Breakups Suck – Here’s How You’re Going To Get Over Yours
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Breaking up is a tough proposition for guys. We’re supposed to have this alpha male status where we are resilient to emotions, loss, and change. But that’s completely erroneous. Erroneous on all accounts.
Guys are vulnerable creatures. We often have a harder time with breakups because there’s nowhere for us to turn to help process it properly and move on. Women have established more networks of emotional venting with their friends and family. Guys don’t typically talk about that stuff with their friends. So, we don’t have a release valve to talk through our breakups.
Suffice to say, it’s a tough process for a dude to go through. What follows is the ultimate playbook to properly get over your ex and use the opportunity to evolve into the best possible version of yourself.
It all starts with a basic but very difficult principle: you simply have to let it happen. The emotions you feel will rock your world. You have become emotionally and chemically dependent on your ex, so it’s almost like withdrawal from a drug.
The Five Phases
Bottling these feelings and emotions up, or trying to hide from them, will only delay the healing. Breaking up with a significant other is exactly the same process as mourning the death of a loved one. This was a study that psychologist Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross embarked on decades ago. Her research revealed that you have to go through five phases to properly grieve your relationship. A bit morbid, right? But important.
First up, you’re going to be in a state of denial. You ponder “how could this happen to me?” Even though rationally, you realise that the relationship is over, your heart isn’t ready to let it go and holds onto the sliver of hope that it’s not actually gone.
During this phase, it’s critical to cut off all communication with your ex. Do a digital detox blocking her on social channels and get her out of sight and mind. Otherwise, you’ll be tempted to convince yourself that you can still be together.
Then comes a wave of anger. You’re angry with her, yourself, her friends, your friends. It’s not for rational reasons necessarily. It’s okay to go through the anger, just be aware of how it’s being channeled. You don’t want to bottle it up, so you have to find healthy ways to get it out. For me, it’s the gym. Take it out on the bench press rather than wait for the rage to erupt at the wrong time.
As the anger fades away, your mind starts bargaining with the past and trying to justify a reason to reconnect. You start thinking “maybe there’s a way we can work this out” or “if we’d just gone to couples therapy, we could have solved these issues.” You’re clinging onto the notion that there’s still a possibility you can make things right. At this point it is absolutely critical to hold strong on limiting communication. You can easily come off as desperate and even crazy in this stage. It’s not time to enter the friend zone with her either. Keep your space and know that this too will pass
This is where it gets dark. You’ve been in shock, and you’re angry, confused and irrationally optimistic. Now the sadness sets in. You feel sorry for yourself. Little tasks like getting out of bed or going to the mall seem like an arduous action that should be avoided at all costs. The main takeaway here is that you need to go through it. Sadness will come and you have to feel it.
Acknowledge your feelings. Imagine your mind floating out of your body and observing yourself. Acknowledge the feelings you are going through in a rational way. “Sadness, I see you. I respect you. But you are not going to be around forever and certainly are not what defines me.” That simple trick to gain awareness helps put it in perspective that these feelings are temporary.
Surround yourself with the right people: friends and family that love you. Maybe some you haven’t seen in a while. Go for a visit. It’s equally important to stay away from toxic friends. Ones that will encourage you to do drugs and drink a ton. Stay clear-minded during this phase. Keep it natural.
I would also recommend seeing a therapist. I was a little hesitant before I began my healing program, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Dr. Jack made me realise a lot of things that were critical to understanding myself and moving on in a positive direction.
The last phase. Finally you come to terms with the fact that your life is moving on. Hopefully by now you have closure and can seal the envelope on your last relationship and move onto greener pastures.
You will eventually be ready to forgive your ex and even thank her for the experience you had together. She likely had a big impact on who you are and you learned a lot from it. So, be grateful for what that did for you.
The New You: Rediscovering & Redefining Yourself
You’ve gone through the hard part. Now is where you get to have some fun. The beautiful thing about a breakup is that you have a completely blank canvas to operate from. While in your relationship, your personality was likely largely impacted by her. Now, you have the opportunity to dig deep, rediscover what you’re all about and who you want to be. This is a chapter in your life that you get to write.
It’s important not to jump back too quickly into a relationship. It’s healthy to go out and meet new women to start getting comfortable being back in the game, but I typically recommend at least 4-6 months before anything serious. Focus on yourself for now, building up your mind, body and soul. Once these three areas are reenergised, you’ll have a new life path with a renewed sense of confidence and awesomeness.
1. Your Mind
The brain is a peculiar, spectacular, dynamic, and powerful organ. The way you perceive the world impacts who you are. You’re capable of changing the lens of perception that shapes your reality. So, let’s make it a positive change.
You have to remember to be kind to yourself and realise what an awesome dude you are. Your inner dialog should be positive. It’s easy to get trapped in negativity after a breakup, questioning things about yourself, but odds are there’s some pretty righteous qualities about you that you need to remind yourself of. One great exercise here is to repeat positive affirmations every morning. This can completely change the way you view yourself and ultimately the world around you.
