We’ve all been there at least once – the dreaded breakup. Getting back on track after a breakup can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Breaking up with a love partner can be one of the most painful experiences any of us will go through in our lives. While not exactly a death, breaking apart with someone you love – even if it isn’t a good relationship – is the end something incredibly powerful and intense. And, that is bound to hurt.

It doesn’t matter who did the dumping, the point is the relationship is over and it’s time to move on and heal. That’s a tall order, especially right at the beginning. As difficult as it may feel to move forward it’s best to try your best to head in that direction even if all you want to do is curl up on the couch. So how do you move forward?

Getting Back on Track After A Breakup

  1. Allow yourself time to grieve – It’s important to move on but it’s also imperative that you allow yourself to grieve this devastating loss. While I don’t recommend ‘taking to bed’ for weeks on end, a couple of days with Ben and Jerry’s and Netflix isn’t going to hurt anyone.
  2. Journal it out – You’re eyes are puffy and you’ve watched both seasons of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt three times and you might even been a little sick of Chunky Monkey. It’s time to get out pen and paper (or start a blog) and write down your feelings. Just write. Tell your story to your journal and don’t worry about anyone else seeing it. This is for you. You’ll be amazed at how cathartic journaling can be. If you write long enough you may see patterns develop that can help you when it’s time to navigate a new relationship.
  3. Clean house – You’re feeling a little stronger now, maybe even motivated. Take advantage of that energy and get rid of the remnants of your failed romance. Throw away or return any clothing, personal items etc. Gifts can be returned or donated. You will always have the memories of your time together, but holding on to the remnants of the relationship will only hold you back. You may find that as you discard the items left behind, you feel a burden lift from your body.
  4. Avoid alcohol and drugs – Now is not the time to drown you sorrows (actually, there’s never a really good time to do that). Don’t fall into the rabbit hole by numbing yourself with drugs, alcohol or even food. All of those things are distractions so look for something healthy to keep your mind off of your significant other. Take a class on gardening, learn to cook, read some great books, go for a hike, enter to run a 10k and then start getting in shape.
  5. Spend time with friends – You may have lost touch with some of your friends while in the relationship, now is the time to reestablish those bonds. Rediscover those friendships.
  6. Don’t rush it – Breakups are difficult, don’t rush the process, and don’t rush into another relationship to avoid being alone. While breakups are challenging, they are also wonderful growth opportunities.

There is a reason the relationship didn’t work out. It doesn’t matter who’s fault it was, the important thing is that it is over and it’s time to move on. It may not seem like it now, but in time you will look back fondly on the relationship knowing it helped prepare you for what was to come.