What to Expect During a Heartbreak/Breakup

If this is your first major breakup, take hope. There is life after a breakup. Read on to find out how to get over a girl and find your happiness again.

Psychologists like to explain the process of coping with a loss with the Kübler-Ross model, as it takes the walking wounded through five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. If it helps you get a grip, realize that the negative emotions you’re going through post-breakup are probably disproportionate to the joy you felt in the relationship. Make a conscious choice to limit your grieving to a given time period. Use all the tools at your disposal to put the breakup into perspective and into the rearview mirror.

So, How Long Does It Take to Get Over a Breakup?

That’s mainly up to you and the coping mechanisms you come up with. Getting over a breakup can be a long, drawn-out affair that keeps you moping unproductively, or a self-learning and healing discovery process that helps you avoid similar mistakes in your next relationship. Different people have different ways of how to deal with a breakup, but if you want to figure out how to get over a breakup fast, you have to be a bit proactive and make a plan. Also, allow yourself to stumble a bit on finding the path that will work for you.

How to Get Through a Breakup

Make getting past the pain your priority but not to the exclusion of other things in your life. Come up with a short explanation in advance to share your new status quo when you need to without lambasting your ex. Get over the feeling that this has to do with your self-worth and realize that breakups are an inevitable risk of having a relationship and giving affection to another person.

If feelings like despair, anger, or worthlessness worsen after three weeks, you may need to seek medical help. Situational depression is real but can also morph into generalized depression. Stave off depression by getting out of the house, spending time with other people, and generally finding ways to be both productive and active.

What Things to Avoid, Unhealthy Behaviors

Things you should avoid after a breakup

Avoid self-destructive behaviors. Drinking, overeating, oversleeping, smoking, vaping, and similar excesses may seem to provide relief, but they will not make you feel better about yourself and can have long-term consequences. These are real negatives that will make it harder to find another partner in the future, so don’t get sucked in by their escapist relief after a breakup. Change your routine so that you are not constantly in the environment where you are missing that person.

Avoid obsessing with your friends. Avoid cyberstalking on Facebook and Instagram. Give yourself a social media fast. And, don’t try to text your way back into her heart or life.

What to Do After a Breakup

Channel your energy into a new pursuit or pick up an activity you used to love before you spent all your time with your squeeze.

Work Out

Exercise is one of the single best things you can do. It helps fight depression through increasing levels of endorphins and your serotonin, which are natural mood lifters. Working out gives you a focused activity that can help you feel a sense of accomplishment. And, keeping your bod buff will help you avoid other excesses and help you sleep.

Try Journaling

It’s your choice what you write about in your journal. Vent your rage (up to a point) or “talk to your ex” directly on the page. Make a list of pros and cons about her personality and habits to start to see some of the negatives in being with your ex in a clearer light. When you list the pros, focus on why you like that characteristic, personality trait, or skill and figure out how you can learn to incorporate similar positives in your own habits. For example, if your girlfriend was a great cook, try learning some recipes that you can show off and share on future dates with someone new.

Realize there are other girls with those same traits. These points can be a guide to future happiness with someone who has similar qualities, as well as helps you figure out where to meet them.

Similarly, make a list of your own strengths and accomplishments. If you want to list your weaknesses, do so with the intent of how you can overcome them. Now’s the time to focus on what you can change—yourself, rather than recriminating yourself for what wasn’t and what you may have done “wrong.”

Focus Outside Yourself

The key to getting over heartbreak is to shift your focus. Taking care of someone or something else, whether it’s spending time with special nieces and nephews, going with a friend to take their dog to the dog park, detailing your car, tackling a neglected yard, or putting in some new landscaping can be great diversions with tangible results.

What to do after a breakup

Talk It Out

If you’ve never seen a counselor, this can be the time to start. A breakup can seem like the worst thing in life, but learning now about how to get over heartbreak can help you deal with future adversities like losing a job or a parent.

Find Humor Where You Can

Watch a good breakup movie. You can find suggestions on YouTube.  Don’t worry if they seem to be chick flicks. The point is a distraction, and you may find watching a woman flail over a lost guy cathartic as you see the desperation on the other side of the gender fence.

Find a Mantra

Something that you can repeat to yourself throughout the day. Try out go-to phrases like:

  • “No expectations; no frustrations.
  • “I welcome the gift of this day.
  • “The universe has my back.”

You can also find another memorable phrase that speaks to your inner power, getting through the day, and hope for the future—because, believe it or not, breakup pain is temporary. Realize that the feelings of a breakup and strategies of how to get over a breakup are similar to getting over depression or adversity in general.


Two people can share joy without being compatible. Mentally thank your ex-girlfriend for what she brought in your life so that you know what to seek more of without her.

While we can’t always immediately govern our situations, we can consciously choose our attitudes. Try to think of healing from a breakup as a project that will bring you out on the other side a stronger, more complete, and attractive individual.