How to nurse a broken heart- 10 things not to do after a breakup.

How to heal the breakup

Nursing a broken heart is never easy. It can drive us to do really regretful things in the moment. Read on to find out more on how you can help yourself not make the 10 most common mistakes of the aftermath of a breakup. 

Breakups are a very painful, yet significant time period in an individual’s life. Every relationship, serious or not, long or short, tends to leave some sourness behind as it wraps up. It’s natural, considering the investment of two individuals in terms of their emotions, energy, time and even money for a period of time. You share memories, pain and joy, you watch the other person grow aside from growing yourself, you witness change and you undergo it as well. It’s a binding experience for as long as it lasts and expectantly, when such a relationship gets over, it’s bound to cause emptiness for a while, even if you were the one to call it off.

Like Grant Gudmunson said, “ Love is unconditional, Relationships are not”.

Having agreed on that, there are ways to help yourself through the process. Breakups can also be a dramatic turn in life and can leave you in a disoriented state for a while. More often than not people have a few slips along the way, some knee-jerk reactions to the situation or the person that they’re going to regret in the long run. Everybody tends to indulge in something (behaviour/ conversation) after a breakup that they go on to regret in hindsight. Maybe you’re shaming your ex or indulging in drunken nights or starring out of windows playing sad songs for hours. Here are a few things NOT to do while nursing a broken heart.

1. Don’t overindulge hurt- Don’t refuse feelings other than pain

Cherishing the pain only ends up harming you further in an already painful situation. It also ends up in feelings of hopelessness, revenge and drama that you don’t need. Breakups are endings of significant relationships and usually do result in some pain, however as human beings we all have a spectrum of emotions that kick in at different timelines after a painful incident. Science says that pain is an emotion human being are programmed to forget sooner than other emotions. This capability is what makes us resilient. Breakups are endings of significant relationships and usually do result in some pain, however as human beings we all have a spectrum of emotions that kick in at different timelines after a painful incident. Allow yourself to feel all the range of emotions that strong incidents illicit in a person.

“Pain is inevitable, Suffering is optional”- Kathleen Casey

Being able to forget how hurt feels provides the ability to bounce back. Holding on to it not only cuts back your progress, but also results in an unnecessary investment of time, space and mind in the past.
It is important to process your feelings, but know when to stop.

2. Don’t stalk the ex

Purge all contact. This one is particularly difficult to do. You’re used to talking to each other often, you’re used to sending and receiving updates about your life and theirs. Having that cut off suddenly can be deeply unsettling. But if there is one absolute no-no after a breakup, IT’S THIS ONE.

Resist the urge to check up on them and to tell them things you would normally reach out to them for. Pull them off all your social media- this is a smart thing to do, I’ll tell you why:

A. You don’t get to see their updates anymore, this is the best way to detox from the person and the relationship. B. This means you don’t feel terrible if the other person is finding it easier to move on, meaning you’re cushioning yourself from unnecessary hurt in an already fragile state. C. You don’t put up sappy status updates pictures hoping they would see it and in the long run, this is much better for your self-image and esteem. You are allowed to mop around and dwell in the hurt, but the whole city doesn’t have to know your vulnerabilities. That way when you bounce back, people associate you only with the resilience and not the dramatic, trying-to-hard bits.

Also, NO BOOTY CALLS- Nothing sensible/ healthy has ever come out of a booty call.

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3. Do not self-destruct

Drinking the nights away or going down a cigarette or drug spiral is a BAD IDEA. It’s a temporary feel-good with serious consequences. Post breakup is a time to regain control of your life and provide yourself with all your focus. A lot of phenomenal changes take place in an individual after a breakup, should they choose to invest into themselves rather than destruct themselves.

Inflicting pain/ unhealthy stuff on yourself doesn’t change anything. It only makes the process more painful than it is and adds guilt to the pile of emotions you’re already feeling. Binge drinking to deal with the breakup guarantees regret sooner or later.
Nobody ever woke up with a hangover and said they’re not hurt anymore. It’s a pointless investment of money and liver!

4. Don’t jump on the bandwagon immediately- No rebounds

When a relationship ends, it’s time to reflect and process. Letting go of one person and immediately grabbing hold of another is usually not a good plan. Life is not a relay, you don’t have to play the baton!

