7 Ways to Not Let a Breakup Consume Your Life

It’s a classic “most of us have been there” situation. Most people can empathize with the pain and hurt resulting from separating from a romantic partner but they don’t know the specifics. They don’t know how walking past the grocery store the both of you used to shop at makes you inwardly smile and simultaneously break. They don’t know just how loved you felt to be brought matcha ice-cream at 2 a.m as a post-midterm celebration. They don’t know how something as ordinary as mashed potatoes is tainted for you now. Those memories and their present alterations are your own baggage to be cherished. It can feel incredibly isolating and crushing but you will most definitely get through it.

  1. 1. Understand that it was not your fault

    I’m speaking for breakups that resulted from incompatibility or clashing personalities or simply“things going downhill”. It takes both people in the relationship to make it work and similarly, it takes both to make it break. Communication needs to be an active, mutual thing. Most issues can be resolved if both people actively choose to resolve them. If your ex seems to have chosen the easy way out, you might be left feeling bewildered and hurt, but you must understand that that is in no way your responsibility. 


  2. 2. Know your worth

    My best friend would keep reiterating this to me every time alcohol and/or cannabis took away my socially-demanded front of uncaring normalcy. While struggling to keep me away from my phone as I’d determinedly try to convey every single emotion I was feeling to my ex-boyfriend, she’d keep reminding me of why I ended the relationship. I was miserable because of not feeling cared for, stressed because I’d internalize the shortcomings of the relationship and try too hard to make them go away, which only made him distance himself more until I snapped. I wouldn’t have been happy in the long run of that relationship, so ending it was the right thing to do. 


    There are 7.5 billion people on this planet. Somebody else will definitely appreciate you for you and you’ll love them for the way they are. 


  3. 3. Distance yourself

    I’d be a hypocrite if I’d enthusiastically advise you to do this but from experience, I’ve found distance and time to be the most effective healers. Minimal contact is also to protect yourself from picking at the metaphorical scab. If you’re in a position where you can’t outright cut contact, try to not keep initiating contact at least. Don’t text them “good morning” or “good night” every day. Don’t go through their social media. Don’t make plans to hang out (hoping that they’ll realize that they miss you too). It is entirely possible to be friends, especially if things ended amicably, but not until you’ve moved on.

  4. 4. Don't compare yourself to their new partner

    It’s reassuring to think for a few seconds that they might be trying to make you jealous. It’s almost always followed with overwhelming sadness that they might not and that they’re genuinely happy with their new catch. You might feel like you weren’t good enough for them. You might feel crushed to see them putting in a lot more effort in dates with this new person. You might feel hurt to see them treat this person with a lot more respect and tenderness than they treated you. It’s all on them. Repeat after me: you cannot control anyone else’s actions apart from your own. 


  5. 5. Don't compromise who you are and what you believe in

    You might feel that changing yourself up a bit may make them want you back. That if you were a little different than you are, they wouldn’t have given up on you. While you may rationally know yourself that you should never mould yourself to please anyone, the vulnerability you’re feeling post break-up may leave you compromising on that front.

  6. 6. Be kind to yourself 

    Losing someone you felt close to is quite grief-inducing. You go through the five stages and everything. It feels like literal hell. You have to ride it out. Have faith in yourself that you’re strong enough to get through it. Whenever you catch yourself berating your past self for not doing something that could’ve made your relationship continue, gently guide your mind to more constructive thoughts. 


  7. 7. Get more self-disciplined 

    Setting definite goals and gradually accomplishing them gives you that dopamine rush that leaves you feeling good about yourself. I chose to cut down on alcohol and cannabis and take up running. Your goal could be to sign up on Duolingo and start learning a language you’ve been putting off for ages. Take up kickboxing. Organize your pantry, get a couple of good chef knives and take up cooking classes. It could be as simple as getting out of bed before 8 a.m every day, no matter what.

Along with these suggestions, seeing a counsellor or therapist to help you untangle the mess of your emotions would be a tremendous help. Lean on friends you trust and who care about you enough to let you vent and cry in front of them. Take it step by step. One of my favourite TV shows (Skam) gave me a quote I heavily depend on now, translating to mean that you should “take everything one day at a time; if that feels too much, take it an hour at a time; if that feels too overwhelming, then take it minute by minute”.


You absolutely got this, even though it feels like your world is falling apart around you. This too shall pass. Do you have any tips of your own for getting through a bad breakup? Let me know in the comments!