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 person that holds the key to your heart (& libido) in the passenger seat. What could be better?

Then one day out of the blue, your libido key holder says that he’s feeling sick, is over the drive and wants to get out of the car NOW.

Still in shock, you watch him get out in what seems like the most painfully slow motion EVER. And just like that, you’re on your own and without a GPS. 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 “omg-I’m-f*cking-homeless,” starts to sink in, what was perfect weather is now a snowstorm with fog so dense, you can’t see (& you can feel your ill-equipped car skidding).

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, scared & broken heart.

The car situation soon gets even more intense. You feel like you’re in The Fast and the Furious and you know your car can’t hang – with the other cars OR the storm. The weather continues to worsen and the fog becomes a whole new level of impossible.

You’ve got no choice but to pull over.

Scared out of your mind, you convince yourself that trying to call the shotgun passenger that once was, is a great idea the ONLY option.

So… you call. 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” into Instagram oblivion 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 don’t know what to do or where to go.

You’re LITERALLY lost without him.

Did you pull your car over because you don’t know how to drive a car?

No. You pulled over because the life that your fear gave to those “impossible” conditions, clouded your vision. You couldn’t see.

Did you call him because you don’t know how to drive a car?

No. You called because you were lost, scared, triggered and had convinced yourself that he was the only GPS.

It’s not that you don’t know what to do after a breakup, it’s that your internal GPS is compromised and your vision is clouded by scary emotional conditions that make acceptance, moving on & being “the one that got away,” seem impossible.

It’s time to regain that 20/20 vision.

Here’s what you need to know & what to do after a breakup…

When trying to figure out what to do after a breakup, first acknowledge that those scary conditions, even though they are largely a figment of your low self esteem, are indeed scary. Make the decision to emotionally PULL OVER. Not so you can call him, but for YOUR OWN security, sanity and well being.

You need to secure your own oxygen first, before trying to give CPR to your relationsh*t.

Don’t act on the fear that those conditions ignite. You’ve already pulled over, so wait it out for a minute. I promise, the sky wont fall. The only thing that will EVER come out of reaching out to him right now, is being labeled as the girl that doesn’t know how to (emotionally) drive. Remember – you know how to drive.You were born with a level knowingness and resilience beyond what you could ever imagine.

Knowing what to do after a breakup is crucial. It’s a time that you can have the most profound power, impact, build unbelievable strength, be the one that got away 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 & 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 okay.

HOW?

The only benefit of being in relationships with these kinds of people is that they are very weak minded, short term thinkers.

The majority of how they remember you is going to be comprised of how you are 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 resurrecting every detail of his idea of “the old 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 & dissatisfaction).

It’s about putting someone (that was consistently inconsistent, dishonest, hurtful & disrespectful), in emotional checkmate while staying on your white horse, remaining  nonreactive, LIVING your life and being KIND – to yourself and others – always.

When it comes to what to do after a breakup, here it is:

  • The launching pad.

    Think about this – what if you dumped your ex for whatever reason and your ex, although sad, went completely no contact, accepted your decision and went more MIA than usual on social media for a bit. You’re feeling good and having fun, but you notice that when he gets 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  (& not in the way that a monkey could do – through filters, nights out, “notice-how-great-I-am-without-you,” captions and smoke & 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-bragadocious and mysterious 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’s 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, than to waste their time driving the social media knife in an ex that isn’t worth it. NO ONE wants to breakup with someone and see that their ex not only remained nonreactive, but became BETTER – happier, healthier, hotter, more fearless, resilient, stronger and goal-achievement oriented, 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 wont have to advertise it or tell everyone (like your ex has to do through the Valencia filter), because people will be telling YOU (& 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. For me it was yoga, which propelled me into building the belief in myself that I could create a brand. One of my favorite quotes by Rumi: “act as though everything is rigged in your favor” – even your breakup.

  • Tolerations.

    As far as what to do after a breakup, understand that everything you’re 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 IMPLEMENTING and ACTING upon that list is what creates that Je Ne Sais Quoi, X-Factor that everyone is 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 f*cktards near and far will go up immediately upon the release of your newly defined signal.

