Do you want to know how to move on after a breakup?
Is the pain of separation unbearable?
Does it feel like part of you has died and you don’t know how to ever come to terms with the breakup?
Believe me, I know that. Every time I’ve been abandoned, I’ve felt like a failure and thought I’d never been happy again.
But at some point, I found a couple of ways that made it easier for me to overcome breakups.
In this article, I’ll share my best tips for you with acute separation pain. I will also show you how a strong self-esteem can help you to process breakups faster and easier …
Hellish Breakup Pain: Why Do Breakups Hurt?
Breakups hurt like hell. Usually both partners, including the one who made the decision to end the relationship.
Of course, the one who has been abandoned suffers the most.
But why is that actually the case? And why do some people cope better with breakups while others feel like the death knell?
The problem basically starts BEFORE the relationship:
Lots of people are looking for someone to make them happy. Who loves you and makes you feel special. They think their lives would be somehow incomplete without a happy partnership.
If they break up, they suffer twice and three times:
You suddenly feel worthless. To be abandoned means that they have failed and do not deserve to be loved. Your self-confidence is closely linked to the relationship and beyond that, you have no other sources of happiness in life …
The more you make your happiness and self-esteem dependent on having a partner by your side, the more you suffer from a breakup.
In addition, many people find it difficult to be alone. During the relationship, the other was almost always there, especially if you’ve lived together. Suddenly you are alone in the evening, at night, at breakfast, etc. …
And last but not least, a breakup always means a blatant change in your life. As a rule, we humans don’t particularly like change. Especially not if they are caused by someone else! That pushes us involuntarily out of our comfort zone and you have to deal with that first …
I’ll tell you in a moment how you can cope with all of these points more easily.
Before doing this, let’s take a quick look at the typical phases you go through after a breakup:
Maybe you feel like this too:
You are freshly separated and your feelings are riding a roller coaster . Sometimes you’re boiling with anger and you want to tear your ex up in midair. Just a few hours later you will tear up and would do anything to save the relationship …
All of these feelings are perfectly normal! Every separation goes through different phases and not always in sequence.
The following 5-phase model by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross describes the typical phases of mourning and can therefore also be applied to separation situations:
1. The denial:
You don’t want to admit it! It just can’t be that this breakup is really final. You cling to the desperate hope that your partner will change their minds and get back together.
2. The anger phase:
You’re pissed off at the other. How could he / she leave you !!! All the pain of separation is discharged … In this phase, photos are often torn up, mementos thrown away or – in the worst case – the other person is insulted.
3. The desire to negotiate:
You try everything to save the relationship after all. You want to talk, send flowers and reconciliation gifts. And you also promise to change yourself and do everything possible to get another chance.
4. The depressive phase:
Your anger is gone, so is your hope. You really don’t see a future for either of you anymore. Yoy so convinced that you will never find someone who loves you or whom you love again. And you believe that you will never be happy again in your life.
5. The acceptance:
You have accepted that the relationship is over and now you look a little more realistically at everything that led to it. You may even realize that the breakup was right, or at least what you can learn from it. The pain has not gone, but has become a little more bearable. The rest of your life feels halfway normal again and you look a little more confidently into the future.
Hardly anyone goes through these phases in sequence.
Most of the time they appear all over the place, you experience them several times and of different duration and intensity.
It is important that
- that you know these 5 phases and know that everything is okay with you and
- that at some point you will arrive in the 5th phase and not get stuck in depression, for example
The following tips will help you to reach the 5th phase faster and easier, because only in this phase does your life feel halfway normal again:
9 tips on how to move on after a breakup faster
In order to be able to overcome the separation, you have to reach the 5th separation phase: The acceptance.
When you get there, you will have survived the worst of the pain of separation. Unfortunately, many advisors start with this and write:
“First of all, accept the separation and all associated feelings.”
But who can do it? In my experience, THAT is exactly the biggest PROBLEM …
That’s why I’m going to show you my best methods to survive the separation pain better and to cope with the separation faster.
