Obviously, breakups are never easy for anyone involved. Whether the relationship was slowly burning out for a while or the rug was ripped out from underneath you, it’s important to take time to come to terms with this loss. There are several ways to cope with a failed relationship; some people rebound to another partner right away, while others may continue to stalk their ex on social media or tell all of their friends what an “asshole” their ex was all the while continuing to text him.
We’ve all been there, but after speaking with Celebrity Dating Expert and Empowerment Coach Laurel House, we’ve discovered a step-by-step process that may be just what you need to move on and it’s called The Breakover.
What is a breakover?
Laurel defines a “breakover” as a breakup makeover. She says in order to start over, you have to “get out from under, over and move on from your ex.” Essentially, this is your step-by-step process for surviving the ups and downs of a relationship’s end.
Laurel breaks down each step in detail:
1. Come to terms with the reality of your relationship.
The first step on your road to moving on is to “unpack” the breakup. While the other person may or may not have been a grade-A moron, relationships are typically a two-way street. So, allow yourself to acknowledge the mistakes made by both partners and how you might have contributed to the breakup.
2. Take the good from the bad.
It’s also important to extract the positive from any mistakes made. Laurel calls this “Bummers with Benefits.” What did you learn from these mistakes? Think about how you’ve changed since and what you can do to avoid unnecessary arguments or tense scenarios next time.
3. Write it down.
Laurel also suggests taking time to write down all of the reasons why the relationship didn’t workout. “It’s too easy to fantasize about the ‘good old days,’ the things that he was great at, the amazing moments that you shared, and forget about all the bad that you endured and the less than awesome way he treated you. It’s time to remind yourself!” she says. “Each time you start wistfully remembering the good, pull out the sheet of paper covered in the bad and be proud of yourself for sticking to your guns and staying true to you.”
4. Dig in.
After you’ve observed both the good and the bad that came from your previous relationship, explore any deep-seeded issues you may have that could possibly affect future relationships. Do you struggle with trust or do you put too much pressure on yourself to act a certain way when you’re dating someone? Without getting too obsessive, allow yourself to analyze what you’d like to improve and what qualities you’d like to let go of. Ask yourself, would you date you?
5. Get to know yourself.
One of the most important things to do after a tough breakup, is to get to know yourself again. Often times we get so caught up in the other person and our identity as a couple that we forget who we really are as an individual. What are your core values? Figure out YOUR needs vs. wants, not your partners.
6. Start going out.
Obviously, you’re not ready to start dating yet, but it’s healthy to dip your toes back in the water and know what else is out there. “It’s not about getting into another relationship, it’s not even necessarily about going out on dates, it’s about window shopping your future options and seeing that, yes, there really are lots of fish in the sea, and you know what? Many of them are much better than your ex!” Laurel says. She also suggests perusing online, “Instead of fixating on your relationship, stalking your ex on social media, flipping through old photos and letters, or worse- texting or calling him, go online and get an eyeful of some eye candy.”
7. Flirt a little.
It’s okay to flirt! Just because your last relationship didn’t work out doesn’t mean you have to punish yourself forever. Allow yourself to have fun and feel great. Even an innocent, coy conversation with a stranger can give your self-esteem the boost it needs to keep moving.
8. Rediscover your passions.
Part of getting to know yourself again after a breakup is rediscovering the things that make you happy as well as finding new sources of joy. What are your passions? What haven’t you tried? “Indulge in a class that you have always wanted to take- like necklace making! Join a meet-up and go on hikes with a bunch of like-minded locals. Sign up for a cooking class and learn how to make Spanish tapas! Buy a 1-month yoga class pass (if you buy in bulk, you are more likely to go)… You have time to spare, so spend it well by working on yourself,” Laurel suggests.
9. Refresh your look.
When you’ve been through something as difficult as a lost relationship, sometimes the best therapy is changing up your look. Of course, you don’t have to get too drastic, but a hair cut and a manicure can have an amazing effect on your self image. Not to mention, working out. Hitting the gym a few times a week will not only make you feel great, but you will notice progress in no time. We often joke about the “revenge bod” people get after they go through a nasty breakup, but it’s a real thing. You don’t need to do it for him, though, it should all be for your self improvement.
10. Remind yourself everyday that you are strong.
Whether it’s a set mantra you repeat every morning or just a quick “you got this” any time things get tough, it’s important that you support yourself and remember you are strong. “Do something that nurtures and empowers you and makes you feel like a woman,” Laurel says.
11. When you’re ready, start dating.
Lastly, when you’ve had time to heal and go through each and every one of these steps, let yourself start dating again. Just because your last relationship didn’t workout doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be happy. Get back out there, you never know who’s waiting to meet you.