  • Hit the emotional gym.

    Knowing what to do after a breakup is directly related to your emotional fitness. How emotionally fit are you? The day I realized that the power I had over my emotional strength was dependent upon (just like working out), 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. 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 attempt to paint them. 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 (I still feel ALL of those feelings). It’s about no longer having the desire to STAY there and claim those 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 destructive relational patterns are formed and how lives are wasted. Knowing what to do after a break up is definitely 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 momentary motivation). This is why self-help seminars are so lucrative – they allow the attendees to emotionally workout on an very intense level unlike ever before, but obviously, only for a very concentrated (and long) day(s). This can be very beneficial, ONLY if the practices learned become a daily ritual. I guarantee if you were 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 an intense session and then USE the burnout that you feel to JUSTIFY making more bad decisions.

You are so much more than someone else’s decision. You’re the product of your OWN.

Don’t give people a roadmap to your wounds, triggers and power source by reacting from fear and brokenness.

You’re not alone. You’ve got a whole tribe behind you that loves, believes in, supports, understands and is backing you every step of the way 🙂 xo

– Natasha

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45 comments

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I love you. I love your work. You inspire me. You help make me stronger. Keep doing the damn thing! I have my motivation because of your blogs. I screenshot them, “pocket” them and read them every day and it really works. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!!!! ♥️

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Thanks for making my day Avianne 🙂 I love you too!! XO

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Any thoughts / suggestions from anyone out there about returning a house key? My ex dumped me via text unexpectedly around the holidays. This was a very typical move, based on what I’ve seen here. the words of “I love you” and “lets move in together” to abruptly “I need space”. We texted and saw each other a few times after that (him either stringing me along or telling me “he just can’t”), then I finally gave up after I found out on Facebook that he’s “in a relationship” with a just-turned-22 year old girl (he’s 40). There seems to be a distinct possibility that there was some overlap, based on the timing, but for my own sanity, I’m trying not to go there. I’ve deleted all his contact info from my phone, social media, etc. but wondering about returning his key. I am going to assume he’s probably had his locks changed and/or may not WANT it back (or care), but I feel like it’s kind of one of the last remnants I’m trying to get rid of to heal (along with the help of your website, which has been a god send). By writing this out, I’m asking myself now, why do I even care or need to bother…..he still has my key, I have no interest in getting it back. As bad as a person he turned out to be, I’m not worried about my safety (plus I don’t have his contact info anymore!) Maybe it’s my subconscious trying to dismount from my white horse……any thoughts from the tribe are appreciated!

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Will try to see if I can write a post related to this soon. xoxo

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This post, like so many of yours, is absolutely spot on. Thank you so much – I bookmark the most pertinent ones and come back to read and reread every time I’m feeling low, weak or sad; and it really helps. Thank you, you wonderful woman! xx xx xx

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It takes one to know one! So happy it helped 🙂 Thanks Chloe! xxxxx

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Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! This was EXACTLY what I needed to hear.
I appreciate you so much. I am go greatful for your blog. It’s a lifeline on tough days.

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So glad it helped! Thanks Kristen!! 🙂 xx

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This blog was a god send because it came right when my ex boyfriend cheated on me. I was beginning to slip from my white horse but this came right on time and now I’m holding tightly to the reigns again. Thank you, Natasha! You have no idea just how much your insight has helped me through this horrible breakup!

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Zoe can you share more of your situation or be willing to exchange emails? I just went through a bad breakup too and can’t seem to get over it! I feel like talking with people in same situation helps!! Thanks.