1. How to move on after a breakup: Take the pain in your arm
Breakups hurt like hell. You think it’ll tear your heart apart. There are days when you don’t know how to endure this pain …
So you try to distract yourself somehow, which only works for a short time. At the latest in the evening or at night you cannot escape your feelings. And sometimes you get the impression that it’s getting worse instead of better.
Perhaps you have already received the advice: You have to accept the pain, only then can you let go of it!
That’s absolutely right, but … are you also wondering how to do this? How exactly is that supposed to work and above all – how are you ever supposed to endure it?
I have an exercise for you here that has helped me a llot to accept and process my separation pain:
Exercise: Embrace the pain
- Take about 10 minutes for this exercise, during which you are as undisturbed as possible.
- Now focus on your pain. I know – it will take some effort in the beginning, but trust me. The pain seems unbearable, but basically it can’t harm you.
- Try to find out where in the body you feel the pain most. In the heart? In the belly? Maybe in your head too?
- Now put both hands on this part of the body. Be very careful when doing this, do not apply pressure.
- Leave your hands there for a few minutes. Breathe slowly and a little deeper than usual.
- You don’t have to do anything else. Imagine that you are hugging your pain – as if you were holding a child who was hurt.
- If you want, you can also imagine that you are breathing right into this painful area. But it also works without this idea.
- Let the tears flow when you have to cry. Let all thoughts and feelings run free.
- Stop the exercise when you feel that the pain has changed …
Most of the time, the pain eases immediately after doing this exercise. Sometimes it just wanders to a different part of the body. Then leave him alone for a while, and then repeat the exercise by placing your hands in the new spot.
Very important:Please don’t expect the pain to go away once you’ve done the exercise. Pain is not your enemy who wants to torment and hurt you! But on the contrary…
Your pain is like an injured child who wants to be comforted. So repeat this exercise whenever the pain occurs and you will soon feel significant relief.
2.How to move on after a breakup: Don’t step into the trap of hope
As you read in the section about the stages of grief , “denial” is often the first stage.
You cling to the hope that the breakup is temporary … that you guys get back together … that there is still another chance.
The longer you hold on to this thought, the more you torture yourself. Your thoughts then constantly revolve around the question of how you can win back your partner. And in the worst case scenario, you will be disappointed over and over again – that is, your pain will be intensified over and over again!
Remember: Your goal is acceptance.
You can only learn to deal with the breakup if you accept it. It doesn’t mean that there is absolutely no more chance for you, but FIRST TIME you have to accept the breakup.
The more confident and relaxed you are about a breakup, the higher the chances that you will get back together.
To run after the other, to cling, possibly even to beg and to hope like a pile of misery that the other will take you back out of pity … leads to the opposite!
Put away anything that reminds you of the other. Try to avoid contact as much as possible. A physical distance would be great (which is difficult, for example, with children together or as work colleagues, I’ll come to that later). Don’t follow the other on Facebook or Instagram, even if it’s difficult.
The more clearly you can make it clear to yourself that it is REALLY over, the faster you will get into the acceptance phase!
3. The power method: get rid of anger – but do it right
In addition to pain and grief, separation often also creates anger. Depending on your personality, it can appear stronger or weaker …
The most important thing is not to suppress this anger. It must be let out, otherwise it will cause physical symptoms (such as headaches, tension, stomach problems).
In addition, suppressed anger usually discharges completely uncontrollably at some point and then you yell at your children, for example, who cannot help it. So don’t let it get that far …
Here are a few suggestions on how to blow off steam:
- Grab a pillow and hit it or hold it in front of your face and shout all your pain into it
- Go into the forest and shout your anger out there. You can also really let off steam physically. Just be careful not to hurt yourself
- Do sports that really power yourself off – boxing, for example. But you can also really accelerate when running or cycling and use it to vent your anger
- If you have a yard, activities like chopping wood or digging are great ways to let out your anger
- And finally, cleaning, mucking out the apartment or other household chores that involve you in action will help
Use one of these options whenever you feel anger rising inside you. Or try it without anger – maybe you have already suppressed it so much that it only appears when you give it the opportunity!
