How to Get Over a Breakup: 14 Practical Steps

How to Get Over a Breakup

Breaking up is never easy, and the aftermath can leave you feeling sad, lost and overwhelmed. You may even feel guilty without a clear idea why.

Getting over a breakup is a journey, and you’re in control. Start by surrounding yourself with familiar, comforting things and let yourself experience any feelings that want to come up. Allow the time to recuperate emotional balance by taking it one step at a time. Do something that brings you joy and lean on your support system and relationship experts. Reflect on your relationship and understand why it ended the way it did. Set small, achievable goals to regain focus. And remember, you’ve got this!

Now, let’s take a look at the practical steps you can’t take to deal with your relationship ending and move forward. Let’s walk through these simple and effective strategies step-by-step.

1. Acknowledge the Breakup

When a relationship ends, many aspects of your life are affected.

A breakup affects everyone differently depending on the state of mind and personal circumstances. However, the way you broke up has a massive impact on the pain and the healing process.

A sudden and unexpected breakup is one of the most unpleasant ways to end a relationship. Usually, one person decides to break up and then informs the other person about the decision. It’s a wrong way to end things, as it guarantees emotional hurt.

A break-up can be stressful and emotionally challenging. It can hurt your and your partner’s feelings, and leave you feeling sad, disappointed, stressed, fearful, inadequate, frustrated, and confused.

Understanding why the relationship ended can really help you and your partner to get over a breakup in the shortest time possible.

2. Understand the Reasons for the Breakup

When relationships fail, it’s important to understand why. And, it’s particularly valuable to know the part you played in how things have worked out between the two of you.

A breakup causes emotional pain when there is a lack of understanding of why you broke up in the first place. Once you understand your reasons, the pain will be replaced with understanding. In turn, this will pave the way forward for future relationships and avoid making the same mistakes with your next partner.

To let go of a previous relationship, you should have a good idea of why it didn’t work out.

This newfound awareness will help you choose the right person for your next relationship. Remember, you can always do better next time if you put in a little bit of effort and learn from your mistakes. Our workbook will help you get a better idea of who is your perfect partner.

3. Accept the Reality

Accepting the reality that a relationship ended is a crucial step in moving forward after a breakup. It involves allowing yourself to feel a range of emotions without judgment, including sadness, anger, and even relief. It’s important to avoid denying the situation or idealizing the past.

Maintaining healthy communication with your ex is an important part of moving forward. They can give you valuable feedback for your reflections. You can also talk things through and address practical aspects like co-parenting, mutual friends and other areas of the life you once shared.

  • Embrace all the emotions you are feeling, be they anger, resentment, sadness or relief.
  • Accept the responsibility for the part you played.
  • Avoid blaming your former partner.
  • Recognising the amazing moments and positive qualities of your former partner.

Letting go of a romantic partner is tough, both practically and emotionally. When a person with whom you once shared your daily life is no longer there, it’s natural to feel emptiness, at least for a short while.

On the bright side, if you end the relationship in the right way, your ex can become your friend.

Signs You Are Not Letting Go

  • You think of your former partner frequently.
  • You are interested in knowing what your ex is doing.
  • You talk about your partner during everyday conversations with mutual friends and family.
  • You want to get back to the good times you once had with your partner.
  • You are still expecting phone calls.

If you are struggling to let go of your former partner and move on, talk to a relationship coach, they will know what to do.

4. Take Time to Process the Breakup

Remember, that whatever happened, it will take some time for you to get over a breakup and reconnect with your inner self.

Allow the healing process to take as long as it needs, without rushing it.

Most people tend to get bogged down with guilt and regret, which is counterproductive, as it achieves nothing, apart from leaving you feeling bad.

Instead, you can make use of this time to connect with yourself by embracing your feelings and emotions. You can also reflect on this experience with your ex and recognise what went wrong and what you could have done better.

Now, here is a crucial point! Instead of choosing a path of guilt and regret, create practical strategies to make different choices when you face the same situation in your future relationships.

So, allow yourself the time to process what happened and do some reflection. It’ll help you avoid making the same mistakes.

Learning from your past experiences reduces the amount of things you will later see as a regret.

5. Reflect, but Don’t Dwell

A breakup creates a void in your day-to-day life. To fill this void, people rush into the next relationship. A healthier option would be to embrace this void. This extra space is a perfect place and time for you to process:

  • what happened
  • the issues you’ve encountered
  • how you’ve dealt with these issues
  • how you could have handled yourself better
  • how are you feeling right now
  • where you are emotionally and practically right now
  • where you want to go in the future

After you’ve taken some time to reflect on your situation, you will be emotionally and intellectually ready to create a more loving connection with someone who you chose consciously and whose values and goals will align with your own.

If you don’t take the time needed to process all the emotions you are experiencing, it will be harder to get over a breakup and create a new world of love, joy and connection.

