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How to Survive a Breakup

March 14, 2007

You’ve all experienced this in one way or another.  You broke up with someone.  Someone broke up with you.  Or you are a friend of someone who had just broken up with someone else.  So needless to say, I am sure you all know the pain.

My boyfriend and I broke up recently and it’s been rough, to say the least, because we are still in love with each other.  We recognize that we had a really good relationship and that we got along so well.  We were able to communicate, listen, and compromise.  We were connected emotionally, physically and intellectually.  But we broke up because there is no future.  He is going back to his home country at the end of this year, and we both finally admitted to ourselves that our relationship would not survive over there. 

Since the breakup, I’ve been examining my feelings and grieving the loss.  And, for the fist time in my life, I’m not rushing into a new relationship so that I can find myself and come out of it without any baggage.  In the past, I might have simply masked the pain by denying my feelings, distracting myself with a new relationship, or simply treating myself like a victim and hating the world.  But now that I’m more mature, I am handling it in what I think is the best way.  Those of you who know me realize that I am a fan of self-help books; so yes, I’ve been reading them, too.  Not that I am a veteran of failed relationships, but I think I’m doing a hell of a good job dealing with this.  So I thought I’d share with you some insight on what I am doing to survive the breakup.  And of course, I’d love to get some advice from you, too, on how YOU cope with the loss of a significant other, too.

1.  Treat the breakup as what it is.  Do not fantasize about getting back together in the future.  Accept your reasons for the breakup, and accept that your relationship is over.  This way, you can really deal with the reality and set real boundaries.

2.  Talk to your friends and family and ask for their support.  Know that you are loved by them and that you are not alone.  Accept their support.

3.  Grieve.  Really grieve.  Cry.  It’s okay.  Let it all out.  Don’t deny your negative feelings.  Don’t react to them.  Just let your feelings be and accept them as they are.

4.  Have some alone time.  Don’t rush into a new relationship or start dating right away to mask the pain.  Take some time to heal.

5.  Keep yourself busy.  Go out with your friends.  Find a hobby.  Go to a park.  Go to the gym.  Don’t shut yourself out from the rest of the world.

6.  Realize that the pain that you are experiencing is just temporary.  Remember, time will heal.  And life will go on.  And eventually, you will be over him or her.

7.  Be good to yourself.  Take good care of yourself.  Treat yourself well.  Remember to love yourself.

8.  You may want to hook up with an ex or someone else.  But don’t.  It really won’t make you feel better.

9.  Don’t assume that alcohol will make you feel better, either.  It won’t.

10.  Once you are over the break up, analyze the relationship and yourself.  How did you grow from this experience?  What did you learn about yourself from this experience?  What will you do in the next relationship that is the same?  What will you do differently in the next relationship (If you made mistakes, don’t beat yourself up.  What has happened has happened.  Don’t dwell in the past.  You cannot change what has already happened.  Just be sure to not make the same mistakes again in the future).  You need to accept things as they are and learn from the experience, good or bad.

11.  Finally, when you are ready, make yourself available to meet others.  Remember that there are plenty of fish in the sea.

35 Comments leave one →
  1. Pritilata permalink
    March 14, 2007 5:48 pm

    You give sage advice. As much as it seems like you will never get over this person, I guarantee that in no time you will be thinking of him as “Thomas? Thomas who?” I must admit though — I am a fan of the post-breakup hook up!

  2. MayMay permalink
    March 14, 2007 5:58 pm

    Agree with all the pointers you had on how to survuive a breakup. Most of all- no. 7- “love yourself.” No one, absolutely no one, is worth all those tears and sadness. When you break up-you analyze what went wrong, why you had to make those decisions (in your case, it was the right one, given the relationship was not going to survive the circumstances), identify lessons learned, pick up the pieces and move on. Remember these words from Mariah Carey’s song Hero- “the hero lies in you.”

  3. Cathy permalink
    March 14, 2007 6:16 pm

    Sorry to hear that this chapter of your life has ended and the pall of sadness that has casted over you. In time, you will find that it’s all part of the lesson you learned while traveling through the journey of life. Look at the brighter side of things, you had a chance to meet someone who is competable with you in every way, you need to be thankful that you met a person like him, otherwise, you would never know what it feels like. Nothing is permanent in life, you can treasure the memories!

  4. Alicia permalink
    March 15, 2007 1:27 am

    Don’t forget, that while it is sad, just because a relationship ends it doesn’t mean it failed. People come in and out of our lives. The times spent with them are wonderful. They can be very significant, and help us learn good and new things about ourselves that we can continue to carry with us in the future. You are a strong beautiful woman and I am excited to see where your next adventures take you.

    con amor,


  5. Soe Lin permalink
    March 15, 2007 1:47 am

    Knowing what you want is very important. You didn’t follow him just out of fear of losing him. You know what you want in your life and stuck to your own principles. You deserve to live your dreams. Don’t feel that you’re alone because I’m always here for you. You can always fall back on your family when you need support.

