4 Ways To Cope With Your Breakup (Without Completely Falling Apart)

How to keep it together when a break up has you about to fall apart.

Woman sadly uses on her phone while alone on a couch evrymmnt | Shutterstock

I've been there before, obsessing about my ex and agonizing over our breakup.

That was a long time ago, and I've since worked through the grief. Life felt happy again when I decided to finally be happy with myself, by myself.

Only then did I find someone new — someone who loved me for who I am instead of some woman he wanted me to become. Now, We've been married for 30 years.

Tons of research shows "positive emotions can occur following a breakup, particularly when the previous relationship did not expand the self, and when personal growth occurred after the breakup."


So, how do you find happiness and confidence again and use the end of a relationship as a way to grow?

RELATED: How To Focus On Yourself After A Breakup

Here are 4 ways to cope with your breakup (without falling completely apart).

1. Fall in love with the brand new you.

That’s right, your NEW self. The relationship you just left changed you.


According to an abstract in Science Daily, "When a romantic relationship ends, an individual’s self-concept is vulnerable to change."

The vulnerability of breaking up can leave you feeling not only depressed but unclear about who you really are. So, first, regroup. Feel free to sit still (and even analyze) for a few weeks, as suppressed grief sticks around, but don't linger here for months!

Losing someone we love leads us to amazing new life directions, precisely because it changed us or because we’re forced to change after they leave. Taking that first step is exciting, so turn off your electronics, put down the remote, and reconnect inwardly.

RELATED: How To Actually Get Over A Breakup, According To Research


2. Express yourself in new ways.

The best way to move forward is to figure out what you didn’t have time for when you were part of a couple. Now, go do those things!

Say, your significant other was allergic to pets and made fun of your passion for saving dolphins — volunteer for animal rights or animal protection. Or go back to school for that extra degree or certification that will increase your income or your prestige.

Start exercising; it's a wonderful way to shake off depression, meet new friends, and maybe end up running a marathon.

When I’m feeling down, I find a group of dancers or singers. Music heals, even if it’s not your deepest personal passion.


If none of the above appeals to you, find YOUR passion, and go after it! You’ll find a NEW piece of you there to help you connect to some of your much-treasured, yet forgotten, pieces. You'll feel upbeat and hopeful again in no time.

3. Reconnect with people who lift you up.

When you feel the hum of inner happiness, clarity, and confidence start back up, you can make some key decisions and start reconnecting with people. Taking action and plugging back into our lives leads us away from dependency on our exes. We can now rely on ourselves for self-worth, self-love, comfort, and entertainment.

Hang out with people who appreciate the parts of you your ex criticized or rejected. Do the things they'd never do with you, and don't forget to ask your friends to join you. When you’re ready, write a profile about the NEW you and pack it full of the self-confidence you've found while exploring new vistas.

You can use this profile for online dating, your social media site, or to stick in your journal to update once in a while. A reminder that not being attached to another still makes you whole.


RELATED: 6 Important Reminders For Anyone Struggling With Heartbreak

4. Forgive your ex and yourself.

It may take a long while to forgive a person who hurt you at your core. I still have the postcard I never sent to my ex that said, "Wait, come back! There’s a piece of my face you haven’t stepped on yet!"

I also find so many clients and friends stay stuck in blaming themselves for being themselves. They keep searching for something they did "wrong".

Being rejected, especially romantically, causes a strong reaction in people because we have developed survival-based behaviors to avoid rejection. The need to not be rejected could be behind your feelings of missing your ex.


Maybe you did make a mistake, but relationships don’t usually end because of one misstep. If you’re searching for the mistake you made for a long time, it definitely wasn’t the reason they walked away.

In fact, you can believe them when they say, "It’s not you, it’s me." When you’ve realized this truth, you might look at their photograph and smile because you’ve cast off those judgments and burdens they laid upon you.

When your life starts to change again.

When you stop simmering in the past, you’ll find your true partner in the present.


After a while of loving yourself, you’ll realize it’s MUCH easier being yourself all the time instead of trying to change, or worse, pretend you're someone else for love’s sake.

Think of all you're missing while you hang on to someone you clearly were not meant to be with (and vice versa). Remember, there IS a Mx. Right out there pining for you. Let happiness back in again. Come on now. They're waiting!

RELATED: 5 Ways To Cope With Depression After A Breakup

Kathryn Brown Ramsperger wrote for National Geographic and Kiplinger before working as a humanitarian journalist in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. She's also an intuitive creativity coach and creator of Step Into Your Story! (TM), as well as the award-winning author of two novels, including her latest: A Thousand Flying Things.