25 Ways to Get Over a Break-Up

This is that ‘personal blogging’ thing I’ve talked about. You know, that thing I sometimes do when I try to write about my real life and feelings beyond cute and pastel fashion. I recently broke up with my now-ex boyfriend of almost three years, and guys and gals, it is not easy. For the best? Yes. Strange and sad? Yes. So I got out my diary and wrote my 25 rules for soothing a lost love and taking good care of the one you really need to love – you. I’m feeling healed now, but I thought I would write this for anyone who could use this hard-won advice in the future.

1. Watch your trash TV. Welcome back, Honey Boo Boo, America’s Next Top Model, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I’ve missed you.

2. Go out with you friends. Constantly if necessary. Maybe even ones you don’t know well. You have tons of new free time to fill, so why not call up your pals and book all your weekends. Have friends you wish you knew better? Arrange one-on-one dates and get dressed up – better than ‘date night’ with the ex any day.

3. Buy new underwear. And throw out your old underwear. Am I the only one who remembers underwear in moments? Throw out your old panties. Especially ones with romantic history. Especially if you picked ones they might like. Go to the store and buy yourself any panties that you would like.

4. Eat those obnoxious foods they hated. Get that weird cuisine they never liked. Eat those chips that smell weird. Take yourself out to your favorite cafe or eat your same favorite meal for dinner every night.

5. No sad songs. In fact, you are hereby banned from the Venn Diagram of both country music radio and Taylor Swift. Download a new playlist full of upbeat jams. My currents: anything Rupaul, Marina and the Diamonds, and Nicki Minaj.

6. No driving in silence. Long, quiet drives alone are prime cryfest time. That’s what your new playlist is for. Better play it loud.

7. Retail therapy, take two and call me in the morning. Okay, in moderation- don’t max out your credit cards over a break-up. If you’re really broke, window-shop and Polyvore the night away.

8. You can rant to your best friend. But no one else. Talking bad about your ex doesn’t just stop the healing process, it doesn’t reflect well on you. And it will turn off any potential dates you may want when the initial break-up feeling fades. Don’t be that girl who wants to sling mud about her ex anytime someone mentions ‘lacross’ or anything else that reminds you of them.

9. Stop talking about them, period. Seriously, just pick a day and go cold turkey. In conversation, someone will mention something that reminds you of your ex. Try not to wistfully mention, ‘Oh, my ex loved shuffleboard…’. If you want to move on, it’s time to let go of your significant other status (in my case, ‘girlfriend status’). You don’t have to chat for them at parties anymore or talk up their new Internet start-up with strangers.

10. If you must obsess, write it down. If you really have a deluge of things left unsaid or things you wish you could yell, write them letters (never to be sent) or a diary of this time in your life. You can let it out without pulling them back into the equation.

11. If you haven’t already, get rid of the stuff that reminds you of them. You can keep that clock-radio they gave you if it’s really just functional. Those heart-shaped earrings? Box them up somewhere you won’t look at them for ten or twenty years. If you feel naked with out a piece of jewelry you’ve worn for years, buy yourself a new one to replace it. I’m seriously considering buying myself a new lolita ring to take away that ‘amputated’ feeling where my promise ring used to be.

12. Wear crystals. This might sound hokey, but as a Pagan I really believe in talismans and charms.I was out shopping with a friend and found a tumbled amethyst crystal necklace on sale. Amethyst is the stone for clarity, calmness, and wisdom. Whenever I feel anxious or upset, I toy with it and hope its energy is having a positive effect on me. Rose quartz is good for kindness and self-love; quartz with rainbow factions is good for hope, the protection of angels, and energy.

13. “Our song” can be another song again. Just like that show you used to watch together and have all the in-jokes about, or your favorite restaurant. Maybe it will hurt at first, but try to remember what you loved about it, just you. It won’t always remind you of your former love.

14. Change your hair. I know this is a classic, but it’s really true. Changing something about yourself physically can help you process an emotional change. Get your hair cut or colored – but if you’re really mopey, ask your friends to weigh in first. Nothing is worse than a break-up, except a break-up and an unflattering perm.

15. Get your stuff done. Remember how you used to be too busy mooning or out at movies with your ex to get that stuff done? Like… studying, writing that novel, cleaning out your closet, learning ballroom dance? Get that stuff done. If you must spend gray weekends alone alphabetizing your soup cans, refer to rules #5 and #6. No silent time with rain dripping down the window pane; blast your favorite new upbeat song.