Rebounds are often knee-jerk reactions and have the potential to turn into a disaster faster than you can anticipate. Chances are you carry the residue of your past relationship. This residue often keeps you from being fully invested into your new relationship in small or big ways, consciously or sub consciously. It isn’t fair to both people- you, who just got out of a commitment and deserve some time and the other person who is probably investing more absolutely than you are into the relationship.
The sensible thing to do is allow yourself time to adapt to being single and focusing on yourself and your needs for a while.

5. Don’t seek revenge

Resentment is heavier on the carrier than the subjected. No matter how badly you were wronged, revenge simply isn’t the way to go. It won’t change the status of your relationship neither will it reduce the hurt. One of the biggest misconceptions of a breakup is that getting back at your ex makes you feel good.

If your anger and hurt is too severe towards them or what happened, take that intense emotion and put it into something else- hit the gym. It’s a great way to release overwhelming emotions and working out releases endorphin in your body, meaning, a feel-good sensation will flood your body soon after a good workout. Seeking revenge also reflects poorly on your character. Just pick yourself up, put on the blinders and start walking.

6. Don’t initiate friendship

Exes can be friends in the long run. Some people can manage it. However, despite the ability to fit your ex into the mold of a friend, the rule is to always let enough time pass. Trying to be paly immediately after the breakup is not a wise decision to make.

You force yourself to be okay/ appear alright since the person is still around and that’s unhealthy. If your ex tries to initiate the friendship, say you aren’t comfortable with that right now and need some time to be able to ring about that change. Being sensible doesn’t make you the weaker one.

You can always initiate the gesture after enough time has passed and you both have picked up your lives and pieced it together again without each other.

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7. Don’t shame the person or the relationship

Bitching about your ex/ the relationship what they did/ how they broke up- NOT COOL.
As hurt as you maybe, slinging mud never looks good. There are more well-put together ways to explain what may or may not have happened. Voice your hurt/ feelings without dishing the dirt. The bonus with this is you immediately look like the better person.

8. DON’T beg for reconciliation

It’s never a good idea to convince your ex back into a relationship with you. If they were on the same page as you, they wouldn’t have left in the first place. Relationships end for a reason mostly.
People do get back together after breaking up, but that’s in very specific cases and also in rare ones. Getting back together should be a mutual choice. If you have to convince or beg for it to happen, it’s probably best that the relationship ended.

It is not the end of your life, it only feels like that for a while. Before you start begging, remember that a relationship is one part of your life, it is NOT your whole life. Nothing is worth costing you your respect.

9. Don’t isolate yourself

This is another important don’t. Post breakup feels incredibly lonely because the one person you’re used to the most is no longer around you the way they used to be. Don’t indulge in the loneliness to the point of cutting-off from people. Recruit a social set-up for support- family and friends (that don’t overlap with his circle) to help you through this phase of your life. Reach out and ask them to be there for you so that you can lean on them and sail through.
Allowing yourself time to dwell on your life and the relationship gone by is alright. But wiping out your social life will only make you feel more miserable. “Fake it till you make it”- Force yourself to be around people for a while. Slowly, you’ll be part of the group and not outside.

10. Don’t forget to analyse the breakup

Lastly, don’t forget to go through your time together. Reminisce the good times, analyse the bad times. Learn the lessons you ought to learn, so you can avoid making the same mistakes in your next relationship. This is a period of growth and reflecting on the person you were in the relationship can aid that process.
It’s also a chance to get to know yourself better, know your quirks and ticks, who you are in a relationship and what you bring to the table. This will help restore some of your self-esteem/worth since breakups tend to crumble these two quite easily.

For instance, you could make a pro and con list of the breakup – what you’ll miss of the relationship and person Vs what you can now do without thinking twice (NOT rebounds!). You can write down a list of things you’ve wanted to try out or experience but haven’t so far in your life and see which ones you can execute- have meaningful experiences with yourself.

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“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”- Oprah Winfrey

The end of a relationship means a lot of things. What it doesn’t mean is giving up on meeting your perfect match. Be thankful that the wrong relationship ended to free you up for the right one. In the end, all of these amount to experiences that mould you, teach you and build you as a person. Relationships are valuable life lesson teachers. Pick up what you can and hold on, because there is nothing time can’t heal.

If you find yourself struggling to comply with any of these, worry not and reach out to us. Speak with our expert counsellors anonymously at at your convenience of time and place.

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