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YAY! You go girl. I’m honored to have played a part in your realizations and healing 🙂 Thanks for being a part of this tribe! XO

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Yesssssss, another game changer! Perfect post 🙂 love this and you xoxo

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Love you too! Thanks sister 🙂 XO

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Hey Natasha,
I just wanted to say how much I love this blog and how much of it I can relate to! I like how you get straight to the point. Having had a really low period I am now proud of myself for gradually becoming more confident and learning to love myself a bit more and it’s not ‘perfect’ but that’s ok that never used to be enough for me. Your artickes have been really inspiring. Thank you! 🙂

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Hi Rosie! That makes me so happy to hear 🙂 Keep doing what your doing and just remember – you are understood, loved, backed, believed in and never, ever alone. XOXO

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Amazing. You have given me so much strength
Natasha
Thankyou thankyou from the bottom of my heart

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Thank YOU sister! I’m happy to have helped 🙂 XO

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Wow, this was everything i needed right now(and have ben trying to figure out lately). Such an amazing and eyeopening post!
I know i have done a lot of f**k ups since the breakup four months ago, but I stopped contackting my ex two and a half months ago and every day I’m getting closer to the place i want to be. I’ve worked through depression and stagnation (botn socially and in school), but I feel like I’m finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You’ve helped me so much, and I have hope that one day I might feel love again.

Again thank you so much Natasha! Greetings from Norway x

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I’m happy that it served you 🙂 Thanks Mishaell! You are loved and believed in. Thanks for being a part of this tribe! xx

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Super smart and insightful thank you Natasha. I’d love to hear more about specific ways you recommend of building emotional strength. Your blog is such a source of strength. Greetings from London. Xx

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What a great recommendation 🙂 thanks Jane! xx

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Brilliance, my friend! You have changed my life for the better, forever. Ladies – don’t fall for these jerks! Husband of nearly 10 years, consistent cheating, and even an adorable, sweet, and perfect angel 6-year-old boy couldn’t keep him honest. If he’s a f*cktard, trust me, he will NEVER change! And guess what, he will blame YOU. Don’t trust me? Trust Natasha!

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Thanks soul sister 🙂 I’m happy to help! XOXO

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I always feel 100x better after reading all your blog posts. I am truly blessed that I came across you and your blog after my horrible breakup. I can’t thank you enough for all that you’ve helped me see and understand! <3 XOXO, -Kristianna

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Yay! I’m so happy to help! Thanks Kristianna! 🙂 xx

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I honestly cannot thank u enough for this article and your others. I very recently found out my partner of so many years had cheated on me with a woman from work. It broke my heart and a part of me the day I found out, but your articles especially this one have made me strong and helped me to face the road ahead alone to become an even more awesome version of myself and the one he will always regret letting go. Thank u so much from the deepest part of my soul. Xx ?

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It is my pleasure Han! <3 I'm happy to help and honored to have played a part in your realizations and healing. You are believed in, loved, understood, supported and never, ever alone. Thank you for reading and for taking the time to reach out. All my love to you soul sister. xxxx

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It’s crazy how you wrote a post just when I needed it most. I’ve grown so strong and positive since I’ve found this blog, it’s literally guided me through my journey to discovering who I am. Sometimes I still have bad days ,reminiscing on thoughts then I read like a maniac and realise why it never worked out. I hope to find true love one day; a kinder love.

Love you

Natasha

Liv ??

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Love you Liv! I have no doubt that you will find that love – you have now found it in yourself 🙂 You’re not alone. X

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Love!

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🙂 XO

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Natasha, thank you. I love you for reaching into my core and helping me see. I am healing. Fast and furiously. It feels like a renaissance and my own energy helps me instead of burying me. Two people in the last 24 hours have told me that I shine and that my presence has had a huge impact on THEIR healing! I’m not even trying, I’m just being who I want to be.

I really do love you. Thank you.
Sherri

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I’m all smiles 🙂 so proud of and happy for you Sherri! I love you too sister! XO

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Ever since my breakup I have read A LOT of articles,blog posts and anything I could get my hands on to try and pick myself up and simply feel a little better! . Your writing has helped me the most and I always run to your website and Instagram if I need a bit of cheering up 🙂 Thank you Natasha ?
Sending lots of love from Ireland

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Hi Chlo! It is my pleasure and honor to have played a part in your healing, happiness, realizations and hope through heartbreak. Thank you for your love, sisterhood, support and for being a part of this tribe. You are empathized with, loved, supported, understood and never, ever alone. I hope to visit Ireland one day soon and give you a big hug in person! 🙂 xx

