1. Stay ‘friends’
If there was only one thing we could tell you about what not to do after a break-up this would be it. Staying friends with your ex post break-up is a terrible idea. If it’s because you feel guilty, then all you’re doing is leading them on. And if it’s because you think you have a chance of getting back together then you’re just setting yourself up for more hurt.
Potentially, you might salvage a friendship from the wreckage some time down the line, but when you’re emotionally raw you need time apart from the source of your hurt. If you burnt your hand on a fire, you wouldn’t return to the fire to try and soothe your burn would you?
2. Pretend everything is OK
There are times for stiffening your upper lip but this isn’t one of them. Let it all out on your nearest and dearest, and don’t feel ashamed about it. You need to grieve the loss of the relationship – if you don’t you’ll find it even harder to move on. This process might seem embarrassing but ultimately showing your emotions will help you grow emotionally. Plus, sometimes there’s nothing more cathartic than a good old cry.
3. Give up.
Your failed relationship is not worth you giving up on life and love. It can feel like you’ll never meet someone special ever again, but don’t resign yourself to a lifetime of singledom.
Love ebbs and flows, it’s not a once only experience. Give yourself time to recover and then when you’re ready you can start looking for love again. You WILL feel better, trust us.
4. Haircuts, piercings, tattoos....
We all know at least one person who’s had a break-up makeover. Sometimes it works, but usually cutting off your long blonde locks and dying your new crop black just to show you’re a ‘new’ person becomes something you regret.
The same applies to piercings and especially to tattoos. You might not think it, but your idea for a new tattoo design may well be rooted in your heartache. So, maybe wait a while before getting ‘Life’s a Bitch’ inked on your thigh.
5. Open the lines of communication
Phone, texting, Facebooking, tweeting – it’s all verboten. You don’t have a hope in hell of moving on from your ex if you keep the lines of communication open; whether that’s pestering her for answers, or just telling him that you miss him.
Usually the problem arises from simply wanting to fill the void of the person who isn’t in your life any more. If that’s the case, call or text a close friend whenever you get the urge to talk to your ex. You will eventually get used to them not being there. It’ll take time, but after a while the pattern will be broken.
6. Stalk your ex
Social media has opened up our world and helped us keep in touch with friends, family and people we didn’t even know we wanted to know. However, what it’s also done is given us some great tools for ‘spying’ on certain people. Promise yourself two things: that you won’t post anything (however cryptic) about the break-up online, and that you won’t check your exes status/page/twitter feed/Pinterest board obsessively. If you can’t be trusted then defriend or unfollow your ex. In fact, this is something we’d suggest you do as a matter of course. Better safe than sorry.
7. Get your own back
Revenge might seem like a brilliant idea, but please, don’t go there. Burning the stuff he left at your house, or kidnapping her cat might be tempting, but the outcome is pretty inevitable: you will look mentally imbalanced and you may even end up in trouble with the police.
Focus on the positive, and turn your energies to getting on with your life rather than regressing.
8. Have sex with your ex
No. Just no. You’ll regret it. Maybe not straight away, but when you realise that sex isn’t going to bring them back into your life, you’ll feel like rubbish.
9. Have sex with a friend
In all honesty, sleeping with anyone when you’re newly heartbroken is not a great idea. Your judgement is clouded and just because your friend happens to be in the right place at the right time doesn’t mean getting naked together will make you feel better. In fact, it’ll probably give you a whole new set of things to worry about.
10. Beg them to take you back
Begging isn’t a great look for dogs, but in humans it’s just desperate. You might be thinking ‘What have I got to lose?’ but in this situation, keeping your dignity is essential. Your ex’s reaction will most likely be one of revulsion and then you’ll be in an even deeper despair than before. It might not feel like it right now, but being alone is far preferable to being in a bad relationship.