Breakups suck. Even if you were the one who initiated the breakup, it can still be agonizing, incredibly lonely, and flip your world upside down. What’s worse is that we men are supposed to be steely-eyed and emotionless, so you can’t even show your grief without getting some sarcastic reply or being told to “man up.”
It takes time, but you will get over the breakup. Here is some breakup advice specifically for guys to help you get over her and get on with your life.
1. Change the Sheets and Get Rid of Any Signs of Her
She may be out of your life, but chances are she is still in your apartment. Get rid of any signs of her, starting with the sheets. The sheets are important because of all the intimate times you two spent together on them, and they probably still smell like her. At Apartment Therapy, they go as far as suggesting that you get a new bed (if you lived with your girlfriend) and rearrange the furniture.
Next, clear out all her stuff which was left in your apartment. Don’t keep any of it! You might also want to get rid of gifts that she gave you, like clothes and cologne.
2. Delete Digital Connections
No, you two can NOT be friends right now – not even Facebook friends! You will need to un-friend her on all social media accounts. Otherwise, you will find it hard not to “spy” on her. Whether the spying results in jealousy when you see a picture of her out with some new guy, or happy malice when you see she’s gained 20lbs since the breakup, it is not healthy! Keeping any sort of connections will just make the healing process take longer.
While you are at it, delete her from your contacts list and clear all messages from her in your phone. You don’t need those reminders tempting you to make contact.
3. Do Something to Make You Feel Good about Yourself
It is normal to feel terrible after a breakup. Instead of wallowing in self pity, do something which will give make you feel good about yourself. No, getting incredibly drunk and wasted with your buddies does not count! Think about what will give you an ego boost. Maybe it is going to the gym, playing sports, or spending way too much money on a new outfit and haircut. The point is to remember that you don’t need her to feel good about yourself.
4. Find Something to Fill All that Spare Time
“Couple” means two. As in two people with their own separate interests, personalities and ambitions. But, in our society, a “couple” is considered a singular unit. Because of this, it is really hard not to lose your sense of self when in a relationship. You stop doing the things you loved, you stop spending time by yourself or with friends, and instead spend time with her. Then, when a breakup happens, you are left feeling like you’ve been ripped apart.
Part of the reason that breakups are so hard is because you’d suddenly lost a big part of your identity as part of a couple. Now you’ve got to figure out who you are again. The easiest way to do this is to simply fill up all the spare time you have now that you aren’t spending it with your ex. Take a class. Join a gym. Finally write that memoir.
By filling up your spare time with activities, you not only stave off loneliness, but also rediscover yourself. As an added bonus, when you do start dating again, you will actually have something interesting to talk about since you are such an active, full person.
5. NO DRUNK DIALING!
Calling your ex almost inevitably happens at some point after a breakup, usually around the 1-month mark. At this point, you are almost over the breakup and your emotions have cooled down to the point where you can talk calmly with her. So, you lie to yourself and say, “we could be friends” and dial her. It usually happens while you are drunk. And you probably dial with hopes that she is as eager for a booty call as you are.
Contacting your ex is ALWAYS a bad idea. In the best-case scenario, she doesn’t answer and you feel like crap because she won’t even answer your calls. But, after a month, she probably will answer – and there are two likely outcomes. One is that she agrees to meet you and you two temporarily rekindle your relationship, only to have to go through the pain and agony again, basically breaking up two times instead of one. The second outcome is that she berates you and makes you feel like scum because you miss her and she wants nothing to do with you.
*If she calls you, don’t agree to meet up. Just tell her you don’t think it is a good idea and wish her all the best.
6. Rebound Sex Will Not Help You Get Over Her
For some reason, breakup advice for men almost always revolves around finding another girl. It is the “get over someone by getting under someone else” theory. Your buddies might even kidnap you from your apartment, drag you to the bar, and force you on some unsuspecting girl.
Rebound sex can certainly be a lot of fun (especially if you are horny now that your girlfriend is gone). But, according to Dr. Berman, the reason people have rebound sex is because, “All those feelings of rejection and hurt can lead them to seek approval and attention from someone else, even if that attention comes in the form of a one-night-stand.”
It sounds cheesy, but only you can make you feel good. You can’t rely on the attention from some cutie at a bar to make you feel good about yourself. Sure, casual sex does have some benefits – like reminding you that there are still plenty of women who find you attractive – but ultimately it is not going to heal the hurt of a breakup. It could even make the hurt worse if the rebound girl doesn’t call you back, which is likely once she figures out that you are just using her.
7. Forgive Her
No matter how messed up and malicious your ex was, you’ve got to forgive her. Because holding on to all that hate is only going to harm you in the long run, and it is going to make it pretty near impossible to ever have a healthy relationship in the future.
There are a lot of good reasons to forgive your ex, and they have nothing to do with your ex. Remember, forgiving your ex does not mean you condone her actions. It means that you have made peace with them so you can move on. Forgiveness also means you can stop being a victim of your ex (yes, each time you complain about all the bad things she did, you are being a victim).
Forgiveness is not easy. There are even entire religious philosophies around forgiveness. But one psychologist has developed a fairly simple 5-step process of forgiveness. You’ll notice that the process of forgiveness resembles the soul searching and relationship assessment which usually follows a breakup. So look back at your relationship with your ex and ask yourself what went wrong – so long as you are willing to forgive her for her part in it.
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