Getting over a breakup is not an easy task for any of us. Whether it is because of the love that remains, the fear of being alone, or clinging hopelessly to memories, breakups are always hard. A whirlwind of emotions and thoughts can engulf you and make you question many things in your life.
I’ve seen breakups happen for some very sad reasons. Distance probably tops that list. It is hard to accept, but sometimes the distance might already be so much that you would just have to get over someone you never had in the first place. A lack of communication about expectations can also completely ruin the charm of a relationship. Many times, breakups also happen because of too much interference from families and friends. Their pressure, demands, and criticisms can negatively affect your relationship and your future with the one you love.
Sometimes people find themselves with a broken heart even though neither of the partners wished for the split. And they wonder, “How to get over a breakup when nothing was wrong?” To give you clarity on this matter, we had a conversation with counseling psychologist Namrata Sharma (Masters in Applied Psychology), who is a mental health and SRHR advocate and specializes in offering counseling for toxic relationships, trauma, grief, relationship issues, gender-based and domestic violence
Namrata tells us that a heart-to-heart conversation with your partner and a mutual understanding is the best way to get over a breakup that happened out of the blue. She says, “Suppose in a long-distance relationship, partners don’t see each other for a long time and there are hundreds of other complications. So, even though there was nothing wrong with the relationship, people start drifting away. It is a good idea to communicate with your partner why you were having trouble maintaining a healthy relationship, at least to find closure. Mutual understanding makes the transition easier because sometimes people tend to remain friends after a breakup like this.
“Having a conversation with friends helps you heal from the breakup too. You know, there is a typical way of breaking up where one partner ends the relationship by saying, “It’s not you, it’s me”. This is probably because they are in the process of finding themselves or they need some space to focus on their career. Either way, it hits the other person really hard with a great deal of self-blaming and a sense of guilt. In such cases, talking to a therapist will give you a holistic approach to deal with the pain so that you can eventually move on.”
How to Get Over A Breakup?
Sometimes, breakups are necessary. For example, you have been dating somebody because you love them but you both want to live in different cities and cannot see a solid future anymore. To unduly elongate that relationship is just extra stress both of you can do away with.
Even necessary breakups come with their dose of heartbreak. To survive that heartbreak, keeping your sanity in place becomes very important. Whether it is a breakup caused by distance or your feelings just got hit by a truck, you will undergo some observable changes.
We asked Namrata, “Is getting over a breakup when you still love them equally difficult?” She says, “It certainly is. You will see in many relationships the partners don’t get along after a point of time even though they still love each other. A series of ugly fights creates a distance between them. Here you need to figure out if you were getting used to the toxicity. To get over a breakup with someone you love, first, you need to start listing out the issues you are having in that relationship. Create a pros and cons list without hesitating. Writing these down will help you rationalize the whole situation if there was more bad than good.
“It will also give you a perspective if there was any hope of having a good future with this person. Do you really wish to see yourself like this ten years down the lane? Question yourself. Once you understand the depth of what you want, you can finally step into the first stage of getting over a breakup. Now, you have to start seeing a future without your partner. Focus on yourself as a single human being. It will be like building a completely new self altogether.”
To get over a breakup fast, some people delve into the power of silence after a breakup and some prefer to surround themselves with family and friends to make the healing faster. It’s okay! Life just has to go on. Dust yourself and take some key learning from your separation. Here are some effective ways to get over a breakup with someone you love.
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1. Do not obsess over your ex-partner
No matter how much you feel the need to just call them and tell them that you love them, you have to stop going back to them. To get over a breakup fast, you must ensure to keep your distance or at least try to follow the no-contact rule. Fixating on the past and getting obsessed over your ex’s life will only make it difficult for you to take a step ahead in life.
To keep that vulnerability in check, you must eventually stop discussing your past with people and repeatedly going over the same old troubles. Venting your pain and frustration to a friend is one thing. But if you are practically living in those days in your head, refusing to accept closure, then that’s not healthy in any way. You both took this step for a reason. Do justice to yourself and the future that lies ahead of you.
2. Keep the distance even on social media profiles
One of the most important steps to getting over a breakup is to become conscious of how your ex’s posts and pictures are making you feel. Stalking your ex on social media to check if they have a new partner or are doing well in life will make you feel mad in due course.
To get over a breakup when you still love them, you have to be careful with your actions to avoid spinning into a downward spiral. Watching too many of their pictures and videos is the exact way to ruin your progress. If you have managed to get a hold of your feelings, nothing like it. But if you are still constantly thinking about them, it might be a good idea to take a digital break from your social media apps.
Is blocking your ex on social media the best way to get over a breakup? According to Namrata, “It is a very subjective question as it’s a personal choice. If it was a healthy breakup and the couple decided to remain friends, leaving altogether can create an empty space in your life. Because most often the partners are part of a common social circle and they cannot entirely avoid each other. But if their social media presence seems to bother you or tempts you to get back to them, it’s harmless to block or delete their pictures.”
