Sep 032008
how to survive breaking up

Sometimes it helps to know you’re not alone when you’re surviving a break up.

If you think you can’t survive your breakup, you’re wrong. It will take time, but you will be happy again – because survival brings acceptance.

“From the first moment that you have the wind knocked out of you by hearing in one way or another that the relationship is over, you must ruthlessly prioritize doing as little as possible,” writes Delphine Hirsh in The Girls’ Guide to Surviving a Break-Up. “By that I mean you must accept that you are in shock and that you should expect nothing from yourself other than to keep breathing.”

If you’re still in shock over the breakup, give yourself time to heal. If you can’t seem to break free from the past, read Letting Go of Someone You Love — it offers 75 tips from psychologists, life coaches, and counselors.

And, use one or all ten of these ten tips for healing your broken heart…

10 Tips for Surviving When Your Relationship Ends

Sniff your way to happiness

Michelle Schoffro Cook, author of The Brain Wash, says, “Natural scents have a direct pathway to the brain and research shows that some chemical constituents of aromatherapy oils, particularly…sesquiterpenes can cross the blood-brain barrier and increase oxygen flow to the brain.” Extra oxygen in your brain increases energy, immune function, learning, attitude and positive emotions…all of which you need if your relationship ends!

Soak in classical, easy listening or rock ‘n roll music

Faster, major keys cool your brain, which lifts your mood and helps you stay happy after heartbreak. You know what songs work for you: find music from a different, happier era of your life. Don’t know what to listen to? Read The Best Songs for Broken Hearts.

If you don’t think listening to music will help you survive a breakup, try learning a new instrument.

Paint, arrange photographs, sculpt, or draw

Making art strengthens your sense of self and contributes to feelings of normalcy. Plus, it’s relaxing to focus on being creative — and it’ll help you survive a breakup by distracting you from your emotions. Creativity increases serotonin levels and reduces stress; it also improves blood pressure and heart rate. Anything artistic can help create you create a new identity and even let go of someone you love.

Skip the evening news – your relationship breakup is depressing enough

Ongoing exposure to depressing, negative information can make you paranoid, anxious and physically unhealthy – and the news will not keep you happy after heartbreak. Skipping the evening news will help you produce fewer stress-related hormones that contribute to high blood pressure, depression, digestive disorders, and a weaker immune system. The healthier you are, the faster you’ll survive the breakup and start over after your relationship ends.

Get a massage – it does more than alleviate sore muscles

To survive a breakup, make sure you get lots of healthy touch! Emotional struggles, such as depression and eating disorders, are positively affected by massage because it reduces the amount of cortisol in your system and promotes an overall sense of well-being. According to the Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba, “massage promotes elimination of waste products, improves flow of nutrients to body tissues, and increases circulation to all parts of the body.” The healthier and happier you feel, sooner you’ll break free from the past.

Imagine a bright, loving, hopeful future

Guided imagery involves three steps: 1) relaxing; 2) focusing on pain; 3) replacing painful feelings with healthy images. Visualizing what you want your future to look like can help you achieve your goals – and it floods your body with positive chemicals and feelings. Most physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms are affected by your thoughts and attitude; positive images can help when he says he doesn’t love you anymore.

Eat broccoli (a surprising way to survive a breakup!)

Eating nutritiously and taking care of your body is difficult when you’re in pain or grieving – but it’s when you’re down and out that your body needs nutrition the most. Avoid refined sugar, heavy meats, processed foods, and caffeine because they make you feel sluggish and tired, which will not help you survive a broken relationship – especially if you’ve split up with your partner. Eat fish, whole grains, raw nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, wild rice and of course plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Explore museums and solve crossword puzzles

Using your brain to get into the flow of an activity – whether it’s exploring an art gallery or solving a Sudoku puzzle – will help you escape the painful feelings and let go of someone you love (even if it’s just for a short time). When you’re focused on a puzzle or intellectual pursuit you’re not thinking about your pain or ex-partner. This tip for surviving a break up may even help you meet new people.

Dig into your spirituality – it increases optimism and positive feelings

Pursuing spirituality within a group (a church or synagogue, for instance) increases your social support system, coping skills, and self-image. Recently, researchers found that even people who pray online have fewer negative emotions and higher levels of well-being. If you’re surviving a breakup, try connecting to God or the universe. You’ll feel less fearful and anxious, which will improve your health and immune system.

Strive for balance (it’s the key to emotional and physical health)

If you’re frantically juggling personal, professional, volunteer and social activities, there’s no doubt that your emotional health will suffer and you’ll have a hard time surviving a breakup. Overdoing it can also include spending too much time alone watching tv, lying in bed, or snoozing. Balance means leaving work or volunteer duties to spend time with family and friends – or pulling away from family and friends to read, walk, or pursue a new hobby. When your relationship ends, you need to take care of yourself by adding balance to your life.

