After my last big breakup, I was devastated. I watched my whole world crumble right before my eyes. The future we had imagined – Gone. The holidays we had booked – Cancelled. The home we had made together – Empty. I couldn’t see how I would ever get over such a big breakup. 

Breakups are hard. It doesn’t matter who ended the relationship; both people involved are going to be heartbroken. At one point, the relationship was fun, exciting, loving and fulfilling. It is so hard to walk away from something that was once your greatest source of happiness.

In the early days of the breakup, you may feel lonely, angry and devastated. Not only have you lost the person you love, but you have also lost the future you thought you were going to have with them. If you are like me, you were already daydreaming about what was next for the two of you; engagement, marriage, kids, holidays. And it hurts just as much to let go of that dream future as it does of the relationship itself.

Breakups hurt. They just fucking hurt! Although there are some general rules of thumb of how long they take to get over a big breakup, in my experience, that’s just not the case. Healing a broken heart takes time, more time than we admit to ourselves or others. And you should take all the time in the world to heal yourself. 

I took all the time I needed to get over all the hurt so that I wouldn’t bring it into my next relationship. And I recommend you do the same. You always want to start a new relationship as the best you and feeling ready to give someone a proper chance.

Here are 5 things that I did to get over my last big breakup.

1. I prioritised my health

You’ve heard the expression “A healthy body, a healthy mind”, while my mind was full of hurt and sadness, I focused on my body. I got my ass to the yoga studios near me, walked more, went hiking and just generally got my body moving. 

I nourished my body with healthy whole foods, just like I did before we moved in together. I started cooking the dinners that I loved, that I had to stop cooking because he liked plain foods.

Prioritising my health wasn’t so that the next time he saw me, I would look amazing. I did it for me. I did it so I would feel good in my skin. And I did. I love my body. I was cheated on, and I didn’t fall into the trap of believing that I wasn’t beautiful or sexy enough. I wanted to show my body that I loved it.

2. I asked for help

Trying to get over a big breakup on your own is too hard. I am blessed with amazing friends and family, so I asked them for help. And they did. Having their support on a daily or weekly basis helped me talk out the hurt which released it. Whether it was quick phone calls, lunches, weekends at my house or messages to say they were thinking of me. It all added up. And I felt like I had a whole group of people rooting for me.

If you’re going through a breakup, surround yourself with supportive people. If you feel angry, lonely or upset after talking to your support people, then find some new support. 

I love my friends because they don’t amp up the drama. You want your support to make you feel loved, connected and safe.

3. I blocked my ex everywhere

I didn’t want to know what he was doing, and I didn’t want him to be able to keep tabs on me, so I blocked him. If you’re able to keep an eye on your ex, you’re not cutting the ties. I didn’t care where he went, who he was with, what he was doing. It was no longer my business.

It’s too easy to cyberstalk someone. Way too easy! Don’t go down that road. Checking your ex’s socials is setting yourself up to see something you don’t want to see. On top of that, there’s the guilt and shame of checking and the self-hate for not stopping yourself. If you truly want to heal from a relationship – block your ex.

4. I took care of business

Just because I was healing from a breakup doesn’t mean I can’t indulge in good fuck, right!? I downloaded Tinder, made it clear I wasn’t looking for anything long term and had some fun. There is nothing wrong with casual sex. Just be honest with yourself that it is just casual, and don’t try to turn everyone you sleep with into a boyfriend/girlfriend. It’s fine to pull back on your clothes and walk away. 

If casual sex really isn’t for you, masturbating is just as good (and often way better). Either way, spend some time doing you, rediscovering what works for you and your body. Do not hide away your inner sexy goddess just because you don’t have a person. Take care of business!

5. I embarked on a journey of personal development

This was where the magic really happened for me. I started working on healing my love wounds, my limiting beliefs and breaking the patterns. If that’s all meaningless to you, let me break it down more. I looked at what I believed to be true about myself; I used to believe I was damaged, ugly, dumb, unlovable and too masculine. The patterns were obvious; I kept falling for men who cheated on me. So I got to work on where that was coming from and why and started to break the cycle.

If you are really looking to heal yourself from breakups, then it’s time to look at what is happening in your mind. What you believe to be true about you and start shifting your beliefs to something better. It takes time, but it’s the most rewarding work you will ever do. If you don’t know where to start working with a coach or therapist can really speed things up.

3 things you should never do

1. Do not beg for them back

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT beg for them back. You may miss your ex. You may miss the relationship and the ideal future that you thought you would have with them. And the shock of the breakup will likely have your head in a mess. When you beg for them back, you need to know whether you are begging for them specifically or begging for the relationship, so you don’t have to be on your own. They sound the same, but they’re two very different things.

Take time to work on yourself first before even thinking of getting back with an ex. You broke up for a reason; diving straight back into a relationship doesn’t solve the problem, and you will inevitably breakup again when the same issue comes back to the surface.

2. Do not seek revenge

Hurt people, hurt people. I know there is a temptation to do something that will hurt your ex, don’t do it. You will feel like shit if you do. While it’s totally natural to want to lash out at your ex, it’s not constructive. You’re on a journey of healing yourself.

Suppose you feel like you want to do something to get back at your ex, do something for you. Buy the piece of jewellery you were hoping they would buy you. Go on the spa day that you couldn’t go on because they thought it was too expensive. Treat yourself in a way that makes you feel like a Queen. The best revenge you can ever have over anyone is being happy and fulfilled. 

3. Don’t drink the problem away

Take it from me; drinking the breakup away is not the answer. I tried it, doesn’t help. It’s very tempting to grab a bottle of red on the way home from work and try to drown your sorrows away. I’m not saying you can’t drink. I’m just saying be mindful of how much you’re relying on booze to get you through a breakup.

Any copying mechanism, whether it’s food, drink, partying, will only numb you from the hurt you’re feeling. Too much of anything is not a good thing. While it’s perfectly fine to indulge in drink, casual sex, chocolate and what have you, be mindful that it’s not becoming your new normal. 

As cliched as it sounds, getting over someone is a journey. It takes time. The amount of time it takes is totally dependent on what you do for yourself. If you focus on looking after yourself, prioritising your physical health, your emotional health, making sure you have support, then that journey will be shorter and more nourishing.

If you go down the road of destructive and hateful behaviour, well, you’re journey will be ongoing until you snap out of it.

Rather than seeing your breakup as the end of something, look at it as an opportunity to rediscover yourself. Focus on loving yourself, learning about yourself and becoming a new, more empowered version of yourself. 

As I said, the best revenge is happiness and fulfilment.