12 Tips for Getting Through a Breakup.

Via Renée Picard
on Jan 14, 2013
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breakup romance kungfu

Well it’s time for me to write the post.

The one that almost everyone seems to write at some point or another: steps for getting through a breakup.

I am just in the first stages of separating with my live-in partner. We lived together for about a year and dated for over a  year and a half. Although I truly believe that it is the best thing for us, my mind and heart are swirling: rejection, sadness, love, and anger; yearning for some way to ‘fix’ everything and carry on.

In writing this out I hope to bring some clarity—and hope—to other broken hearts out there.

1. Accept the change.

Transition is a part of life and often we get stuck in patterns that seem comfortable but may actually be unhealthy. If you and your partner aren’t both equally putting the energy into sorting out your problems or are not being totally honest (with yourselves), if you feel isolated or the relationship isn’t evolving in a way that is meaningful to you, it is not a healthy relationship. Period.

It doesn’t matter whose fault it is or what happened, it’s okay to take some space.

2. Create new ways of thinking.

We all know that meditation, journaling, counseling, etc. are healthy ways of getting through the pain. But overall what is needed is a push to retrain our brain into just being okay with this new situation—after all, change is hard.

Whatever therapy works for you to practice reworking your brain a bit, find it and force yourself to do it regularly.

3. Find your flow.

Flow states can help us to step away from anxiety and depression. Usually they are not passive activities but activities where you feel fully engaged, immersed—the things that you do where you lose track of time entirely.

Depression in itself is the opposite of this. Do everything you can possibly do to convince yourself to step away from falling into sadness, then go and do your flow thing.

4. Know that you are better off this way.

Even if you have to fake it, write it in your journal a hundred times, ask others to tell you—it’s the only way you will have faith in your healing and your life.

5. Go through it instead of getting ‘over’ it!

Don’t be afraid to go through the grieving process (in an appropriate way). Let yourself cry, kick a punching bag and eat a bit of ice cream. Don’t begrudge yourself for grieving and being emotional. It is a confusing and disheartening time but you will get through it.

6. Choose who to lean on, respect their boundaries and respect the fact that you might be super sensitive right now.

Sometimes we encounter (perceived) negative judgments from even our closest friends and family; sometimes others may not be able to give us their full attention. Ask for a good time to make sure you have their full attention and make sure that you can give them yours, too.

7. Listen.

It can be so easy to become engrossed in your own grief that you are self-absorbed but remember that other people need you too. Your own compassion can go a long way towards everyone’s healing. In fact, you probably know someone who is going through or has gone through something similar, if not much worse.

Be there for them.

8. Let love free you.

I know that it’s the cheesiest line ever but,

If you love them, set them free.

9. When you notice yourself missing a particular thing, do it for yourself!

If your partner cooked for you regularly, get in that kitchen and make it a special occasion. If you miss your partner kissing you goodbye in the morning before work, pretend to kiss yourself goodbye with that same love! It may sound ridiculous but anything you can do to redirect those old patterns of ‘directing’ love is important.

10. Don’t engage in (too many) unhealthy behaviors to distract yourself.

Of course we will want to have a beer with a close friend and decompress, or maybe go dancing with a good friend. That is totally normal. But going overboard might only aggravate existing feelings of depression and sadness. So, all things in moderation!

11. Learn how to enjoy your time alone (again).

I was alone for a long time and when I entered the relationship there were so many things about the daily companionship that I was grateful for. I expressed this to my partner many times. I also learned from within the relationship that practicing being alone, no matter what, is always a good thing.

12. Do not rest in the ‘fantasy.’

I still have visions and memories of times when it was good and of how I really wanted it to be, but the reason we split up is because it just wasn’t like that. My partner couldn’t offer it, and maybe I wasn’t offering it to them in the way that they needed it, either.

And you know what? That’s okay.

Set a realistic vision for your next attempt at a relationship and work towards that. But give it to yourself first!

Every romantic relationship I’ve ever had has not worked out in the traditional sense. I can’t exactly say why, except that I do offer and expect the best. I expect us to cherish each other’s souls, bodies, lives—even the crazy parts. I expect there to be a relatively equal amount of give and take, of space and togetherness, of mutual support and self-sustenance. I expect for us to be able to grow together, have adventures and generally just be okay when things aren’t that exciting.

I (we) tried for the best and the experience was great but it just didn’t last.

And I think that I deserve the best…don’t you?






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Assist: Madison Canary

Ed: Kate Bartolotta



About Renée Picard

Renée Picard is a freelance writer and editor. She prefers real conversation over small talk, red over pink, ocean over mountains. She leads life with a soft-but-fierce heart. For her, writing has always been an instinct, a craft, a heart-thing. For more, check out her personal blog or her Medium page. You can also follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  


17 Responses to “12 Tips for Getting Through a Breakup.”

  1. @ElianaBorja says:

    This was incredibly timely for me too…thank you ♥

  2. smallgrl says:

    I'm glad it helped, but not glad that you are going through this. Thanks for reading. I'm not sure if you are a writer or artist, but if so, maybe you'd like to create something about your own healing. Take good care of yourself!