Sometimes writing about how you’re surviving your breakup can make you feel better, because writing is great therapy! Feel free to share your experience below.


Relationship Help

How to Get Your Ex Back

Stop the Divorce and Save Your Marriage

How to Captivate a Man and Make Him Fall in Love With You

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  107 Responses to “10 Tips for Surviving a Breakup When Your Relationship Ends”

  1. How would I survive the break up if my marriage ended? I would move away from Vancouver. I would start new somewhere exciting, like Europe. I wouldn’t stay in the same house, but I would keep blogging. I’d become a different person.

  2. I know how it feels.. I had my break up too.. my boyfriend of 2 years didnt have the courage to break up with me, i found out on his birthday that we where through because I wanted to celebrate his birthday. I only got humilated and hurt and he didnt even care. I think he used me for so long. I have weeks and weeks without any info about him. I am in the process of healing myself, I am doing volunteering work, Travelling keeping my self busy. It does work, also doing meditation like yoga and steps aerobic classes helps too. I am finding out that I am better than him because spiritually it wasnt me that broke up it was him and when time goes bye he is going to regret what a great person I was.. Every women should realize that their is no perfect man they are all egoistic and cowards they only think about there happiness and they keep on living while you are depress and crying at home he must be having a good time with his friends, new girl or who knows what else. They always call after a few months or years and when that happen women have to be prepare to destroy them telling them they are better in life and that they are doin good. They hate that because they wish they would find you defeated. so remember that ladies men wont change you have too..

  3. Angie, I don’t know if you’re still reading responses to your question but having been through a similar situation I had to write. My first & probably most important piece of advice is NOT to bail him out. When you contract with a bail bondsman it’s kind of like a loan; you have to put up collateral (like anything you own–house, car, etc). If the boyfriend, who has already shown his true colors (IMHO) by lying to you, (failing to reveal pertinent details is what I call a lie of omission) fails to show up in court on his trial date he will become a FTA-failure to appear. The judge will most likely revoke his bond immediately and issue a warrant for his arrest. The bottom line is that YOU will be the one to fall with him if he FTA’s and could lose the collateral you pledged to the bail bondsman.

    Please DO put yourself first in this situation. It’s time to slow down a relationship when things like this happen. While a DUI 3yrs ago might sound minor, what if he had been involved in an accident & hurt someone? It would seem that this fellow might not share similar morals & values that you do.

    I’ll tell you a shortened version of my experience. I was involved with this guy & knew he had “issues” but put myself in a state of denial over it. Problems really went into high gear one night as we were leaving Wal-Mart. (Keep in mind, I was the “breadwinner” here; paying for EVERYTHING) Security guards followed us out the door, collared him & pulled me back inside to question me about it! The loser had shoplifted a container of OTC cold stuff! I had no idea he’d done it or why; I was shocked. Got him bailed out, tried to go on with life. A few months later, one day he was just crazy–he sat on the sofa all day holding a pistol pointed at my son, 22, and me. At bedtime, I decided to sleep in a different bedroom. That’s when he took the barrel of the gun and placed it on my skin between my breasts! I was sure I was about to die. My son tried to protect me & next thing I know we’re in some scene from Hollywood wrestling over the stupid loaded pistol. We finally got it away from him & ran out the door. By now it’s 1:30AM, I’m scared to death & want to leave my own home but the car keys were in the house. No way was I going back in there! Wound up running up the road in the pitch dark to a neighbor’s house to call the police in my pajamas. All the way there we were both terrified that he would take my keys & come after us with a car. Talk about terror & humiliation. I was so embarrassed for my neighbor to know I associated with this kind of person! We called the police & they had to call out the SWAT team to get this (expletive deleted) out of my house! The shoplifting deal should have been a clue to me to slow things down but I was in such denial–still kick myself over that. But it gets better–I let him come back! I was very dissatisfied but now also wary. Then the day came when I had hard proof he had been stealing money from me. I said nothing but during one long night I took my house key off his keyring and when he left to return his daughter to her mother, he called from the road & THAT’S when I told him not to come back! Yes, I planned it that way because I was afraid of what he’d do if I allowed him to come to my house or saw him in person. It was a crazy few days. It took me better than a year to disentangle myself from that craziness! And, of course, when I ran his background criminal history, you know he had a lengthy criminal history from b4 I ever knew him. Last crazy thing (sorry for the long post). Even though I was doing everything in my power to disengage, he managed to get arrested AGAIN & had the nerve to call me to come bail him out. I had to refuse. I didn’t have the cash to put up as collateral; I only had my house which I wasn’t going to gamble with! So, you see, people who are not willing to come clean & take responsibility for their behavior by owning up to it with a serious partner probably are not good candidates for stable relationships. Your story struck a cord with me. Once I got out of that situation (’bout 3 years now) I have not been interested in another intimate relationship; have not in fact been on a date in all that time. I’m embarrassed that I ever got involved with such a loser!
    Good luck! Stay strong!

