12 People Explain How They Finally Got The Upper Hand In Their Breakup


1. “Put my energy into anything that had nothing to do with her. I got scuba certified, invested (slash learned) about the stock market finally, did one of those meal-delivery subscriptions and started learning how to cook, put in more hours at my job (which, normally, I wouldn’t recommend for overall mental health, but it helped while I was doing it cuz I didn’t think about her as much).”

–Aidan, 27

2. “A lot of therapy that forced me to look internally at the problems and issues I had instead of projecting them onto him. It was a lot of work and very draining.”

–Emma, 28

3. “I stopped actually trying to get the upper hand. I’m not sure if objectively that means I got the upper hand, but subjectively it does. I stopped obsessing over him and what he was doing compared to me. And instead focused on my own life without him in it. To me, that’s getting the upper hand, even if it’s totally subjective and unrelated to him.”

–Sophia, 25

4. “I got obsessed with routine, when I was at the lowest of low. So I got up every morning at 5:45 and ran 3 miles, then went to work, then started going to lunch with my coworkers (always turned them down before, turns out they’re awesome), then would only go straight home one or two nights a week (the other nights I would grab a beer with somebody or on Thursdays I had frisbee and we’d all grab drinks after and those kinds of things). So the routine kept me sane and then slowly I started feeling really content with my life and it wasn’t about getting over her anymore and it was just about being happy and enjoying myself.”

–Kaleb, 30

5. “I was really nice (genuinely nice) to his friends every time I ran into them, which was a lot since our social circles overlapped. He was always an asshole to my friends, so it just made me look way better and made him look like even more of a dick.”

–Sydnie, 23

6. “I guess I always had the upper hand because she cheated on me but we had all the same friends so then everyone was pissed at her afterwards.”

–Benjamin, 24

7. “Moved, got a way better job, moved in with my college roommate and met a brand new circle of friends in DC, and finally texted him ‘Please stop calling me, I 100% don’t want to get back together” after he repeatedly texted me and called me wanting me back after dumping me because he had to see what else was out there.”

–Colin, 26

8. “Started dating a woman who was a lot kinder and a lot funnier and a much better person than her.”

–Mason, 29

9. “I stopped posting so much on social media and for some reason that made me feel actually more confident and much happier than him. His posting was constant, like everybody knew every single thing about his life, and maybe that was directed at me but maybe not. I on the other hand loved that he had no way to figure out what I was doing or how I was doing.”

–Savannah, 26

10. “By putting all my focus into my other relationships. I had a lot of great relationships outside of him: my sister, my two brothers, my parents, my coworkers, my best friends. It was still difficult but I felt like I had this amazing support system that prevented me from sinking to a low level.”

–Avery, 29

11. “Technically I didn’t do anything. But her boyfriend after me was awful (rude, got a DUI, was generally horrible) and every time I ran into one of her friends (and even her sister one time) they told me how much they wished she was still with me instead.”

–Liam, 26

12. “Focused the hell on myself and my own happiness. That changed everything.”

–Gabriella, 27 Thought Catalog Logo Mark

I’m a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

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