“Screaming, crying, perfect storms” is how Taylor Swift described the period after a breakup – and she wasn’t wrong! Breaking up with a romantic partner can easily break you down, too.
The post-breakup phase can leave any otherwise happy person drowning in painful thoughts. You might also have a few burning questions, particularly about your ex.
If so, you might be tempted to explore the answers to these queries.
Luckily, we’ve compiled solutions to all your burning problems, plus answers to any questions you may have after a breakup.
Let’s start by exploring the most common one…
Why Can’t I Let Go of My Ex?
Letting go of an intimate partner you shared a portion of your life with is seldom easy.
As a result, you may experience post-breakup “withdrawal symptoms.” This includes thinking of your ex all the time, or remembering the little things they used to say or do.
However, some people may hold on to such feelings despite having broken up a few weeks ago.
Maintaining extremely strong feelings of attachment to an ex partner for longer than 6-8 weeks could be a warning sign of some underlying emotional problems. This is especially true if your self esteem has remained low ever since the split. If so, chances are you were in a codependent relationship and “needed” your partner the way a toddler needs their parents.
As adults, we must grow out of such “clingy” dependencies to form new, healthy, mature relationships.
Here’s what a healthy relationship can look like:
- Both partners have their own hobbies and frequently enjoy “me time” alone
- Either partner can rely on their mate for emotional support, but doesn’t expect them to “magically” solve their problems
- Both partners have an independent identity outside of the relationship
If your past relationship didn’t match this criteria, there’s a high chance you were codependent on your partner. If so, it’s no surprise you miss them so much after the breakup!
If that’s the case, you should start looking for healthy ways to get over your ex after a breakup.
How Can I Get Over My Ex?
Regardless of whether or not your relationship was a codependent one, getting over an ex is never easy. The period after a breakup can feel like hell, but also offers the prime opportunity to heal from your pain.
Research conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) suggests that the weeks immediately after a breakup are the best time to heal from it.
In one APA experiment, freshly single subjects were encouraged to write either positive or negative thoughts about the breakup. They practiced writing these for 3 consecutive days.
By the end of the experiment, those who wrote solely positive thoughts began seeing their breakup as a positive event. They began associating feelings of freedom and happiness with an otherwise painful memory. The opposite was true for those who wrote negative thoughts about the breakup.
This experiment tells us that even the most heartbreaking of events can have a silver lining, if we choose to see it.
So, if you’re trying to get over your ex, why not replicate the APA experiment?
Journaling about your feelings is an excellent way to process your emotions and see the light in a seemingly dark situation.
But if journaling isn’t your thing, don’t worry. We’ve got some excellent additional tips help you feel better after a breakup:
- Surround yourself with friends, family, or people who can uplift and support you
- Take up a healthy new habit that makes you feel good. Doing so (and sticking to it!) can help improve your post-breakup self-esteem
- Browse online support forums (like Reddit) to read about how other people are overcoming their post-breakup stress. You can also explore additional relatable articles about breakups and self-acceptance – like this one!
Adopting such healthy ways to cope with a breakup can make you feel good about yourself.
On the other hand, engaging in self-sabotaging behavior after a breakup can have a harmful effect. A popular example of this is continuously reaching out to your toxic ex after a breakup…even when you know they’re bad for you.
Why Do I Keep Missing My Toxic Ex?
“All good boys go to Heaven, but bad boys bring Heaven to you” – Julia Michaels
If you’re a pop culture junkie, chances are you’ve heard this lyric before. However, in addition to being part of one of the decade’s catchiest songs, this lyric explains toxic relationships pretty well.
A toxic relationship is detrimental towards one or both partners’ mental, physical, and/or sexual health. It may include bouts of infidelity, verbal abuse, or related behaviors.
When we’re in a toxic relationship, we may feel on top of the world. Ironically, we may simultaneously feel unworthy, unsafe, and hurt, too.
Regardless of the damage, many people choose to stay in toxic relationships because:
- This is the only type of love they’ve ever known
- They prefer to stay blind to their toxic partner’s behavior
- They don’t believe they deserve better
- They are out of options
In most of these cases, the “victim” may choose to date the toxic partner without realizing their self-sabotaging behavior. Chances are, they came from an unstable household or are carrying deep trauma within them. Both reasons commonly lead to people staying in toxic relationships, even if they know their partner is doing them wrong.
If you relate to this, it’s high time you changed the way you view yourself.
If holding on to a toxic ex is the only time you feel comfortable, find ways to break the pattern. Look for comfort in new, safer people, activities, or circumstances. Try investing in yourself by adopting small positive habits, like the ones discussed previously.
And, no matter what, don’t give up on yourself!
Is it Okay if I Slept With Someone Right After a Breakup?
Sleeping with someone right after a breakup is called a rebound. Some believe in rebounds, while others do not.
On the bright side, sleeping with someone who isn’t your ex can temporarily raise your self esteem. However, this feeling may fade soon. If you don’t focus on rebuilding yourself independently, chances are you’ll keep relying on a rebound partner until you learn to be independent.
Being independent doesn’t mean you ignore your emotional needs, though. However, instead of searching for help from rebounds or sexual strangers, try finding support from your family or friend group. Or, you can join an in-person or virtual support group. Try scouting Facebook to find one in your area!
That being said, sleeping with a rebound doesn’t make you a “bad person.” However, it’s important to acknowledge that rebounds aren’t a permanent solution to your pain. You will need to heal from your breakup on your own, but can always reach out to healthy resources for support!
Why Do We Keep Coming Back to Each Other?
Twin flames always find their way back. That being said, it’s also crucial to note that nobody is perfect, and even your twin flame may need to work on themselves before they can be a good partner to you. The same may apply to you, too.
So, if your ex and you have decided to take some time apart, don’t rush getting back into a relationship. It’s possible that you two would make a great match in the future, but need to work on your independent selves first.
Why Does My Ex Want to Talk After Breaking Up?
There’s many possible reasons why your ex still wants to talk to you.
For example, they might be trying to hold on to you because of some lingering feelings. This might hint at a possible reunion in the future, or could just mean they’re having trouble moving on.
They might also be trying to contact you to help them understand where you two currently stand. Perhaps they want to know if you see them as a friend, or if there’s still hope for something more.
On that note, if your ex is actively reaching out to you, take a step back and recall why you two stopped dating. Was the reason strong enough to warrant a breakup? If yes, then it might be best to put some space between your ex and you.
However, if you feel like there’s room for repair, it won’t hurt to have a heart-to-heart with your ex… especially if they’re keen on talking to you about it. Still, make sure that you genuinely want to talk to your ex, and aren’t doing it out of pressure or loneliness.
Is Getting Divorced or Breaking Up Okay?
Not all relationships are meant to last forever – and that’s okay. People and life paths change over time, and sometimes partners stop seeing eye-to-eye on important matters. Moments like these can either signal compromise, or indicate the end of the relationship.
Most long-term relationships are worth saving, though. It’s natural for partners to “nest” and create a life with one another. That being said, we all know how unpredictable life can be. Even the strongest of relationships can break against the test of time.
So, if you’ve found yours at the end of a long, loving relationship you thought would last forever, know that you’re not alone. If your ex and you made this decision together, there must have been a good reason behind it.
That being said, remember that divorce is okay, and breaking up is also okay. You move on for the better, and, with a positive mindset, can create a happy new life for yourself.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for the person you love, is to set them free. This person can also be you.