10 things you should never do after a break-up

by Eharmony Editorial Team - November 19, 2012

Eating a tub of ice-cream to yourself, crying continuously for 3 hours or getting falling-down drunk are all acceptable post break-up activities. These 10 items, however, are not. Read, heed and if you ignore our advice, just remember “we told you so”.

Whether it’s drowning your heartbreak in booze or ceremonially throwing out everything that reminds you of your ex, breaking up can trigger a host of frantic activities. But what should you never do after a break-up? Take a look at the top 10

1. Stay ‘friends’ with your ex

This is the No1 rule for a good reason: staying friends with your ex after breaking up is a terrible idea. If it’s because you feel guilty, then all you’re doing is leading them on. And if it’s because you think you have a chance of getting back together, you’re just setting yourself up for more hurt.

Potentially, you might salvage a friendship from the wreckage somewhere down the line but don’t jump the gun.

2. Pretend everything is ok

Let it all out on your nearest and dearest and don’t feel ashamed about it. This process might seem embarrassing but ultimately showing your emotions post-break up will help you grow. Plus, there’s nothing more cathartic than a good cry.

3. Panic about being alone

Psychologists liken recovering from heartbreak to weaning yourself off nicotine or even hard drugs. This is because your brain chemistry has grown used to the ‘high’ from being around your ex. Equally, your body has become accustomed to floods of endorphins and serotonin (feel-good hormones) during the bonding stages of the relationship. Turning those circuits off can create severe mental cravings, aches and pains, and sleepless nights. But rest assured, you will recover.

4. Obsess about your ex

If you’re still in love with your ex it can be really hard not thinking about them. There are a number of mind techniques you can explore to challenge this such as EFT (emotional freedom technique), hypnotherapy and meditation. However, a quick and practical tool is the ‘three-second rule’. As soon as your ex pops into your head, acknowledge the thought, count to three, then focus immediately on something else. Keep doing this, even if it’s several times a day, and their spectre will start to fade.

5. Haircuts, piercings, tattoos….

We all know at least one person who’s had a break-up makeover. Sometimes it works, but usually cutting off your long blonde locks and dying your new crop black just to show you’re a ‘new’ person becomes something you regret.

The same applies to piercings – and especially to tattoos. You might not think it, but your idea for a new tattoo design may well be rooted in your heartache. So maybe wait a while before getting ‘Life’s a Bitch’ inked on your thigh.

6. Check up on your partner

We know: you’ve spent months or even years knowing almost every detail of your partner’s life and now: nothing. You’ve been totally cut off. But whatever you do, resist the temptation to keep a foothold in their life by checking up on them.

This is especially important if you have mutual friends. Ask your friends to respect your break-up and keep the conversation away from your ex. Focus on your own life and try to stop thinking about what they may or may not be doing without you.

7. Stalking

One of the definite downsides of social media is the ease with which it allows us to spy on, or even harass former partners. Promise yourself two things: that you won’t post anything (however cryptic) about breaking up online; and that you won’t check your ex’s Instagram/Facebook feed/Pinterest board obsessively. If you can’t be trusted then defriend or unfollow your ex. In fact, do this as a matter of course. 

8. Get your own back

Revenge might seem like a brilliant idea but please, don’t go there. Burning the stuff he left at your house or kidnapping her cat might be tempting but the outcome is pretty inevitable: you will seem mentally imbalanced and may even end up in trouble with the police.

Think positive and focus your energies to getting on with your life rather than regressing.

9. Have sex with your ex

No. Just no. You’ll regret it. Maybe not straight away but when you realise that sex isn’t going to bring them back into your life, you’ll feel like rubbish.

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10. Give up on love

Your failed relationship is not worth you giving up on life and love. It can feel like you’ll never meet someone special ever again, but don’t resign yourself to a lifetime of being single. Love ebbs and flows; it’s not a one-time experience. Give yourself time to recover and then, when you’re ready, start looking for love again. You will feel better, trust us. And when you’re ready, try the eharmony free dating experience to find people you truly connect with.

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