DANGER! What you should definitely not do:
Never take out your anger on other people or animals! Not even on your ex-partner, even if you feel at the moment that he / she is to blame for everything anyway. Believe me – you will regret it afterwards!
4. Write it from your soul
Your thoughts affect your feelings.
Many people believe that it is exactly the other way around. That they have no influence on their feelings because they are just there …
But that’s not true. Whenever you notice that you are suffering from a particularly strong feeling, pay attention to your thoughts. Have you just thought back to the wonderful time you spent together and are you close to tears because of that? Or did you imagine that your ex was flirting with someone else and was seething with jealousy?
The more consciously you pay attention to your thoughts, the better you can see the connection between your thoughts and your feelings. And then you can use this to get rid of these thoughts:
How to get rid of negative thoughts:
- Once you have strong negative feelings, pay attention to your thoughts. What were you just thinking about
- It’s best to write these thoughts down.
- Write everything from your soul that depresses you
- And then burn the sheet or tear it up into lots of small pieces
- Then try to consciously turn to other thoughts ( see e.g. tip 6 )
Repeat this exercise whenever bad feelings arise. In time, you will even manage to let go of your thoughts without writing them down.
5. Be active depressively
Probably the most common phase after a breakup is the depressive phase …
You’re down, nothing is more fun. You may also have no appetite, sleep poorly, and anyone who tries to cheer you up fails.
Or you cry a lot and feel like it will never stop and you will never be happy .
All of this is perfectly normal and as you already know, you should let these feelings run free too. Let the tears flow when you feel like it and don’t force yourself to cover up your sadness.
The only important thing is that you don’t get stuck in this phase.
Therefore, be sure to follow the following tips:
This is how you get through the depressive phase:
- Don’t hide in your apartment, go outside. Feel free to shuffle through the woods with your head hanging – that’s okay. The main thing is that you are outside!
- Meet up with friends or acquaintances, do something together. The same applies here: You don’t need to pretend you’re happy. If necessary, explain to the others what’s wrong with you. Being with others is always better than withdrawing yourself lonely and depressed
- Exercise or other physical activity. The movement is good for your body and it releases happiness hormones, even if you don’t lift a single corner of your mouth all the time
- Keep going about your work, hobbies, and other duties. The more “normal” your everyday life goes on, the lower the risk that you will slide into a severe depression
As you can see, it is very important that you get on with your life as normally as possible. You can be sad and silent or have a bad mood .
Don’t be happy when you are not. Do not dub anything, but under no circumstances withdraw completely into a snail shell!
You might also like my next tip:
Here I have a very special tip for you that has helped me a lot to survive breakups:
Do something totally crazy!
Have you always wanted to try a new hairstyle , dye your hair green or blue your eyebrows? Let’s go!
Or have you long dreamed of painting your apartment completely pink? Or to live in the monastery for four weeks? To walk the Camino de Santiago?
Then NOW is the right time for it!
Quite often, in a relationship, we start to adjust. We put our own wishes back when the other person doesn’t like them. Sometimes the thought comes up “Oh, I would like to…” , but it is quickly suppressed.
So instead of hanging your head after the breakup and feeling like your life has just come to an end, just do exactly the opposite! Start to live. Your life! Realize your craziest dreams and enjoy it as much as possible.
Only do things that you’ve dreamed of for a long time! See it as an opportunity to realize exactly the desires that you always had to put on hold during the relationship.
So do not use this method for any short-circuit actions to numb or suppress your grief. Then you will not enjoy your activities or you will fall into an even deeper hole afterwards …
7. Use the innocence mantra
The worst thing you can do after a breakup is finger pointing …
It doesn’t matter whether you torment yourself with self-blame or think all the time about how much to blame the other person for the breakdown of the relationship – neither will help you come to terms with the breakup!
