Five things to do when you’ve just been dumped

cardboard figure with part of a heart in each hand

So, you didn’t make a breakup plan, but your person broke up with you. What next? Here are 5 things to think about when your relationship has just ended:

1) Consider taking some time out of contact
Lots of people want to stay friends with their ex, but in the immediate aftermath of the breakup that is often painful and difficult. It is hard to redraw boundaries and emotions are heightened. Sometimes you need to have contact because you share a child, a pet or a large financial commitment. Even in these cases, it is often wise to consider minimising contact for a while.

2) Manage your social media connections
Some people find social media a source of significant pain in breakups. If you are someone that tends to obsess about your ex’s every post, reshare, then it is likely a good plan to mute/block/unfollow them. For many people emerging from a relationship, seeing an ex having a great time out with friends, or moving on with their life without so much as an angsty picture quote is hard. You might not want to block them or delete them entirely, but muting their posts and taking a break from seeing them is often a really good idea.

3) Drunk texts and nostalgic emails – take time and reconsider whether you want to send them
If you are a person that writes emails reminiscing about how wonderful things were with them in the past and how you miss it, you might want to hold on to those for a day or two before sending. And when you have thought about it, pass the idea by a trusted friend. Similarly, sending a drunk text isn’t a good plan, and nor is responding to one. Give yourself time and space. Don’t respond straight away. If you want to send them an email or a text, let it sit in your ‘drafts’ folder for a few days before pressing send. Also, take your time when replying to anything at all – text, email and even phone calls.

4) Enlist help
A breakup buddy can be an excellent resource. They can be someone to help you with returning your ex’s stuff, and bringing yours back for you. They can be the person you call when you really want to call your ex. They can be the person that reminds you that you really don’t want to send a drunk text. If you are finding that your friendship entirely revolves around your relationship breakup then you might want to consider engaging some professional help, but most of the time a friendship (or two, or three) can include lots of other things and have space for breakup support.

5) Practice self-care
Work out what this means to you. It might mean getting more exercise, taking more baths, connecting more with friends, spending more time doing pleasurable activities and a host of other things. You can find some ideas on my resources page. If you have the energy for it, you might want to make a happy book – a journal that includes a range of ideas about things you can do to make yourself just a tiny bit happier. Mine includes gardening, baths, chocolate, music, time with furry friends, going out to take photographs and cycling amongst many other things. The aim is to include a range of things from the little/no effort through to the much higher energy/effort. That way, if you only have a little energy there is still something in there for you to do. It is a great thing to have anytime you’re having a tough time – but it can be extra helpful after a breakup.

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