There are so many mistakes that people make after a breakup.
The pain and change that happens quickly after a breakup often throws people off balance so that they do things that they might not otherwise do.
And those mistakes can cause huge problems both with your ex and your self-esteem.
Trying not to make them will allow the healing to start sooner so that you can get on with your life and be happy.
What kind of mistakes?
#1 – Seeking closure.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make after a breakup is that they seek ‘closure.’
While ‘closure’ can be explained away as a final chance to talk about what happened and leave on good terms, really, closure is really just one more chance to spend time with your soon-to-be-ex and perhaps talk them into being with you again.
I can promise you that spending even one more moment dwelling on what happened and begging your person to take you back will backfire. If your person has broken up with you and you convince him to take you back, chances are it will all happen all over again, sooner or later. Furthermore, prostrating yourself at the feet of your ex, begging him to give you one more chance, will only damage your self-esteem.
I believe that, if someone breaks up with you, seeking closure is only going to drag out the inevitable. So, rant and cry for a bit but then hold your head high and don’t let him know that you are hurting.
#2 – Extensive snooping.
One of the biggest issues with social media is the havoc that it wreaks after break-ups.
In the old days, when a couple parted ways, unless the circumstances were unusual, they rarely or never saw each other again. They didn’t know the intimate details of each other’s life as they went on with their own.
Now, unfortunately, everything is different.
When couples break up these days, part of the break-up means blocking or unfollowing each other on social media. And, unfortunately, this often doesn’t happen fast enough.
I have a client who left her boyfriend because he was a mess. They agreed to ‘remain friends’ and kept up their social media accounts. My client still loved her boyfriend, even though she left him, and she found herself drawn to his social media accounts regularly. This wasn’t an issue in the beginning but once he found another girlfriend it became a real problem.
She would waste hours stalking her ex and his new girlfriend on social media – extremely jealous that he seemed to be doing so much better with someone else. Thinking that some other girl had a better version of him made her crazy. Her self-esteem was in the gutter.
And then I reminded her that people only post their best things on social media. They don’t post the fights or the posturing or the doubts. What she was seeing was a curated version of her ex’s relationship. Understanding this allowed her to end her social media connection with him and begin to truly move on.
#3 – Moving on too quickly.
Another huge mistake that people make after a breakup is that they move on too fast.
I know that your heart is broken and that you desperately want to pull the pieces back together again and the best way to do that, you think, is to find someone else.
Don’t get me wrong, I definitely believe that people should get back on the horse quickly after a relationship fail but I think that it’s very important to take some time and reflect on what happened. Jumping back into a new relationship before you have done so will mean that you might repeat the same mistakes again.
So, take some time and be alone. It’s important to cry and feel your feelings and process with your girlfriends. Gain some understanding into what happened and make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself.
#4 – Staying in contact.
Have you and your ex agreed to ‘be friends?’ Do you want to set an example for other people that people can break up and remain friends? Good for you but, I am afraid, it’s mostly impossible to do so.
When people are romantically involved and break up, especially if it’s one sided, being friends just isn’t possible. The person who is broken up with will use that friendship as an excuse to stay connected with their person and hope for a reunion. The breaker up could get frustrated with their ex’s clinginess and connection and might push them away or even ghost them.
If you would honestly like to be friends with your ex someday, as I am with many of mine, first take some time to get past the end of the relationship and get out into the world. Staying in contact them now will only serve to slow down your healing.
#5 – Holding on to what could be.
Two things that I hear over and over and over after a break up is that they wish that things could be back to the way they were at the beginning and that they wish their person could be the person they know they can be. Wishing for these things will only drive you bonkers.
The beginning of a relationship is a magical time. Hours are spent sharing your deepest thoughts, your heart races whenever you see them and the chemistry is crazy. Unfortunately, maintaining the chemically induced excitement of the early part of a relationship is simply impossible.
Even people in long term, happy relationships no longer have those crazy feelings about each other. Their chemical draw has settled and they move into a more comfortable, loving relationship.
Furthermore, many people hold onto their exes because they focus on what their partner could be. My client who had to break up with her beau because he was a mess saw the long-term potential in him, especially if she just loved him enough. Unfortunately, holding on to someone because of what they could be will only be an exercise in futility. You can’t save or change someone and trying to will only hurt you more.
So, if you are longing for the early days to return or know your person can change, know that neither will happen and take steps to move on.
There are so many mistakes that people make after a breakup so know that you aren’t alone.
Break-ups are painful and the need for the pain to go away makes people do things that are not self-serving.
Make every effort to resist seeking closure and extensive snooping, don’t stay in contact or move on too quickly. And, importantly, understand that things will never go back to the way there were and you can’t make your person into the person you think they can be.
I know that you want to find love – we all do! If you can avoid making these common mistakes then you will be able to move on quickly and find the love that you have always been seeking.
You can do it!
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I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.