  4. Dear Angie,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your boyfriend – it must have been so shocking for you! Did you have any clues, any red flags that suggested your boyfriend was on probation?

    I wrote this article for you:

    Your Boyfriend Gets Arrested – Do You Visit Him in Jail or Move On?

    I hope it helps a little…I’ve never been in your situation either, but I encourage you to protect yourself as much as you can. I’m glad the business is only a month old, because it’s easier to dissolve it and move on than if it was years or decades old!

    Let me know how you’re doing. I’m sorry it took so long to answer your comment.


  5. Dear Angie, wihtout knowing all the details of the situation… it is difficult to tell you anything at length. I would say do your best to keep your head up and fill your life with good. Take time out to enjoy the simple pleasures life has to offer. Be supportive to the man behind bars… but dont wait around for him… do your best to move forward. And as for the business aspect, get another/other foreman… You have to think of yourself as completely in charge, and take responsibility for the company and its success. You can do it!!!

  6. i had a very bad experience over love. I broke up with my girlfriend only bcoz of able to give time spend together. Since last breakup i didn’t made any girlfriend… Its realy painful…

  7. My situation I guess is a bit odd and that is why I am having an issue dealing with it. I was dating someone for quite a while, everything was going great. We were still happy to see each other and enjoyed each others company. We were at the point that we discussed moving in together and looked at houses a couple of weeks ago. A month ago we started a business together, so you would think that with everything progressing the way it was it was going great. I spoke to him monday while he was working then we were texting. I got busy with paperwork and several hours sent a text to see how everything was progressing on the job. I got no response. So I figured he’s busy he will get back to me later. Around 11pm at night several hours later did not hear anything from him, not even that the job was completed so I knew if I should bill it out. I called and left a voicemail, but his phone was off. I found it to be odd, but figured batteries dead. The next morning I find out that he was arrested about 10 minutes after our last text for not paying traffic fines and there are several I guess. Not to mention that he was on probation, that I knew nothing about from a DUI three years prior to us meeting. So I know that he ended up with a violation of probation charge also. I have not talked to him since he has been in jail and is still there. I have talked to the jail and caseworker there. I do not know if I should go visit or if I should just do the best to move on. They told me he is probably going to be there for quite a while. My issue other than hurt from the unknown information, is that it is a contracting business and he was the foreman. I do not know what to do with that mess either. This has not only effected me emotionally, but it is effecting my income also at this point. I would love to hear any suggestions or words of encouragement that anyone has. I have never been in this situation and obviously it is not a good one.

  8. broken by bill.

    not all guys are the same girls can be cruel in allot of ways to people are like that people like to hurt eathor for the fun of it most people dont even know what the are doing till its to late im in the same boat as you onley thing you can do is get stronger and try to move futher write about it about everything you have done with him do it on ur computer or on a paper if ya need to cry then do it cry ur heart out! i hope this helps.

  9. I think the part about balance is most telling: people don’t realize that staying active physically is a big part of fighting off breakup pain.

  10. i was with a guy for 2 yrs..he proposed me that time i was nt agreed to start a love relationship with him.but gradually he convinced me that he loves me very much and will never let me go whatever situation comes…he acted like as if he was very caring..and i believed him..though my parents are very strict but still i brought him to my home to meet my parents.i loved him more than my life.we were like husband and was going very well till 1 and half year but slowly he started to avoid me..he,who was always calling me and was telling that he cant live without me..started to behave rudely with me..i asked the reason for his rude behavior..if he wants to breakup with me..he answered if you want to go you may..i told please let this relation start again from the beginig..why u r avoiding..he agreed with it but after 1 day he started the same behavr ..i was very hurt..i cried ..this type of relation continued for another half months,, some day ago ,as he was nt calling, i switched of the mobile..he texted me that he want to break up with me and all was my fault he was nt guilty at all.though he always hurt me but still i love him.i cant forget him i cant work .or concentrate on anything..i want breakup but..cant forget him…Help me

  11. Hey !
    Thanks for theese tiips.. i guess ill be needing all o them… He was cheating on me,, n after i found ol out he was feeling sorry and wants me desperately but i cant forget all what happened and want to seperate… had dreams of setting up al with him… but… destiny !
    God Bless all!

