“And for now, you can hate me. One day, you’ll maybe turn a little soft. Think back and remember us as a big win, a little loss.” – Barcelona by Winnetka Bowling League & Sasha Sloan.
Breaking up hurts. BUT, bouncing back from a breakup presents a chance for you to go through the greatest transformation you could ever imagine for you and your life. When you are rejected by someone, it’s time to forget about them, focus on you, and become the very best version of yourself. If you’ve found this article on this very website, a website focusing on self improvement and personal development, you’re in the right place toward taking that leap. So let’s jump right into this article all about how to heal post-break-up, and go through the biggest WIN you’ll ever have, even if right now everything in your world feels like a massive loss.
FOCUS ON YOU
The first step to getting over someone and healing post-breakup is to focus on you. You can reflect on what you could have done differently and how you might do better next time, but chances are you will only drive yourself crazy dwelling on the situation if you take that approach. Use the negatives as positives to fuel you and your transformation, in changing those negative habits or behaviours that may or may not have caused your relationship’s demise. During my last break-up, for months I was saying to myself “I wish I made that mistake with someone else, so that I knew better and didn’t make it with ___.” This is not a healthy mindset. Mistakes are learning experiences, regardless of when they occur. The biggest wins in life often come after our greatest failures. Even if it might not seem that way for you right now. So stop focusing on the negatives, stop punishing yourself for your mistakes, stop putting that person on a pedestal, and start focusing on you and all that makes you YOU. Start building yourself back up, and becoming the best version of yourself in all of the four major areas in which you need to go through to accomplish life-changing transformations.
Following my most recent break-up, I only started to think of the breakup as a win, when I stopped putting the other person on a pedestal, and I started focusing on clear actions that could take my life to the next level. It turns out, a lot of things needed fixing. But once I started to focus on building myself back up, my confidence hit the roof, and I accomplished wonders in completely forgetting about that person romantically. I started to treat myself like the prize, rather than pining over my ex. And that’s when a funny thing happened. I realized I was no longer even attracted to that person romantically. Because when the break-up hit, I was made to feel like a loser. I was made to feel worthless. But over time, I realized I was actually the one with value. I wasn’t a loser. I was the winner in the situation. My mindset completely shifted, and I realized, the other person was the loser for ending it with me, and for making me feel the way I did. And as a person of value, I wanted to surround myself with other people of value. This mindset change completely transformed my outlook on the break-up and allowed me to easily get over the biggest hurdle (more on that to come).
Another important step to focusing on YOU after a breakup is to be patient when it comes to jumping back into dating. I guarantee you that you are not ready to jump back into any kind of a relationship, casual or serious, in the weeks or even months after a break-up. No matter how right your new relationship might feel. Chances are, you’re only going to be hurting someone else. Chances are, you’re only going to make things worse, and continue to put your heartbreaker on a pedestal. We often compare present relationships to past relationships. Even if we don’t want those thoughts to enter our minds, they are always readily available. So jumping back into another relationship only makes you think about your ex more, while simultaneously limiting your ability to focus on building yourself back up. Beyond that, your heart is still emotionally attached to your ex, and seeing someone new will only cause more stress and heart-ache to your painful situation. So stay off the dating apps, don’t jump into something new, and focus on all that you can do to make yourself a better person instead.
CREATE POSITIVE DISTRACTIONS
Going hand and hand with the last section, you need to focus on creating positive distractions for yourself following a break-up. If you’re a human reading this rather than a cyborg, chances are, everything reminds you of your ex right now. This is the biggest hurdle you need to get over when suffering from a break-up. In fact, it’s the main reason why people often jump straight back into relationships and start dating other people. Those people are trying to replace something that’s gone. Whether it be their best friend that they’ve lost, the supposed love of their life, or even just someone they envisioned a longer future with. But what those people (and you) need to realize after a break-up, is that even if there’s a chance of you getting back together, the relationship that you had as you knew it, is dead. It will never be the same. Even if it can be repaired, you will need to treat everything almost as though it’s your first time meeting that person again, if it’s actually going to work. So what you need to do right now is realize that it’s over, and squash any thoughts of fixing the past or changing the future of that relationship. Stop listening to heartbreak music, stop googling ‘how to get your ex back’, and start creating meaningful and positive distractions for yourself that don’t remind you of your ex.
Focus on building back relationships you’ve neglected since you got together with your ex, and focus on developing a social circle full of new friends. If you’re seeking the kind of affection and affirmation you craved from your ex – the person that likely refused to give you those exact two things – use your support systems in place to get out of that mindset. When you spend time with friends, don’t spend all your time talking about your ex. Talk about other exciting things going on in your life, the transformations you’re undergoing to become the best version of yourself, and the new possibilities available at your fingertips. Remember that as much as close others might want to help you post-break-up, you are ultimately the only person that is going to get you to feel better about things. This is why it’s so key to start developing a new social circle, to go along with this new (or more or less improved) you. Your new friends will only know THIS you, and not what you were like in that past relationship. Once that happens, you’ll embody this “new” you, and forget about the “old” you. Focusing on friendship, particularly new friends, is a great place start.
Even more – focus on things that you used to do for fun, that you neglected during your relationship. When we’re in deep with someone, we tend to focus a lot of energy on making them happy. We forget about some of the things that we enjoy, and push them aside. Get back into those activities and get your life back! If you were already good at balancing your independence within your relationships, consider taking up new hobbies or interests, and start to live a more interesting, exciting life. One way in which you can do that is by travelling to a new place you’ve never been to before once a week. This is one of the number one things that cleansed me of all negativity post-break-up and allowed for my transformation. Why? It provided a meaningful and positive distraction, where I began to think about myself and my new beginnings.