  3. cesar says:

    this was wonderful. thank you Renee. i too am going through these conditions now. interesting, though, is that the relationship i was in ended a year ago. it ended in a way that was not surprising, but just as difficult and sad. there were many questions to why my partner left me with so many questions unanswered, although i knew that it was not a healthy relationship.
    the end of the year was filled with a melancholy feeling. i missed her and thought of her. but as life seems to work, a few days into the new year i learned from a mutual friend that she was expecting a child. 🙁

    this seemed to bring closure to our relationship. she had moved on. i shared this with a friend, and though they were supported wondered why i was feeling like this after a year.
    i refreshed her old memories and asked her how she felt many years ago when she learned her partner had married a year after they had parted.
    she understood how i felt. she recalled that she was shocked and very sad, even though she had been in a new relationship for 5 months already.
    there seems to be different steps in the process of the end of a relationship. the initial break-up, the moment we learn our partners have truly moved on, either by being in another relationship, getting married, or in my case, expecting a child.

    i've rambled enough. 🙂 thank you..thank you.

    Lovers don't meet somewhere
    They're in each other all along
    – Rumi

  4. smallgrl says:

    Hi Cesar,

    I'm glad that you enjoyed it. Sometimes finding out that an ex has found a new partner (or whatever kind of symbolic 'moving on' step happens) can actually be a really good thing.

    It's a very good point you have about the different steps and phases, and sometimes, even months or years later, we might find a moment where we miss them unexpectedly. We may 'think' that we are OK and then it just comes back for some reason. I suppose this is part of why love – and breakups – are hard.

    It sounds like you had some good closure with her, and that is very important, even if it was a year later.

    All the best to you!

  5. Moondust Leung says:

    Dear Renee,

    I have been in a long-distance relationship from a year ago, we are within one same country but far away from each other. We started with very strong communication like everyday. Then after 3-4 months, he gets very upset with his work there at far away place, and started “caveman” himself. I mean we care about each other and with our sharing we are beyond friends for sure. We only get to talk about once to twice a month in last summer. I get to see him about 2-3 times last year. Since 3 months ago, he stopped all communications with me, and wouldn’t take my call at all. So I know somethings going on and it means it is the end of it. I’m pretty puzzled with this silent treatment and thought he could do better than this. At least, I deserve his honesty just to tell me what’s happening, as I thought we are genuine good friends. Besides we are all grown ups.

    Now I hope I will get over and move on soon. Thank you for your sharing.

    Heart Cheers,


  6. smallgrl says:

    Hi Moondust,

    I am so sorry to hear this….it's one of the hardest things. I've experienced that kind of pulling away as well. There seems to be a big empty space, and it's confusing and sad.

    To quote the Dalai Lama: "Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck."

    What I'm trying to do is move into the new space and fill it with wonderful things, instead of seeing it as empty or sad. But it does take some time.

    Take care,

  7. Megan says:

    thank you for this! my guy was someone who never gave anything, i always got the feeling he resented me, and low and behold when i left he finally opened up to say "he liked his freedom and independence"

  8. Kim says:

    Why is dancing with a girlfriend an "unhealthy behavior"? I am going through a recent break up myself and to me, that seems fun AND healthy.

  9. BAC says:

    I will never get over losing the woman I love. But, it's like the weather. Nothing to be done about it 🙂

  10. Zeno says:

    Thank you for this article. It helped me a great deal.

    My partner never really split up from her ex of 4 years and I found out the hard way that they were still having a relationship together. Whether that was there swan song and were parting slowly or were still planning to be together, I had to call it a day because of the constant lies. Unfortunately she is 6 months pregnant and I may now never get to know if the baby is mine or even have a relationship with them. Everything has been torn before it has even begun. Now I’m being pinned as the bad guy because I found out about their secret relationship, I snooped when I should have been building a better future for us to jump into. Maybe I let the suspicion get the better of me and should have confronted it sooner. I want to see the good in everybody and now I still hope we can all be ok…but it can’t…

  11. Jamie says:

    I love this article. It came at the perfect time as I am going through a break up myself. Though I am the one who wanted it, I still grieve and am saddened by the whole thing. So thank you for making me feel normal and confirming that, though it’s a strange time, I am in the right path 🙂

  12. Marc says:

    Everything we know somewhere inside ourselves but need the reminder. Thank you. You write well and made me think!

  13. Hogan says:

    Very well written article. Insightful. "Lovers don't meet somewhere. They are in each other all along." ~Rumi I especially like this quote. Thanks.

  14. growingonup says:

    I've just started researching the stages people go through after a break up and I love seeing the commonality in everyones tips and learnings. I love your no. 5 – let yourself grieve. I struggled between wanting to let myself fall apart and picking myself up and moving in the right direction. I think it's ok to cut ourselves some slack though – you just lost a person!

  15. Tyrone says:

    I believe this is really close to my story with my beloved Jamie and I have to let you go I have to make space I have to grieve we also have 2 kids and 16 years of history and I know I drifted away but I I’m truly in love with you I will not block you from you seeking your true happiness I will continue to find peace in myself and the parenting that I will continue to give our kids