16. Do not devolve into sweatpants (much). A break-up is not your excuse to go all People of Walmart on the world. In fact, you’ll probably feel better if you brush your teeth, put on a little lipstick and wear your favorite cashmere sweater. Looking good will make you feel good, and you’ll be a lot more confident. And cashmere still feels like pajamas.

17. Flirt. While I don’t recommend you go out and hop right into another big relationship, there is nothing like a flirtation or a date or two to take the edge off and feel like you’re interesting and desirable. Besides, think of all the new adventures and stories you can amass on dates or just meeting new people.

18. Online dating. It’s hilarious. Even if you do meet your future spouse online, you have to admit trying is hilarious. Most recent pick-up line: “Which of your name is your favorite?” Uh… For more of what I mean, check out the Tumblr okweirdo.

19. Visualize what you can’t stand most about your ex whenever you feel particularly down or missing your previous relationship. For me, it’s the way my ex would let the dog eat kibble in bed and it would get stuck to the sheets. Ew.

20. Positive self-talk. Don’t listen to the voices in your head that tell you won’t you meet anyone else again. You will.  Tell yourself that you is kind, you is smart, you is important. Or don’t quote The Help, your choice.

21. Take care of your body. Feed it good things (okay, and those junk foods you love, as prescribed above), give it bubble baths, and new face creams. My new regimen involves peach anti-aging hand cream from Korea, and my hands are loving it!

22. Get a pet. Okay, obviously you need to really think over your circumstances before you adopt an animal (they’re for life). But if you don’t want to run out looking for someone human to snuggle with, you can save a life by adopting a dog or cat at your local shelter.

23. Don’t e-stalk. Even if you have to delete their number, block their Facebook, send their emails to spam, whatever. The whole issue is that you need to let go and accept the future. You’re not really moving on with your life is you’re refreshing their Twitter every hour.

24. Don’t try to be friends. At least, not now. I would recommend at least six months before you and your ex can platonicly hang out. Besides, when the wound is raw, do you want to see them dating other people?

25. Don’t get back together. I know it’s really tempting. I’ve done it. You’re lonely, you miss them, you want to fix things… Even if you don’t believe it now, you broke up for a reason. If you get back together, those things may feel better for a while and perhaps you’ll both try harder to salvage your relationship. But under the surface, the same issues will still be there, and you’ll have to go through the pain of the break-up all over again.

Breaking up is hard. But you don’t need to let your latest love be your last, nor do you need to hate your ex. Every person we meet in life has something to teach us, to help us grow into the people we are meant to be. No matter how or when you part ways with the people who will come and go in your life, know you can always be better for having met them. And sometimes, that’s enough.

Okay, go – your top advice for getting over a break-up. Gratuitous frozen yogurt stops count.

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  • osuneyedgirl

    This is a wonderful list! I went through a rough break up earlier this year, and while I’m pretty over it, this list is definitely a good reminder to keep going! It’d also work really well as a “25 ways to get out of *any* rut” list.

  • A little similar to #15, but I think trying out a completely new hobby can be a great remedy to heartbreak (or even a deep depression). It’s a really effective way to cement that “this is a new chapter in my life” feeling. Because you’ll be so occupied with all of the awesome new experiences (and challenges!) of your new hobby, you won’t have time to feel sorry for yourself or think too much about the past. Instead you will be in a more forward-thinking mindset that is focused on progressing. I think this works great with creative hobbies that involve developing a new skill(s) and that have a really tangible end result you can be proud of like, making music or short films, sewing, jewelry-making, writing a serial novel, etc.

    The only thing is to pick something fun!

    • Good advice Namie! Clearly I need to pick up a new challenging hobby from the encouraging comments on this article :)

  • Susannah

    Let yourself feel all your emotions, from freedom to darkest depression, without belittling yourself or your feelings, but then let it all go. And find a way to turn the negativity into positivity, and let it all out in a cathartic way. For my epic breakup, I designed a whole clothing collection then had a parade showcasing it at a local club, and the song my models walked to was their unreleased demo they wrote about me and I was told to ‘never let anyone listen to’ heheheee ;p

    Once the initial heartbreak is over, you will still hurt now and then, and for the big ones it’ll be for a long time, but use it as energy to fuel your own reinvention and your renewed passion for life. Take the good things and the useful things you learnt from them, be happy for the time you had and what you’ve experienced, and move on as a better person.

  • laura

    Work out. It is a great way to productively let out all the pent up feelings, and you get endorphins too. After my last breakup, running my heart out on the elliptical was one of the only ways I could really feel peaceful and stop my unwanted traumatized inner monologue. In addition, exercise removes stress hormones from your body to give you an emotional boost that can last days and make you less likely to binge on food, shopping, alcohol or whatever our particular poison might be. And I hope you feel better soon. You are awesome and I am sure lasting happiness will find you.

