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How to overcome a Breakup?

How to overcome a Breakup?

Last Updated: 18-03-2023

Written by :

Ms.Zahabiya Bambora
Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.

Reviewed By:

Counselling Psychologist MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
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An expected or unwanted breakup can make you wallow in a pit of sorrow. Movies and TV shows have always portrayed how easy it is to get over a break-up. The protagonist simply sits in pyjamas, watches a tragic romantic film, and cries while eating a tub of ice-cream. And then feel ready to take on the world.

Sadly, this is not the case in real life. We end up with bad coping mechanisms such as heavy drinking, avoiding work, neglecting friends and family, and turn a blind eye towards taking care of our health and mental well being.

Several factors are linked to the adjustment after a breakup. This includes the duration of your relationship, who initiated the breakup, the intensity of the breakup, relationship quality, and most importantly reason of the breakup. A negative relationship breakup is strongly linked with poor mental health outcomes in young adults and adolescents (Mirsu-Paun & Oliver, 2017). Therefore, processing the breakup and handling yourself well is crucial to move on in a healthy way.

There are few steps you can follow to overcome a breakup:

Rebuild your esteem

If it was your partner who initiated the breakup, it is common that you will blame yourself for this. Lots of self-doubt might arise and this may lower your confidence in relationships. You might find yourself questioning your personality, highlight your flaws, and wonder if you are worth being loved. It will be difficult in the beginning to see yourself not as the girlfriend/boyfriend of his/her. Begin to focus on your value and the efforts you put in the relationship. Reflect upon your best qualities instead of the ones you need to work on. Make a list of your best traits, your skills, and abilities that are valued in relationships.

Nourish your body

We easily pick on negative coping habits such as drinking alcohol or popping pills to ease our mind. Our moods direct our eating patterns. It is very common to lose our appetite when we are blue or in pain. Hence, spending time to exercise and will improve your appetite. Physical exercising will ensure a proper sleeping routine as well.

Stay away from rebounds

Rebounds seem like a quick fix that may make you feel valed and wanted. But this is only temporary, and soon you might regret it. This behaviour is also a reflection of how you are avoiding to process and accept what you are actually feeling.

Seek support from friends and family

Turn to people you trust during your healing process. Friends and family can guide you better and be there for you. Cry with them if you need to.They will be a crucial part on your journey to self heal.

Note all their negatives

Write down all the habits and behaviours you did not like of your ex-partner. This way, you can tell yourself that he/she was not good enough for you. List the sacrifices you made in the relationship. You may want to refer to these whenever you start to run down memory lane and miss them and think to yourself how it was all so perfect.

Social media detox

Soon after the breakup, you will be tempted to stalk your ex to see how they are doing after the breakup. Just deleting your ex from social media is not sufficient, if you shared mutual friends, then you will have to limit social media use until you feel – that you would not be persuaded to stalk. The urge to check up on your ex will not pass soon,so try checking up on old friends or relatives or simply start getting involved with your parents. The goal is to divert and create separation.

Getting over a breakup takes time, and the time required is not the same for everyone. You will keep finding things for a closure, but deep down that will be a cry to get back together. A  healthier option is to accept  that you and your partner were not meant to be together. And this is all you need to close this chapter and move forward. 

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Mirsu-Paun, A., & Oliver, J. A. (2017). How much does love really hurt? A meta-analysis of the association between romantic relationship quality, breakups and mental health outcomes in adolescents and young adults. Journal of Relationships Research8.

Locker Jr, L., McIntosh, W. D., Hackney, A. A., Wilson, J. H., & Wiegand, K. E. (2010). The Breakup of Romantic Relationships: Situational Predictors of Perception of Recovery. North American Journal of Psychology12(3).

Shulman, S., Seiffge-Krenke, I., Scharf, M., Lev-Ari, L., & Levy, G. (2017). Adolescent depressive symptoms and breakup distress during early emerging adulthood: Associations with the quality of romantic interactions. Emerging adulthood5(4), 251-258.

Maertz, K. (n.d.). Surviving A Relationship Break-Up - Top 20 Strategies


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