Coming out of a bad breakup causes trauma, making it hard to seek out a new guy or to stay in the dating game at all. You sacrificed a lot. You feel angry with a mix of sadness and regret. So, let’s talk about the logistics of dealing with a breakup….
In extreme cases, do a “He-tox”….
Meaning, you should literally avoid the male sex as much as you can. Watch female-empowering media, read literature by women, support a female-founded business. Stop reading Donald Trump’s tweets…. Of course, the patriarchy will slip though the cracks, but making mindful choices to avoid men will be a nice cleanse.
Don’t take a year-long break…..
Pause your dating apps for now. You don’t want to project your sadness onto new matches. I am not saying you should wallow for a year or anything. There should be a period of time to do yoga, meditate, and maybe even go back to or start therapy. I have found that a good dating podcast or two never hurt anything. Give yourself about a month-long timeline. If you take years and years to get over a guy, you are giving him way too much power over your happiness.
Talking endlessly to your friends may not be that productive….
For me, I like to air out my feelings out loud in an empty car while driving somewhere. I figure 80% of therapy is hearing your own thoughts out loud anyway. Try not to wear out your welcome with friends and family. Give yourself time to check in and process by yourself. A journal or diary can be very helpful, too. Not that you shouldn’t talk to your friends, but I think you should be careful about bringing him up every FaceTime. Even if your friends are encouraging you to talk about him, you should restrict yourself and at some point say that you are just trying to move on and need to forget him.
So what’s the protocol after the break up?….
I say if it’s a long term thing, obviously it’s more complicated. It could be a divorce, you might be living together, etc. So, with serious relationships there might need to be a period of time when you are still in contact for legal reasons or just logistical ones. Otherwise, I say end contact as soon as you can.
Remember to unfollow and block on everything…..
If this makes you feel panicked, then tell him you need to block on socials for a while. If he isn’t keeping up with you after the breakup, then you probably don’t need to inform him. Sometimes, if he isn’t talking right after, he will pop up a month later and ruin your progress. I know it’s super hard to not check up on him. However, it will be devastating to see him become Instagram official with another girl. Mainly, the only reason an ex wants to stay in contact is purely for his ego and to not seem like the bad guy. If he wants to be “friends,” be firm and say, “maybe someday, but I need this time to myself.”
As far as stuff goes…
Is it a family heirloom? Or something that’s super-expensive or valuable? Then by all means get it back! However, save yourself the endless scheduling of picking up your old key chain that you bought from a gas station. Don’t use this an an excuse to see him. For his belongings same thing, ask if it’s important to him. If it isn’t, then you can just donate ,etc. Try to be mature about returning leftover items; this is not the time to waste his time or play games.
Closure isn’t worth getting….
Calling him and asking what went wrong will be a waste of time. You will stay in contact way too long just to get a, “it’s not you, it’s me” response. Not worth the time or effort. Just expect it wasn’t meant to be. I know this is hard especially if the relationship went on for years. Sometimes, relationships simply run out of gas. So, when he says he “doesn’t know,” that might be the truth.
Be careful of the post-breakup haircut….
It’s tempting to pull a Britney and shave your hair off. Don’t. Do something nice for yourself instead—order your favorite meal or an indulgent beauty product off Amazon. You will regret doing anything drastic that will take years to grow back.
Be kind to yourself and your emotions. If you end up crying in a Target parking lot while listening to a particular John Mayer song… do it. However, I wouldn’t recommend crying at work or anywhere too public. Develop boundaries with people in your life and really take time for you. Try to not be such a people pleaser and practice saying no. Moving forward, you might gain a lot of perspective and even change the way you date for the future. I feel every relationship is a new learning opportunity.