5 Ways Setting Boundaries Help You Move On After A Breakup

Breaking up is hard to do, but the pain doesn't have to go on and on.

5 Ways Setting Boundaries Help You Move On After A Breakup getty

The importance of setting expectations after breaking up is not something that can not be overemphasized. And knowing how to move on after a breakup is part of getting through the pain and heartbreak of the end of your relationship so you can heal.

You have been in a relationship with this person for weeks, months, or years, and now that relationship is ending. What is next?

Life without the other person is uncharted territory — a territory that, believe it or not, if you manage it together, you'll be able get past and move on faster.


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Setting expectations after breaking up can be complicated, especially when the emotions around breakups are so fraught.

Here are 5 expectations that you can set together that will help you both manage those crazy emotions of breaking up and move on.

1. No stalking.

One of the biggest problems with social media is that after breaking up, we have endless access to information about our exes. Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook all allow you to watch as your ex's life unfolds without you from the comfort of your own home.


Whether what you see posted is reflective of the truth or not, when you see your ex happy without you, it can cut you to the core.

If you've had to break up with someone and you spend all of your time becoming obsessed with your ex's new partner and how happy their lives together are, you'll be drawn into your feelings for them.

You'll miss them and wonder if things could have been different. You won't be able to move on from your relationship or heal.

So, when setting expectations after breaking up, make sure that one of them is that you unfriend and unfollow each other immediately. If you can make that decision together, that you can disconnect from each other electronically. 


This way, you can get on with your lives, and neither of you will be hurt or blindsided by an "unfollow" notification. I can promise you, if you can do this one thing, you will be a long way along the path of getting over your ex and moving on.

2. No trash-talking.

Whether you do the breaking up or are broken up with, the anger that occurs at the end of a relationship can be very destructive. The desire to funnel that anger somewhere, to put it out there to the universe, to let others know what a jerk your ex is, is almost irresistible.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when you are setting expectations after breaking up is whether or not you BOTH can refrain from trash-talking each other. What happened in your relationship was between the two of you.


Yes, she might have cheated, or he might have been abusive, but that is between the two of you. The impulse to get sympathy from someone else from telling a one-sided story is never productive and usually ends up with more acrimony and anger.

So, when talking through setting expectations after breaking up, agree that the issues that you had will stay between you and that neither of you will talk badly about each other to the world.

At the very least, not talking about your ex will help you move past them. Every time you rehash things with anyone, everything just gets stirred up again.

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3. No yo-yo-ing.

Another very important expectation to set after ending your relationship is that there will be no yo-yo-ing.

Yo-yo-ing is a very painful occurrence when one person keeps coming and going in a relationship. One person says they want out of the relationship, but then changes their mind, comes back, and then leaves again.

Or they drunk text for a booty call. Or they say they want to try again but not tell anyone.

For those who've had their hearts broken, the inclination to give your ex a second chance is hard to resist. So you do, and, for a few days, life is grand. And then they leave again, and you go back to where you were, broken and in pain.


Perhaps you get bored, lonely, or depressed, and you want to soothe yourself. Who better to do so with than your ex?

But yo-yo-ing isn’t good for anyone. The coming-and-going messes with everyone’s emotions — the person who got left is hurt over and over, and the person who keeps coming back feels guilty, stupid, and confused.

Agree, when you break up, that what you have decided is for good and that, even if loneliness or boredom directs you toward self-sabotage, you will not reunite with your ex and start the craziness all over again.

4. No closure.

If there is one thing that I believe, it's the most nonproductive and pain-producing part of the end of a relationship is "closure."


Closure is purely an excuse for the person being left to have one more face to face with their ex so that they can spend time with them and perhaps talk them into coming back.

Closure usually involves hours of circular conversations and ends with lots of tears and still no resolution. No matter what is said, both people go away broken and in pain.

One of my exes and I agreed on the ineffectiveness of "closure" and so when we broke up, we just moved on. It was hard, but it was much easier for me to get past the break up having no contact with him.

Months later, after we had both suffered and recovered, we ran into each other and to this day are very good friends. I believe it’s because we didn’t have to go round and round and suck the life out of each other, analyzing our break up.


So, after breaking up, it’s important that both sides make an effort to say what they need to say so that they can both move on and find happiness.

5. No friendship.

I know this sounds really harsh, but in reality, being friends after a breakup is counterproductive and just leads to more pain.

If you have been in a romantic, intimate relationship with someone, being friends is a big leap of faith, especially if one party has been blindsided by the breakup.


Friendship involves trust, kindness, confidence, and loyalty. Usually, when people go through a breakup, these things have been absent for a while.

To try to be friends with someone you have hurt, or who has hurt you, is, I believe, more often than not, a reason to spend more time with this person you love or fill the void left when you dumped them.

I do believe that after a time when the intense pain has passed, people can be friends again. But in the short term while anger and hurt abound, being friends will only prolong the breakup and the pain.

Setting expectations after breaking up sounds like an impossible thing to do but, if done with intention, it can make a big difference in the amount of pain that is endured and the amount of time it takes to move on.


After breaking up, agree to rules around social media, agree to not talk badly about each other to friends and family, agree that the break up has happened and that there will be no turning back, that there will be no closure and no friendship in the short term.

I know that you are in pain right now and that your ex is probably struggling, as well. If you can work together setting expectations, you will be able to move on quickly and healthily and find the love that you have always sought!

You can do it!

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Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based, certified life and love coach. Let her help you find — and keep — love in this crazy world in which we live. Email her and get started!