Just because you're the one who did the breaking up this time, doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt.
Contrary to popular belief, breaking up with your partner doesn't automatically send you skipping joyfully into the dawn of your freedom. It actually kind of hurts.
In addition to the loss of a relationship, the guilt of being the one who did the dump (so to speak) can really drag you down.
While initiating the breakup doesn't sting as much as it does on the receiving end, there's still a period of heartbreak you need to work through.
Just because you decided not to be with somebody, doesn't mean you weren't in love. So here's how to get over the guy when you were the one who did the breaking up:
1. Take A Trip
The best way to get over a guy whom you broke up with is to get out of town for however long you can. In my opinion, the length of the relationship determines the amount of time you should try to spend away.
If it was a fling? Take a long weekend. If you were together three years? That's a good reason to cash in on some paid vacation days if you have them. In the past, even if I didn't get a vacation, I had bosses who understood the need to take some personal leave.
Going to a different place is like pushing your heart's reset button. A new landscape or a city where nobody knows you makes you remember how big the world is, how many people there are in it, and how much you want to see.
I've even taken weekend trips and, upon coming back to town, realized that I actually would be much happier if I moved. So not only does a getaway help you get over your ex, it also might help you sort out some other areas of your life, too.
2. Go On Some Dates
Much like taking a trip allows you to see what else is out in the world, going on some dates gives you permission to explore the range of possibilities and experiences that different people bring into your life.
When you are trying to get over a guy you broke up with, you have the benefit of already knowing the relationship wasn't right. It puts you in a better position to be open to new relationships -- even if those relationships only last a single night.
Of course, one of the dangers of starting to date right after you've broken up with somebody is that you'll want to slip right back into the comforts of a relationship. Breaking up with someone can have a way of sending you spiraling into your own sexual liberation. Rebound relationships are real.
Just be sure that if you are shacking up, it's because you met somebody you actually want to be with, and not because you simply don't want to be alone.
3. Hit The Gym
Do you know that you're not looking to date anyone anytime soon, but you find yourself missing your ex's touch? Do you think about calling him when you're lonely at night? The best way to channel that pent-up sexual energy is to get into some exercise.
In addition to feeling good from that endorphin release, you'll probably learn how to be a bigger fan of your body, too. Recognizing yourself as beautiful when you're not receiving another person's attention takes practice. Exercise helps with that.
Even if you can't afford a gym membership, there are loads of yoga videos on YouTube that will help you strengthen and tone your body, as well as unwind the anxiety that is usually taken care of by sex.
4. Catch Up With Your Friends
The best part about taking time to get over a guy you broke up with? Reconnecting with the friends you abandoned for your relationship.
If you can't tell from my previous sentence, I've been that friend during the last couple of years. The one whom my friends stop hanging out with as soon as they start dating someone seriously -- except for when they need to call me and rant about their boyfriends.
I might sound bitter, but the roles have definitely been reversed before. So much so that I've started to call the period when somebody is isolated by their relationship as being "stranded on boyfriend island."
After you have broken up with someone, you'll realize that there's probably a lot of stuff going on in your single friends' lives that you forgot to ask about while you were caught up with your boo. That's totally natural, and if they're your true friends, they will understand.
Plus, they'll be able to teach you all the other things you have to think about besides your ex.
5. Take A Class
Even if you are the one who did the breaking up, it's easy to find yourself obsessing over your ex. You might be questioning whether you made the right choice.
Even if you know it was over for the better, a breakup is a little bit like a death. You're likely spending some time mourning a real loss.
While it's OK to be sad -- it's better than repression! -- definitely don't let melancholy consume you. Break up the time you spend reflecting on your last relationship by finding something else to think about, like a new skill.
In addition to finally learning something you may have always wanted to know (Photoshop! Coding! Intro to accounting!) taking a class is a solid way to meet new people and foster friendships over shared experiences.
Plus, it never hurts to have another resume line.
6. Spend Time With Yourself
While it might be easy to avoid much time by yourself in between reconnecting with friends, swiping on Tinder, hitting the gym and going to your class, it's important to remember what it's like to be alone after your breakup.
It takes some adjustment, and you'll probably feel lonely at first. After you've gotten used to it, though, you might even realize that being alone is nice.
When you're by yourself, you learn how to be your own best boyfriend. That includes remembering to feed yourself, make your bed, and do the things that make you feel good: whether that means staying at home and reading all weekend, going out to a museum, or even eating at a table for one — in public.
I remember someone at a lunch spot once telling me that they thought it was really brave of me to eat out alone, as though there were bands of roaming wolves targeting women who dared to consume a sandwich in a public space. Or, even worse, like being an adult still subjected you to the dynamics of your high school cafeteria, where eating alone was for losers who preferred to isolate themselves and read. (This was me.)
The longest relationship of your life will be with the person you're trapped with inside your own head. You might as well get over your boyfriend by getting to know that person in your head better. It'll help you make sure you're in tune with what's best with her and what she really wants, before you start the next chapter of your life.
7. Re-Evaluate Your Work
Breakups definitely suck no matter what, but they are also kind of exhilarating. When you've decided to reshuffle one area of your life -- your relationship -- it stands to reason that this is the perfect time to examine all of the other areas. That includes your work.
When you're caught up with your boyfriend, it's easy not to focus on other aspects of your life. There's no better job distraction than a boo, whether that's texting on your lunch break or rushing toward your weekend plans.
Getting over your boyfriend is also the perfect time to get over your job, especially if it isn't working for you. Have you been stagnating in your career? Then maybe this is the time to apply to grad school. Do you like your job but are struggling to pay your bills? Start googling how to ask for a raise.
By focusing on what you want in a different area of your life, it will make you stop focusing on your relationship.
Once you've figured out your personal goals for the next year or so, it will make your breakup seem like a heartbreak that happened to somebody else.