No one likes going through a break-up, even if it’s one we’re the ones who want to end the relationship. No matter what, whether the relationship was a toxic one or not, you develop a connection with someone. And now, you’re ending that connection. Needless to say, breakups are hard. But what’s important is you go through the break-up process in a way that will help you mend your heart and have you moving forward in a healthy way, and now, I don’t mean having sex with your ex. It’s time you learned how to get over a breakup (the right way).
In this break-up guide, you’re going to learn what happens to the human body when going through a break-up, and how to go through the break-up process that will help heal you.
The Break-up Aftermath: 7 Emotional Stages of Recovery After a Break-up
Your relationship just ended, and whether you were blindsided or knew it was coming, now it’s here. You may be feeling overwhelmed, angry, or deeply sad about the loss of your relationship. After your break-up, you’ll be going through the process of letting go. If you want to know how to get over a breakup you need to know what to expect. These are the emotional stages you’ll experience.
Desperate for answers
If your partner broke up with you, you want to know what happened and why. You’re desperate to figure out what went wrong. So, you start over-analyzing things your ex has told you in the past, things you may have done wrong, anything to help you understand the loss of your relationship. You talk about the possibilities with your friends, family, and colleagues, as you want to put the pieces of the puzzle together and solve the problem.
This isn’t happening. How can I live without them? You don’t believe this is a permanent break-up, maybe it’s just a phase, and things will go back to normal in a couple of days. Your relationship is something you’ve heavily invested in, and in the blink of an eye, it’s gone. You don’t believe the relationship is over, and now, you’re in survival mode to keep it alive. During this time, you’ll pause the grieving process because you’re hoping there’s still a chance to mend things.
Since you’re in denial and desperate to keep the relationship, you’re about to do just about anything you need to do. You’ll put the toilet seat down after you pee, you’ll hang out with their parents more often; whatever it is they need you to do, you’ll do it. Right now, you’re hanging off the edge, and if the relationship ends, you’ll fall into the unknown. But what you don’t see is that by doing anything for your partner, you’re putting the relationship on your back. When, in reality, a relationship is a two-way street. You cannot be the only one working to save the relationship.
This doesn’t happen for everyone, but maybe you were able to convince your ex to give you a second chance. So, they agreed. For a moment, you’ll feel a sigh of relief, almost as if a ton of bricks were lifted off your shoulders. But the odds of this relationship lasting are slim. You may have to go through multiple break-ups and relapses before it becomes clear it’s time to end things. This is why sex with your ex is a bad idea.
At first, you fear the unknown and deeply saddened by the fact the relationship didn’t work out as you had planned. Once a bit of the fear subsides, you start to feel anger. However, if you’re able to harness your anger, it can help you through the break-up process. With anger, you can reflect on the relationship and realize that you deserve more. Regardless if your anger is directed at your ex, life, or family, you can use it to push yourself forward by steering it in the direction of self-empowerment.
With time, you’ll (kind of) accept the break-up. It’s not going to be full acceptance, but more like surrendering yourself to the process. You’re going through the process not because you want to, but because you don’t have a choice. As more time passes, you’ll become more aware that perhaps the relationship wasn’t the right one for you.
Hope is an interesting human quality as it can push through our fears while also preventing us from moving on. If you start to accept the break-up for what it is, hope can be then used to push through this time in your life and show you that you can live a fulfilling life without your ex-partner. Though you may not feel hopeful right now, at some point in time, you will feel it and start a new chapter in your life.
While you’re going through an emotional process, your body will also experience its own roller coaster. Knowing how to get over a breakup comes with various components. Your mind and body are connected, and one cannot separate the two during an emotional experience, like a break-up.
5 Things Your Body Goes Through After a Break-up
Break-ups aren’t a walk in the park. We all know there’s a painful emotional process to go through, but don’t forget about your body. A break-up is more than emotions; it also has physical side effects as well. By knowing what happens, you’ll be able to better connect with yourself and choose the right self-care for your body, mind, and soul. So, what happens to your body after a break-up?
You may feel Broken Heart Syndrome
Who knew broken hearts could cause a medical condition called the Broken Heart Syndrome? Well, this isn’t a joke. Yes, it’s a real condition. Broken Heart Syndrome is a condition that occurs when the heart of the person temporarily enlarges and decreases in pumping, while the rest of the heart functions as normal. This leads to short-term heart muscle failure. I repeat, short-term. You will recover from this if you happen to get this condition.
You may experience situational depression
Going through a break-up is emotionally very difficult. This is why many people who experience a break-up see a change in their sleeping routines, eating habits, and overall motivation. They’re experiencing a decrease in serotonin production – a feel-good chemical – and when there’s a lack of serotonin produced in the body, it can cause situational depression, which have symptoms similar to a major depressive episode. The only difference is situational depression has a shorter lifespan.
Your blood pressure many increase
Don’t forget about your blood pressure. Thanks to this pesky stress hormone called Cortisol, it can do some damage to the body when we’re going through a stressful period. Cortisol, also known as the ‘fight or flight’ hormone and is released when the body is fighting for survival. In this case, it’s released due to the emotional and physical stress of the break-up.
You may experience withdrawal symptoms
When you’re in a relationship and in love, the brain releases happy hormones like oxytocin and dopamine. These hormones have you feeling happy and relaxed. However, when you go through a break-up, the brain experiences massive withdrawals of these hormones. And this withdrawal is similar to quitting drugs. People who are going through a break-up can experience around six months of withdrawal symptoms.
You may have skin outbreaks
You may not want everyone to know you’re going through a hard time, but your skin may be the one who lets everyone know. One common side-effect from break-ups includes acne and rashes. This contributes to the increase of cortisol levels in your body. Cortisol levels increase when your body is under stress. A study from Wake Forest University found that participants who broke out during stressful times were over 20 percent.