  • Similar to #17, go out wearing something skimpy. Its shallow as all get out, but getting a little “hey, you’re hot” attention is a nice reminder that your intended audience still notices you.

    • Nothing wrong with feeling attractive and getting some superficial attention to boost your ego, I think! A good tip.

  • When I broke up with my long term boyfriend, I became a lolita. I decided I was worth it, and I went all out and indulged myself with this fashion that I had admired from afar for a long time. It gave me confidence like I never had before, and gave me a new obsession to fill my mind with, lol. I think it was partially that change in me, that release of my true self that brought said boyfriend back… And 3 years later, we’re engaged! But seriously, lolita brought me so much joy and incredible friends. It gave me confidence and courage when I needed it most(“if I can wear this frilly dress in public, I can definitely live without him! “).

    So my advice would be to let your inner self out! Enjoy watching yourself blossom into the person you always wanted to be, and you can turn a break up into the best thing that could happen to you <3

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Bii <3 It was really inspiring that in your effort to find yourself, you found lolita fashion and your independence made for a better future relationship with your boyfriend (fiance). Just goes to show everything happens for a reason, I suppose? :)

  • YG

    Somehow, number 3 seems to play a distinct roll in (any?) relationship, people seem to break up after roughtly 3 years (or may it be 3 months) and get back together (or at least try to) 3 years after that. Speaking from a personal experience (as well as after reading your text and some of the comments bellow, and also after talking with others about their love-experiances), I keep wondering why – is it really only a coincidence, these numbers , or is there more meaning to it?

  • Learn a new skill you’ve always wanted to try. Like taking cooking classes or a language course. You’ll meet a whole new circle of friends and find something positive to throw your energy into instead of wasting it obsessing. You could end up developing all kinds of new passions!

  • PrincessVictoria

    I agree in a lot of your points! But listening to Marinas songs when you’re sad? Uh, no :D They are actually reeeeeaally sad xD

    • I feel some of them are very empowering along with somewhat self-pitying? XD She’s an odd flavor, but I love her.

      • PrincessVictoria

        Well.. I agree, they are about making mistakes and they make you think about them :)
        Me too ! <3

  • I’ve never broken up with a romantic partner, but I remember doing some of these when me and my best friend “broke up!” I’ve just now fully recovered from it (despite it happening over a year ago) but little things like these can really help.

  • Lolipoplolita

    So inspirational Victoria you have out done yourself!

  • I actually was kinda relieved when I broke up with my ex, cuz he was really mean to me. Yes I upset a little, but I try to remember those mean things he’d done to me and I will like, “okaaay, I’m better without you.” :)

  • I broke up with my boyfriend of 8 months (thats a long time when youre in 7th grade which i wwas) to go out with another guy for a month which was a bust and then straight into another relationship with my current boyfriend of 1 year and almost 7 months. Going straight into the second relationship i was in was a mistake, i needed time to cool down but instead i tried to find love too fast. This really is good advice.

  • Aina Noire

    So what do you do when your relationships is hanging in the balance? We didn’t break up but we are taking some time apart and I have no idea where things stand. He took off to California for 3 weeks and I’m not really sure what he is thinking or feeling. I’m unsure of what to do with myself… I’ve been cleaning, working out, am getting back into therapy, and gathering information on jobs, driving schools, and other such resources…. but it doesn’t feel like it’s enough. I’m staying at my moms but most of my stuff is at his place. I feel more at peace over there but I know it’s better that I stay with my mom… just so I don’t set myself up for more pain. What do you think I should do? I hold your opinion in high regard, so anything you could give me would mean a lot.

  • Jenny Jiao Hsia

    I’ve been reading

  • Chelsea Somenew

    I just got broken up with yesterday, after a year of dating and a lot of effort and misplaced ambition, and I really needed this. It’s nice it’s tailored to those who like cute things and are pagan like me, too!
    I have a lot of other things in my life I need to keep up with, mostly schoolwork, and I’m going to look at the good side and try to make my life into something that doesn’t depend on another person for success and happiness. Though, it’s still pretty hard. I still feel down. It’s only been a day, anyways…

  • Abbey McDonald

    I find it funny…About a week ago I had a thought “Hey, haven’t visited this blog in a while…Wonder what she’s up to!” and came here. I saw this and deemed it might be an interesting read, but skipped it because “We’ve been together for almost two years and I doubt I’ll need it any time soon!” now here I am, single and re-reading this list to keep in my memory. Sorry to hear about the end of your 3 year relationship, but thank you dearly for this list! <3 *Hugs*