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Get Over A Break Up


Young man resting his head in hands
Jose Luis Pelaez/Iconica/Getty Images
One thing that's true no matter how great or bad a relationship was: Breakups aren't easy. Getting over someone is hard. Actually, it can be quite devastating if we don't take steps to take care of ourselves and minimize the damage. There's no quick fix that heals hearts fast, but there are ways to lessen the heartache.

Find a support network.
Find someone or something you can lean on as soon as possible. A best friend, favorite family member or even a pet will do. More than likely your emotions (sorrow, grief or anger) are flying high. You need a steady ear that can give you rational and comforting advice (or at least an unconditional purr). Choose a support person that you know is objective most of the time. Don't be afraid to spill your guts or be open about how you feel. Keeping those break up emotions bottled up is never a good thing. Release them to a person who can give you rational and objective advice.

Find a favorite.
The beginning of a bad breakup is an emergency situation. You need comfort and reassurance from your loss. It's important not to slip into depression. You need something to get you through the times when your support network is not available. Some guys have favorite songs, movies or locations that allow them to escape and heal internally. Your favorite does not have to be happy and upbeat (and be sure it's not a shared favorite of you and your ex), but it should be empowering or allow you to pick up the emotional pieces.

Find a positive anger release. Chances are he did something to you or you did something that you regret, so you're angry. Now is a good time to indulge in your favorite hobby: sports, singing, writing, walking, etc. Whatever your release, make sure it's positive and not a depressant like alcohol or drugs. Sing your heart out to numb the pain, but don't use alcohol to do the same. You'll get over the breakup with time. You don't want a bad habit to go along with your bad break up.

Let him be. When we break up with someone there is a tendency to be curious about his current life without you. You may also have the urge to get information about him from mutual friends (who always seem to volunteer the unwanted details). This doesn't help the break up or recovery process. You may have mutual friends, but you need space to focus on yourself. Constant reminders of your ex only extends the anguish. This doesn't mean you should isolate yourself or become a hermit, just try and avoid encounters with him or unnecessary information until you get used to life without him.

Take steps to heal. This sounds easier than it actually is, but in order to get over a bad break up it's essential you try and move on with your life. It takes time to completely get over someone, but the more you focus on your own life and develop your own friendship base the easier it will be to get over him. Do you have to erase him from your thoughts completely? Of course not, but many guys obsessively think about their ex's and some are driven by the hope that they will get back together. If you get back together, great; but if not you should be prepared to continue moving forward with your life.

Get back into the scene. After you feel like you've taken enough time to gather your thoughts and emotions, don't be afraid to get back into the dating scene, going out or whatever that may be. It's normal to feel the need for "alone time" right after a break up. Try going out and meeting new people when you feel ready. Just be sure not to isolate yourself for too long and try not to use going out as a means of burying your emotions or over-compensating for your loss.

Leave room. Yes, you and your ex had some great times (often times some of the best memories of your life) but it's important to leave room for others to develop a good relationship with you- which will lead to more great memories. It's common for us to compare the new people we in our lives to our ex or to build a wall of safety around our emotions. After all, who wants to be hurt again? And of course, we've learned many lessons from past.

A little caution is a good thing, but often times this develops into an emotional shut down. Eventually, no new guy you meet is good enough or as good as ____. You've placed your ex on a pedestal that no one can reach (most of the time, not even your ex if you looked back on the relationship in detail). There is also a tendency to place new guys in scenarios that you and your ex shared to gage if they would react in similar ways.

These methods almost always result in disaster. No one can ever replace your ex, because he was his own person and the dynamic of your relationship was unique. There may always be a place in your heart for him. Just make sure it's not your entire heart! Leave room to develop better memories or a more fulfilling relationship with someone new. Give your new prospects a chance and remember, you can't compare someone you've just met to an ex with whom you've shared many memories.
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