6 Incredibly Damaging Things You Should Never Do After A Breakup

How to move on quickly and quietly.

Last updated on Jan 12, 2024

Couple breaking up martin-dm | Canva

There IS a healthy code of conduct that should apply to everyone after a breakup, regardless of the circumstances.

You should be able to identify self-destructive behavior that you've either done in the past (or may be tempted to do in the future) that will hold you back and how — and why! — to substitute healthy behavior.

Here are 10 incredibly damaging things you should never do after a breakup:

1. Don't beg him not to break up with you

At best, your reconciliation would only be temporary. Let's face it: it's not going to work out if he was TALKED INTO staying in the relationship.


Get out of the situation now, so you can gain some perspective on what just happened.

RELATED: 6 Incredibly Classy Ways To Move On After A Horrible Breakup

2. Don't call him

To have the clarity and perspective you need right now, you need to stop communicating with your ex. No phone calls. No texts. No emails. Nothing. Breakups are confusing, and your emotions and decision-making skills are compromised, which means you're desperate for instant gratification.  



But when your ex is in your life, he threatens your emotional and mental safety and leaves you exposed to new and potentially deeper hurts. 


3. Don't be intimate with him

Although this decision could fall under the umbrella of #2's no-contact rule, it's a biggie and deserves to be discussed separately. I am not going to mince words here: Do not — I repeat! — do not sleep with your ex under any circumstances! You might be thinking that you're on the path back to coupledom, but HE is thinking that he can officially have no-strings-attached intimacy with you.

Please love yourself enough to realize that your ex forfeited his right to be intimate with you the moment he said he didn't want to be in a relationship with you.

4. Don't stay friends with your mutual friends

This one is tough, but now that you've ceased contact with your ex, you don't want to do anything to sabotage that progress. 

While it is sad that friends you once had in common with your ex might be additional casualties of the breakup, it's often necessary to properly move on.


RELATED: 5 Painfully Obvious Signs Your Ex Never Cared About You (According To A Therapist)

5. Don't hold on to things that remind you of him

On Day 4 of my 30-day Breakup Breakthrough coaching program, I provide a step-by-step plan to get rid of things that remind you of your ex. I call it a "Purge Party." It comes with specific instructions for deciding what to keep, trash, and give back to your ex (without compromising your "no contact" rule).

6. Don't stalk him online

The modern breakup is a lot different than breakups 10+ years ago. It used to be that, once you decided not to speak on the phone anymore, you didn't have a way to keep tabs on your ex. Now, thanks to the Internet, all the information you need for emotional self-destruction is available at the click of your mouse. Do yourself a favor and remove your ex from your social network.

It WILL get easier to resist the temptation once you've gone a few weeks without contact.


7. Don't go down a path of self-destruction

When you're going through a tough breakup, it's only natural to be tempted to fall into self-destructive behavior — things that feel good at the moment (like overeating, chain-smoking, drinking too much, etc.). During this time, you must take good care of yourself. Remember: everything in moderation!

Making healthy choices now (even if it's difficult) reinforces your commitment to taking care of yourself and rebuilding your self-esteem.

RELATED: 17 Signs You're Still Mooning Over An Ex

8. Don't talk bad about him (or seek revenge)

Of course, you want to call your ex every bad name in the book for dumping you. Of course, you want to air your dirty laundry with every mutual friend you have so it'll get back to him. You might even want revenge. But DON'T DO IT.




As I always say: Nobody EVER regretted taking the high road. Karma is a mean woman, and your ex will suffer in his way without you resorting to nasty behavior.

9. Don't rebound TOO quickly

Ah, this is tempting. You miss your ex. You miss calling him. You miss cuddling.


Your standards for a mate are at their all-time low after a breakup. You're not thinking straight and you're making emotional decisions out of need rather than rational ones from a place of strength and clarity.

10. Don't go through your breakup alone

Fact: most people don't healthily process their breakup. But if you don't deal with your breakup properly, you are doomed to repeat your past mistakes

This is a time to learn valuable lessons about yourself, so getting through it with the support of friends and family will help you make healthier choices going forward.

RELATED: How To Get Over A Breakup — 20 Crucial Things To Do (& Not Do) After Breaking Up


Paige Parker is an author and the founder of Dating Without Drama. She teaches women to improve their self-esteem and better understand men so they can find and keep a loving relationship.