What does a healthy breakup look like? How do you process? How do you communicate? But even more important, what do you avoid. To be honest, I’ve probably done all of these at some point in my life. They weren’t my proudest moments, but it happened. 🙂
Pretend You’re Fine
I think this tendency is driven from the “stupid” part of our brains. We must STOP pretending that we cannot be hurt. We can’t avoid it, we all feel pain. It’s part of our anatomy. Instead, punch a pillow, scream at your house, yell at your neighbors cat.
You don’t need to cry in public or at work, but if you feel like crying, do it. Smart people call this process “grieving” and it’s proven to be the fastest and healthiest way to recover. Let’s stop pretending and kill the numbness. Your life of true, healthy emotion is waiting.
Try to be “Just Friends”
People can almost never turn a breakup into healthy friendship, and until you’re okay with the idea of your ex dating someone new — and vice versa — you’re not ready to be friends. It’s important to create intentional space and let yourself grieve the end of the relationship. If your ex is pushing to be your pal, stand your ground. Right now, you’re not looking for a friend who looks exactly like the person you just broke up with.
Don’t damage their stuff, kidnap their dog, or cancel their credit card. If you share an apartment be a responsible adult and work through the division of your stuff with peace. Even if you’ve been betrayed and broken. Maybe even cheated on. Revenge only feeds into your bitterness, stoops you to their level, and it offers no healing. Focus on people who make you happy and lean into forgiveness. It’s the only way out.
Don’t do it. In our broken state we give into our need for intimacy. This is not the way. People think it will help soften the pain. But in reality, relationships are like a drug. There is only one way to quit and that’s, cold-turkey. Remember, there was never a person on their death bed who said, “I wish I would of slept with my ex one more time.”
Stalk them Online
The social media world has really made this tough. I always tell people never post anything about your breakup online. No matter how vague or harmless it might seem. Secondly, never look at your ex’s profiles. Unfriend, unfollow, and block. There is nothing like a late night photo of your ex on a date to completely ruin your week. Fight the urge. Fast from social media for a few weeks. What ever it takes.
Get a Haircut or Tattoo
I had a friend once tell me, “never make a bold decision in a valley only on the mountain top.” There is nothing more obvious to the world that you don’t know how to properly deal with your pain than a new haircut, a new style, and a tattoo. Don’t buy a motorcycle, don’t leave the country, and don’t move. Wait at least 30 days before you make any big decisions. I like to think after a breakup you are legally “emotionally insane”. Even though hair grows back, your bad pho-hawk might bruise your already broken confidence.