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So me and this guy, let’s call him D because good friends in our friend group last October. We go to different school about two hours away. But from same hometown. We had a group chat with our friends and always flirted. It was obvious we both wanted to hookup. So finally after a while me and him ended up hanging out in early December and realized it wasn’t just a hookup. We fell for each other! We hung out everyday for the next month until we had to go back to school. We both have exs we had a FWB relationship with but it both stop once we realized we liked each other. So everything was amazing. He treated me right, I met his family, we laughed, we kissed. He made me feel like I could love again so quickly. There was just such a connection. So as we left for school it was hard because I knew I wouldn’t see him as much and he was rushing a frat and I wouldn’t be able to visit much. So we did long distance for about a month and it was good but hard because it was a fresh thing and being far away it’s hard when you just got into it. Makes you get serious faster than you want. So he started rushing his frat and has to pledge and be a slave pretty much for the semester and he realize he wouldn’t have time for me and kinda wanted to be single as well since we are far away and he is around sorority girls for the first time (I am one and understand why he feels like that, it’s normal) so he kinda just stopped talking to me but I heard from a friend he wanted to end things but still hang out cause he likes me but it’s just terrible timing. Especially since I’m his last relationship he was cheated on and getting into a new one kinda reminded him of her. So I visited his college and we hooked up both knowing it was over. I talked to his roommate and his roommate said he liked me he jut thinks the timing couldn’t be worse and that I’m really cool and he honestly could see himself dating me but he just wants to do him right now and not be serious anymore. And in the future if it happens it happens. and after I left to go home and he went to go home too so I asked if I could come over and we could talk. Ever since he started pledging he just isn’t excited about anything. He looks miserable honestly. But I went over to talk and we agreed that we should do our own thing because being far away is hard and he wants to “fool around as he says” but he said he would like to still see me and obviously hook up and I agreeed because I want to see him and summer is coming up and I feel like maybe it would pick back up. But he did say to me that “don’t expect a relationship to come” and I think he said that so I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen and I said I won’t. But eventually I just have a feeling like it could. We had such a good connection and so much fun together. But I low key really just want to be together. I agreed to this when I do want to hookup but I’d like him to miss me and want to hang me again eventually. So last night I found out from a mural friend that he hooked up with his ex and said to her that he couldn’t help it it was a hookup and he will always love her. But when he talked to me about her previously he said that it’s just a easy hookup cause she cheated on him so she will do whatever he wants. Anyways me and his ex have had a few run ins and we don’t get along but I know we are doing our own thing now and I should be mad or sad but I really just eventually wanna win him over. I will try and work on myself and move on but I personally just want advice on what you think I should do to make me stand out and him like me and realize why did I end things with her when things were great with her? Especially cause I’m transferring home and will be closer and that’s a plus if things pick up so no LDR an we have all summer to respark. Help me please! Anyone knows how I feel right now. I just would like some tricks on what you think I should do?

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Hi Amber!

I wish that I could answer your questions, but I have too much to say to type it all out not enough hands to type or hours in the day. I would also need more details. This is why I cannot give specific advice/answers in the comments.

Thanks for your love, for reading and for your understanding. Keep coming back here to the blog. I do offer coaching if you’re interested.

All my love to you soul sister.

You’re not alone XOXO

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I’m so glad I came here. I’m dealing with a great amount of pain from a recent breakup and I keep on hoping he will reach out to me and tell me all the things I want to hear. Slowly it’s sinking in that it’s just not what it used to be. I could no longer allow him to hurt my feelings, I walked away, literally. What kills me the most, is that he didn’t stop me.