If travelling isn’t your thing, consider getting out and exploring your own town. Visit restaurants, coffee shops or even tourist attractions in your own environment that you’ve never been to before, at least once a week. Set yourself a goal of something you want to achieve, and then go out there and do exactly that. As an example, one of my goals post-breakup was to cook or bake at least one new thing every week, that I had never tried making before. Not only was this a great way to spice up my diet and add some variety, it was a useful distraction and something to look forward to every week. Adventures and avenues like this created some of my most positive experiences post-break-up, beyond just creating the best distractions. Another great thing about trying your hand at new beginnings and exploring new places is the people you can meet along the way. Maybe one of these people, when you’re ready, will even turn out to be your next long-term relationship. So with that…let’s talk about deciding when you’re ready to get back out there.
DECIDING WHEN YOU’RE READY
After a break-up, you will crave the affection and affirmation of close others in helping replace what’s been lost. It’s crucial to get that from friends, rather than from any new romantic relationships, and to take your time in getting back out there. Again, you’re simply not ready…even if you think you are.
But you might be wondering – how do you know when you actually are ready to get back out there. There’s a great How I Met Your Mother episode about this, where Future Ted talks about how everyone has a different metric for how much time it takes before you are truly over someone and ready to get back out there. For some it may be half the time of the relationship; for others it may be when you can think about dating someone new without the thought of your ex entering your mind. For me, I believe you know that you’re ready to get back out there when you’ve accomplished three things. You need to no longer find your ex attractive and suitable for you romantically, you need to fully believe in your break-up as a win rather than a loss, and you need to become you 2.0, which will only help you achieve the other two mindsets. So let’s break this down in further detail.
First, the best thing that you can do following a break-up is focus on becoming you 2.0. So when you feel like you’re on a good path toward getting there, and that you’ve started to figure out the four core principles and get your life in order, you’re usually very close to being ready. But there will always be set-backs. For any relationship that you were highly invested in (usually one that lasts longer than two months), a minimum of thirty days is an absolute must. There’s a lot of research out there that suggests the twenty-nine to thirty-one day mark of a break-up is the second toughest span of time after the initial few days, and the time in which you will miss your former partner the most. It’s why ‘get your ex back’ supposed “experts” talk about a thirty-day no contact period between you and your ex following a break-up, if you want any chance of ‘getting them back’. The theory behind this is that you’re going to be hitting them with a message at the point in which they miss you most and have (somehow) forgotten about all the negatives of the relationship. I won’t bother to link these “experts”, as you’re better off focusing on you, rather than how to get someone else to like you. You will naturally attract the people you desire once you become the best version of yourself. Besides, most of these “experts” will actually legitimately tell you exactly this anyway. They’ll tell you that if you want your ex back, you need to focus on yourself, and not your ex. But my reasoning for this long-winded tangent is to tell you that there are legitimate, scientifically studied highs and lows of a break-up that have been studied for years. Even if you feel like a brand new person one day, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from hitting that twenty-nine day mark and missing your ex uncontrollably. And this is why the “thirty day no-contacting your ex” period of time is legitimately stupid. The entire time, you’re thinking about your ex and what you’ll say when that period is over, rather than focusing on you and all that you can do to forget about them. No contact works in not making things worse for yourself if you really want this person back in your life, but beyond that, it’s useless to put a definitive time period on it. My best friend has a quite harsh, but completely understandable perspective on this. He says that once it’s over, you should never contact that person ever again. This, of course, is unrealistic and practically impossible. But it’s also completely valid and often the best approach. But a funny thing happens when you eventually do reach out to your ex after a while, and this is why I think contact at some point is absolutely essential.
Once you actually reach out and contact your ex, chances are, they will respond in a negative way. You may be fearful of that, but that’s actually one of the BEST things that can happen. You’ll quickly realize that they are not someone you really want to be around, and that their behaviour is not all that attractive to you. When you’re no longer attracted to your ex, and you don’t think only love goggle thoughts when you think of them, you are more or less ready.
In other words, knowing when you’re ready is about going through a span of time in which you have no bad days. No set-backs. No tears. No “I miss you” thoughts. It’s about going through a span of time in which you actually forget they were ever even in your life. Right now, that may seem difficult. But it’s super possible once you start focusing on yourself and all that you can do to become the best you. Throughout that process, it’s important to remember that there is no linear process to getting over a breakup. The length of the relationship, your attachment to that person, and the various things you shared (from small things like intimate moments to big things like kids and a house), can all play into how long it takes to healing your wounds and putting yourself out there again. But regardless of these factors, it will take time. As cliché and annoying as that is, you need time to heal. It’s just about what you do in that time, and hopefully all of these tips can help you spend that time wisely and get to a place where you no longer think of your break-up as a loss, but instead, a big win, that set you on the path toward your biggest life transformation yet.
When it comes to healing after a break-up, there is no linear process. It’s important to focus on building yourself back up through intentionally focusing on all that you can control and all that you can do to be the best you, rather than focusing on anything to do with your ex. If that’s troubling for you and you can’t even look at water without thinking of your ex, work to create positive and meaningful distractions – like travelling, hanging out with friends, or setting yourself new goals. Once you start on a path toward self-development, you’ll start to gain confidence in a host of areas, and your mindset about the situation will inevitably change. When you can get to the point where you start to treat your break-up as a win, rather than a loss, and you no longer find that person attractive, that’s when you know you’re ready to get back out there. In the end, remember that you are a prize and that your ex was wrong for treating you how they did. Thanks for reading and see you soon.
So there it is! My best tips, tricks, and mindset shifts to getting over a break-up and becoming the best version of yourself. Be sure to check out more from our Dating & Relationships section, and continue to become the best you by checking out more of our Personal Development articles. If you enjoy this kind of content, be sure to give a follow on social media using the links below. Thanks again, and see you on the other side.