How to get over a breakup. It’s a topic that people of all ages and stages find themselves wondering after facing heart break.
Maybe that relationship that you THOUGHT was going to be IT, turned out to be something completely NOT IT instead.
Maybe you found yourself completely blind-sided, on the receiving end of saying goodbye to a relationship you weren’t quite ready to let go of.
Or maybe you’re the one who broke it off, because you’re just not seeing the signs of a healthy relationship that you’re looking for.
No matter what your story, breakups are hard. Really, really hard.
If you’re here, you’re probably looking for some answers and some practical steps to healing your heart and moving forward. You’re wondering how to get over a breakup, and if it’s even possible to heal.
As a professional counselor who specializes in relationships, let me remind you that first and foremost, healing from a breakup takes time. I’ve heard it said that it takes half as much time to get over a relationship as the time you spent in the relationship.
That might be good news if the relationship lasted a few months, but what about those relationships that end after a few years? I find that advice hard to swallow, because I believe that time heals a lot – but there are also some things YOU CAN DO to facilitate your healing to move “a little bit faster” just like there are things you can do to slow down your healing as well.
How To Get Over a Breakup
If you’re wondering how to get over a breakuup in a practical way, here’s ten things I recommend. Don’t just do one of them. Do them all. Because the more you do, the easier it will be to begin moving forward.
Politely stop texting/messaging/calling by slowly decreasing frequency until it’s not happening. Your best bet to moving forward is to stop interacting. Don’t make excuses. Set boundaries, and stick to them if you really want to heal.
SAY NO TO SOCIAL
Stop following your ex on social media and checking up on their profiles. Seeing their life on a regular basis through social media is likely to bring you back into a rut of pain and heartache.
KEEP IT PUBLIC
If you HAVE to be around each other for work, church, etc. make sure it’s always in a group and don’t fall into the temptation of talking alone. Stay away from one-on-one settings and conversations so your heart doesn’t get pulled back into exclusivity.
BOUNDARIES, BOUNDARIES, BOUNDARIES
Treat them with the boundaries you would put into place if you WERE in a relationship with someone else. Imagining you’re in a relationship helps you recognize what you WOULD and WOULD’NT do with someone of the opposite sex. Thinking of it that way helps you see when you’re crossing the line. So, be sure to guard your heart.
MAKE A LIST
Make a list of the reasons why you broke up, and why they are not good for you, and review that list when you struggle. Sometimes you need to REMIND yourself why you broke up. And there are reasons. So write them out, read through them, and preach to yourself when you need it.
Invite someone into your life to hold you accountable with the boundaries you’re setting. Give someone a list of reasons why you broke up, and ask them to keep you accountable with how you’re interacting with your ex.
PRAY AGAINST EMOTIONAL BONDS
Pray, and ask God to break the emotional bond that you might be holding on to. I believe that there are emotional bonds that form when we’re in a long term relationship that doesn’t pan out. And the more physical/sexual you’ve been (check out this podcast about how far is too far before marriage), the deeper those emotional bonds can go. Invite God into this process, through prayer, and ask Him to break the bonds that exist, and free your heart to move forward.
CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS
Get control of your thought life. Don’t allow yourself to spend too much time reliving the past. Because reliving it will keep you stuck in it. Instead, work towards a shift in perspective. Remind yourself that letting go of the old frees you to receive something new. Shift your focus and keep your eyes on the future, not the past.
FILL THE VOID
Idleness is a recipe for disaster…and a slippery slope back to your past. When you breakup with someone, you take something OUT of your life, so you need to put something back in in order to deal with that void in a healthy way. Fill your life with healthy people and activities because boredom and loneliness are a recipe for back-tracking.
The main idea behind my book on dating, True Love Dates, is that healthy people attract healthy relationships. When you’re healthy, your radar is on point and you recognize the type of relationships that are no good for you. So getting healthy emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically will keep you moving forward and prevent you from slipping backward.
Getting over a breakup is a process, but if you take these steps seriously, you’ll push yourself in the direction of healing.
Do you have any advice that’s worked for you about how to get over a breakup? Tell us in the comments below!
Get busy learning what you need to know about healthy singleness, dating, and marriage. Click below to check out Choosing Marriage: Why It Has To Start With We > Me or True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life.
A version of this post originally appeared on True Love Dates on October 18th, 2018. Used by permission.
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, and Choosing Marriage: Why It Has To Start With We > Me where she writes candidly about love, sex, dating, relationships, and marriage. You may also recognize her voice from her 200+ articles at Relevant Magazine, Crosswalk.com, and all over the web! She’s the creator of this True Love Dates Blog, reaching millions of people with the message that healthy people make healthy relationships! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!