Romantic relationships are beautiful.
They’re one of the most magical experiences one can have as a human being. Just look around and you’ll find nothing short of poems, novels, songs, and films dedicated to the deep intimacy and joy that one can find in a relationship.
Of course, the flip side of having someone who rocks your world is that in the event of a breakup, chances are that it’ll wreck your world instead.
Even for young adults today, splitting up from a partner can be deeply traumatizing and painful — in fact, it’s an extremely common risk factor for full-blown clinical depression in that age group.
It’s undoubtedly something that impacts us from the inside out, not just reshaping how we perceive ourselves, but also how we view the people and the world around us.
With such a colossal effect, it’s no wonder that the Internet is saturated with tips and research on what to do in a breakup situation.
Are any of these tips valid? Do they work?
Well, here we present some of the best answers and advice from real professionals on how to handle breakups. It’s time to take notes!
Whether you’re single, happy in a relationship, or in the midst of a breakup, you never know when these tips might come in handy.
Stay Out of Sight- Why You Can’t Get Over The Ex
Before you rush to lock yourself indoors, no, it’s not about becoming a total recluse from society. Research has shown that it’s good advice to stay out of sight — from your ex.
The first few days after an unwanted breakup can be excruciating, and for good reason too. You’re probably in pain because of feelings of loss, but strangely enough, also hope.
Hope that the split can be reversed, that your ex will take you back, that this will just be something fun to laugh about with your future kids… and the list goes on.
With that comes the strong yearning to contact your ex, and it doesn’t help that today’s twenty-first-century technology makes it so easy to do so. More often than not, your ex is always one text, phone call or tweet away.
Succumbing to the temptation may seem like a good thing at that point, but research has shown otherwise. It has been observed that seeing ex-partners is toxic.
It makes people feel sadder with much more longing and distress. Even stalking them online is unhealthy, temporarily quenching a desire to relieve the pain, but stumping personal growth in the long run.
If you are having dreams about your ex that are bringing back negative emotions, check out this article to help you better understand the meaning behind them.
So take the advice you’ve known all along and delete his or her number off your phone. Unfollow your ex-partners’ social media accounts.
Take a different route home, if you know you’re likely to bump into him or her. It might hurt at first, but research shows you’re better off this way.
Don’t Hesitate To Go Hulk – Why Your Can’t Get Over The Ex
There’s this famous scene in Hollywood film where a scientist named Bruce Banner gets all riled up and angry and turns into a gigantic, unstoppable green beast named The Hulk — which is where this popular term comes from.
Similarly, after a breakup, we almost always feel angry. Whether at the ex or at the painful state of things, it’s definitely uncomfortable, but it’s also perfectly normal to feel this way.
However, a mistake many people make is to think that all negative emotion is bad, and then work to actively suppress all the rage, never releasing all the resentment.
According to one study, this is bad news. Researchers have found that without letting all that emotion erupt, participants end up becoming more likely to get stuck in a cycle of sadness and longing for a longer time.
On the other hand, participants who had acknowledged feelings of anger ended up recovering the most.
So what does this mean for you? We’re not saying you should be as destructive as The Hulk, but don’t be afraid to fully express your anger, hurt, or frustration.
Embrace the natural ebb and flow of these emotions, rather than wallow in the remnants of affection, sadness, or longing.
Throw some pillows, write in a diary, or create art. It might feel counterintuitive at first, but trust the science and you’ll be back on your feet in no time.
Call Your Lifelines- Why You Can’t Get Over The Ex
After a breakup, a modern person’s instinct is usually to head straight home to the covers and some Netflix.
After all, popular culture has normalized the post-breakup coping mechanism of calling in sick, sobbing in bed, not to mention plenty of emotional eating (think eating an entire tub of Ben and Jerry’s).
Well, all that can actually be good — and even better if you’re doing it all with someone else there to accompany you.
It’s completely typical to want to be alone after a breakup, and to think a little about it as possible. After all, constantly bringing it to mind only reinforces the pain and makes it more real.
However, a recent study done at the University of Arizona has shown that recounting what happened during the breakup to someone else can actually have a therapeutic effect.
It sounds scary, but the logic is that the more you talk about it and repeat the story of the split, the more it becomes analytical and less emotional.
Track your feelings each time you tell the story, and the general trend shows that there tends to be a large improvement over time.
Moreover, it works best when you intentionally try to look at the whole thing from a third-person’s point of view, something we know as self-distancing.
So after you’re done with that season of Friends, call your best friend, therapist, or someone you can trust.
Invite them over or arrange an appointment to talk, keeping in mind the goal to keep your feelings and thoughts organized.
Don’t be afraid of boring them with the same story over and over again — we’re sure they’ll be as thrilled as you are to see signs of improvement over time.
It might not seem like it, but a breakup is something that will grow you and your ex-partner into better people if you handle it the right way.
Research has shown us the best ways to cope, but in any case, take heart that it’s all part and parcel of life and that it helps us all to experience and appreciate love itself in new ways.