Gratitude is another practice that can completely change your approach to life. Every morning when I wake up, I write down three things that I’m grateful for. The roof above my head. The greens in my smoothie. My parents’ love. My close friends. Life is truly a blessing and when you embrace a positive practice of expressing your gratitude, you start to focus on the positive aspects and cast aside the negative.
This practice pairs well with journaling. I didn’t start writing to help guys get over breakups. I started a journal to document my thoughts and achievements in personal growth after my divorce and then realised the content could be used to help others.
There’s something very therapeutic about getting what’s in your head into written form. It allows you to articulate your thoughts very clearly and then be able to observe what they mean and what you can learn from them. It’s also really interesting to go back and read your journal entries from the past. It’s helpful to revisit how you were feeling and acknowledge how much you’ve grown.
2. Your Body
Mind and body operate together in amazing ways, so it’s difficult to distinguish the two. How you think will impact how you feel and how you approach health will impact what you think.
One of the most effective tools I’ve had for getting over a breakup is the gym. Exercise is a natural antidepressant that will get you feeling right, put you back on a solid routine, and make you more confident overall. Whether you prefer weights, Crossfit, yoga, or endurance sports, it doesn’t matter. Pick something that challenges you and gets you sweating and incorporate it into your life.
Diet is equally, if not more important, than exercise. No matter how many reps you belt out at the squat rack, diet will ultimately control how you look and feel. Keep it clean with natural, whole foods that don’t have a ton of ingredients that you can’t even pronounce. You will start to think much clearer, free up excess pounds, and feel better about yourself in general.
So, start small, but start today. Set some physical goals for yourself whether it’s to look better in a tank top, go nine rounds at the boxing gym, or run a 7-minute mile. Giving yourself a healthy challenge is a great way to get over your ex.
3. Your Soul
For the purposes of this discussion, I’ll define the soul as the “inner essence that defines you” — what makes you who you are. Now is the perfect time to get back in touch with yourself.
One great exercise is to determine a personal mission statement. Reexamine your PFE (Purpose For Existence). Once you can hone in on this, it can give your life more meaning and make decisions much easier to make. For Walt Disney, it was “to make people happy”; Richard Branson’s is, “To have fun in my journey through life and learn from my mistakes.” Put some thought into what yours can be and then live and breathe it every day.
If you haven’t made one before, build a bucket list. Think of all the amazing things you want to accomplish in life and write them down. Then take the first step to knocking one off the list. Seriously, now. Even if it’s small. If you want to visit every one of the 7 Wonders of the World, start researching flights. Just get some motion going on this and you’ll start progressing in the right direction.
Find other ways to enrich your soul by giving back to the community, surrounding yourself with amazing people, travelling to far off destinations to give your life perspective. Understand who you want to be and what you want to accomplish and take steps in a positive direction every day.
So, there you have it. A simple but effective playbook to tackle your breakup. Go through the feelings, let the emotions run through you. It will be a journey, but you must go through every phase to fully process the loss of your ex.
Then get right with yourself. You have a clean slate to rediscover and redefine your own unique awesomeness. Focus on things that enrich your mind, body and soul. As you do this, you will generate a natural, positive energy and aura that will be irresistible to women and finding your true soulmate will happen much more organically. Good luck out there…you got this!
Getting Back Out There
Feeling like you’re ready to start getting back into dating? If the breakup just happened recently, that might not be such a great idea. However, if it’s been a little while since the breakup, and you’re looking to find someone to be in a relationship – or if you’re just looking to date casually and see what’s out there – online dating is the best way to do that. With that in mind, here are three great online dating options that’ll help you find the right person (or people) for you without having to filter through tons of fake profiles and uninteresting, non-compatible people.
AskMen Recommends: Some people always want the best, most famous name in the game – so in the online dating world, they want Match.com. It’s a site that has been around for two decades plus, but it’s no dusty old museum. The Match team has kept the site up with the times and the result is an incredibly well-run site, with millions of singles and featuring a top-notch user experience. Unlike the Tinders of today, Match wants to match you up with people you’ll actually be compatible with, rather than random people you’ll never get on with. What a swell concept.
Best For: Finding a long-term relationship
Click here to check out Match.com
AskMen Recommends: Sometimes after a breakup, you’re not looking to jump back into something serious right away – but you do miss being physically intimate. That’s where a site like AdultFriendFinder can help. It’s a place where millions of people go to find other people not looking to settle down or introduce to their friends and family, but simply fulfil their physical needs in a casual or no-strings-attached way. If it’s too soon for you to consider an emotional attachment, AFF might be the right site for you.
Best For: Hookups and casual sex
Click here to check out Adultfriendfinder.com
AskMen Recommends: Another good place to try if you’re after some post break-up, no-strings-attached fun is FriendFinder-X. FF-X is a hookup site that focuses on your desires in the bedroom rather than everything else. In terms of features, you can message other users, sure, – but you can also live-broadcast, for instance, while the “What’s Hot” section highlights the top-rated pictures, profiles and videos on the site.
Check out FriendFinder-X
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