After a break up your emotions will be raw and your mind will be frantic.
Maybe you saw it coming, maybe it came completely out of the blue.
Either way it will hit you hard and you will be a miserable wreck for a few weeks.
If the girl of your dreams has just left you the blow can't help but be devastating.
It may be hard to swallow but time does heal all wounds and you will eventually bounce back from this.
You aren't the first person to experience a break up and you won't be the last.
The biggest challenge with a break up is figuring out what to do and what not to do. Your emotions have been buffeted around so much that it's hard to know which way is up.
You don't know how to behave and there is a real risk that you will do something embarrassing or stupid, like leave 20 voice messages begging for her back.
Here is my advice on the 12 things to do after a break up in order to cope with the emotions and get back to normal quickly.
1. Be Dignified
How you behave as it is taking place, as well as immediately after a break up is important.
Many men go one of two ways: They get angry and vengeful or they become a sobbing whimpering child.
It's normal to feel angry and distraught but make sure you keep the crazy inside, don't make a scene and don't do anything dangerous or stupid.
2. Respect The Decision
There is nothing wrong with expecting a reasonable explanation about what went wrong.
But don't demand a never ending post-mortem about the relationship where you pick over the pieces together in excruciating detail. Whatever you do don't beg for her back or make unrealistic promises about what you will do for her if she changes her mind.
Respect her decision, no matter how painful, and give yourself some space.
And if you were the one who broke it off, respect your own decision and don't change your mind.
It's easy to see her sobbing in front of you when you break the news and want to comfort her and make her feel better. Suddenly you start questioning why you are even dumping her and you have second thoughts. Back your original logical decision and don't let the emotions of the moment get to you.
3. Avoid Contact
The break up is going to be painful and you need time to get over her and time to heal. While you both survive as individuals the space you cultivated between you has died and you will need to mourn. This is best done apart.
You will be sad at losing your friend and companion and it will be tempting to think that you can just carry on as friends without the sex. Avoid this at all costs as it will only hinder your ability to get over her.
It's not a good idea to even think about becoming friends with your ex, but if it's going to happen you at least need a few months apart. It's not going to happen the day after a break up.
In that time cut all contact, including deleting her number and unfriending or unfollowing her on social media. Don't call her, don't leave messages, don't go somewhere where you know you will run into her.
4. Let The Emotions Out
There will be some raw emotions and it's better not to try and suppress these. Instead let them out. Hit punching bag at the gym, go for a long run to clear your head or talk to a trusted friend or family member.
Just be careful with how much you dump on family and friends. They will be there for you initially, but if you go looking for pity and sob and sulk for months and months their patience will wear thin.
5. Try Not To Dwell On Her, But Don't Feel Guilty If You Do
Once that raw feeling has subsided and you start to feel a little bit more normal, do what you can to push her out of your mind.
It won't always work, so don't feel guilty or beat yourself up if she creeps into your thoughts. But as you heal you will be glad when you find yourself thinking of her less and less.
6. Try To Enjoy Being Single
Being single again isn't just about being able to hook up with new girls, although that is of course part of it.
More importantly, after so long of having to always think about someone else's needs, you now have the pleasure of only having to think about yourself. No more compromises over weekend plans or checking in when you are out with the boys.
Relish the chance to enjoy this period of freedom because when the next girl comes along things will change again.
7. Start Thinking About Other Girls
Break ups are much easier if you don't believe in "the one." Any girl is a potential partner, you tried it with one and it hasn't worked and there are plenty more out there.
It will be hard at first to even think about getting with someone else, but once you realize that there are other girls who get you going, things become much easier.
A lot of people recommend getting straight back out there and having meaningless sex right away.
I think it's a purely individual thing. Go for it if you want, but don't think you have to.
You can build up to it slowly, even if it's just approaching and flirting to start with.
I wouldn't rush into dating someone new on a serious level. Meaningless sex is one thing, but dating as a coping mechanism generally just causes more problems than it's worth.
8. Get Fit And Healthy
Maybe you let yourself go a little bit during your relationship and need to get back into shape.
Even if you are looking and feeling pretty good there are many reasons to focus on diet and exercise while recovering from a break up:
- It keeps you busy and occupied.
- It gives you something to focus on.
- It helps you avoid the easy option of a diet of pizza and beer.
- It helps you feel good about yourself.
- It will help you feel more confident when you start dating again.
You will have a bit more time on your hands if you are newly single, so you might as well spend some of it in the gym.
9. Focus On Your Own Pursuits
Without a girlfriend you are going to have a lot more time on your hands. Instead of being idle make sure you keep busy and focus on things that are important to you.
Being busy will keep your mind of your ex, but more importantly it will help you realize that the rest of your life keeps going. There is, after all, more to life than relationships.
Throw yourself into your work, start a new project, train for a sport, start a side business, get back into playing music, read.
Just make sure that you fill your newfound spare time with whatever it is that you are passionate about.
Whenever I have a major life transition I like to travel. When you have gone through a break up it's tough to just carry on with your old lifestyle minus your ex. Instead do something radical to shift your lifestyle, like traveling overseas for a few months.
By totally changing everything it will help you adjust to life without your ex.
I've always done this whenever I have made career changes and it also works well if you have suffered a major break up.
11. Accept You Are Better Off
This one takes time and is not something you are going to arrive at in the first few days after the break up.
However sometime down the line you will eventually say to yourself that you are better off. And you will actually believe it. This is a key step in getting over a relationship.
You will have the perspective to identify what went wrong, why things weren't going well, what benefits you gained from the relationship and what lessons to learn for next time.
12. Read About Break Ups
Reading about how to deal with a break up will give you some perspective. You will realize that you aren't the only who feels the way you do and that this is an inevitable process. Reading will help keep you on the straight and narrow and help you avoid doing something stupid.
These are the best articles for how to handle a break up:
- How To Weather A Break Up Like A Man by The Art Of Manliness
- A Man's Guide To Surviving A Break Up by Primer Magazine
- How To Harness And Heal The Pain Of A Break Up by Jordan Gray
- Surviving The Break Up by Doctor Nerd Love
- How To Break Up Gracefully by Mark Manson
A serious break up is going to hit you hard whether you saw it coming, whether it came from left field or whether you delivered it yourself.
It's a time when raw emotions can make you do funny things.
As best as you can try and collect yourself, avoid embarrassing yourself and get on with the process of healing.