Did you know that many breakups often coincide with major holidays? A study of Facebook relationship status updates found that most couples severed ties around Valentine’s Day and before Christmas.
WHY? I don’t think there’s any singular reason for this. Some people use the holidays to reevaluate their lives, their compatibility with their partner, their long-term goals, and their partner’s relationship with their family. Others feel a lot of pressure around the holidays – pressure to take their relationship to the next level, financial pressure, familial pressure, occupational pressure… you name it.
Regardless of the timing, it’s important to know how to get over a breakup. Breakups hurt every time and day of the year.
And just when you think you’re on your way to getting over it, the pain can return unexpectedly. But what happens when you’re living with a broken heart; trying to figure out how to get over your breakup during a truly unprecedented time? 2020 is unlike anything we have ever experienced. Many things that we would want to go do are not as accessible or even possible right now, depending on where you live in the world.
But no matter what, knowing how to deal with a breakup will teach you how to cope with the pain, give that pain a purpose, and prioritize yourself – once and for all.
How to Get Over a Breakup
You might be wondering, “How long does it take to get over a breakup?” There are a lot of theories and studies online with conflicting answers on this one.
It’s reasonable to think that a one-year relationship should take one year to get over, right? This might make sense, given that you’re bound to be reminded of each milestone and memory as the new year passes. Think birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries.
Not so fast though. The first step in truly overcoming a breakup is to ditch the timeline and be easy on yourself. Don’t be judgemental; treat yourself just as you would a best friend. Healing is not a linear process. Some days will inevitably be harder than others. I once dated someone for five months and it took two years to fully get over the breakup.
Of course, there are other factors in your relationship that could prolong the healing process, too — such as whether you were married, had children together, were living together, or had a toxic relationship.
The takeaway? Each relationship is different. Go easy on yourself here. Have some compassion for yourself, so that you can have less for toxic people.
There’s no one-size-fits-all timeline for how to get over someone. But, there are ways to make it easier.
Say “YES” more often and “NO” more often
This boils down to Boundaries.
Boundaries are not complicated. They are your own personal limits; your line in the sand in regard to how others treat you. You will never feel scared or guilty for acting on your boundaries being busted if you believe that you have value. And I am here to tell you that YOU HAVE VALUE.
You have every right to believe that you should be treated with humanity, decency, and respect – and UNWAVERINGLY STAND by that belief – as hard as it is to do post-breakup. Everything in life eventually comes to an end. When this passes (the pain of this breakup, the pandemic, etc.) your boundaries will make sure that you come out better, stronger, and indifferent to what/who no longer matters.
Boundaries are a recognition of value that is acted on. Standards are the qualities that need to be present in order for that value (the value that your boundaries protect and preserve) to be accessed.
Making your own choices without seeking approval or validation is one of the first steps to reclaiming your independence. It teaches you how to set boundaries, thus rebuilding your self-esteem.
It’s not just the year 2020
2020 is an unprecedented year. Probably the most (if not one of the most) difficult years you’ve ever lived through. And to be going through a breakup during THIS time and THIS year… it’s just not fair, I get it.
For this tribe/community of ours, 2020 doesn’t just signify the year.
This year GAVE US 20/20 vision.
It gave us the gift of seeing who’s a hypocrite and who’s honest; who’s in it for themselves and who we can count on; who’s toxic and who we need to spend more time with. This year has brought me closer to people I didn’t think I would ever get so close to. It has also, created distance between myself and others who I didn’t think that I could possibly get any closer to.
2020 gave us 20/20 vision with our exes and ourselves too. We can identify the parts of us that allowed the red flags to be ignored, the crumbs to be tolerated, and desperation to infiltrate as a result.
Purge your social media
It will take time for this pain to pass.
After all, isn’t this something you’re tempted to do, too? If they’re creeping on your socials, you want them to know you’re better off without them, right?
Not exactly. Recovering from a breakup is hard enough without the amateur hour games. Remember that this time is about reconnecting with yourself, not reaction-mongering.
Unfollowing, blocking, or removing your ex on social media will make it easier to abide by the “no-contact rule” for two reasons:
- It makes it harder to reach out to them (and vice versa).
