Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Don'ts of Break Up

There are a lot of mistakes that many newly-single people make after a break-up that will only prolong their pain and suffering, and I was one of those people. But thanks to the online (experts and non-experts alike) and personal advices, I have survived my loss in just a matter of weeks! By the way, letting go and moving on is a case-to-case basis. So, it's really up to you. Just remember, when you have found the reason to walk away, never look back. Just keep going even if the destination is unclear. It will take a lot of courage for every step you'll make, but it will save some pride and honor for yourself. It's better to get lost moving on, than being stranded and broken after all.

"Love is a risk; sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But whether it's pain or joy, or right or wrong, love doesn't have room for mistakes, only lessons."

RULE No. 1: Don't Remain "Just Friends"

Accepting that your relationship is over is the very first step after a break up, and without this realization you'll be hard pressed to move on. Now is the time for renewal, not hopes for reconciliation. Sure, there may be a slight chance the two of you will get back together, but even the most astute 'get your ex back' manuals start with this first simple step: take a break.

Give yourself some time to mourn your loss. Get to know yourself as a single person. Toe your lines of independence and find out what makes you happy again. Staying friends with your ex will only prolong the pain. Think of any interaction with your ex like an addiction -- every single time you succumb, it'll be that much harder to refuse later.

RULE No. 2: Don't Keep Remnants of The Relationship Lying Around the House

There are quite a few things considered 'remnants' of a relationship, including photos, mementos, clothing, love letters and even food. After a break up, it can be challenging to remove all of these items from your home. One of my options back then was to give them all back to him personally. I thought this was the best thing to do. Good thing, my male cousin told me to forget about it. Then, I realized that it was not really my purpose. What I really wanted was to see him and to have a look on his reaction when I'll give those stuff back to him. So, here's what you should do. Instead, fill a box with whatever items you feel will be necessary at some point in time in the future but still remind you strongly of your ex, and then put that box in a private, out-of-the way place for the time being. There will be more than enough reminders on a day-to-day basis of your ex's just because of how the human mind works. You won't need any extra help to add fuel to the break up fire.

RULE No. 3: Don't Deny Negative Emotions

There is no doubt that you will feel strong emotions after a break up, such as loneliness, anger, fear, shame, uncertainty, humiliation, sadness, despair and jealousy. For many, these feelings will also surface physically, like crying or feeling like your heart is breaking or squeezing.

Not only are these 'negative' emotions healthy, but they are important to feel in order to remain healthy. Sure, they seem miserable and probably don't make you feel better in the moment, but allowing yourself time to grieve is an important part of healing after a breakup. Plus, a scientific study undertaken in 1980 by Margaret Crepeau found that frequent criers are healthier people. So don't be afraid to comfort yourself via expressing your negative emotions. And ventilating your feelings around people who loves you is a nice thing to do too. You'll not just lessening your baggage, you also make them feel that you trust them.

RULE No. 4: Don't Self-Medicate

If there were issues related to addictions, abuse, mental health (i.e. depression), or self-mutilation prior to your break up, please seek out professional help to assist with your specialized needs. The same goes for those finding themselves using drugs, alcohol, sex, cutting, or any other harmful self-medicating behaviors to cope with the pain after a break up. And if you feel the need to hurt yourself or someone else, please call someone (a family member or a friend) or a crisis hotline immediately.

RULE No. 5: Don't Stop Taking Care of Yourself

Most people's basic needs are the same: food, sleep and protection from the elements (i.e. shelter and food). During a particularly difficult break up, some people aren't able to manage even these simple tasks -- which is understandable, although not acceptable.

If you cannot be your own best friend right now, ask for help. Talk to your friends, family, a counselor and/or loved ones and let them know you may need a bit of extra support in the next little while. Additionally, create a break up action plant too post in key places, such as on your fridge or hidden away in your desk at work. That way you'll have not only have people checking out for you, but you'll also have created a foolproof list of things that make you happy to refer to.


  1. hi! bloghopped! :)

    i can definitely relate to rule nos. 1 to 3. great entry! :)

  2. Thanks austenfan! Indeed, it's time to let go and to move on. :)


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