10 Mistakes To Avoid After A Breakup

breakupBreakups are difficult, and they often come with feelings of hurt, confusion, sadness and anger. These emotions can easily bring out our worst behavior that might seem like a good idea in the heat of the moment, but in reality result in unfavorable outcomes. This is exactly why it’s important to become aware of yourself and avoid making reckless mistakes when a breakup occurs.

Are you guilty of any of the following?

Staying in contact with your ex.  After a breakup, you aren’t likely to go immediately into being just friends. There are still emotions circulating between the two of you that will make this impossible, so it’s best to just cut off all contact for a period of time. Delete his number from your phone and unfollow him on social media until you are, without a doubt, over him. The rule of no-contact cannot be ignored.

Going on a rebound. Women often think that the fastest way to get over one guy is to get under someone else. It’s a false quick fix for a larger problem that usually isn’t very effective anyway. Rebound relationships rarely work out in the long run. Not only do you need down time away for your ex, you also need some exclusive time for yourself, away from other men too. You need to refresh and recharge so you can actually become ready to see someone new.

Putting your ex on blast online.  Just don’t this, ever. It’s childish and tasteless. It starts unnecessary drama and you will likely regret it later on. The truth is, no one else really cares to read about it anyway. Grown women don’t air their dirty laundry online.

Stalking him on social media. If you want to prolong your pain and anguish over this guy, then checking his Facebook profile five times a day is a good way to go. If you want to get over him quickly and painlessly, then forget his Facebook profile even exists. Outta sight, outta mind.

Becoming bitter. Just because you went through one nasty breakup doesn’t mean all men are pigs. It doesn’t mean love doesn’t exist or love isn’t for you. It doesn’t mean you’ll never find a decent guy. There’s no reason to adopt a bitter mentality. It serves no benefits to you. If you fall down seven times, get up eight!

Idealizing the person who dumped you. When you break up, you might find yourself remembering only the good times and forgetting about his flaws. You place him on a pedestal where you think you need him in your life to be happy, and that being with anyone else just won’t do because no one has his unique personality, his witty sense of humor, or his charming smile. Nonsense. No matter how great you think he is, there is someone else just as awesome, if not better than him, that is waiting to meet you.

Blaming it all on yourself. Some women make a bad habit of taking all the blame for failed relationships. They fool themselves into thinking that they could have done something to change the outcome better in their favor. The faults in a relationship are usually a two way street. There’s no sense in beating yourself up.

Begging for reconsideration. There’s nothing that demonstrates low value than being a rejected woman who crawls back hoping for another chance. I’ve covered this topic before in Breaking Up: The Last Thing You Should Ever Do. Your irrational thoughts might convince you that if he sees how badly you want him back, that he would realize he’s meant to be with you. This could never be less true. Begging him to take you back will only make you seem desperate and unattractive in his eyes. Have more respect for yourself!

Trying to get revenge. Maybe he cheated on you. Maybe he lied to you. Maybe he disrespected you. Whatever happened, it can become amusing to fantasize about getting your revenge on him, Carrie Underwood style. You start to feel like you can’t move on unless he pays in some way for what he did to you. However, it’s important to resist acting on this. I can’t stress this enough! It will only get you in trouble and make you look ridiculous. It’s true that the best revenge is living well. Turn your focus inward and away from him.

Comparing yourself to his new girlfriend. Whether you run into her in person or accidentally catch a glimpse of a photo of her and your ex together, there’s no reason to start thinking about how she compares and contrasts to you. It doesn’t matter. She’s not you and you aren’t her. You are two totally different people and nothing about him being with her means that she’s better than you. Don’t do that to yourself – you don’t deserve it. Be confident enough in who you are that you literally give zero fucks about who she is in comparison to you.

— Ash Pariseau

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Ash Pariseau
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Comments 21

  • most excellent post!

    guys need to read this as well!!!

  • It took a therapist to get me past idealizing my ex. When I was trying to understand that relationship, I asked the therapist why I never saw a dark side to my ex because I think she had one.

    Therapist: “Seriously? The woman was Passive-aggressive, manipulating, triangulating and was keeping you in reserve in case she didn’t find anyone better. She was all dark side.” Never had to deal with idealization after that.

    A specific caution: In the off-chance you do try to craft a friendship with your ex, never, ever, go to a wedding with him/her. I made that mistake and it was the most self-inflicted pain I’ve ever experienced.

    “Ex-[fill in blank]” is a title, not a position. They don’t automatically get to remain in your life just because they were there once.

    • Thank you for sharing that advice. I would agree it’s a bad idea.

    • having the “Ex” title should mean that they have NO position in your life any longer. They have already shown you who they are, and you need to believe them.

    • “Is it Ok to keep exes on social media?”

      What do you mean by OK?

      Can you? Probably.

      Would you? Why? They’re exes for reasons. It maintains a connection and can make moving on harder.

      Should you? My wife told me there’s only one person out there that she doesn’t want me to be FB friends with and she’d be really upset if I reconnected with her. I have a defensible position that people have agency and should be allowed to exercise that agency but in deference to my wife, even if I wanted to reconnect with my ex, I wouldn’t.

      My ex sent me a FB friend request 25 years after we said goodbye. My wife didn’t like my ex 25 years ago and she doesn’t like her any more today. I rejected the request and posted a picture of my wife and me from our first New Year’s Eve. The caption read:

      “You should find some sweet young thing that adores you and not waste your time with a crusty old broad (34) like me” along with her initials, the name of the restaurant we were in and the date she said it.

      I added, “I found one!”

      I don’t know that she ever saw it.

      One (of many) bad feature of FB is that once you search for somebody, they come up in your search string. After about a year, I got tired of seeing her and her BF coming up, so I blocked them, I got back 4 letters of the alphabet.

      • That’s understandable. I ask because I know someone who asks their new dating partners to delete everyone they used to see and its often the reason for the first argument.

      • At the risk of comic across as cynical, keeping exes on social media is a wonderful tool for triangulating relationships without having to actually deal with the third party. Nothing like an ex in the background to keep the current person on his/her toes.

        When I got the FB request from my ex and found out she had a BF, I wondered why she’d be contacting me. I came up with two possibilities, neither of which mattered since I wasn’t going to re-engage her.

        She’d used me as leverage against my successor. She told me that she had told him that I was still her best friend and she wasn’t ready to give me up. I asked her if she actually told her current lover that her ex lover was still her best friend and wasn’t ready to give me up? She said she had.

        While the person’s request is pushy, he/she may have reason for it.

  • Nailed this one, Ash. Admittedly I’ve made a couple of these mistakes and learned from them.

  • Great advice and it could also apply to men as well.

  • I definitely agree on the note of not seeking revenge. The best revenge is living well.

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