We’ve all been there - the end of a relationship where you’re heartbroken and feel like everything is lost.  Tears are streaming down your face, and you’ve been hiding out in your house, afraid to face the world. The good news is, broken hearts heal in time. The bad news is, it feels really crappy when you’re going through it. Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of broken hearts and failed relationships. Most of the time, when you’re going through a breakup, you just want to be left alone. You’re sick of the positive friends telling you everything will be alright. Or the negative friends who are so quick to tell you what a jerk he was.

As hard as it may to believe, this breakup was important. Your past relationships teach you how to find successful future relationships. You may have heard the country song by Rascal Flatts, Bless the Broken Road”.  It describes the difficulties he went through before meeting his wife. As with you, these difficulties and break ups will each teach you valuable lessons and point you in the right direction to finally meet the right person you’re supposed to be with.

Follow these steps compiled from my own experience and others, to get over a breakup and get back on the dating scene a wiser person.

Step #1 - Cry as Much as You Want

Woman crying over breakup
Woman crying over breakup

Really, there’s no limit to tears you need to cry. There’s nothing wrong with crying! It’s just your body’s way of releasing your emotions. They’ve proven that going through a break up activates the same parts of the brain that an addict goes through when going through withdrawal.  Loss of appetite, anxiety, fatigue, and other symptoms experienced by addicts are the same for people going through a break-up. Don’t let anyone tell you to “put on a strong face” or “stop the waterworks.” You cry it out. It’s just a part of the process.

Step #2 - Immediately Delete or Block Him or Her on Facebook

Delete him on Facebook
Delete him on Facebook

Facebook is a dangerous place for you after a break up. First, there is the dreaded “relationship status” change. Then, there’s the chance you will be tempted to stalk your ex to see what he’s up to, or worse, comment on his page. Also, there’s a chance photos of him with other girls may appear which may or may not be an attempt to play games and make you jealous. Don’t succumb to Facebook pressure. It’s best to just adjust your privacy setting and remove the relationship box completely so no one starts asking you questions. Then remove him or block him as a friend. If you don’t, you will be driven completely crazy by his updates.

Facebook has been known to drive people nuts and contribute to the demise of an extraordinary amount of relationships. Even if FaceBook didn’t help end your relationship, do yourself a favor and don’t allow it to make your split that much more difficult.

Step #3 - Let it out and take up a new YOU hobby

Take up a hobby
Take up a hobby

You’re single so now you have time to go and pursue all those things you’ve wanted, but maybe the time commitment of the relationship has been preventing you from exploring those new hobbies.

If you’re still angry about the breakup, opt for a hobby that lets you blow off some steam like kick boxing. Also, running can be a great release.  It’s important to let it out.  You’ll feel better.

If you’re in a phase of finding yourself, think back to a hobby you used to love as a child. Maybe you enjoyed dancing or painting. Take up a hobby that is just for you and lose yourself in it.  Here are a couple of ideas - take a cooking class, try yoga, learn a new language, how about a flying lessons, there are a ton of classes offered by Community education, and the options are endless.

The key is to focus on yourself and do something new and productive for you.  It doesn’t necessarily need to be a hobby.  It could even be  getting that license or certification for your career.

Not only will you derive confidence from this new endeavor, but you’ll likely meet new people, and you’ll become more attractive to the opposite sex.  People are attracted to well rounded interesting people and you want to become the person you’re attracted to.  Like attracts like.

Step #4 - Acknowledgement & Acceptance

Once the relationship is over, it’s important to take a moment to reflect on that fact.  This can be done through meditation, just sitting still and talking to yourself while breathing deeply for a couple of minutes. When you’re done, you’ll have a great feeling of clarity and will be better able to move forward and do what you need to.

Step #5 - Make a list

Write out all the things you learned about this relationship and the break up. Did you learn that you don’t want to date someone that doesn’t go to church, that age is in fact more than just a number, what else? While you’re at it, list out what you learned from other past relationships.  Then, list out the positive things you learned. What did you like about this person and the prior relationships.  This list will help you to realize what it is you need in a relationship and who is the right person for you.

Step #6 - Do Not go out and have Casual Sex

Friends with benefits
Friends with benefits

It doesn’t work. I know you may think that it’ll help you get over them, but it doesn’t. The only thing it will succeed in doing is making you feel worse about yourself than you did before - and you may end up with a baby or a disease.

The heartbreak doesn’t go away just because you have someone new on your arm. It takes time and effort. You have to allow yourself the space to become whole again and get to know yourself and build up your self-esteem. Stay away from the casual sex. You’ll be happy you did in the long run.

Step #7 - Change their Number to “Do Not Call”

Delete his number
Delete his number

If you’re not ready to delete your ex’s number from your phone, simply replace their name with “Do Not Call” or “Do Not Text.” This way, every time you’re ready to call and say something pathetic, or send him a nasty text message, this name will be a quick reminder to leave it alone.

The more distance you can create between you and your ex, the quicker you will be on your road to recovery. But if you keep contacting him, it will only lead to more mean comments and stupid, meaningless arguments.

If they are messaging you, you can put a block on your phone. Some people even go as far as to get a new phone number and phone. You don’t want to let them continue to scrape at the wound.  It’s best to just close the door and cut ties completely.

Step #8 - Go Out With Your Friends

Go out with your girlfriends
Go out with your girlfriends

It’s probably been a while since you hit the town with your friends. Ladies, you know you love the chance to get dressed up and put on your dancing shoes. Going out with your friends is a perfect way to distract yourself and let loose. Just avoid places that your ex frequents or even places that friends of your ex frequent.  You don’t need to ruin the night by bumping into any of them.

If you’re friends are limited or they can’t get out of the house for some reason, then check out meetup.com.  This is a great way to meet new people because they have a ton of events happening all the time for singles and for people who just want to get out to make new friends.

Step #9 - You’re Fabulous

Remember you're fabulous
Remember you're fabulous

We spend so much of our time beating ourselves down. Negative thoughts like, “Maybe it’s because I’m not skinny enough”, or, “I wish I had done things differently” fill our heads. But instead of blaming yourself or highlighting your weaknesses, look back at the positive parts of your relationship and yourself.  It can be easy to get down, but it’s important to remind yourself how awesome you are.  Take time to write down five things you like about yourself.  Are you kind to others? Do you like animals? Are you funny? Use this list to reflect on later when you’re feeling down and a need reminder.

Your thoughts define you so keep it positive. Remember, that you’re amazing exactly the way you are.

Things Will Get Better

Things will get better
Things will get better

They always do.  Laughter is the best medicine and sometimes laughter really can help heal a broken heart. Although it might feel tough right now, you will laugh again soon. That deep, heart-felt, rumbling laugh that comes from your tummy. In the future, you’ll be able to look back at it all and see things from a new perspective.

In the meantime, watch funny movies or cat videos, spend time with friends, pamper yourself at the spa, and just enjoy yourself.

Following these steps, won’t get you back into the relationship you just left, but they will make you feel better.  As we learned earlier, just like addicts going through withdrawal, time does heal all wounds. This is just one more step on the broken road that will lead you to become a better person and in the right relationship.

I want to hear from you. How did you get over a breakup? Tell us your story in the comments.

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