Now, you know what happens to the body and mind after a break-up. While you’re going through this experience, reflect on yourself, and see how you’re reacting to the break-up. This will help you learn more about yourself during times under extreme stress. So, how to get over a breakup? Here are some helpful things to do to mend your heart.
8 Things to Do to Mend Your Heart After the Break-up
Knowing how you react to a break-up is important, but now it’s time to focus on healing your heart after a break-up. And remember, this is a process. Take everything step-by-step and go at a pace that you’re comfortable with. So here are 8 things to do to mend your heart after the breakup.
Give yourself time to feel and grieve
The days following your breakup, feelings are going to come flooding towards you. Let yourself feel them. Cry when you feel the tears coming, yell if you feel like yelling; you need to go through the stages of grief and process the breakup. This isn’t something that you’re going to get over in one day. It’s a process, and you need to give yourself the time to go through it. Everyone is different, and this is your journey. Your feelings exist for a reason; let yourself feel.
Surround yourself with a support system
Make sure that you call a couple of your closest friends or family during this process and let them know what happened. Your friends and family love you—they’re your support system. But unless you tell them, they probably won’t know what’s going on in your life. Please don’t be shy to tell them what happened. Each person you talk to will have their own way of showing support and love.
Be careful with distractions
No one wants to go through the grieving process; this is why you’ll see many people engaging in harmful behavior like drinking or excessive partying. Yes, you can take a break from feeling your emotions, but be careful of what you’re doing to distract yourself. Learning a new language is a good idea, workout, hang out with your friends. But self-destructive activities will only act as a temporary distraction.
When you’re going through a break-up, it’s easy to sink into your feelings. Yes, you should feel yourself, but don’t fall into these feelings and let them become you. If you’re feeling sad, then cry and give yourself an amount of time to sit in that feeling. But once the time is up, you need to stop, wipe your tears, and do something else with your time.
Don’t forget your body
While you’re trying to heal your mind, don’t forget your body. Your mind and body are connected, so treating one will treat the other. Though working out may not sound like fun right now, it can help you feel better. Endorphins are released when you exercise and can help relieve the withdrawal symptoms from the breakup.
Date yourself before dating someone else
Let’s be honest; many of us don’t want to go through the grieving process. So, instead, we’ll pick someone to date as a rebound. But remember, your relationship status doesn’t define you. After a breakup, take the time to date yourself and explore your needs and wants.
Cut off communication with your ex
I saved the best for last. Yes, it’s time for you to cut off communication with your ex. If you want to mend your broken heart, it’s not going to happen while you’re creeping through their social media. Initially, it’s going to be one of the hardest things you’ll do after the break-up, but it’ll be the most liberating you’ll do.
Learning how to mend your heart after a breakup isn’t going to happen overnight. You’re going to go through your ups and downs, but if you follow these tips, it’ll help the process and make you a stronger person at the end of it all. But before anything, it’s time to implement the no-contact rule—Dun, dun, dun.
The No-Contact Rule: Your Post-Breakup Detox
Do you want to truly detox yourself from your ex? Are you really ready to move on? If you really want to move past this relationship, the no-contact rule is key when knowing how to get over a breakup. If so, then it’s time you took charge of your life with the no-contact rule.
I want to summarize this for you so you know exactly what the no-contact rule means. The no-contact rule essentially means you’re cutting off 100% contact with your ex. Maybe you’re trying to look for some loopholes, but there are none to this rule.
The no-contact rules means:
- No phone calls
- No “accidentally” bumping into ex
- No text messages
- No social media posts directed at your ex
- No mutual friends messaging them on your behalf
- No connection on any social media apps
Why do the no-contact rule?
When dealing with a break-up, you’re going to go through withdrawals. And like any addiction, it’s easy to fall back into things to prevent going through the withdrawals and emotions of a break-up. The no-contact rule helps you learn how to live without your ex and emotionally process the break-up without any distractions.
How long should you do the no-contact rule?
I recommend a minimum of 30 days. A 2007 study found that 71% of people who went through a recent break-up felt better after three months. Of course, if you can prolong the no-contact rule, and hold out for 60 to 90 days, that would be best. After the break-up, the next 30 days will be emotional and may not be enough time. However, I recommend your minimal goal to be 30 days.
What’s a limited no-contact rule?
There are some situations where we can’t completely shut our ex out of our life. Here are some reasons:
- You share children together/are pregnant
- You’re co-workers
- You live together
- You’re married
In these cases, you should keep the communication down to the essentials such as paying bills, childcare, or work. Any other small talk needs to be avoided during the no-contact period.
What do you do during the no-contact rule?
You live your life. I know it’ll seem hard at first, but it’s time to self-reflect and focus on what you want out of your life and how you’re going to achieve those goals. Spend time with your friends, family, and take up hobbies that interest you. Use this time to realize you can live a happy life without your ex.
What happens if you break it?
Nothing. You restart from day 1. It may take a couple of tries, but it’s important to do your best and refrain from contacting your ex.
What happens if your ex contacts you during the no-contact rule?
There’s a high chance your ex is going to try to contact you during the 30 days no-contact period. So, what do you do when your ex contacts you during the no-contact rule? Well, it really depends on the context of the situation. Ideally, you should give yourself 30 days to reflect on the situation, whether you choose to get back together with your partner or not. If your ex contacts you, tell them you need some space and will contact them when you’re ready.
Learning how to get over a breakup takes time. And not all breakups are permanent. Maybe you’ve decided to get back together with your ex and if so, take this second chance seriously to look at your relationship and see the areas you two need to work on. But if you choose to move on from your ex, before you enter the dating world, read my next guide “StartingFresh: Post Break-up Guide.”