A breakup, in simple terms, is a decision made by one or both parties involved in a relationship to pack it up and go separate ways. Generally we think of breakups as something that happens between romantic partners, but really it can signify the end of any important relationship. Sometimes “breaking up” with a close friend can be even more painful than with a partner. As young adults we’ve probably all been through some kind of interpersonal loss, whether it be romantic, platonic or otherwise.
Neither of you has died or anything, but it sure feels that way and at moments you wonder if the heaviness in your chest could in fact kill you. The most difficult part of a breakup is accepting that this person who you shared many special moments with, and likely cared for deeply has made the conscious decision to leave, and will continue to live a life and create memories that you will no longer be a part of.
So what are the DOs and DONTs after breaking up?
#1- Social Media
DO stop looking at their social media every 5 minutes. Social media might be the worst thing ever invented as far breakups go. Losing someone means you are generally no longer a part of their life, or at least not a part of it in the same way.
You check social media all the time anyways, and the temptation to click on their page and speculate about what they are doing and who they are doing it with is REAL. The things is, it’s counter-productive to moving forward, and all it does is lead to a downward spiral of “OMG WHO IS THIS GIRL IN THE PICTURE WITH HIM?” “HAS SHE MOVED ON ALREADY?” “Look at this picture of us back in 2013 when we went to Rome and had the best time ever, I miss them so much,” etc. etc.
We’re all guilty of stalking our ex from time to time (unless you’re an actual robot), but try to keep it to a minimum because it will do your heartbreak no good.
DON’T block them on everything. Obviously this depends on the circumstances, but I’m a fan of the idea that it’s never good to burn a bridge. If someone is abusive and you want to rid your life of them entirely, that’s one thing. But generally speaking it’s not necessary.
DO take time to grieve. You just lost someone who was an important part of your life, so let yourself be sad. For some people it may take less time than others, and everyone handles their sadness in different ways. It’s fully normal to feel miserable and empty. Read articles, watch Youtube videos, ask other people how they handled what you are going through. Whatever is productive and makes you feel better.
DON’T let yourself get carried away. Be kind to yourself and let yourself have stay in bed days. You have to let yourself feel the pain, and continue to live life again the way you normally would. Take some time to heal first.
#3- Reaching Out
DO talk to someone. Your friends are there for you, but pick a select three or four who you trust and can really talk to without feeling judged or having that information shared with anyone else.
Actually saying the things you are feeling out loud can help you release them, and no longer torture yourself by running them over and over in your mind. When you’re in a painful situation it can be hard to see things clearly, so getting insight from someone who sees things from an outside perspective can be really helpful.
Also know that it’s okay to reach out for professional help if the rut gets too deep and you have trouble handling things alone. Friends are great, but they can only do so much.
DON’T make your breakup the only topic of conversation. Yes, your friends are there to support you and they don’t want to see you feeling down, however, enough is enough. While it’s more than okay to want to talk about what you are going through and get their advice, you need to remember that they are people who have their own problems and personal issues as well, and not just a sounding board for your sadness.
DO keep the door open. There’s no reason to cut ties completely. This person was a significant part of your life, and not talking to them ever again seems like an extreme measure. It depends on what terms the relationship ended, and how able you are to deal with the emotions that come along with communicating
DON’T text them 842984 times a day saying how much you miss them and want a second chance and how you’ve changed after like 2 days (let’s be real, you haven’t). Don’t randomly show up to places where you know they will be to try and make the magic happen. DO NOT drunk text. Try your best to mirror them and respect what they want. If they don’t answer your texts, don’t keep texting.
The end of a relationship whether romantic and platonic is a hard life experience to deal with. Even though it may seem like the end of the world in the moment, you will get through it. You will find someone else who you enjoy sharing both the mundane and exciting moments with until you’re old and need help going to the bathroom!