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Hi Liz! I’m so glad that you came here too 🙂 You are understood, supported, loved, backed, believed in and never, ever alone. XOX

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LIZ- This is exactly how I am feeling right now. I walked away from a 5 year relationship because I felt like we weren’t growing and weren’t on the same page. He ALSO never stopped me OR tried to get me back. In fact, he stated yesterday that he wanted to be friends right now. ( WT*****?).. When I left, my words exactly were ” you aren’t meeting my needs” ( this came up several times over the years)…. What I realize now is we BOTH weren’t meeting each other’s needs. We BOTH have issues that drove us apart. We BOTH are emotionally unavailable, just in different ways. You walked out for a reason. You probably don’t feel it right now, but you did. The only pain you feel is him not coming back for you. Or chasing you… I’m only assuming here, but the reason you probably left wasn’t to get a rise out of him. Don’t you worry! It feels like the rejection is turned on you, because you still care so deeply. Remember the very reasons that brought you to your decision. Stand strong! You are far from alone. You have no idea how much your words help me feel connected. This won’t be easy, but ask yourself. Would getting him back really change things? In my case, they’d mayyyyyyybe be decent for a week or two max then we’d be back to old patterns. We both have work to do. (not saying you both are just like us!)… I know I’m going to get the help I need and that’s all that matters. You are going to get through this. You are worthy! Don’t ever forget it 🙂

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LOVE this! xoxo

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I don’t know how I came across your blog, but I am so glad I did. I’m going through an extremely difficult breakup where we BOTH were and still are emotionally unavailable (though he’d like to tell you he’s not 😉 ) I equate going through a breakup to a traffic jam. Sounds crazy, but it just came to me.. You’re going along just fine, wind in your hair, sun’s shining, music is blaring… life is good… “It can’t get any better than this” you say as you cruise along…Until all of a sudden…… everything quickly slows down and you come to a complete dead stop on the highway of life. Your mood changes, anger ensues and the next thing you know you’re sitting there screaming, shouting, angry, ticked off, and confused! “Why is this happening?” ” What caused this?” “WT*?!!!!!” …. Then it’s silence. You’re alone with yourself ( for the sake of the explanation, you’re driving solo). You look around and see cars for miles and you think… “Great, now what!?” ” What the heck GPS, why didn’t you tell me this!?” Wasn’t there a detour a ways back!!?( Perhaps the GPS did tell you but you were too busy listening to the music to hear its words) “…..And alas you are stuck and alone. Though there are cars/people all around, you still feel like you are the only one experiencing such an inconvenience. This thing is, you can chose how to handle this situation. Turn the music back up and take a deep breath, or keep on feeding that emotional flame inside by not settling into the present moment. Though traffic jams are brief compared to lengths of the “after break up” phase, they are so very similar. Sometimes life doesn’t give you another try , or detour in this case. Sometimes, things just come out of nowhere and life gives you zero warning. Sometimes, life does give you warnings and you were too busy ( or caught up with your own emotional unavailability/people pleasing ways)( or maybe you silenced your gut feeling all these years) to see a different path. What’s most important is being aware. Taking control and settling into the moment.. Only then you can realize whatever was meant to happen and see the situation at hand for what it is. Whether it’s a painful breakup or something as uselessly frustrating as a traffic jam, we eventually get through it. Though you have no control over the general traffic, you DO have control on how YOU handle it. Though you don’t always have control after a breakup, you DO have control on how YOU handle it. Going inward, assessing the situation for what it is and digging deep to gain strength are all important for moving forward ( like the traffic).. Time eventually allows you to heal. Time, great friends and a whole lot of self-reflection! 🙂

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LOVE this! 🙂 Thanks Jade! XOXO

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Hi Natasha

Thank you! I’ve gone no contact with my ex. It’s a pretty high conflict situation so no contact is imperative. However, now all those male friends of his are messaging me! It’s annoying as I’m just working on myself and healing. Why all the sudden after four months of no contact with my ex are his creepy guy friends messaging me saying crap like you can vent to me and let’s be friends! I only want to be friends! Ugh. So annoying. Maybe something to cover in a blog post? I don’t respond to these messages at all but maybe my ex is fishing for info? Or these dudes are like she’s single! Ugh. Annoying.

Suzy

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I would keep ignoring or black if you have to. I will try to write a post on this soon 🙂 Thanks Suzy! xx

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