- With every day that passes, you create PROGRESS. Soon, you will become more PROTECTIVE of that progress than you will be interested in scratching the mosquito bite of your triggers.
Not sure whether to block or just unfollow? If you’re prone to creeping on social media accounts even after you’ve unfollowed them, it may be best to block them. Always do what you’re comfortable with.
If your ex continues to disrespect your boundaries and harass you after the breakup, blocking their social media and contact information is the best way to go.
And if you can’t stop social media stalking, it’s okay – don’t stop. This is why most restrictive diets fail. I don’t have a problem with you not being able to stop the stalking, as long as you are viewing your ex’s posts through the filter of HONESTY and REALITY – not shame, blame, insecurity, and delusion.
Keep a list, write a letter, and FLUSH
Contrary to popular belief, eating a pint of ice cream on the couch while crying and watching a Hallmark movie isn’t the only way there is to deal with the pain of a breakup.
You could write a “hate” letter to your ex — without sending it. Instead, you could burn the letter as a symbolic release of negative emotions.
Some post-breakup letter prompts might include:
- What did you never tell them you hated about them?
- Do they owe you an apology? If so, what for?
- How, exactly, did they make you feel?
- Did you keep any secrets from them?
- What does life look like without them?
- How are they going to be a launching pad for you?
- Are you doing anything they never wanted you to?
Also, write a list of everything they did that was disrespectful. Next to each bullet point, describe how their actions (or lack thereof) made you feel.
After you’ve burned your fair share of hate mail and lists, don’t forget to write about yourself, too. It doesn’t have to be long or prolific. Just keeping a brief daily record of how you’re feeling can help.
Months and years from now, you’ll look back on your writing in awe of how far you’ve come.
My absolute favorite thing to do is FLUSH. This may sound crazy, but it’s a lot healthier than picking up the phone to call your ex, drinking alcohol, abusing substances, or harming your reputation by embarrassing yourself.
A yoga teacher once told me, “when you can’t move your mind, move your body and the mind will follow.” The same goes for your emotional body.
When you’re emotionally constipated and cannot psychologically flush, you’ll look for a laxative in the form of reaching out to your ex – in an effort to try and flush the relationship – “once and for all.” Don’t do that! Instead, literally, FLUSHING helps more than I can put into words.
From this point on, every time you have to go to the bathroom…
Bring a marker with you and get a square of toilet paper. Write your ex’s name on the square of toilet paper and throw it in the toilet. Then, do your business over it and FLUSH!
Not only is this practice totally safe (and funny – laughter is the best medicine) but it is extremely gratifying and really does help. It also works wonderfully with fake friends, toxic family members, and coworkers.
Talk to someone that you can trust
Your relationship didn’t have to be toxic or abusive to warrant seeing a therapist, hiring a coach, or attending a digital seminar. Everyone needs a little extra help overcoming life’s challenges: a new job. A cross-country move. The death of a loved one.
Maybe your trust was betrayed. Maybe you were the betrayer, and you need help forgiving yourself, processing your emotions, and understanding the root causes of your behaviors.
A coach such as myself (my education is experiential, not scholastic), a counselor, or a mental health professional (I have the utmost respect for the professional community)… these are all great avenues. Having an objective, third-party listener who can see the situation from all angles and help you realize things you might not have considered before is very helpful. They’re not here to judge you or belittle you for your choices. Instead, they’re there to help you regain access to the tools on the toolbelt you were BORN with.
Use your support system and gain control
You have a support system in this incredible community. Comment on posts, ask for help when you need it, and know that you are not alone.
In a life where we don’t have control over much of anything, make sure you take total control over the three things that you can control in life: how much you move your body (if you are lucky enough to be able to), what you eat, and whether or not you give in to your triggers by allowing your emotions to dictate your actions.
Life goes on after a breakup
It may seem impossible to move on with your life after a broken heart. But knowing how to get over a breakup means accepting the pain and recognizing that it will get easier with time.
YOU are your first priority after a breakup. Following these steps will help you remember who the f*ck you are outside of your romantic relationships. They’ll teach you that everything you need can already be found from within yourself.
I hope that this finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe. Happy Holidays; I love and appreciate you all. And remember, we are family and always have each other.
+ If you need further and more personalized help with your relationship, please look into working with me here.