3. Stay away from the gossip to get over a breakup
The power of silence after a breakup is hugely impactful, you will see. If you and your previous partner were in the same friend circle, chances are there will be a lot of conversation about your lives and your breakup. To avoid getting caught in the crossfire of words, stories, and gossip, take some time off from talking or discussing it with people.
Their opinions might overshadow your strength and produce new feelings within you. These feelings may not always be helpful. Moreover, hearing about your ex’s new activities, dates, or a partner can also make you feel like an outsider. Do not self-isolate, but know when to end the conversation about your past relationship. State your boundaries with your friends, and if they care about you, they’ll understand.
4. Do not waste time trying to make your ex feel jealous
To get over a breakup when you still love them can be very challenging. To overcome the frustration, you might want to hurt your ex-partner. It is important to know that it will only make you feel worse than you already do. Deliberately posting pictures with new dates to achieve an underlying motive to hurt them is not going to give you the peace you need. Jealousy will only add to the mix of problems. Stop competing and start focusing on yourself.
Namrata says, “Trying to make your ex feel jealous is not one of the healthy steps to getting over a breakup. If your partner has decided to end the relationship for a certain reason, in a way, it is insulting to you. So, why stoop to such silliness when you should be concerned about your self-respect? You need to know your ultimate goal, whether you want to break up permanently or was it just a one-time thing. If it was a casual fight, you can still justify it. Otherwise, leaving them alone would be a wiser choice.”
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5. Be mindful of the tangible triggers around you
For the get-over-a-breakup psychology, your mind needs to be in a healthy space. If you are constantly surrounded by your ex-partner’s things, favorite cafes, or keep watching their favorite movies, chances are that your mind is running amok. It could be as simple as the perfume on their sweater or their shoes lying around your house. You do not necessarily have to throw these things out or return the gifts that they got you. Perhaps, it would be best to just move these things out of your sight.
If you are trying to get over a breakup fast, then being friends with your ex’s friends is not a good idea either. Do not drive to the same old roads where you used to walk or eat their favorite sushi at their favorite restaurant. Take a break and if possible, create your own new favorite spots and activities.
6. Is a rebound effective to get over a breakup?
That was a rhetorical question because no, it is not. To get over a breakup with someone you love, it might seem like a good idea to immediately find a new person to love and replace them. You have a fresh open wound and you will crave an attachment during a time like this. But adding a new person to your roller coaster of emotions is unfair to you and to them.
The excitement of a new relationship is not worth the web of emotional lies you would be spinning. A rebound relationship can’t really be a way to get over a breakup fast with someone you love deeply. It may seem like you are madly in love with this new person but to get over a breakup properly, you do need more time. By mixing your feelings, you might end up causing more pain than you can imagine.
7. Find activities that engage you to get over a breakup fast
By no more talking to your old partner, you will have a lot more time to spare on your hands. The power of silence after a breakup is not only emotionally satisfying but can also give you the space and energy to do the things you could not before. With all this time, the world truly is your oyster and you must use it well. Learn a new skill, bring out your old cookbooks, and get your game on!
Namrata suggests, “To cope with the empty feeling after a breakup, you can inculcate some interests, some long-lost hobbies. Do all those things that were restricted in the relationship – whatever makes you happy. Working out is a great way to get over a breakup with someone you love because there is a physical aspect to it and a lot of positive hormones are released. Even though you are feeling low all the time, a workout gives you a pump. Basically, you find a purpose through all of these activities.”
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8. Put your feelings to pen and paper
Whether it is a breakup you caused or somebody cheated on you, you might find yourself ruminating over past incidents. It won’t be easy to completely shun your thoughts but it is easier to write them down instead. To aid your get-over-a-breakup psychology, your thoughts need to be well in order.
Writing about your emotions can help you do that. Your feelings will always be valid and expressing them in written words might allow you to restructure them better. Whenever you find yourself overthinking or on the brink of a breakdown, grab your pen and paper and ease that racing mind.
“If you ask me for tips for getting over a breakup, I would say journaling is a very good way of expressing, venting, and acknowledging your feelings. You should also understand that having and writing about bad emotions is completely alright rather than bottling them up,” says Namrata.
9. Think deeply about the meaning of your life
Keeping yourself distracted by new pursuits might be great in the short term, but your life needs greater meaning to help you grow in the long term. Since you are carrying a huge emotional baggage now, it is a good time to give thought to the purpose of your life from now onward.
To rebuild your strength, figure out who you truly are and want to be. Sometimes our breakups actually result from our own unhappiness in our individual lives. Evaluate where you stand in the journey of your life and assess if you are overall happy with where you stand.
10. Join a sporting activity
Built-up tension can be cleared away effectively by getting your blood pumping and flowing. At a time like this, extra dopamine could only do you some good. Tennis, kickboxing, football, renewing a gym membership, or some adorable goat yoga will not only keep your body engaged but also your mind. Such an outlet can help you digress from negative emotions. Eat good meals, run those laps, and feel like you can take on the world.
