Let’s face it—a breakup, no matter how long the relationship was or how much you cared for each other sucks, as you’re saying goodbye to someone with whom you became close to and had in your life regularly. And if it’s a blindside, it’s even harder, as you didn’t even see it coming and it definitely was not mutual.
If you were recently broken up completely out of the blue, here are a few tips to move on like a rock star and own your self-worth (and yes, that means keeping days without showering and downing pints to Ben & Jerry’s to a minimum).
Remind yourself of the negatives
No matter how fantastic the two of you connected or how much fun you had, there had to be some negative aspects of the relationship. Perhaps they chewed loudly, or they were financially irresponsible, or maybe they got very defensive during arguments—use these bad traits to feel as though you lucked out on being stuck in a relationship that could’ve been problematic down the road.
“According to one study, the best way to get over a break up (and reduce feelings of love for your ex) was to think of the negative traits related to your ex. This could involve listing all the annoying things they did or how they treated you badly, instead of dwelling on the good things you’ll miss,” says David Bennett, counselor and relationship expert with Double Trust Dating.
Don’t stalk them
They might post a photo of themselves on a boat living their best life, but you know what? That life is what’s displayed on social media, which isn’t really “life,” which has bad, unhappy moments, too. That ex who posts about being a boat with a stupid caption like, “I’m the captain now!” is probably hurting inside and is just trying to put on a good face for their own network of friends and family.
Still, that photo might drive you insane, thinking they don’t miss you or care.
So, what do you do when you see that? Unfollow them! Because you need to move on and heal, and whatever they’re doing is of no concern to you anymore.
Bennett agrees: “Avoid keeping up with your ex – If you try to keep up with what your ex is up to (like stalking their social media, figuring out whom they are dating now, etc) all it will do is bring back the negative emotions. Avoid the temptation to stalk your ex and instead focus on the positive things going on in your life,” he says. Don’t show up to their favorite coffee shop, don’t hang out in their neighborhood—find some distance.
Get out and have fun!
Don’t sit at home alone—get out and socialize! Be around those positive people in your life to cheer you up. And even just get outdoors for yourself, where you hit the gym, take a walk, hang out at a coffee shop and chill, and more.
“In that same study, being positively distracted helped people feel better after a break up. Keeping busy and doing things can help you get over a break up,” says Bennett. That distraction will help you detach and not miss the ex much.
See friends and family
“Spend more time with those close to you, like family and friends. This will stop you from feeling lonely, and also give you someone to process the break up with,” says Bennett. “Spending social time with others may even help your brain get back to normal emotionally, since some of the chemicals involved in romantic bonding (like oxytocin) are also involved in other types of social bonding and fun social experiences,” he adds.
So, whether you go back on dating apps (if you’re ready) or just hang with your immediate circle, start making connections with people to stay busy.
Give yourself a break
It’s okay to be sad and cry. “Have some empathy for yourself—it’s easy to blame yourself for a break up, especially a sudden one that blindsides you. Instead, have some empathy for yourself and recognize that the feelings you are having (possibly anger, sadness, etc) are normal and allow yourself to feel them,” says Bennett.
And FYI—it was not your fault at all. A blindside means they are struggling with their own feelings, and that often doesn’t even involve you.
Without a doubt, blindside breakups are bad, and there’s never a reason for them or any closure. However, be that strong person you are and get through it! It was their loss, and now you can focus on yourself and what brings you the most happiness outside of that relationship. Try new workout classes, meet new people, take a long bath with a glass of wine, binge of Bravo TV: you do you.