Without reflecting and learning from past mistakes, you are likely to:

  • behave the same way
  • chose a similar romantic partner
  • make the same mistakes
  • end up with the same problems, just with a different person
  • have a new relationship fail the same way as the last one

The healing process requires processing your emotions and making concrete steps towards personal growth and development.

Take time to reflect on the relationship and what you’ve learned from it. Just be mindful not to dwell excessively on the past and focus on what lies ahead.

6. Embrace Your Feelings

The emotional experience of going through a breakup greatly depends on the feelings you once shared and the circumstances that have led to the breakup. Getting over a breakup can be a challenging period for anyone. Regardless of whether it was a mutual breakup or a one-sided decision, it’s very likely you will feel worse before you feel better.

After a breakup, it’s completely normal to feel a mix of sadness, anger, and confusion after a breakup. The first step in healing is to acknowledge and accept your feelings and give yourself permission to experience these feelings without judgment.

Remember that whatever you feel – it’s okay.

Allow your feelings to flow out as much as you can and avoid suppressing them. For example, it’s perfectly normal to cry when you feel sad after a breakup, so allow yourself to cry as much as you want. Talk about your broken heart with your closest friends as you take a trip down memory lane of joyous moments with your former flame.

Processing the emotional turmoil on your own is a big ask. And because of this, people tend to ignore the negative emotions while trying to just get on with their lives. This isn’t helpful long-term as unless you get to process these emotions they will live inside of you, feeding into your guilt and resentment.

To get over a breakup it’s essential to embrace both negative and positive emotions.

You can never underestimate the importance of talking to a friend, family member, or relationship coach to express your emotions, especially if you struggle to process them on your own. Only once you feel heard and understood, you can be ready to move forward.

At this point, professional guidance can prove to be invaluable in guiding you towards fulfilling romantic relationships and a better quality of life as a whole.

7. Limit Contact

Creating space between you and your ex-partner is crucial for healing. While it may be tempting to stay in touch, take a step back. This separation allows both of you to process the situation.

If you are feeling emotionally balanced, a few phone calls to support each other can be great. However, if your dynamic is toxic, taking a few weeks without talking could contribute to your mental health. During this time, allow yourself to feel sad and get support from your closest friends, family therapist or a life coach.

8. Avoid Triggers

Identify and steer clear of situations, places, or things that strongly remind you of your former partner, especially in the initial stages. This helps minimize unnecessary emotional turmoil.

You can even delete your ex’s number from your phone to avoid temptation. When you are ready, you can still reach them through your mutual friends.

9. Stay Busy with Activities

Doing things you enjoy, exploring new hobbies and discovering new interests, is a powerful way to divert your attention from the breakup. It brings positive experiences into your day, helping to shift your attention away from the world of hurt that comes with a breakup.

  • Focus on yourself.
  • Concentrate on your career.
  • Try something new.
  • Travel.
  • Check out a new coffee shop or a bar.

10. Set Small Goals

Setting achievable goals gives you a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Whether it’s related to your work, hobbies, or personal growth, celebrate each small victory. These achievements contribute to your overall sense of self-development.

You now have the freedom to focus on your own aspirations, and interests without considering the other person. How about a new hobby or maybe even a new job?

11. Prioritise Self-Care

Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally is essential during this time.

  • Ensure you’re eating nutritious meals, getting regular exercise, and getting enough rest.
  • Engage in relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation to help calm your mind.
  • Be kind and patient with yourself.
  • Enjoy self-care to pumper yourself and improve your mental health.

Healing is a process, and it takes time. Allow yourself the grace to take things one step at a time.

12. Consider The Benefits of Letting Go

If nothing else, consider all the good you can do for yourself with all the extra time and personal freedoms. Here are just a few of the possibilities that are now open to you:

  • Learning from Past Mistakes: Breakups provide valuable lessons about what you need and want in a relationship, helping you make better choices in the future.
  • Opportunity for New Relationships: A breakup can pave the way for a healthier, more fulfilling relationship in the future. You can find people who bring joy into your life and fulfil your needs.
  • Potential for New Experiences: Being single opens the door to new experiences, adventures, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. You are open to creating new memories with interesting people, exciting activities and unexplored places.
  • Rediscover Who You Are: You have the chance to rediscover who you are as an individual.
  • Reevaluation of Values and Priorities: Breakups often prompt introspection, helping you reassess your values and priorities in life and relationships.
  • Personal Growth and Development: Breakups can lead to self-discovery, leading to personal growth, increased self-awareness, and a stronger sense of self.
  • Independence and Autonomy: Being single allows you to regain your independence and make decisions solely for yourself.
  • Clarity and Direction: Ending a relationship can bring clarity about your life’s direction, allowing you to set and pursue new goals.
  • Freedom from Unhealthy Dynamics: If the relationship is unhealthy or toxic, a breakup liberates you from those detrimental dynamics, allowing for a fresh start. You might be happier as friends.
  • Improved Mental Health: Ending an unhealthy or unhappy relationship can alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, leading to improved mental well-being. Imagine your life without constant arguments and fights.
  • Increased Confidence and Self-Esteem: Overcoming the challenges of a breakup can lead to increased confidence and a more positive self-image.

