1. Don’t Talk About it (unless it’s with close family or friends).
While talking to your close family and friends for support is something that can only be expected when you’re going through a breakup the truth is that the majority of the public, your peers, and your acquaintances don’t care and don’t want to know about your heartbreak or lack thereof. They’re not interested in what terrible things your ex did to ruin your life, hold you back, or hurt you. And they’re definitely not interested in hearing about your meaningless rebound hookups, or listen to you drunkenly blubber about how you’ll never find love. While you might be in the depths of despair over your breakup or ready to see your ex burn in hell keep your mouth shut and don’t degrade yourself by bad mouthing them. It only makes you look bad and the truth always comes out eventually. Focus on yourself, and don’t waste your breath.
2. Accept responsibility.
Come to terms with your role in your previous relationship and accept responsibility for your actions and feelings. Evaluate yourself. Were you really the better partner? Did you really treat them as fairly as you thought? What could you have improved on or handled better? And why did you let them treat you a certain way? Why did you put up with them? And is there a pattern between your most recent relationship and your previous ones? Take this opportunity to grow as a person and fess up to any of your own shortcomings. You ex might never take responsibility for their actions, but by accepting responsibility for yours you not only become the bigger person but you’ll become the happier one. Accepting is the first step to moving on (after a tub of ice cream and a Netflix binge).
3. Buckle down and get busy.
Why waste your time in self-pity, doubt, and anger, when you can throw all that energy into advancing your education, career, or personal interests? Get off your ex’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and instead work on fluffing up your LinkedIn, spruce up your resume, apply to internships, international exchanges, leadership conferences, odd jobs, volunteer, join classes, workout, and more. You’ll be so busy posting updates on your own progress you won’t have time to see what your ex is up to, but chances are it’ll be nothing as interesting, inspiring, or beneficial as you, and you’ll feel better for it. Nothing says over it like a steaming bowl of success.
4. Limit your time to wallow.
No one is saying don’t be sad. Be sad, cry, rip up pictures and delete photo albums, but limit your time to do so. Don’t spend an entire weekend thinking about your ex. Say to yourself “I’m going to make it through today as best I can, and save my tears for the bedroom”. Recognize there is a time to be strong and weather the storm, and time to allow yourself to feel what you need to. Start by allowing yourself 30% of your time to be sad, and then gradually decrease it to zero.
5. Wait, wait, wait.
Wait when you want to call them, wait when you want to text. Wait before you stalk them on social media, wait when you think you want to go running back. Ride it out, tell yourself “let me watch a show on Netflix first”. Say “I’m just going to go for a 10 minute run first”. Give yourself the time to wait, to think it over, and to rationalize. Breakups drag on so much longer than they need to because no one wants to wait. No one wants to wait to get over it, to stop feeling their pain. Everyone wants immediate relief, but good things wait to those who come. So tell yourself “I’ll wait an hour” and wait for the pain to pass.
6. Realize there’s no such thing as “Winning the breakup”.
Whoever coined the phrase “winning the breakup” was clearly the type of person who does NOT by any means know what it means to win something. The term win by its very definition suggests that there is a competition. There’s not. Since when did moving on with your own life involve a competition with someone who is no longer with you? This ridiculous notion that your success after a breakup is directly correlated with that of your ex may just be one of the most ludicrous breakup myths out there. You cannot win a breakup, you can only move on. Breaking up is not the beginning of a competition; it is the end of a chapter in your life and the beginning of a new one. So treat it as such, and don’t measure yourself against someone who quite literally has nothing to do with you.