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5 Mistakes to Avoid After a Breakup

Breakups can be awful. I remember thinking sometime last year that it was good to be married and finally free from the trauma and torture that is breaking up after dating someone you truly love (a divorce is a different animal) and thought you would share forever with.

You meet someone, you’re sure he or she is the one, and you’re just so good together it’s magic. Not only are they amazing, they think you’re amazing too. They get you, want the best for you, and you just know this is it. You’re walking on sunshine, flying without wings, and then it’s over. It starts dying and one day it’s dead, or you run into irreconcilable differences along the way, or you have a fight and they just leave and don’t want to make things right again- or you are done.

Regardless of who left and who got left, breaking up can be very painful. Oh dear lord, I do not miss it! Haunting, chart-topping songs have been written about it. Some splits feel like you’re dying, your dear life being drained out of you slowly.

While we may not be able to change the status of a relationship, there are things we do after a breakup that only aggravate our wounds and delay healing. Here are some errors to avoid after you’ve accepted this is goodbye:

1. Fighting the pain. Please don’t do this. Your love is gone and you’re in pain, the likes of which you are certain have never been experienced before, raw, unfiltered pain that threatens to invade your entire being and leave you paralyzed in its wake. Let it happen. Allowing the process brings you closer to healing than pretending it doesn’t hurt so bad.

2. Trying not to cry. Not crying after a painful breakup isn’t a sign that you’re now grown up. Weeping is cathartic, so if you feel like crying, realize that nature is trying to help you out here. Let the tears flow as long as they will until you feel cleansed. If your poor soul needs a repeat (or several) to get there, allow it.

3. Feeding your anguish. Big, unproductive mistake! Allowing the pain take its course is not the same thing as inflicting more pain by tormenting yourself; poring over pictures of you two together, burying your nose in the shirt he left at your place, listening to “your song” over and over, reading all her articles, or stalking his social media pages. Refuse to do it.

4. Trying to force speedy recovery. Not only is it often futile to try send act happy and “over it” before you really are, it’s actually harmful. You want this wound to heal thoroughly from inside out, so give your heart as much time as it needs. It’s nobody’s business, really.

5. Remembering only the good times. Unless you were both pried apart against your desires (genotype issues, lack of parental consent, etc.) there were fundamental issues that eventually led to the breakup, so it does no good to remember how sweet, adorable and generous he was while conveniently forgetting how controlling he was or how foul his temper could be… Yes she was beautiful, smart and romantic but she was also rude, inconsiderate and possessive… you get the picture. Thank heavens for good friends. Good friends have a way of gently reminding you of the other side of him or her.

The thing about breakups is the pain doesn’t last forever. It would kill you if it did, but it doesn’t. Regardless of whether you’ll love them forever, if you’ll have a hard time finding anyone like them to love you again, or the fact that you’ll have to work on things that were your own fault, one thing is sure: this too shall pass.

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Joy Ehonwa

Joy Ehonwa is an editor and a writer who is passionate about relationships and personal development. She runs Pinpoint Creatives, a proofreading, editing, transcription and ghostwriting service. Email: pinpointcreatives [at]

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