After my last big breakup, I was devastated.
I watched my whole world crumble right before my eyes: The children we thought we would have? Gone. The home we created together? Broken. The holidays we had booked? Cancelled.
At the time, I couldn’t see how I would be able to get over this breakup, let alone be open to finding love again.
Breakups hurt—they hurt so bad. It doesn’t matter who ended it; both people involved are going to be heartbroken. Whatever the reason for ending the relationship, it can be hard to let go of the good times. At one point, it was fun, exciting, loving, and fulfilling. And we’re left wondering where it all went wrong.
In the early days of a breakup, there is anger, loneliness, and blame. You had dreams of a future together, and it can be hard to let go of that future. If you’re like me, you were already dreaming about what was next for the two of you—engagement, marriage, kids, family holidays, and a bigger home. I find it harder to let go of the dream than I do the person.
Here are five things that I did to help me get over my last big breakup:
1. I prioritised my physical health.
You’ve heard the expression, “A healthy body, a healthy mind.” While my mind was full of hurt and sadness, I focused on my body. I got my ass to the yoga studios near me, walked more, went hiking, and just generally got my body moving.
I nourished my body with healthy whole foods, just like I did before we moved in together. I started cooking the dinners that I loved, which I had stopped cooking because he had different tastes.
Prioritising my health wasn’t so that the next time he saw me, I would look amazing. I did it for me. I did it so I would feel good in my skin—and I did. I love my body, and I didn’t fall into the trap of believing that I wasn’t beautiful or sexy enough. I wanted to show my body that I loved it.
2. I asked for support from high-quality people.
Trying to get over a big breakup on your own is too hard. I am blessed with amazing friends and family, so I asked them for help. Having their support on a daily or weekly basis helped me talk about the hurt, which released it. Whether it was quick phone calls, lunches, weekends at my house, or messages to say they were thinking of me—it all added up. I felt like I had a whole group of people rooting for me.
If you’re going through a breakup, surround yourself with supportive people. If you feel angry, lonely, or upset after talking to your support people, then find some new support.
I love my friends because they don’t amp up the drama. You want your support to make you feel loved, connected, and safe.
3. I blocked my ex on social media.
I didn’t want to know what he was doing, and I didn’t want him to be able to keep tabs on me, so I blocked him. If you’re able to keep an eye on your ex, you’re not cutting the ties. I didn’t care where he went, who he was with, or what he was doing—it was no longer my business.
It’s too easy to cyberstalk someone—way too easy! Don’t go down that road. Checking your ex’s socials is setting yourself up to see something you don’t want to see. On top of that, there’s the guilt and shame of checking, and the self-hate for not stopping yourself. If you truly want to heal from a relationship, block your ex.
4. I looked after my sexual wellness.
Going through a breakup doesn’t mean you have to neglect your sexual satisfaction. I invested in new toys, downloaded Tinder, and had some fun. It’s perfectly fine to indulge in casual sex; just make sure the other person or people know that you aren’t looking for anything long-term.
If casual sex isn’t for you, masturbating is just as good (and often way better). Either way, spend some time doing you, rediscovering what works for you and your body. Don’t hide away your inner sex god/sexy goddess just because you don’t have a person. Take care of business!
5. I worked on my love mindset.
This was where the magic really happened for me. I started working on healing my love wounds, my mindset, and breaking my relationship patterns. I looked at what I believed to be true about myself; I used to believe I was damaged, ugly, dumb, unlovable, and too masculine. The patterns were obvious; I kept falling for men who cheated on me. So I got to work on where that was coming from and why, and started to break the cycle.
If you are really looking to heal yourself from breakups, then it’s time to look at what is happening in your mind—what you believe to be true about yourself. Then you can start shifting your beliefs to something better. It takes time, but it’s the most rewarding work you will ever do.
Three things you should never do to get over a big breakup:
1. Do not beg for them back.
Do not, I repeat, do not beg for them back. You may miss your ex. You may miss the relationship and the ideal future that you thought you would have with them. And the shock of the breakup will likely have your head in a mess. When you beg for them back, you need to know whether you are begging for them specifically or begging for the relationship, so you don’t have to be on your own. They sound the same, but they’re two entirely different things.
Take the time to work on yourself first before even thinking of getting back with an ex. You broke up for a reason. Diving straight back into a relationship doesn’t solve the problem, and you will inevitably break up again when the same issue comes back to the surface.
2. Do not seek revenge.
Don’t start looking at how you can hurt them. The temptation to blow up their entire life can feel very real, but blowing up their life doesn’t help you—you will feel like sh*t if you do. While it’s totally natural to want to bring your ex down, it’s not constructive.
After my breakup, I wanted revenge, but instead, I treated myself. Released from the constraints of the relationship, I bought myself some beautiful new clothes from expensive brands, and I treated myself to a spa package at an expensive spa. And you know what it did, it made me feel free and expansive.
Treat yourself in a way that makes you feel like royalty. The best revenge you can ever have over anyone is being happy and fulfilled. Forget about revenge; it’s not going to help you.
3. Do not rush your healing.
Breakups f*cking hurt! Healing a broken heart takes time, more time than we admit to ourselves or others. Do not fall into the trap of putting a time limit on your healing. The three to five months to heal, or one and a half years if it’s a divorce, is not healthy. You can take all the time in the world to heal yourself.
I took all the time I needed to get over all the hurt so that I wouldn’t bring it into my next relationship. And I recommend you do the same.
As clichéd as it sounds, getting over someone is a journey. It takes time. The amount of time it takes is totally dependent on what you do for yourself. If you focus on looking after yourself, prioritising your physical health, your emotional health, making sure you have support, then that journey will be shorter and more nourishing.
If you rush your healing, you will bring your hurt into the next relationship, and guess how that will work out for you?
If you go down the road of destructive and hateful behaviour, well, you’re journey will be ongoing until you snap out of it.
Rather than seeing your breakup as the end of something, look at it as an opportunity to rediscover yourself. Focus on loving yourself, learning about yourself, and becoming a new, more empowered version of yourself. As I said, the best revenge is happiness and fulfilment.