe, judgment-free zone of your journal instead.

Meet your new emotional guru: a pen and paper. This isn’t just a channel for teenage angst or a repository for midnight musings. Journaling is a science-backed method for cognitive restructuring.

By putting your feelings and thoughts into words, you’re not just venting; you’re dissecting your emotional narrative, gaining insights, and even stumbling upon your own wisdom.

It’s a self-led course in understanding the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of your actions and emotions. [Read: Social media and relationships – 47 rules, etiquette and where people go wrong]

9. Physical Exercise

Sweat the sadness away! Exercise releases endorphins, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters.

No, this isn’t a sweatier version of running from your problems; it’s literally moving toward mental well-being. [Read: 26 secrets to get motivated to workout & exercise your way to a better life]

10. Engaging in New Hobbies

Think of diving into new hobbies as the ultimate cognitive detour—a scenic route away from dwelling on the past.

Whether it’s mastering the art of sourdough bread or conquering virtual worlds in a video game, new hobbies serve as an emotional palate cleanser. They not only offer a refreshing mental break but also build a barricade between you and those tempting thoughts about the ‘what-could-have-beens.’

Plus, new activities introduce you to different social circles and perspectives, broadening your horizons while narrowing the path back to emotional pitfalls.

In short, picking up a new hobby is like installing an ad-blocker for unwanted thoughts, helping you navigate towards a healthier mental space. [Read: How to get a life: 20 things you MUST do to feel alive again]

11. Volunteer or Do Charity Work

Speaking of new hobbies, why not try doing charity work? It might sound odd, but giving to others can offer a fresh perspective and make your personal issues seem smaller. It’s not about running away from your problems, it’s about expanding your view.

The psychological concept here is “prosocial behavior,” which has been shown to improve mood and well-being.

12. Talking to Friends and Family

When it comes to emotional well-being, humans are a lot like wolves—better off in packs. But, not all pack members are created equal, right?

While opening up can lighten your emotional load, remember that this is not an open invitation to pour your heart out to just anyone who’ll listen. Think of this as selective herd emotional resilience.

Choose your emotional sounding boards wisely; go for those who offer a balanced mix of empathy, wisdom, and maybe even a dash of tough love when needed.

The idea is to share, but with the right folks, because as they say, “a problem shared with the right person is a problem well and truly halved.”

13. Cut Out Toxic Influences

When you’re trying to get over a breakup you caused, the last thing you need is a Greek chorus of negativity echoing in your ear.

Surrounding yourself with people who perpetuate your guilt or paint you as a villain can make an already difficult emotional journey even harder. This is where the psychology concept of “social contagion” comes into play—emotions and behaviors can spread quickly among people.

If you’re around individuals who constantly remind you of your missteps or add to your guilt, their attitudes can become your own.

Reevaluate your social circle and consider distancing yourself from those who aren’t supportive of your growth and healing.

By pruning these toxic influences, you free up emotional space to genuinely focus on your own betterment. [Read: Toxic people: 48 warning signs & the best ways to deal with them]

14. Consume Uplifting Content

Sure, your “Wee Sad Hour” playlist might be your go-to right now, but looping “All By Myself” isn’t going to help you get over a breakup you caused.

Listening to tear-jerking tunes or watching melodramatic movies might feel cathartic, but it only encourages you to sulk in your emotional muck.

That’s a classic example of mood-congruent memory, a psychological phenomenon where your current emotional state influences what you remember or think about. In other words, if you’re down and the content you consume is down, you’re basically stuck in an emotional quicksand.

So, pivot your focus. Choose podcasts, books, or even YouTube videos that lift your spirits, offer new perspectives, or, at the very least, distract you from your emotional rut. The shift in what you consume can often lead to a shift in how you feel. [Read: 45 secrets to be more positive and fill your mind with positive emotions 24/7]

15. Educate Yourself

It might not be the most fun part of recovery, but understanding what went wrong can prevent history from repeating itself.

Whether it’s reading articles, academic papers, or consulting relationship experts, knowledge is empowering.

16. Consult a Therapist

Sometimes, trying to get over a breakup you caused can be a little too much to handle on your own, no matter how much uplifting content you’ve consumed or friends and family you’ve talked to.

In cases like these, a therapist can serve as an invaluable resource.

Offering tools and strategies rooted in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), they can help you sort through complex feelings, identify unhelpful thought patterns, and provide practical coping mechanisms.

It’s a tailored approach to addressing the emotional intricacies that friends, family, or even a well-curated playlist might not fully unravel.

17. Re-entering the Dating Scene

If you’re thinking about dipping your toes back into the dating scene, it’s important to first make sure you’re doing so for the right reasons—and not just as an emotional band-aid to cover up lingering feelings or guilt.

Before you swipe right or plan that charming first date, take a moment to assess your own emotional readiness and intentions. Are you genuinely excited to meet new people, or are you trying to prove something to yourself or others?

The psychology of “attachment styles” can offer valuable insights here. Knowing whether you’re anxious, avoidant, or securely attached can provide a roadmap for healthier future relationships.

By ensuring you’re emotionally grounded and self-aware, you can approach new relationships without the baggage of unresolved issues.

It’s Not Going to be Easy

Navigating the emotional jungle gym is never straightforward, especially when you’re the architect of your own heartbreak. It’s like trying to beat a video game that you programmed to be difficult.

[Read: 58 life-changing secrets to get over a breakup and heal your broken heart]

But hey, look on the bright side—you’ve also got the cheat codes. So go ahead and tackle these surefire ways to get over a breakup you caused. After all, you’re not just a work in progress; you’re a masterpiece in the making. You’re going to stumble and trip, but always remember, you’re definitely worth the Band-Aids.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...