  6. March 15, 2007 6:41 pm

    Considering that I’ve only been with my boyfriend for a month, I highly doubt I’ll be needing your sage advice anytime soon, but you make some good points that deserve to be said. I know way too many people who took breakups way too harshly, and some that even considered suicide over some pretty stupid people. 😦

    Sage advice, though! Good post!

  7. March 19, 2007 7:45 am

    Call all your friends (especially the ones you blew off to spend time with your ex when he was your new boyfriend) and let them know you are available. Stay busy, but don’t forget to look inward. And if necessary, spend a few hours talking to a shrink.

    At least, that’s what my shrink said.

  8. Bill permalink
    December 26, 2007 3:13 pm

    Ive just recently been dumped after a 2year relationship, and it went something like this…
    22nd Nov – Our 2year anniversary (all great)
    25th Nov – She comes round kisses hugs me and then dumps me in 20mins
    30th Nov – She sleeps with a work “acquantance”
    16th Dec – She sleeps with someone i thought of as a close friend and again work with
    20th Dec – She sleeps with one of her friends

    My problem is that because we work together, we see one another on a regular basis and travel in similar cirlces. It was gut wrenching to get dumped completely out of the blue, and then even more so to find out shes sleeping around with others ive got to have regular contact with.

    I feel as though im the one being dragged through all this while shes having the time of her life. She genuinely looks and sounds happy but i dont seem to – no matter how hard i try to relax or not hear things about her.

    The holidays are almost over and will soon go back to work with both her, the acquantance and the EX-friend. 😦


  9. December 26, 2007 8:02 pm


    Sorry you feel as though you’re being dragged through all this. It can be really hard when two people break up, especially if they work together and have to see one another on a regular basis. I am not a dating expert or a counselor, but my friends always come to me for advice. And if a friend of mine were in your situation, this is what I would tell them.

    1. Do keep your relationship out of the office. You might be tempted to discuss your relationship with your ex or use the company email system to send her emails. But you don’t want to look unprofessional, and you don’t want to be part of work gossip. So if you need to talk to her, do so outside of work.

    2. Don’t bad mouth your ex in the office. I know it’s tempting, especially if she’s sleeping around. But save your criticisms for your friends outside of work because, again, you don’t want to look unprofessional and be part of office gossip.

    3. Do stay focused on your job. I’m sure the breakup will affect your productivity. But remember your deadlines and your projects.

    4. Don’t be hostile toward your ex in the office or show too much emotion at work. Remember to keep your professionalism and handle yourself with dignity at work. What you do in the privacy of your own home (e.g., cry) is up to you.

    5. Don’t forget that time will heal. In time, you will feel so much better.

    6. Do ask to move your office or transfer, if possible, so that you do not have to see your ex on a regular basis.

    7. Do know that your friends and family care about you and that you are not alone.

    8. Do take care of yourself and be good to yourself because you deserve it.

    9. Do talk to a professional (a therapist) if possible.

    10. Do think twice before jumping into another office romance.

    Good luck!

  10. Bill permalink
    December 27, 2007 12:17 am

    Thank you. Ill definately try and put it into practice.

  11. Justine permalink
    March 12, 2009 6:20 am

    i agree with your points. 🙂 I think its also needs to be said… that you should stay away from your EX. Even if the relationship ended nicely.. just stay away.. not cut each other off. Stay away by keeping yourself busy… 🙂

  12. March 29, 2009 1:33 am

    Great post about break up, you just covered all the important aspect dealing with break up, and to stress things up, the point will be to heal your self first before committing to another new relationship.

  13. April 15, 2009 11:36 am

    I follow your posts for a long time and must tell you that your articles are always valuable to readers.

  14. April 15, 2009 9:06 pm

    Thanks! I haven’t posted anything on Philawdelphia for a long time, but one day soon, I will get back to it.

  15. Inspired permalink
    January 5, 2010 10:34 pm

    It’s really great that there are these forums for people to discuss their feelings at, if I’d had one at the time I’m sure I’d have felt much better to know I wasn’t the only one.
    At the time of break-ups, people think that the pain never ends and your longing/feelings for that person will never fade… but they do, and if you broke up for the right reasons, you come out a much happier person 🙂

  16. July 15, 2010 9:31 am

    Knowing what you want is very important. You didn’t follow him just out of fear of losing him. You know what you want in your life and stuck to your own principles. You deserve to live your dreams. Don’t feel that you’re alone because I’m always here for you. You can always fall back on your family when you need support.
    killing games

  17. alison permalink
    July 31, 2010 3:29 pm

    I have just broken up with my boyfriend, whom I have been dating for 4 years by now. We have been so much together these 4 years, I do not remember doing anything without him being present. It is so painful that I think I could not resist. It What makes the things worse is that I work with him together at the same place and it kills me to see him every single day. I cant avoid seeing him because we have a business running together and now I am afraid that our business relation will be ruined too.
    Pls advise what to do. I am just turing crazy.

