Whether it’s a romantic relationship or a friendship, breakups distort our vision. It’s not that we don’t know what to do after a breakup, it’s that we can’t see.
Think about it this way…
You know how to drive a car, right? Right. So let’s just say that you’ve been driving in desirable conditions for a while – great weather, no traffic, your favorite music on, and the love of your life by your side, operating the GPS, in the passenger seat. What could be better?
Then, one day out of the blue… he says that he’s feeling sick, is over the drive and wants to get out of the car. NOW. In shock, you watch him get out without any hesitation. And just like that, you’re on your own – with no working GPS and having lost all sense of direction.
You try to drive back home but aren’t sure where home is (or if you even have a home. HE was your home). As the reality of homelessness starts to sink in, what you could swear was perfect weather is now a snowstorm with fog so dense, you can’t see. What was zero traffic has now turned into a makeshift racetrack with cars swerving all around you amidst the snow. What was your favorite music is now nothing but the beat of your stressed and broken heart.
You’ve got no choice but to pull over. Scared out of your mind, you convince yourself that calling him is your only option.
He tells you that there’s no storm, no race cars and that you just don’t know how to drive. He asks you to stop “making up stories” just to get in touch and then “drives off” in a better car with a new girl who’s everything you’re not… while you’re still stuck… on the side of the road… in the snow. You feel so ashamed.
You don’t know what to do or where to go.
You are literally lost without him.
Did you call him because you don’t know how to drive a car? No. You called because you were lost, scared, triggered, and convinced yourself that you couldn’t tap into your own GPS (that you allowed him to operate for too long).
It’s not that you don’t know what to do after a breakup, it’s that you’ve lost access to your GPS and your vision is clouded by scary emotional conditions. These emotional conditions make acceptance, moving on, and being “the one that got away,” seem impossible.
It’s time to regain your 20/20 vision.
Here’s what you need to know + what to do after a breakup…
Knowing what to do after a breakup is crucial. This is a time that you can have the most profound power, impact, build unbelievable strength, and bounce back like never before. It’s also a time where you can (and often do), pull off the emotional road and decide to ACT on your fears (which often results in further heartbreak, rejection, humiliation, and being made to feel crazy).
If you don’t know what to do after a breakup and you’ve already messed up, had a weak moment, and reached out or met up with your emotionally unavailable, empathetically bankrupt and/or narcissistic ex… It’s ok.
The only benefit of being in a relationship with these kinds of people is that they are very weak minded, short term thinkers. The majority of how they remember you is comprised of what you do in the present moment. Because they’re unable to connect, they rarely go back into the past and remember all the details – good or bad (they’ll only conveniently remember every detail of something when it serves them or propels their agenda).
As long as you allow time to pass, more time than you ever have, of remaining in a state in which you’ve never been in (and thus reintroducing your ex to who you truly are), he’ll eventually start to get curious.
And no matter how much he tries to pacify that curiosity by attempting to give life to his idea of the old/weak you… he will always fall short of fully subscribing to it because you’ll be inadvertently holding a mirror up to him at every corner.
This isn’t about mean-spirited retaliation or cheap, short term revenge (which will always result in long term pain, humiliation, and dissatisfaction). It’s about putting someone (that was consistently inconsistent, dishonest, hurtful, and disrespectful), in emotional checkmate while staying on your white horse, remaining non-reactive, living your life and being kind – to yourself and others – always.
When it comes to what to do after a breakup…
Emotionally Pull Over.
When trying to figure out what to do after a breakup, first acknowledge that those scary conditions, even though largely a figment of your low self-esteem, are indeed scary. Make the decision to emotionally pull over for your own security, sanity, and well being. This is especially difficult because it literally goes against everything that your heart, mind, and body are moth-to-a-flame pulled in the direction of.
When a person, circumstance or situation breaks your heart, understand that you NEED space; you have to have it.
Without space, you disable your own emotional airbag from releasing and rob yourself of the perspective that’s needed to heal, deal and move on. As I always say, contradiction is the root of all misery. You can’t be engaged in constant contact with whatever broke you, while also knowing that you need to emotionally heal.
Feel It, Don’t Feed It.
It’s not only normal, but it’s also healthy to feel pain, sadness, heartbreak, anger, and all the emotions associated with loss. Without owning and feeling our way through the pain, we wouldn’t be able to heal and reach indifference. What isn’t healthy, is allowing those feelings to manifest into self-sabotage.
Whatever you see yourself as, you’ll become. I only saw myself as happy when I was with my ex and our relationship became my identity. So, after the breakup, my happiness and my identity were gone. You are so much more than a “please-complete-me,” advertisement whose happiness is solely based on the level to which she can emotionally defibrillate toxic people.
Run Out Of F*cks To Give.
Understand that once your relationship, trust, respect, etc. is broken, the other person’s emotional state is no longer your priority or responsibility. YOU are your priority.
