Whether you’ve been dumped or are the dumper, it’s time for relationship rehab. While every guy experiences the pain and grief of a breakup differently, several general strategies can help you to heal emotionally, cope with the stress of ending the relationship, and move forward into the next chapter of your dating life.
First, get rid of her stuff! Don’t keep mementos of your ex around you, as they’ll only serve to remind you of your broken relationship and will keep those emotional wounds fresh. Bag or box up your ex’s stuff and get rid of it, or if they’re valuable, return them to her, suggests Men’s Health. This includes digital stuff: click “delete” on all those text messages and instant messages right away.
Then, cut ties completely. Some people declare they still want to be friends after a breakup. Don’t be that guy. Staying friends with your ex cripples your ability to move forward emotionally, reports Cave Magazine, and it also introduces complex emotional problems if one or both of you have second thoughts about the breakup. Kindly but firmly inform your ex that you can no longer stay in communication with her, and stick with that rule. This means no late night phone calls, no invitations to hang out at the bar, and definitely no looking her up on social media to see if your ex is dating anyone new.
Once you’ve cut off ties, don’t isolate yourself completely. It’s time for some quality male bonding. Splitsburgh magazine says you should call up the guys and see what they’re up to, especially if you’ve drifted away from your friends while you were dating. Having a good group of friends around you helps reduce stress and also helps improve your sense of self-worth, which MayoClinic.com notes as being two areas that are often affected heavily when you’ve experienced a breakup.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself. A breakup can throw you into a funk, so stay focused on taking care of yourself even if your day-to-day routine is off. This includes eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep each night, which the University of Texas Counseling and Mental Health Center reports can help reduce anxiety and boost your mood during your post-breakup phase. Try going to the gym a few times each week, too. Getting fit isn’t just about improving your odds in the dating game, but it can also help release endorphins and serotonin that can make you feel happier, reports Men’s Fitness.
And finally, stay busy. If you sit around and mope in your house, you may find yourself in a downward spiral of negative thoughts. Try to keep yourself busy and distracted so you’re not thinking about the breakup, which in turn creates the emotional space for your heart to heal, says psychologist Barton Goldsmith in his article for Psychology Today magazine. Goldsmith recommends activities that help you become more positive and a better person, such as exercise, reading or watching a self-help DVD.
- Men’s Health: Take a Breakup Like a Man
- Cave Magazine: Letting Her Go – 5 Tips to Move On After a Breakup
- Splitsburgh: Dealing with a Breakup – 10 Tips for Men
- MayoClinic.com: Social Support – Tap This Tool to Beat Stress
- University of Texas Counseling and Mental Health Center: Surviving a Breakup
- Men’s Fitness: Need Some Breakup Rehab?
- Psychology Today: 10 Tips to Survive a Break-up