  18. christina permalink
    August 10, 2010 7:52 pm

    i was dating this amazing guy that i met at myrtle beach. my friend and i got his number.after about a week after wee went home she maid him ask mee out. then my friend txt him that i was a dumper and that i was gana brake up with him soon.(i didn’t know that she said that!!) then he txt mee “so wen r u planing on braking up with mee?” then he said “i was told its soon” then after a wile hee broke up with me.we were dating for 31days. that advice has really worked!!!!!!!!!!!! DANIEL IF YOU ARE ON THIS WEBSITE PLEZZ TAKE MEE BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Kalel Abraham permalink
    September 10, 2010 3:10 pm

    Very good pointers I must say.
    For months now I’ve been searching the web regarding getting over broken relationships, although mine is not romantic. Last May after we traveled to China together and he stopped over Dubai to meet online friends,the person I thought was my best buddy for, 2 years (Now I begin to doubt this even. Was it just me who was being the best buddy to him?)started to act funny. First,he deleted then blocked me from his FB (after I emailed the comment of his other friend in FB and he got offended by it. But he didn’t block that friend who originally posted the comment.) Second,he posted pics of him with his new friend in Dubai in his FB but he refused to post our travel pics in his FB or in mine. Third, he stopped texting or calling often. He had been invisible in YM and only replied monosyllabic or sarcastically. Fourth, (we live in different cities) when I invited him recently to come to our city, he refused but he flew to Dubai!

    I feel devastated being replaced by a friend. HELP!

  20. ashely permalink
    April 1, 2011 1:25 pm

    how i get my ex gf if shes dating someone else then we are living together.. the hurt side, she’s sleep with him almost every night and she will come back in our apartment for her things then go back to this guy.. it hurts me so bad since i feel ive move on when i didnt see her but if she comes back her in apartment, my feelings towards her will come back again and i ll show her that im desperate coz i miss her and i try to convince her to get back.. i cant control myself because i love her so almost 2 months since we broke up..please give me advice..

  21. sun permalink
    May 16, 2012 10:24 am

    thanks for the advice but it is not easy at all. I did what you said for a while but I keep bumping into him and then I thought It is better to let it out and then I told him let’s talk and he never called back and at that moment his ego reached the sky that after all this time I am still thinking about the relationship. Nevertheless, I never called or asked again, till after almost 3 weeks of that day we bumped again and I asked him to talk. It felt good at the beginning but then it did not feel good because I could not believe all his words. and my friend told me that I have done twice getting his ego high in the sky because for sure he is thinking that I move on, I lost weight, i look really good, I am much older than him, I am traveling and going out and doing well at work. she said with what I told him, I pushed his ego to the sky, that in spite of all what I am doing, i still miss him and think about him. And what should I do to stop having these ups and downs. It is sucking out my energy and focus in life.

  22. Andreena permalink
    February 2, 2013 3:35 am

    I have been with my ex boyfriend for 27 months when we broke off. he went on in another relationship with someone less than 1month after we broke off. but karma really comes round. he got cheated by this girl. he came back to me after 3 months and begged, cried to me that he regretted his impulse actions. i didnt want him back cause i was furious, upset with him. but the more i go away from him, the more he came nearer, the more he looked up for me. to make things worst, his friends still contacted me, his family still calls me up. and now i feel pain each time he said about another new girl. i dont know what i should do. its been 7 months since we broke off, and i havent really got over him. i feel useless.

  23. March 26, 2013 4:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Life is a war.

  24. Wierd permalink
    April 27, 2013 10:23 pm

    Hello, I was reading the post and actualy want to ask opinion about my situation. So I broke up recently, 2 weeks ago with my girlfriend after 4 years relationship (yeah I’m a man reading these kinds of posts) and she allready found another man the same day we broke up, she has been hanging with him, they went to a concert together and now she is even sleeping at his place, not all the time though (he is like 5-10 years older than she is) anyways, the wierd part is that I felt realy sad and actualy cry to my ex on the brakeup day, but next day I felt nothing… as if nothing happened. We have mutual apartment, im looking for my own at the moment. She comes now and then we sleep under the same roof, different rooms though. I try to keep distance as if im runing away from her, if I know shes coming home, I usualy go outside with my mates etc. but when we happen to be home together, I know shes allready dating someone else, but I feel nothing, I dont feel sadness, or remorse, I get a little shakiness and butterfly effect in my stomach but nothing else, I eat, drink and do the normal stuff normaly. Doese this mean im ALLREADY magicaly getting over her? or is there some other explanation to my feelings?

  25. January 9, 2015 6:51 am

    with dis how to survive a broke up is about my ex.i brokeup wit him and rush into another marraige but my ex use to call dat he still luv me which i still luv him too.and i realised my mistake i dont knw what to right now but with have read i will let bygone be bygone.

  26. adamburster permalink
    October 26, 2016 1:22 am

    This is probably the first blog I read that matches my situation. I dated a girl when I studied abroad, and even though I still think she’s the love of my life, we broke up after I came back to my home country. It’s been pretty hard. It happened more than 3 months ago, and I’m still dwelling on the future we could have together. That sucks. And I’m trying to move on but sometimes she texts me and all my shields go down instantly, as like she forces me to be who I really am, without any masks or this kind of shit. I tried everything but nothing works, It seems she’s the girl I won’t forget.

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