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11. Do not shy away from society
Humans are social beings and no matter how much time you take off to focus on yourself, we feel most rejuvenated in the presence of other people. To get over a breakup fast, indulge yourself in some good company. If nothing, it will take your mind off the pain for some time.
You can call up your old friends, start saying “yes” to office work parties, or throw your own pizza and game nights. Happy people’s optimism rubs off on other people, so make sure to surround yourself with good energy.
12. Remember substance abuse is not a healthy way out
To get through the stages of getting over a breakup, people often fall back into the dark hole of substance abuse. Be it alcoholism or drug addiction, going overboard with any kind of intoxication can be alarming. Why? Let’s hear it from our expert to make our answer more credible.
Namrata says, “Alcoholism has a very short-term impact. It primarily includes slowing down the central nervous system, so it stops you from thinking. Your feelings get numb but they don’t really vanish into thin air. You just don’t have that speedy cognitive functioning to be able to think about that person. When you come back from the haze, the reality hits you even harder.
“In the long run, it will cause dependency. Any substance abuser can tell you that if you drink once, the next time you will need a bigger amount to satisfy your quench. Plus, your physical health gets damaged simultaneously. So, getting over a breakup when you still love them may seem easier with a little booze, but that’s nothing but fooling yourself.”
13. Try out concentration building activities
It is only natural that when you are going through a bad breakup, your mind and brain are always hung up on the pain and the negative emotions. It gets extremely difficult to shift your mind from there and focus on work or any other activity for more than 10-15 minutes. As a consequence, your productivity level and quality of work drop significantly.
To regain your concentration level and cope with the depression after a breakup, the mindful journey of meditation will be beneficial. Focus on each breath you inhale. Initially, it could be difficult to sit through it for more than five minutes but don’t give up. You could also play a fun memorizing game with your sibling! Or, maybe take out a book off the shelf and start reading regularly.
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14. Vent your heart out
One of the most textbook tips for getting over a breakup – talk it out. Unravel the hard feelings that are eating you up inside. For some people, it comes more naturally, while others find it challenging to put their emotions into words. Nevertheless, this is definitely worth a shot. And if you feel the need for professional intervention, visit our Bonobology Counseling Panel any time to consult our team of esteemed counselors and psychologists.
Namrata suggests, “Discuss the reasons behind the breakup with a neutral person, perhaps a common friend who knows both of you well. Understanding what went wrong in the relationship from a third-person point of view helps you get closure. Resort to your family and friends too because when you are grieving, you need a lot of support. Whoever you talk to, make sure they are trustworthy and mature enough to handle your stress and trauma.”
15. Take a trip
How to get over a breakup when nothing was wrong? We suggest spending a few days with nature to alleviate this unbearable pain. Nature has a healing effect that no medication in the world can offer. The vastness, the beauty give you a whole new perspective to see your problems from a different point of view.
Pack your bags and hit the roads for a solo trip or go with your friends. Get lost amidst the hills. Play with the waves on the beach. Spend an evening in front of the fireplace in a barn. A couple of days of isolation from all that triggers your wound will help you immensely to get back to the world much stronger than before.
How Long Does It Take To Get Over A Breakup?
It’s not easy to get over a breakup with someone you love and you might grapple for months with a sense of emptiness that can run into years too. If your love story had been a one-sided one, then it’s probably harder to get over someone you never had or never even dated. Usually, people take up to 6 months to mourn the demise of a relationship.
If we look at the get-over-a-breakup psychology, then we see that after the initial period of grief and anger is over, a person starts making an effort to pull themselves together. They try to get back to normal life by focusing on their career and on relationships with family and friends. Some people take longer to recover after a breakup and start dating again. Some delve into the power of silence to deal with the pain they are going through. Some take the help of meditation and yoga to heal.
Contrary to popular perception, there are chances you take longer to recover from a breakup if you caused it. If you wanted an out from the relationship, that does not always mean that you have fallen out of love. You might still be in love with the person and decide on a breakup. In that case, getting over a breakup when you still love the person can be hard. It might take longer too.
If you are trying to get over a breakup fast, then the first thing you should do is follow the no-contact rule, take a break from social media so that you don’t stalk your ex, and make a conscious attempt to do new things and move away from the memories.
We often believe that the person who initiated the breakup hurts less. But that is not true. Both partners can hurt as much and sometimes guys find it harder to deal with a breakup.
You know a breakup is final when you might be still hurting after a breakup but the very thought of coming back together drains you out. In that case, you know that the relationship cannot be salvaged.
In a study, researchers from Binghamton University and University College London asked 5,705 participants in 96 countries to rate the emotional and physical pain of a breakup on a scale of one (none) to 10 (unbearable). They found that women tend to be more negatively affected by breakups, reporting higher levels of both physical and emotional pain. While breakups hit women the hardest emotionally and physically, women tend to recover more fully and come out emotionally stronger. Men, on the other hand, never fully recover – they simply move on.