My first real breakup was brutal. It literally took years to get over. I certainly didn't know how to get over a breakup fast because I dragged my heartbreak out by doing everything wrong that I possibly could. First, I tried to push all my feelings deep down and immediately start dating again. Turns out (surprise, surprise), the best way to get over someone isn't actually to get under someone new. And if a well-meaning friend tells you that, you have my permission to poke them directly in the eyeball. (Not really. Don't do that, even though you will really, really want to.) I also didn't cut off the flow of information about their life post-me, which meant that I basically set up myself up for semi-regular heartbreak bombs. Smart, right?
When I finally couldn’t avoid feeling my feelings anymore, they had festered and turned into a vortex of pain that dragged me down for ages. Coming back from that was hard. I did it, but I never want to do it again. If I only knew then what I know now — that you actually do have a lot more control over the length and intensity of your post-breakup blues than you think you do. I could have saved myself from literal years of sadness.
So, if you can speed up your post-breakup heartbreak, how exactly do you do it?
1. Put Up A Social Media Blockade
Have you heard the saying "ignorance is bliss?” After a breakup, it’s time to make this your personal mantra, especially when it comes to social media. According to Alessandra Conti, celebrity matchmaker at Matchmakers In The City, one of the first things you need to do when you've decided to end a relationship is cut off all social media contact.
"Although it is tough to have a clean break in our generation, because of all of the different ways that we are all connected, it is important to make every effort on your part to make sure that this person is blocked/deleted/unfriended from all of your social media platforms," says Conti. While it may be tempting to keep one eye creeping on them, she explains it’s important to resist that urge because you never know what you may see that will set back your emotional healing.
2. Lean Into The Pain... For 72 Hours
When my heart hurts, my initial instinct is to try and do whatever I can to shut off that emotion, to distract my brain, and go numb. While rejecting your emotions may seem satisfying in the short term, it actually only draws the pain out longer. Conti has a much healthier and effect strategy for dealing with the acute heartbreak that immediately follows the breakup: Lean in to it — but only for three days. "In order to begin the healing process, you need to allow yourself to truly feel your emotions. As cheesy as it may sound, watch The Notebook or This Is Us: I want you to get your cry on!” says Conti. "Give yourself an allocated time to do this: I always suggest a three-day mourning period where you can ... sit on the couch and mourn." She says to use this time to give your emotions an outlet, so that, in three days, you've set the foundation for the next step.
3. Get Back Out There
Once you've mourned for three days, Conti says it's vital to begin coping. Rather than viewing the dissolution of your relationship as an end, it’s time to start looking at it as "a rebirth and a rediscovery of who you are, what you enjoy, and treat yourself to things that make you happy."
You should also be making plans. Doing so will give you a sense of control and productivity. Your plans should include exciting activities you've always meant to do to keep you busy and recenter you on finding yourself again. "Get out into the world and live," says Conti. "After a few weeks, even if you do not feel as though you are ready, it is time to start dating again.
She continues that putting off this process will only make dating again seem scarier, and you might fall into a trap where you begin to "idolize your ex."
Before You Know It, Your Heart Will Heal
As time goes on, you will continue to heal your heart, and by staying busy and focusing on the things that make you happy, you can speed the recovery process along. Then, one day, you will realize you’re totally over it.
"You will know when you are truly over your breakup when you are able to see a future with someone other than your ex," says Conti. "You still may randomly think or dream about your ex, but that is not a horrible thing. Wish them well, but wish them away."
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