Use your heartbreak as a launching pad.
Think about this – what if you had dumped your ex for whatever reason. And your ex, although sad, did not react. He/she accepted your decision, went completely no contact, and went more MIA than usual on social media for a bit. You are feeling good and having fun, but you notice that when they get back on social media, something is different. He doesn’t try to get a rise out of you or do ANYTHING predictable. He becomes the best version of himself (and not in the way that a monkey could do – through filters, nights out, “notice-how-great-I-am-without-you,” captions, motivational quote posting, and smoke and mirrors that your gut can see right through), but in a different way. In a completely “I-don’t-want-or-need-a-reaction-from-you,” under-the-radar, non-braggadocious, and indifferent kind of way.
Trust me when I say that you’d hate it. It would get under your skin and no matter how happy you were, it would eat away at you because you wouldn’t truly know what was going on. The predictable transparency that you were banking on isn’t there.
Remember – happy people who take care of their own emotional needs are too busy being HAPPY to waste their time driving the social media knife in an ex that isn’t worth it.
NO ONE wants to break up with someone and see that they not only remained non-reactive but became BETTER – happier, healthier, hotter, stronger, more successful, etc., as a result of breaking up with them. NO ONE wants to feel like they were nothing more than a professional launching pad for their ex.
USE every ounce of the pain, confusion, anger, embarrassment, resent and heartbreak that you’re feeling right now to LAUNCH yourself into the kind of greatness that’s so great, you won’t have to advertise it or tell everyone because people will be telling YOU (and your ex) just how great you are.
CREATE something that you’ve always wanted to create; do something that you’ve always wanted to do and never thought possible. One of my favorite quotes by Rumi: “act as though everything is rigged in your favor” – even your breakup.
Get clear on your tolerations.
Understand that everything you are feeling and experiencing right now is a direct product of your tolerations. In life, you will always get what you consistently CHOOSE to put up with. Writing a list of what you’re no longer willing to tolerate (from yourself and others) is great, but ACTING upon that list is what creates that X-Factor that everyone is so attracted to, wants to emulate, and wants a piece of but can’t quite describe or put their finger on. And if you think word travels fast, imagine ENERGY. Translate through your actions what you’re no longer willing to tolerate and believe me, the energetic antennas of your toxic ex and toxic people near and far will go up immediately upon the release of your newly established signal.
Hit the emotional gym.
Knowing what to do after a breakup is directly related to your emotional fitness. The day I realized that the power I had over my emotional strength was dependent upon consistent habit (NOT luck), my life changed. Just like insecurity is habitual (you were not born insecure – you ARE insecure today due to years of making a HABIT out of subscribing to the belief that you’re not enough), security is habitual as well. Do you want to know what to do after a breakup? Choose to see things as they ARE – not as your triggers, low self-esteem beliefs, and fears try to paint them to be.
This is why no contact is discussed so much as a rule to implement after breakups – yes, it’s a great tool for many reasons, but the real benefit is the unbreakable core that it builds within YOU (if you do it for the right reasons). With every second of no contact that goes by, you’re building emotional strength. Having emotional strength isn’t about never feeling triggered, angry, sad, or inadequate. It’s about no longer having the desire to stay in the swamp of denial and claim those low energy feelings as your emotional home base. Why? because you finally see just how steep the cost is for doing so. If you choose to stay there, you get justification for continuing to connect with your ex (on any level), but the long term COST (stagnation/fear-based paralysis), is far too great. This is how trauma bonds and destructive relational patterns are formed. And how lives are wasted.
Knowing what to do after a break up is dependent on emotional fitness, but if you don’t have an understanding of what it takes to attain and maintain that fitness, how will you ever succeed?
My entire life was spent trying to get emotionally fit by going to the proverbial gym for one, long and intense day (that generally wore me out after the burst of momentary motivation). This is why self-help seminars are so lucrative – they allow the attendees to emotionally workout on a very intense level unlike ever before, but obviously, for only a very short and concentrated period of time. This can be very beneficial – only if the practices become a daily ritual.
I guarantee that if you were extremely out of shape, went to the gym and worked out for 9 hours straight, you wouldn’t see any results (or be motivated to go back the next day). However, it’s common knowledge that if you go to the gym every day for an hour and workout, you will eventually lose weight and see results over time. Stop expecting instant gratification from one intense session and then use the burnout that you feel to justify making more bad decisions.
Remember, you know how to drive. Don’t act on the fear that the scary emotional conditions ignite. Don’t give people a roadmap to your wounds, triggers, and power source by reacting from the fear, brokenness, and pain that is meant to pass – not to stay.
You are so much more than someone else’s decision. You’re the product of your OWN.
This week, I’m re-working and adding to a few of my older posts that I have chosen to bring back up from years ago. Hope you enjoyed this one 🙂
+ If you need further and more personalized help, please look into working with me here.