Whether you knew the breakup was coming or have been blindsided by a faithless lover, the pain caused by an ended relationship can be devastating. Perhaps you and the object of your affection never even dated, but he or she flat out rejected you. Life itself feels cruel, and you may just want to take to your bed for the next ten years or so. Take a day or two, eat lots of ice cream, smack a punching bag at the gym, or watch some sad movies with a box of tissues, but then you must go on with a heartbreak recovery plan.
Don't Just Dwell on the Good Times
Make sure you only mourn the relationship you actually had, not the one you wanted or built up in your head. Did your partner refuse to adopt a pet although you desperately wanted one? Start fencing your yard or check our local dog walk trails to prepare for a new furry friend. Think of how many life decisions of which you compromised just to stay together. Were your partner's friends rude to you--fine, guess what? You don't have to see them anymore!
Scrub Your Social Media
Get rid of pictures that trigger sadness. Change your relationship status but do not give a blow by blow saga of your breakup on Facebook. You don't need a breakup to remind you that you really don't have 310 "friends". Avoid social media drama--it won't get your ex back and you will only provide grist for the gossip mill.
Flirt But Don't "Hook Up"
It may be tempting to go out on the town, get drunk and get busy with the first person you meet. That is a dangerous plan for so many reasons. You won't be getting back at the person who broke your heart, you will only be punishing yourself. This is a time to feel safe and secure, not out on a limb. Instead, practice the sexy art of casual flirting in safe places.
Genuinely Reconnect With Friends
Did you stop seeing certain friends during your former relationship or have minimal contact so you could concentrate on your love interest? If so, it's time to get back in touch but not just to use them as a crying towel. Confide about your heartache but then move on to other topics and shared interests. Your friends will know if they are being pumped for information about your ex or just a sounding board for you giving a play by play of your breakup for the 100th time. At this time in your life, you need to give as well as get some genuine affection for your recovery.
Interesting People are Interested People
If you love reading, join a book club. How about a self-defense course if you're feeling vulnerable? Get interested in the things you love and it will speed up your healing process. Even if you don't feel up to it, fake it till you make it. Rediscovering yourself and meeting new people will soon transform from a planned distraction to an authentic joy.
Take a Look At Yourself
This is the hardest thing to do, as it requires unflinching honesty. Once you are healed, you can see patterns past the pain. How do you behave in relationships? Did you check texts and decode private passwords out of insecurity? Don't embark on this spiritual search with hopes of reconciliation, do it to be a better person in your next relationship.
Do you deliberately choose mates who will reject you? How strong is your self-esteem? Do you think so little of yourself that in the past you settled for a partner who drinks to excess, or uses drugs? If you ever thought you wanted to explore therapy, now is an excellent time.
Don't Start a New Relationship With Emotional Baggage
After the initial healing process is complete, it's time to get back out there and try dating. It's not a good idea to go on one date, decide you want to be coupled again, and use this person as a rebound partner. Don't move too fast! It's okay to tell your new friend that you want to take it slow as you had a bad breakup, without going into graphic detail. Take it slow and enjoy the beauty and mystery of romance.
Your healing process may feel overwhelming in the beginning; however, it's comforting to know that you are not alone. This heartbreak is merely a chapter in your life. If you use your recovery period to reach out and reconnect with old friends, make new friends, find new interests, and rediscover yourself, and your new life partner, you will find it's actually easier than you may think.