How To Actually Get Over A Breakup, According To Research

It might not feel like it right now, but you will get over them.

Last updated on Jun 20, 2023

sad woman eating f.t.Photographer/ Shutterstock

Ending a relationship is rough, especially when you aren't exactly sure how to get over a breakup and come out the other side in one piece. 

And aside from the metaphorical breaking of your heart, there are those painstaking social media reminders that, yes, your ex does still have a life and it's going just fine without you.

Imagine how easy a romantic split would be in a world without Facebook status updates, TMI tweets, and random urges to send a drunken text.


Sounds like a fantasy land, right? Well, though you cannot send your social media websites a cease and desist order, you can take a step towards post-dumping psychological well-being by cutting all ties with your ex.

In a 2018 study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, researchers gave a group of 24 heartbroken singles between the ages of 20-37, who had either been dumped or dumped, different prompts to help them move on — here's what worked and what didn't. 

RELATED: Half Of Men Say They'd Break Up With A Woman For This Reason


How to actually get over a breakup, according to research:

1. Recounting all of your ex's negative traits

Nothing will help you move on faster than trying to knock your ex off the pedestal you put them on, especially when you have friends that hate them as much as you do after the breakup. By sitting there and recounting all of their negative traits, you can help ease the pain of the breakup and correlate bad things with your ex. The magic of trash-talking!

RELATED: 13 Signs You Should Break Up, Even If Your Relationship Is 'Fine'

2. Accepting yourself

Breakups happen, and they hurt and they suck, and will probably happen to you again. That's the truth of it. Whether you ended it or they did, you're still a good person who deserves love. There's no healing happening when you sit there wallowing in your own self-pity thinking nobody is ever going to love you again. You're sad and you're hurt, so don't punish yourself for those feelings. Accept them, and understand it's normal.

RELATED: 11 Signs You're Going To Get Divorced (Before You Even Marry Him)


3. Distracting yourself

It can be hard to not think of the traumatizing breakup you just went through, especially when you have things to do. Distract yourself with things you love, or pick up a new hobby. You're still a whole person who has your own interests and talents. This will help you with all those nagging thoughts about what your ex is doing or if they miss you. You can still find joy in the things you love.

Love hurts, especially when it ends. Know that it will hurt for a while, but you were an amazing person before them, and you'll feel like an amazing person after them. It might not feel like it right now, but there's a lesson to be learned in this. You get to start over and become a whole new person, a person they will never get the privilege of knowing.

Take healthy, proactive steps like exercising, spending time with friends, and avoiding sleeping with your ex —  this will also help you move on.


RELATED: 11 Psychological Tricks To Make Your Ex Regret Losing You

Kait Smith is an editor, writer, social media manager, and blogger who writes about the rules of love and relationships.