Breakup Whiplash: What It Is And 3 Ways To Avoid It

A man puts his hand around a woman in jeans, sitting on a white bench outdoors
Loic Djim / Unsplash

It happened. You did it. You pulled the plug on your relationship and at first, you feel relieved and excited for new opportunities and then a split second later it hits you out of nowhere. You feel this intense grief shake you, you’re crying, and you feel miserable and bereft and then you get your phone out and you send one message. Then another. Then another. Then BAM! You’re back together. Congratulations, you’ve just experienced breakup whiplash.

You were out and then just like that, you’re back in. Things are still the same, nothing was resolved, and honestly, you don’t even care for them that much. So, why were you so upset after the breakup? Why were you so affected? And how can you avoid falling back in the next time you managed to successfully dig yourself out?

1. Throw your phone away. Okay, maybe not literally, but get that thing away from you. Delete their number. Forget how to use the internet and what social media even is. You need to separate yourself from easy communication and thus reconciliation. If you’re really feeling the need to talk, sit down, find their address, and send them a letter. It’s a little old school, but it’ll give you a more serious sense of your actions and what you’re about to do in that it’s not so instantaneous as the other forms of communication.

2. Go out and physically do something. Go out with friends to dinner, but not a movie, you don’t want to sit with your thoughts. Take your dog for a walk. Go for a drive. Anything that refocuses your attention and doesn’t leave you a lot of time to think. You need to give yourself time to cool down and consider your options.

3. After you’ve cleared your mind and can think rationally, get a pen and piece of paper and make out a pros and cons list. You need to really evaluate whether or not you want to be with this person. Regardless of the answer, you still need to call them up or see them and calmly explain your decision if you haven’t already done so in person. You need to be honest with yourself and the other person so you don’t fall into the same cycle of makeup/ break up that so many couples just can’t get out of.

Relationships aren’t easy, and breakups are worse than anyone really talks about, but taking the time to consider your actions and follow these steps could save both of you from more heartache in the future. TC mark

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