Let’s face it: Breakups are really hard. It may be difficult to say farewell and move on, but the worst thing you can do following a split? Staying in contact with your ex. That is where things get a little bit sticky. Staying in touch is understandable — you’re used to having the other person around — but remaining in contact almost always leads to additional heartache.
So if the relationship is over — and we mean really over — here are some tips to help you avoid a post-breakup backslide into your ex’s arms.
1. Create new boundaries
Following a breakup, it’s important to create boundaries immediately. This means no texts, phone calls, sad breakup emails, and definitely no late night booty calls. This person is now your ex, meaning it’s time to “ex-tricate” him or her from your life. It sounds sad, of course, but it’s necessary.
This also includes not getting in touch and asking how your ex is handling the breakup or asking about anyone they may be seeing. Remember, it’s no longer any of your business. What if you can’t completely cut off contact because you have children together, run a business together, or work together? Setting boundaries is still key. Agree to remain professional, and leave it at that. It may be a bit more difficult, but you can do it.
2. Avoid being each other’s crutch
If you’re having a hard time moving on, your first instinct may be to go back to your ex and seek comfort in their arms. That is big recovery no-no — what happened to all that boundary talk you guys had? You should not be calling or texting or using any other contact method. The same goes for your ex — if he or she stops by unannounced, do not open your arms. Instead, kindly but firmly let them know that you are no longer their support system, and end it on that note.
If you’re feeling particularly sad and vulnerable, recruit a support system from your inner circle of friends — preferably ones that also will not report back to your ex.
3. Keep your breakup business off social media
It’s true that you’re going to feel both resentment and sadness over the breakup, and while your social media conditioning may leave you wanting to overshare how you’re feeling about it, please resist that urge. There is no need for that kind of transparency. Instead, reach out to your support system or perhaps hit the gym and work off some of your emotions there. You’ll get out some much needed aggression this way.
4. If you run into your ex, handle it with class
Depending upon where you live, the chances of a post-breakup run-in are not only possible, but highly probable. You need to embrace the possibility you may cross paths with him or her, and plan for it. Be polite and nice, and as Bob Dylan so famously said — just keep on keepin’ on. And don’t look back.
5. When in doubt, follow the six-month rule
After a breakup, the best rule to live by is to avoid contact with your ex for at least six months. Concentrate on yourself during that time and do the things that you now have time to do to make yourself happy — whatever they may be.
Six months is a great window of time to increase your chances of getting over your ex. If you’re in the throes of post-breakup angst and sadness, you may not like the sound of six months, mostly because it’s a large chunk of time, but it’s what’s best for you.