Five things we all do after a breakup (that don't actually help us move on)
Breakups are never easy, regardless of whether you’re on the receiving end or the one who does the dumping. That’s why we all have our methods that keep us sane and help us get through it. You might not realise that some of your go-to plans of action post-breakup are actually hindering the healing process rather than helping it along. Everyone’s different, but be cautious when using these methods as coping mechanisms for a breakup.
When people ask you how you’re doing you say “It’s OK, I’m keeping busy.” When the relationship ends, you take on more hobbies, responsibilities, shifts – whatever will distract you from feeling sad. While it is good to have distractions, being too busy might lead to a burnout. It’s good to fill in the gaps of time you would have spent with your ex, but it's important not to overload and do too much. It's not going to make the breakup any easier, it’ll just delay the time when you inevitably have to stop and think about it.
Unfollowing your ex on social media
If you don’t feel like seeing photos of your ex pop up on Insta or FB, you’ve probs used this method. It might work for some, but it’s not for everyone. If you immediately remove them from all forms of social media, you're more likely to get withdrawals all at once. You’ll go from seeing them almost every day of the week to knowing absolutely nothing, and that'll be hard to process. This means you’re way more likely to give their social media a stalk or find other ways of looking to see what they’re up to.
If it’s turning into an obsession, then it might be time to actually block them. If you don’t want to resort to that, Facebook has tools that will help you see less of them, rather than going cold turkey.
Making a radical change to your appearance
We all have a different tactics with this – some of us chop all our hair off, some of us go on a crazy workout regime to get fit. Sometimes you just need something simple like this to help you feel positive about a new, single you.
But think about why you’re doing it – if you’re cutting off your hair as a “Fuck you” to the guy who wanted you to keep your hair long, you might come to regret it if it’s solely out of spite. And while you might feel like you need to shake off some unwanted kilos that came on towards the end of the relationship, you won’t be happy if you’re solely doing it to prove to them “This is what you could have had.” Do it for your new and improved positive self.
The immediate one night stand
There’s nothing wrong with a one night stand; in fact it can help after a breakup. If you’ve only slept with your ex, it’ll help you realise it’s not a big deal to sleep with other people. But it’s important to give yourself time to process your emotions and not go straight into ONS mode immediately after the breakup. If you do it before you’re ready, it might end up being an awful experience ending in a blubbering mess. If you wait though, it will (hopefully) leave you feeling more confident.
It works for some, but not for all. You might want to portray yourself as the “cool” ex who is fine with staying friends, but it’ll often make it way harder to get over the person. If you still have them in your life on a friend level, you might remember why you were with them in the first place and want to give it another go, even when there’s a big reason why it won’t work. If you’re still holding on to the hope you might get back together, it’ll be harder for you to move on and start meeting new people as well. Being civil with each other is great, but just know you probs can’t be besties.