Move to a new (nearby) city or part of your city.
My friend broke up with her boyfriend of 8 years last year. I know she has gone through grieving and catching up to being single with the newest millennial apps, but you wouldn’t know it given her confidence and grace. She moved to a suburb 10 miles south of San Francisco for 6 months, and then when she had the energy and the money to look for a place to restart her life as a single woman in San Francisco she moved in with a great community of housemates.
Throw a party to celebrate a new phase of your life
I met a woman who had an amicable breakup with her boyfriend of many years, so they decided to have a party to celebrate the end of their relationship. I know, I know…you are reading the Breakup Breakthrough blog for a reason, and chances are your ex is not helping you plan appetizers for a final hurrah with your friends. It’s never to late to aspire toward being the type of person who would guarantee respect and kindness toward your next ex (lover, co-worker, etc).
Send out an announcement to a select group of people
One morning I awoke to an email announcement from one of my family members that she and her boyfriend of many years had broken up. She clarified that she felt betrayed by him and she did not want to discuss this topic any further. It was a clear direction that prevented me from accidentally inviting him to family gatherings and she let me know exactly how I could support her: by not brining it up. If you can think of ANY of your facebook friends, or friends of friends that you WOULDN’T want to know about your breakup, do not post this on Facebook. If you have a history of posting or sending emotionally charged, disrespectful communication, save a draft, sleep on it, and then decide if you still want to post it. Would your nephew who looks up to you and your boss approve it? Ok, good. Go ahead and post J Tell people what you think you need. Is it ok for them to tell other people? Do you want them to share with you the potential partners they want to introduce to you?
Amplify or initiate healthy habits and proactive self care
Breakups can leave you feeling overwhelmingly sad, hurt, angry or depressed. These feelings are likely going to affect your physical health too. Perhaps putting off that dance class you always meant to attend seemed unimportant for the past year, but the endorphins you release while working up a sweat to music will likely help you sleep better. If you’ve been telling yourself you’ve been meaning to address some underlying issues with a therapist, this can be a great time to make it happen.
Get some new companionship with people who don’t know about your breakup
One of the women who inspired me to start Breakup Breakthrough was my Couchsurfing host from Bangkok. She lost a lot of friends when she ended her two-year long relationship, so she immediately went to Couchsurfing events and connected with interesting locals and travellers. This was a smart move because a typical Couchsurfing meetup is likely to have a potpourri of locals who can become your new friends, and travellers who would welcome a temporary friendship. Unlike locals, travellers will gladly (and necessarily) stop hanging out with you on Saturday nights in a few months when you have moved on. They won’t feel used by your short-term friendship. To the contrary, they are likely to feel grateful for someone so willing to share their time. Connecting with your closest friends and family during a breakup can be wonderful, but even the most caring friends might tire of your desire to discuss your breakup before they do. Also, give yourself a break. Even the most conscientious friends can struggle to not treat you as “my friend who is going through a breakup”, and that is probably not an identity you want to take on long-term.
Remember to show gratitude toward your supporters, and put your pain in perspective
After a breakup, your brain is probably overloaded with obsessive questions about where you went wrong, what that final conversation meant and whether or not your ex is even thinking about you right now. This is typical, and you don’t need to feel ashamed about these thoughts. Even though your ex might occupy 90% of your thoughts, the world is still moving. Your peers are still going through the daily ups and downs of life. Remember to ask friends and family about their projects, job searches and health. When someone gives you a few hours to express your sadness, remember to thank them for being there for you. If you realize you forgot, send them a thank you text or email months later.
Decide and delete
If you know you want this to be the end of the relationship, or your ex made it clear that this is the end, take away your ability communicate with them. If you have not already done so, say a goodbye you would feel proud showing your grandchildren. Delete them from your phone. Delete or block them from facebook. You can always refriend them on facebook (if they accept). Each time you scroll through their name in your phone, or notice their status, you are triggering an unpleasant feeling and you deserve to be happy. Take away this trigger and take away your potential to say things that will upset your ex and come back to haunt you.
Written by Regina Fletcher