- … give yourself time
Break-ups are difficult. They hurt. And that's OK. Don't put on a fake smile and go on with your life as if nothing happened. It's best to deal with the pain while it's fresh instead of suppressing it and having it pop up twice as bad a few months down the line.
Don't start looking for a new relationship immediately after a break-up. Rebounds very rarely work out, and you run the risk of getting hurt again. Or hurting someone else.
Give yourself time to grieve and come to terms with what happened. Only once you feel good about yourself and aren't angry or sad about your past relationship anymore should you start considering a new relationship.
- … take care of your body
When our hearts are in pain, we tend to treat our bodies badly, too. Some people stop eating. Others eat way too much. Others yet start drinking, smoking or taking all sorts of pain killers, legal or otherwise. All of this won't help you get over your break-up. So try to be nice to your body, it will help you in the long run.
Also, why not try some exercise? Getting some of the ‘happy hormones’ called endorphins flowing through your body isn't just good for your health, but will also make you feel better in general.
- … distract yourself
As difficult as it will be, get out of the bed and out of the house. Meet friends and family, or start playing a sport you were always interested in, learn how to cook, join a club... The possibilities are endless, but the aim is the same. Meet new people, do something you enjoy and in the meantime get some much needed breathing time.
- … contact your ex
No calling, no emails, no messages, no texting, and please, no sexting! No constant checking on his or her Facebook profile, or any other form of e-stalking. And, no running into him or her, just 'coincidentally'. In order to give yourself the space you need to heal, you need to cut all contact with your ex for a while. The more carefully you are following this rule, the faster you will get over your ex. We promise.
On the same note, don't re-read old emails or messages. This will tear your heart apart faster than you can say break-up. Big no-no!
- … become a hermit
Yes, we know that the only thing you want to do right now is to curl up on your bed, close the curtains and listen to sad love songs. Which is OK. But you really need to make sure that you have people you can talk to, whose shoulders you can cry on. Don't try to fight the pain all by yourself. It's important to talk about what's going on, especially with someone who cares about you. They will make sure you aren't beating yourself up over something that isn't your fault. And that's really important.
- … start questioning your whole relationship
It didn't work out. That's bad and it hurts right now. But don't start questioning your entire relationship, or, even worse, start blaming yourself for things you couldn't change.
Don't ask yourself if you'd still be together if only you were a bit taller/prettier/smarter/funnier. As clichéd as it may sound, sometimes it just isn't meant to be. And sometimes it really is them, not you.
That said, we can all learn from break-ups, and some reflection can be helpful and help you grow as a person. And maybe even help you avoid repeating preventable mistakes in your next relationship.