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Breaking up is hard to do

Breaking up is hard to do
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Breakups hurt, and they can take more time than most of us would like to admit to get over. While there’s nothing wrong with taking all the time you need to heal, there is a myriad of things you should not do while on that road to healing, according to relationship experts. “Because of the swirling of emotions and intensity of them, it is critical to react to the breakup in purposeful and healthy ways,” notes marriage and family therapist, Dr Juliana Morris.  “Avoid unhealthy coping skills, as even though they may bring temporary relief and release, it will not be permanent and often adds new problems to the emotional roller coaster you are on.” Here’s a look at the things you should never do to get over a breakup.

Don’t beg for another chance

Don’t beg for another chance
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Of course, you miss your ex and may still be in shock about the breakup, but getting over a breakup means not pleading for a do-over. “If you feel compelled to do so, examine your motivation,” says psychotherapist, Jonathan Alpert. “Do you miss your ex specifically, or do you miss the idea of having a partner? The two are very different,” he adds.

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Don’t call or text

Don’t call or text
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Any contact with your ex reinforces and strengthens your attachment, and impedes your recovery, according to dating coach and author of Exaholics, Dr Lisa Marie Bobby. “An important step in healing is to remove your ex from your physical and digital world,” she says. Aim to go at least 30 days without contacting your ex if you want to start getting over a breakup. Thirty days will become 40, then 50… and by then, chances are you’ll be feeling much better and have some additional clarity.

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Don’t seek revenge

Don’t seek revenge
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It’s natural to feel the desire to lash out at your ex, directly or indirectly, explains professor of marriage and family therapy, Dr Ili Rivera Walter, but it’s not smart to actually do so. “When those feelings arise, take a deep breath and ask your higher self: 1) Is it worth sitting in the negative energy of revenge? 2) Is revenge consistent with who you want to be? 3) How will this serve me, now, or in the future?” she says. “Revenge is a two-edged sword that can leave feelings of shame and remorse.”

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Don’t date (or marry!) the next person you meet

Don’t date (or marry!) the next person you meet
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With revenge still on the mind, and in the heart, it’s very easy to want to replace the missing limb but resist, advises relationship and etiquette expert, April Masini. “After a painful breakup, being single for a while is the best way to ensure that your next relationship is not impulsive, haphazard and doomed for a repeat breakup,” she says. “Take some time to process what happened and where things didn’t go as you had hoped – and what you want to do differently next time,” she says.

 

Don’t overdo it on the partying

Don’t overdo it on the partying
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Sure, it’s tempting to drown your sorrows to get over a breakup, but that’s a mistake. “Some people are looking for validation that they’re still attractive or sexy,” says author of The Relationship Fix: Dr Jenn’s 6-Step Guide to Improving Communication, Connection & Intimacy, Dr Jenn Mann. But right after a breakup, if you start drinking, flirting or partying, well, all those things are distractions from the grieving process. “If we don’t take time to grieve and don’t work on ourselves, we are doomed in our next relationship,” she says.

 

 

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Don’t catastrophise it

Don’t catastrophise it
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Breakups are not fun, but they’re also not the end of the world. When times feel tough, Morris recommends giving yourself a little tough love. “Don’t let the intensity of the feelings make you start doubting yourself, using ‘never’ statements and swearing off dating and love ‘forever,’” Morris says. “It is hard and heart-breaking but you will get over it and move on and you will soon feel better.”

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Don’t avoid the pain

Don’t avoid the pain
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To get over a breakup, you may try to avoid your hurt and pain because it’s just too devastating. But you can’t recover from the relationship when you avoid it. Morris warns not to tamp down or avoid your feelings. “Do not expect your emotions to happen in some kind of organised, cookie-cutter way – they will arise at unexpected and perhaps inconvenient times and ways,” she says. “Allow the range of sadness, hurt, anger, frustration, celebration, fear, even hate come to you; face them, experience them and move through them.”

Don’t take to social media

Don’t take to social media
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After the breakup, Walter suggests taking an hour or two to ‘break up’ digitally. This includes switching passwords on any social media platforms your ex may have known, closing down any joint accounts, and removing stored phone numbers. “Keeping tabs on your ex on social media will keep you stuck in emotional turmoil much longer than necessary,” she says. “Make a clean break as soon as possible, and set yourself free.”

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Don’t kiss and tell

Don’t kiss and tell
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When it comes to bad-mouthing your ex, zip it. That’s not the right move for getting over a breakup. “Trash talk reflects more on you than it does on your ex,” says Masini. It’s not polite, attractive or productive. “It drags you down into the mud when what you need is to rise above.” Even though you’re hurting, try to be the bigger person by staying silent about your ex. The exception to the rule? You can, of course, confide in your close friends and family.

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