Remember, it’s normal to experience a mix of emotions after a breakup, including sadness and loss. However, recognizing the potential benefits can provide a glimmer of hope for the future.

13. Surround Yourself with Support

Lean on your support system of a close family member or your best friend who understands your situation and cares about you. Their companionship and empathy can provide comfort as you navigate through the tough time of the breakup period.

Just remember, that while getting emotional support from well-meaning friends can offer you reassurance, they don’t replace expert advice from professionals like a family therapist or a relationship coach who can help you navigate a breakup in a supportive environment where your feelings and emotions are welcomed.

14. Seek Professional Help if Needed

Relationship experts can offer you practical strategies that work on a deeper level. An experienced coach will help you embrace negative feelings as well as discover positive emotions.

If you are ready to get expert advice, check out our coaching options.

With our guidance, you will no longer have the need to feel guilty about what happened.

Instead of dwelling on what you did wrong, we will use the post-breakup period as an opportunity to learn from this experience, so you can rediscover yourself and get ready for a new chapter.

As we guide you through the healing process, you can rest assured that you will get all the emotional support and practical strategies you need to reconnect with who you truly are.


A romantic relationship is a union of two people who have romantic feelings for each other. The moment one person no longer has these feelings, the romance ends.

If you choose to stay together while getting on well, it is effectively a friendship. If one person loses romantic feelings and stays in the relationship because of duty or obligation, it is an unhealthy relationship which is likely to become toxic.

When your relationship ends, you might struggle to let go of your ex-partner for a little while – this is perfectly normal. Before you have other relationships, it’s important to take a little time to process the breakup.

Many people struggle to get over a break-up because they focus on the emotional aspect of this experience.

The key to getting over a breakup lies in self-reflection as an opportunity to learn and do better next time.

Remember, you don’t need to say a final goodbye if you are getting on well. A good friendship can be more valuable than a dysfunctional romantic relationship.

When you are overwhelmed with negative emotions, your coping mechanism kicks in to keep you emotionally afloat. This is your mind’s emergency strategy that prioritises survival rather than well-being. While this response varies from person to person, a common strategy to deal with unmanageable pain is to shut down all emotions.

While it may be helpful in the short term, once the dust settles, a person needs to find a way to reconnect with who they are deep inside. This means facing all the suppressed and ignored feelings and emotions.

When negative feelings take over, come back to the strategies we’ve covered in this article as they will help you find emotional balance and regain control over your life.

However, getting professional help, can go a long way and save you precious time. It can be especially valuable to help you navigate the world of feelings and emotions, particularly in the beginning stages of getting over a breakup.

Let us help you process your feelings, find emotional balance and create a plan to move forward towards better emotional health and loving connections. Take a look at our coaching options or get in touch to ask any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions about Getting Over a Breakup

How do I get over a breakup I still love?

Start by creating a breakup survival kit. Fill it with things that comfort you – a cosy blanket, a journal, a playlist of uplifting songs. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, turn to your kit. It’s a tangible reminder that you have the power to soothe your own heart. Don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings.

How long does it take to get over a relationship breakup?

Treat healing like a project. Break it into smaller tasks, like focusing on self-love, setting new goals, and nurturing friendships. Track your progress. It might not be immediate, but each completed task is a step closer to a stronger, happier you.

How do you accept a relationship is over?

Write a letter to your future self, explaining why this decision was necessary. Detail the feelings you’re experiencing now and what you hope to gain in the long run. When doubts arise, read the letter. It’s a compass guiding you towards self-assurance.

Does love ever go away after a breakup?

While the relationship may end, the love you invested doesn’t disappear. Redirect that love towards yourself and others who matter. Invest in activities and people that bring you joy, and watch your emotional wealth grow.

How to let go of a controlling relationship?

A controlling relationship can manifest as manipulative behaviour and gaslighting. If you feel like you are no longer having control over your life while feeling pressured and overwhelmed. One of the things you can consider is having some time apart. In some cases, it may not be that easy, however, continuing in such a relationship can be toxic to your mental health.

Can a relationship break-up affect your self-esteem?

If you find that a break up is making you feel insecure, recognise that your partner’s choice is influenced more by your behaviour than you as a person. From this perspective, it would make sense for you to talk to your partner and ask them to tell you how they see your behaviour and how it affects them.

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