Hollywood rom-com breakups follow almost always the same path: boy breaks up with a girl, leaving her devastated and seeking solace in chocolate and ice-cream, while he moves on as if nothing happened and meets someone new almost immediately. In reality, men are broken up with as well, they suffer just as much after a relationship breakdown, and the social pressure to just “be cool about it” is a major obstacle in getting over the breakup. Ending a relationship, especially a long-term one, is in many ways similar to grief and, just like grief, you need to give yourself time to heal. There is no quick fix on how to get over a relationship for men, but things will slowly get better if you follow these tips:
1. Don’t look for her
As tempting as it might be to know what your ex is up to, stalking her on social media or sending her late-night texts is not a good idea because it prevents you from moving on. If you can’t help yourself, suspend your accounts temporarily and delete her from your address book.
2. Keep busy
Coping with loneliness and dark thoughts is one of the hardest parts about a breakup. But, instead of looking at your new free time as a burden, look at it as an opportunity to take up the hobbies you’ve always wanted to have. Reconnect with your friends, go to a football match, see more movies, travel more. Keeping busy will take your mind off things and give you room for self-growth. Please note Keeping Busy is a short-term strategy, not a long-term one. If this sounds like you! then you may want to this blog post for further tips: https://www.butterflycounselling.com/bereavement/grief/what-are-you-hiding-tips-for-dealing-with-pain-you-avoid
3. Avoid bad habits
No matter how much it seems to help, alcohol is not your friend and neither are other vices (smoking, drugs, gambling). They are just temporary distractions that make you more emotional, more vulnerable and more unpredictable in the long run. According to researchers at Binghamton University, women are more likely to suffer from depression and seek peer help after a breakup, whereas men are more likely to experience anger and show self-destructive behaviours, so watch out for substances/habits that might accentuate these tendencies.
4. Confront your feelings
Yes, you’re a man and you don’t talk on the phone for hours with your best friend about what you’re going through. But hiding your feelings completely and not talking about your breakup with anyone, at least sparingly, is not healthy either. The first step to acceptance is admitting that the breakup affected you and coming to terms with your feelings. So don’t feel guilty about wanting to cry; it is part of the process.
5. Change your bad habits
No matter who and why wanted to break up, the first weeks after are a great opportunity to think about who you are as a partner, as a person, and work on becoming a better version of yourself. In fact, after the initial shock, many people end up making major improvements, such as hitting the gym to lose weight, quitting smoking or finding a better job.
6. Enjoy the perks of being single
You might not see your new freedom as a blessing at first, but, in time, try to acknowledge and appreciate the good parts about being single: you have more time for yourself, you can go out with your friends more often, meet new people and, when the time comes, rediscover the fun in flirting and dating someone new.
7. Rebounds: good or bad?
Although rebound relationships tend to have a negative connotation, they can actually help you get over the breakup faster. A fun fling, with no strings attached, can be a good way to let go and rediscover the fun of dating – as long as the other person knows they’re in a casual relationship too.