Five Rules for a Healthy Break-up

By

Five Rules for a Healthy Break-up
Read these five strategies for increasing your chances of surviving and thriving after breaking up.

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S

Maybe he was a cheater or porn addict. Maybe she never could get over that other boyfriend or worse, was still seeing him. Whatever the reason – ending a relationship where you have become close and attached to each other – is going to hurt. This is the pain part – the one that makes the joys of life more rewarding and meaningful when they come. So to support your survivorship thru a difficult time, here are some suggested, tried and true rules for surviving a recent break-up.

After Break-up Rule #1. Box up their stuff, tape the box closed and give the box to a friend – for a while. On the pain continuum, wandering around your home seeing his or her gifts, letters, pictures and stuff everywhere is about the same as bamboo shoved under the fingernails. You are better off putting the relationship reminders away for a while. Make sure you can get these things back…at some point he or she may want some of it returned or you may want some of it later. For now, put the pain provokers away.

After Break-up Rule #2. Stay off the phone with him (or her). This includes email, texts, face-time, Skype – you get the picture. If the relationship is recently over then unless you share children or need to exchange property there is no reason to talk further right now. A friendship might develop at some point later, but for now, being in contact will only produce confusion not clarity.

Long discussions about “why we broke up” and “what we could have done differently” are best taken to friends and therapists than to THEM. Logistical things like returning stuff, paying bills and the like, you can handle with very brief emails or texts. Take a good month or two and cut off communication so you can heal – trust me on this one.

After Break-up Rule #3. Find healthy indulgences. If you can afford it, go shopping and take in as many movies, farmer’s markets and ball games as you can stand. Just don’t hang out where you used to spend time together. Go someplace new. When home, take bubble baths with candles until your skin prunes or consider getting some non-sexual massages – healthy touch is good for you! Move your body – to the gym, yoga or at least walk. Exercise improves mood.

And speaking of distractions, there are a couple to be avoided, like heavy drinking and drugging, starting the hunt for your next lover or having a lot of anonymous sex. Sure, let friends take you out for a round or two of trash the ex over cocktails, but abusing substances to feel better will eventually leave you feeling worse. And while it can feel hopeful to have someone flirt with you in the grocery line or laundromat, spending lonely evenings searching for your next love now is bound to leave you lonelier than when you started. And – searching for a potential mate while you are still stinging from the end of the last relationship is one of the surest ways to hook up with the next wrong person.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

John M. Grohol

Psychologist

Dr. John Grohol is a mental health expert and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992.

Location: Newburyport, MA
Credentials: PsyD
Website: PsychCentral
Other Articles/News by John M. Grohol:

Navigating Through Life's Transitions

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Linda Bloom LCSW and Charlie Bloom MSW. Webster defines "transition" as a passage or process of changing from one form to another. It has been said that we live in a time of transition, of rapid change. Things in our fast paced society don't show signs of slowing down any time soon. ... Read more

The Crazy Reasons People Say Yes To Sex Are Shocking

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Eve Eschner Hogan. Why people have sex doesn't seem like it should be a mystery, but a study at the University of Texas asked that very question. We might assume that "it feels good," "I wanted to show my love" or "I wanted to get pregnant" were among the top contenders ... Read more

8 Pieces Of Common Advice That Will Derail Your Relationship

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. When you're tying the knot, friends and family may share a few nuggets of advice for living happily ever after. If later you're going through a difficult time in your marriage, they may again be quick to share their input. You might even seek their guidance, hoping a ... Read more

See More

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB