What you’ve been doing: curling up in a ball, hiding from the world for a couple days, then emerging to make as many reckless/exciting/most likely regrettable decisions in the shortest amount of time possible so than no one knows you’re hurting.
What you need to do: Take the time to properly feel all the emotions (yes, even the awful ones) to their fullest extent, and make peace with them. Then, and only then, step back out and start taking into account all the possibilities before you. If you don’t handle your emotions first, your attempts at moving on will only be distractions, and you won’t really get much out of them. Spend some time with people who can bring out and remind you of the sides of you that you’re most proud of- and in time you’ll find yourself ready to jump back into all the possibilities life has waiting for you.
What you’ve been doing: Completely cutting out the entire outside world and taking on the emotions alone, while constantly checking on your ex’s social media and responding to their messages that they send you, despite that you’ve promised yourself you wouldn’t.
What you need to do: Reach out to one or two close friends you can trust with your emotions- allow yourself to talk them all out, or even write them down on paper, whatever it takes to allow yourself to no longer hold onto all the feelings inside your own head. Then, cut off all contact from the person instead of the rest of the world. Delete their number, remove them from social media, erase the messages. Only once you’ve completely removed contact from them can you honestly begin to move on- you know as long as there is any type of hope, you’ll hold onto it.
What you’ve been doing: Simultaneously over-analyzing the breakup and all its factors and how you could have fixed it when you’re alone, while also pretending like it didn’t actually affect you, going out with your friends, potentially hooking up with some one-night stands, and acting like you’re even more confident now than you were while in your relationship.
What you need to do: Yes, go out with your friends, but take the time to talk things out with your most trusted ones and allow yourself to fully process the heartbreak: because no amount of alcohol, one night stands, or distractions will truly speed up the process. Come to terms that the relationship wasn’t meant to work out, and that’s okay- stop beating yourself up over it. Finally, throw yourself back into those projects you’ve been working on- it’s likely you’ve already come up with ideas for at least 3 new ones already and it will be good to get yourself back into your element again.
What you’ve been doing: completely detaching from any emotional response and moving on as if the relationship never actually existed (aka: trying to convince everyone you’re a robot and nothing can hurt you).
What you need to do: Take the time to acknowledge that yes, you too have feelings that need to be dealt with. Though it’s tempting to ignore them altogether, they do eventually resurface in other ways, so it’s best to handle them now- so take your time and determine every emotion you feel in response to the breakup, and then when you’re ready, find an extremely entrusted friend to discuss this with- someone who will encourage you to work through it, not allow you to go off in your own world again. Then immerse yourself into some new hobbies that will help you pass the time until you start to feel like yourself again- though we know with you, it won’t really take too long to get there.
What you’ve been doing: Replaying and hashing out every aspect of the relationship with your friends until you can’t anymore, then putting on your hottest outfit and hitting the town to find someone who will truly appreciate you (while secretly stalking your ex to see how they are handling the breakup).
What you need to do: Take some for yourself- and by that, I mean taking care of yourself and focusing on your healing instead of your ex’s. It’s easy to overanalyze and try to see how you could’ve saved the relationship, but in order to move on you have to cut yourself off from them completely (yes, including social media) and fixate on how you’re feeling- once you start to work through your own pain, you’ll finally be able to reemerge back into the world as the confident person you truly are- and finally take on the next steps in your life.
What you’ve been doing: Pouring over the memories to the point of obsession, and nitpicking every single mistake you possibly made during the entire relationship, somehow determining this to be your fault so you can make things right again.
What you need to do: Stay close to your best friends and loved ones- while being alone is important to process the emotions, too, it’s a slippery slope into hibernating and staying inside your own mind, and that’s just as dangerous. Vent your heart out to people you trust, and allow them to offer you outside perspectives that you might not have seen before. Accept that you can’t fix the relationship, but you can learn from it, and that’s an important thing too- and in time, though you may never feel you have let go of their memory fully, you’ll find yourself ready to move on to whatever life has waiting for you.
What you’ve been doing: Telling anyone and everyone that the relationship ended because you wanted it to, and trying to project way more confidence than you actually have about the whole thing.
What you need to do: You may be surprised at how strongly you might be feeling about the breakup- and that’s perfectly okay. Don’t push away the feelings though- let them flood through you, despite how unnatural this might be for you at first. It’s important to deal with the emotions and let them run their course. Then spend some time around and talk things out with people who aren’t afraid to see you like this and who will remind you of how great you are, despite how this breakup might have you feeling quite the opposite. In time, you’ll find yourself seeing the ending was for the best and find yourself ready to take on the world once again.
What you’ve been doing: Sitting completely alone and replaying everything that happened in the relationship believing that by doing so you’ll eventually have a complete and clear answer on why it happened.
What you need to do: It’s important to process the relationship, but relationships aren’t purely logical- and attempting to look at it through only a logical lens won’t really help you heal properly. Allow yourself to process the relationship both through logical reasoning AND through emotional understanding- and if you’re having a hard time getting there, find someone you trust to talk things out with who can help you reach that place. Accept that having an emotional response isn’t weak, and is totally normal- once you allow yourself to grieve properly, you’ll find yourself moving on without trying.