    Tani :|

  12. me and my guy ve been in 3yrs relationship…but tins suddenly changed few months ago.we didnt had any fight or arguement…he just stoped callin…textin…carering e.t.c.i guess its figuer it out urself. i stil cant believe dat for 3yrs i’ve loved a caword who cant be man enough 2 luk me in de eye and say…its over,am inluv wit someone else…i hate myself 4 loving him soo much…i keep wishing tins could get normal like before…am going crazy…i cant even pay attention…..

  13. hi all broken girls..
    my bf of 3 years just left me about 5 days ago now.. i busted him out while he told me he was only going to a friends house.
    after that he never said a word to me just blocked me on his iphone app and that was it!!!
    no nothing!!
    im so hurt! 3 years ive spent my life by his side and i got lied to so many times! he left me 5 months ago, same thing busted then i got blocked but i guess im the silly 1 that went back for more!
    ill never know what ive done to deserve such pain and heartache but he just dose not care! while i sit here balling my eyes out not sleeping not eating he is out laughing with his friends and going out everynight with god knows who!
    why do we woman feel so much pain and hurt but they dont!!!???
    why do men cheat and lie??
    why is it hurting me so much!
    i know in my brain he is not good to me or for me but in my heart i love him more than i love anything in this world!!!
    please explain!
    how can i move on when ive been left in the dark and he has run away and left me in such a mess…
    how can i stop loving someone that has broken to the core…

  14. Me and my boyfriend broke up two days ago and it is devastating to me. I love him sooo much. He is the second man I have actually been in love with, even though I’ve had other relationships. It is crazy…the first one I loved for 3 yrs, it was dysfunctional, and though he told me he loved me constantly, he didn’t show that he did by his actions. Now this man I’ve been with seven months, and he told me he loved me two or three times the entire relationship, but I always believed he did love me because of his actions. But still…it was frustrating that he wouldn’t say it. Finally last week…after months of not asking because I was scared of the answer…I asked him if he loved me or not. He said he didn’t know…that he knew he had at one point but wasn’t sure anymore. He asked to take a month break to think about it. Well, I’m 25 and he is 22, and to me…either you love someone or you don’t and it’s been seven months! That’s plenty of time to think about it! Then days later we are at the st. patricks day parade and I just break down…we end up having this emotional argument on the streets…and he says straight to my face that he doesn’t care about me anymore…
    That hurts so much…because I thought he did the entire time…I love him so much and I don’t know what to do with myself now. It’s just so shocking. I’ve never been hurt in this way…I’ve never had someone not even TRY for me.
    I keep telling myself I deserve better, I deserve someone more mature, I deserve someone who loves me and would do anything for me…but all I see is his face, and all I want is to go back to what we were two weeks ago…even if it was a lie…

  15. Meg, its sad to say this hon bc except for the fact of you’re being pregnant my bf done this exact thing to be before he broke up w/me sounds like I hate to say it, he wants rid of you. He’s starting the fights intentionally trying to provoke you to break up w/him because he’s to much of a coward to be a REAl man and tell you himself how he feels about you and where you stand in the relationship. I pray things improve with you and I know you’ll do find w/o him. Let me know how things go, will ya do that?

  16. Christine at least it wasn’t six years which was the case with me and my current ex. Rossy do not take him back or talk to him. I know I still love my bf but w/o his willingness to see that he has a problem and his wanting to change & do something about it .. then there’s nothing I can do because I won’t accept being an option for him.. someone to be there and talk to when he has nothing better to do and for six years I was, I love him dearly but I deserve more than that from a guy. It will more than likely take the rest of my life finding it, but if I don’t I can’t say that I honestly didn’t try.

  17. well i knew my boyfriend for about 3 yrs before we started dating. i loved him a lot when we started dating. just recently we started having problems. he started with saying that he cant help but look at girls butts. so one day we were talking and he said ” i cant help but look at —–‘s butt when she bends down” i was sooo hurt by that.
    we got into an argument over it. then we started having even more problems we stopped seeing each other as much. he started complaining that we didn’t see each other enough and blah blah blah. he was very sexual and i’m not a sexual person. so he would always so ohh i want sex and stuff and i felt like i couldn’t give it to him. then about a week ago he told me he had cheated on me. i was devastated but stupid me still did not break up with him. this morning he texted me and we talked for a while then he said he wanted to make out with someone and i was so tired of him always saying that that i finally told him well go do it then i don’t care. he texted back saying i wish i could make out with someone without it being cheating. i texted back saying well you can without it being cheating. we wrote to each other a little more then he said if i loved him and i said yes i asked him the same. he said i don’t know i want to love you though. i didn’t wright back. he texted me later that evening and then called me. and we argued and i ended breaking up with him. im so sad and broken right now.. we have been talking for an hour or so and i don’t know what to do. i want him back but i would feel soo stupid taking him back.