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Yes, break-ups are painful, but there can be a light at the end of the tunnel if you truly want there to be. Whatever it is you are feeling is normal, and you're going to want to do a lot of things you are bound to regret. Thankfully for you, you're reading this right now and I'm here to help prevent you from making that one mistake down the road you'll wish you hadn't done. It won't be easy, but here are a few tips on how to overcome the sadness you're feeling and help push you into this new chapter of your life.
1. Do not keep reminders that will trigger your memory.
2. Avoid stalking them on social media (and in real life!).
3. Do not immediately try to stay friends.
In the beginning, it is always best to give each other space in order to move past the split genuinely. While some couples are able to reconnect in a platonic way after a break up, this is always better done when both individuals are in a healthier place in their lives. The time frame could range from soon to never, but only the two of you know if this is inherently possible or not. If your relationship was generally kind and you grew apart or just weren't such a great match after all, perhaps a friendship could work over time. But if you brought out the worst qualities in one another, then a clean break might be a better option. (Read more about whether or not I think exes can be friends again here.)
4. Avoid reconnecting with an ex.
After a break-up, you'll most likely want to lean on something familiar, and an ex you might still chat with every so often will probably seem like the best way to unwind from the stress. But with emotions still running high from your most recent break-up, an ex is never a good idea, even if you may insist that you are 'just friends' as you're only sabotaging your own recovery. Words are only words, and if your ex still has feelings for you, there is always a chance that you might be communicating something to your ex that you aren't completely certain about yourself. If you are able to—delete their number. And for all those nights where you're out with friends, there are plenty of apps that have been created for the sole purpose of making it difficult for you to access certain contacts on your phone, especially if you've had a few to drink.
5. Do not go out every night or stay in every night.
Going out to the bar every night just to null your pain for a few hours can very quickly lead to that one drunk dial you've been avoiding this whole time, and that could be a very disastrous move for you. And despite this suggestion, it doesn't mean you shouldn't go out and spend some quality time with friends, or even open yourself up to new possibilities. Monitor yourself, and remember to balance your time between meeting new people, sharing your time with friends, and taking good care of yourself as much as possible, because no one needs you more than you do right now.
6. Avoid pitying yourself.
7. Avoid trash talking your ex to your friends.
This one seems to come naturally to most of us, and sometimes we often forget that our ex is still friends with some of our friends too and vice versa. Pushing out good memories and thinking up feelings and frustrating moments in your relationship won't help you get over your break-up any faster. This sort of loathing can only set you back in the healing process—and it definitely won't make you appear open to new love down the road. Work out the kinks on your own, or find a way to re-channel any anger or 'trash talk' by consulting a professional or someone who is not emotionally involved in your relationships.
8. Avoid snagging the next eligible bachelor/bachelorette to hit on you.
9. Do not try to get them back.
You broke up for a reason, whatever that reason may be, and begging for them to come back to you won't do you any good, except for make you look bad. Consider that reason that you broke up about, and figure out how to best avoid that in the future. Maybe down the road you might be able to talk things through and try again, but this is best done when both of you are in the right space and have given each other some time to sort through your feelings. But until you know for sure what you're truly looking for, stay away from them as much as possible.