10 things not to do after a break up
Whether it’s drowning in Chardonnay or ceremonially throwing out everything that reminds you of them, breaking up can trigger a whole host of frantic activities. But what should you never do after a break up? Take a look at the top 10
1. Stay ‘friends’
If there was only one thing we could tell you not to do after a break up, this would be it. Staying friends with your ex after breaking 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 don’t jump the gun.
2. Pretend everything is OK
Let it all out on your nearest and dearest, and don’t feel ashamed about it. This process might seem embarrassing but ultimately showing your emotions post-break up will help you grow emotionally. Plus, sometimes there’s nothing more cathartic than a good cry.
Many psychologists liken recovering from heartbreak to weaning off nicotine or even hard drugs. This is because your brain chemistry has grown used to getting ‘high’ from being around your ex. Equally, your body is used to being flooded with endorphins and oxycontin (feel-good hormones) during the bonding stages of the relationship. Turning those circuits off can create severe mental cravings; aches and pains and sleepless nights. But, rest assured, you will recover.
If you’re still in love with your ex it can be really hard not thinking about them. There are a number of mind techniques you can explore to challenge this such as EFT (emotional freedom technique), hypnotherapy and meditation. However, a quick and practical tool to try is the ‘three-second rule’. As soon as your ex pops into your head, acknowledge the thought, count to three and then focus immediately on something else. Keep doing this, even if it’s multiple times a day, and their haunting sceptre will start to fade.
5. 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.
6. Check up on your partner
We know; you’ve spent months or even years knowing almost every detail of your partner’s life and now, nothing. You’ve been totally cut off. But whatever you do, try to resist the temptation to keep a foothold in their life by checking up on them.
This is especially important if you have mutual friends. Ask your friends to respect your break up and keep the conversation away from your ex. Focus on your own life and try to stop thinking about what they may or may not be doing without you.
7. 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 after a break up. Promise yourself two things: that you won’t post anything (however cryptic) about breaking 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Give up on love
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 being single.
Love ebbs and flows, it’s not a one-time 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.
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