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How to Get Past A Breakup

It’s not going to be easy. That’s the first thing you should know about getting over a breakup. No kidding. The thing about love is that, even just believing that it’s over is tough. You will be blaming yourself, or your ex, and re-living every moment of that terrible moment when you knew it was over.

Fortunately, counseling and psychological studies have long established techniques of getting past a breakup. Follow the following steps to find your way back to normal life.

Step 1: Face The Reality and Keep Your Cool

keep calmRemember that a flood of emotions after a breakup is normal. One moment you will be missing your ex so much it hurts, and in the next moment you will be feeling utterly disappointed, used, unappreciated, hurt. Or very angry.  This is a perfectly normal psychological reaction to rejection- and it can happen even if it was you who broke the relationship. It is worse if you were dumped but, again remember, it is quite normal.

Therefore accept those emotions. That means you must not plead, beg or ask for forgiveness. Studies of human nature show that once a person has rejected another, pleading and begging is counterproductive. It makes you look desperate, easy, and weak. Similarly, do not argue with or insult your ex. From the psychological perspective, it will only make your ex feel vindicated for dumping you because, clearly, you are an ass. Plus it will close the window of possible rapprochement.

In short, the first thing to do after being dumped is to keep all your options open by acting strong and keeping you cool.

Step 2: Take Your Time to Think Carefully About What You Want

In the few minutes after you are dumped, you will instinctively have one of two thoughts. One, you will be so angry you will want to tell your ex to go to hell. Or two, you will be so shocked you will want to go on your knees and beg.  That emotional turmoil may last weeks or even months.

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But as we explained in step 1, do neither. You are simply in no state of mind to make such a decision. Take your time. The recommended time is 30 day. During this period have absolutely no contact with your ex. Why? There are many reasons, the main one being that the dynamics of relationships require a complete break of contact at this time – especially if you hope to repair the relationship later. For a detailed explanation, see our article on the 30-day rule.

meditationAfter the 30 day rule, it’s time to make the big decision. Either you are going to do your best to get back your love or it’s over and you are moving on.

But don’t fall into the trap of making an emotional decision. Be clinical.  Remember, a breakup is an opportunity to strengthen a good relationship or a chance to end a relationship that was never going anywhere anyway. So, think as if it’s not about you. Think like a relationship counselor or a psychologist. Ask yourself: Does your personality and that of your ex gel? Are you compatible in interests, character, and view of life or behavior? Assess your relationship. Consult a very close friend who knows you and your ex well. But don’t consult just any friend. Then make a decision.

Step 3: Begin the process of getting your love back or moving on

Once you have decided on what you want, you are ready for the next step. If the decision is to get your love back, there are techniques and tactics that you need to know. They are covered in our next article in this series.

But if your decision is to move on, the next step is to begin forgetting your ex. Four techniques apply here. First, get rid of everything that reminds you of your ex. That includes gifts and photos, plus text messages and links in social networks like facebook and twitter. You simply do not want to know about their thoughts or life anymore, period.

Two, draw strength from close friends and family. Spend more time with them, if you can. You don’t have to talk to them about your ex. The idea is to avoid loneliness and, at the same time, force your friends and family to get used to the fact that your ex is now history. Otherwise, they will keep feeling sorry for you and remind you of your ex every time. Help them forget your ex.


Three, change your lifestyle from what you had with your ex. Start going to new places where you did not frequent. Just go out. The idea is to meet new people and start a new life.

Four, get busy. Don’t overwork, of course, but avoid being idle. Go to your usual job every day, work normally, then go out or visit someone or some place. Watch new movies that you never saw with your ex, cook, clean up, take a walk – just be busy.

After that, time will take care of the rest. Have no illusions, however, it might take time to forget and move on, especially if you really loved your ex. But nothing lasts forever. With time you will forget – and maybe even begin to wonder what in the world you ever saw in your ex.

Heath Backes

Hi! I'm Heath Backes and I'm an ex-back expert!

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