Even if you are projecting all of the guilt onto someone else (someone you are jealous of, for example ), it won’t make you feel any better.
Your thoughts then revolve around the relationship or the end of the relationship the whole time . It’s like putting salt on the wound all the time, as they say …
Of course, it makes sense to take a closer look at the reasons for separation in order to learn something from them for the future. But you can only do that AFTER you have overcome the separation! Before that, you just lose yourself in anger, (self-) hatred and negative thoughts.
What you should be doing instead is this:
Pay attention to your thoughts! As soon as you find yourself getting into blame, tell yourself:
There is no guilt! Nobody intentionally destroyed this relationship – neither myself nor my partner or anyone else. Everything that has happened makes sense, even if I don’t understand it at the moment.
It’s best to write down these sentences and always carry them with you. Or save them in your mobile phone. Use it like a mantra to free yourself from your guilt thoughts.
8. Don’t jump straight into the next adventure
A huge mistake that many make: After a breakup, they rush straight into the next relationship.
At first glance, this seems to be a great help against your separation pain:
You don’t have to be alone , you are distracted and in love again. Your self-esteem suffers less and you might even find satisfaction at the thought that you found someone right away …
Strictly speaking, however, this is an escape.
You avoid coping with grief and take refuge in the new relationship. This makes you even more dependent on the new partner , because if this relationship fails again, you basically have TWO breakups to deal with!
What you should use the time after a breakup:
- learn to be alone
- take the time to properly process the pain and grief
- try to release your emotional addiction
- get to know yourself better
- find out what you can do yourself to be happy
- try to see what went wrong in your partnership
- think about what makes a happy relationship for you
- take the chance to strengthen and develop your personality (read the next section)
The more time you take to address all of these points after a breakup, the more likely it is that your next relationship will be better.
But what if the next partner is already at the door?
Okay, then of course you don’t have to chase him / her away. But still try to consciously take time for yourself. Time in which you think about the above-mentioned topics and above all devote yourself to the next point:
9. The ultimate long-range weapon against separation pain
My last tip, in my opinion, is the best and most effective way to process breakups in the LONG TERM. It reads:
Strengthen your self-confidence and your self-love!
Since I’ve been dealing with the topic of “strengthening self-confidence” for many years , at some point I noticed that I was gradually getting better at dealing with breakups.
At first I was a little insecure. I thought: “Oh shit, am I getting selfish and completely cold?”
But then I realized what REALLY happened to me:
Of course, it still hurt. I continued to be sad, disappointed, angry and so on. But it no longer had this depth from before. And it went by much, much faster!
These are the positive effects that a strong self-esteem has during breakups:
- You no longer take a breakup personally , but simply view it as a decision to go separate ways from now on
- You don’t feel worthless and unloved just because the other has left you
- Your happiness doesn’t depend on whether you are in a partnership or not. Therefore the grief goes away much faster
- You are not emotionally dependent on your partner, so you experience much less breakup pain
- Also, you can be very well alone and do not suffer so much that the other is no longer there
- And you don’t feel like a victim and you go through the separation phase much stronger and more confident
- Self-pity is not an issue for you – you know that sooner or later you will find someone who suits you better and until then you will enjoy your single life
As you can see, a strong self-confidence is the ultimate “weapon” against separation pain and lovesickness!
And luckily you are in the right place, because you will find a lot of suitable articles in my blog.
How long does it take to process a breakup?
I get asked this question again and again and unfortunately, there is no clear answer to it. That depends on a lot of factors.
For example, how long you were together or how happy your relationship was in the beginning. The reasons for the separation, the external circumstances, and your previous experiences also play a major role.
Basically, however, one can say:
The longer a relationship has lasted, the longer the separation phase will last.
Whether you ultimately need a few weeks, a few months, or even several years to come through the breakup has a lot to do with how you deal with the breakup …
If you’ve read my article carefully, you’ll have noticed the following:
My tips will help you. I hope this article on how to heal after a breakup has helped you indeed! Sign up to my newsletter for this and more relationship tips.
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