What you’ve been doing: locking yourself away, staying in your bed, and over analyzing everything you could’ve done to fix the relationship- then immediately jumping into your friend’s and family’s lives and attempting to fix all of their problems.
What you need to do: Take your time in letting the emotions pass and remind yourself that it takes two people to make a relationship work- you could not have fixed this all on your own. Then grab a few trusted friends or loved ones, talk out all of your thoughts and feelings, and allow them to take care of you for a change. Eventually, you’ll be more than ready to jump back in and help others the way you’re used to, but you have to take time to care for yourself as well.
What you’ve been doing: Keeping entirely to yourself and spending the next few days (or weeks) analyzing the entire relationship and how you could’ve fixed it- and drowning in all of the memories (good, bad, and the ugly) in the process.
What you need to do: Allow the reality to hit you that the relationship is over and that there isn’t anything you can do to change that. Ease yourself into spending time with your friends, even if you really don’t want to be around people, so that you aren’t allowing yourself to remain stuck inside your head 24/7. Reconnect with the world around you, and start to picture your future without that person in your life, because this is your new reality, and recognizing this will only push you closer to moving on in your life.
What you’ve been doing: Indulging in as many new experiences as absolutely possible, with as many new people as possible, and trying to convince yourself and everyone else that you’re totally over it- almost as if it never happened in the first place.
What you need to do: Don’t ignore your pain, regardless of how easy that might be for you to do in the moment. Though it’s easy to push it away and say you’ll deal with it later, eventually it will catch up with you and will be so much heavier than you expected it to be. Take the time to accept that all relationships are a bit of a risk- it’s part of why you are drawn to them, right? Sometimes those risks don’t pan out, but there is an entire world out there that will be ready for you once you’ve truly allowed yourself to work through the pain- even talking things out with a couple of trusted friends won’t hurt.
What you’ve been doing: Completely detaching from your emotions and pretending that you are, in fact, the robot everyone jokes that you are while diving into any type of experience that will take you out of your own head for as long as humanly possible.
What you need to do: Despite that dealing with your emotions isn’t your strong suit (hence why you would like to avoid them at all costs), it’s beyond necessary in order to move on in a healthy way- or period, for that matter. While you can get away with distracting yourself for a day or two, allow yourself a short amount of time to sit alone and feel that pain that inevitably comes with heartbreak- and then find a close friend who won’t force you to talk if you don’t want to, but also won’t allow you to escape inside your own head constantly, and try to communicate as best you can about your feelings. It won’t be easy, but you aren’t going to fully move on until you do- otherwise, those buried feelings will only resurface next time you try and enter a relationship with someone else.
What you’ve been doing: Finding the nearest party and flirting with as many people as possible in order to convince yourself you’re still an incredible catch and desirable. If a party isn’t available, then you’re on Tinder or even scrolling through your contacts to talk to people with the same intentions as previously stated.
What you need to do: Allow yourself to feel the sadness, hurt, or anger in its entirety. Trying to reassign your focus on other people just to give yourself a confidence boost will only work temporarily and the ignored feelings eventually overwhelm you. Spend some time alone for a day or two to process and deal with the feelings, then grab some friends you can talk to and enjoy a night out- focused on your friends, not on trying to hook up with someone new. After some time, you’ll be ready to jump back out there again.
What you’ve been doing: Retreating from the entire world, finding playlists of exclusively sad songs, and deciding to listen on repeat for as long as you can manage as a human being.
What you need to do: You’re already feeling all of your feelings- you can’t help it. It’s important to acknowledge that your feelings are valid, and it’s important to reflect and understand them as much as possible- but you can’t keep yourself locked away forever. Try to channel your emotions into your creative aspects- you’ll be amazed as to how cathartic it can feel, as well as what you might create. Seek out some kind but grounded friends to talk things out with- let them give you perspectives you may be missing, as well as let them take care of you while you’re at your lowest point- after some time you’ll start to find yourself ready to move on to whatever is next for you in life.
What you’ve been doing: Throwing yourself into whatever is the biggest distraction you can find at the time, projecting a strong picture of confidence to everyone around you so they know you’re “totally fine”, and then in private getting really, really angry about the whole thing an convincing yourself you hate the person.
What you need to do: Find someone you can trust to talk things out with- handling emotions tends to be easier to handle when someone else is there, rather than going it alone. Take time to sort out why things didn’t work out, and recognize you will be just fine without them- despite their significant impact. Start focusing on your work or other projects that give you a good sense of control- but only after you’ve taken the time to work through the heartbreak, otherwise you’ll constantly be hounded with wondering what went wrong or could you have worked harder to make the relationship more successful.
What you’ve been doing: Ignoring the pain, examining the breakup through a purely logical lens, and quickly reasoning it was for the best that it didn’t work out- then acting as if you don’t even know the person or the relationship anyone speaks of.
What you need to do: Don’t deny your emotions: feel them and know that it’s not a sign of weakness to be torn up over the absence of a person you let in- you know you don’t do it often, so this is a big deal. Take the time to be alone and process things in a logical manner, but know that especially in relationships, there aren’t always answers to why things happen the way they do, and make peace with that. Once you’ve made some type of peace, throw yourself into a new hobby or skill that you’ve wanted to try- something that gives you the sense of moving forward rather than staying in the exact same place.