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Articles > Relationships April, 15, 2015

How to move on after a break up

Adam Rogers
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7.40 / 10

With a lot people going off to new universities, miles apart, I’m hoping to save some hapless lovers from the failed romantic story of following the teardrop trail left from the long train or car journey, to re-embrace their loved one for a couple of weeks and briefly rekindle their relationship (before it once again nosedives towards its inevitable end). So if you need some advice on how to move on after a break up, keep reading…

How to recover from a break up

photo by bored-now

So it’s depressing, right? Exactly. You loved the idea of seeing your ex again, but probably enjoyed the sadness even more that you couldn’t. Why? You are addicted to your own state of sadness. You have become reliant on your emotional attachment to the potential spouse you had been exclusive with, and now that they’re gone, the only attachment you have is to the feeling of emptiness.

As human beings we can’t help experiencing emotional states – in fact we should embrace them. The human mind is so powerful and we are the only species to almost have control over them. It’s hard to judge your attachment to a person because it’s hard to know how long you were together, and how much you “needed” them in your life. However, although time has an impact, attachment is more about the associations and repeated thought patterns that define its intensity and also about how much you rely on it on a subconscious level. Let’s put this into a practical scenario…

It’s almost the end of your second year, your exams count and your partner just broke up with you 4 weeks before your first exam. In this scenario there will be a high level of stress in your life, whether you think you can control it or not. In this situation it’s unnatural for the mind to have clarity, reasoning or intent, This happens in everyone – it’s just the body and the mind’s natural hardwiring from evolution. So within this stressful period, learning new information, concentrating and planning for the future are severely affected. This is because you are living in the mind’s natural defence to stress, living on what you know in your subconscious mind. You can identify this by becoming aware of daydreaming, lack of concentration and procrastination.

Now, I don’t know if your ex was the last person you slept with, but if they were then this association with them will be stronger in your mind. What I mean by this is because you were intimate and close with them, you’re association of sex is with that person because it had such a profound effect on your memories. I’m talking emotional and sensory memories (sensory information mixed with emotions are the strongest form of memories going). It’s natural to feel this way, so don’t worry. It will die down, but don’t dwell on it and force it, you have to accept it and find your own solution. The average guy’s response would be sleep with other women, which will work but it depends if YOU want that. If you just want to go out socialising again, just so you’re used to it after directing attention on one girl or boy, that’s perfectly fine if YOU want that. I’m putting an emphasis on “you” because you need to find something you feel you are comfortable with working towards. One thing I will say is that it’s not going to be easy, it will take effort and time – and it will feel so uncomfortable. But you have to plough through it otherwise you’ll be stuck in a negative feedback loop and won’t make any progress.

You may find yourself not feeling negative all the time, and you might even dip in and out of this stage because you are distracted, but make sure you choose your distractions – don’t sit and wait for them to happen.

Keep an active mind with new experiences. Keep learning new things, keep doing new things, meet new people and keep socially active, and exercise as well ( it’s good for clarity of mind and memory forming). Whatever that hobby or activity you’ve had a passion for and maybe hid from your previous partner, go and do it now, because aren’t you likely to find someone more suited to you who enjoys the things you enjoy?

These few things on their own will make you come on leaps and bounds, but combine it with self awareness and a goal of getting you out of this rut and you will see measurable changes in your life. It’s cliché but it’s true; the amount of effort you put in is the amount of rewards you will get in return.

How do you get over a break up? Any tips?

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  1. Monika Stoyanova

    I think that the only way is to get over love is to find new one. I won’t be able to forget my ex bf until I meet someone else. That’s just me. And I will keep hoping that we’ll get back together some day 🙂

  2. Mohammad Nasr

    I think. Your first breakup changes you alot and makes you insecure

  3. naska balisani

    I think…the best way to move on from a relationship is to destroy everything that links that person into your life for example a letter or book or photograph. Anything that reminds yourself of that person. Except if it’s a human. Maybe in that case you could leave town and go on an adventure and meet new people and experience new things and maybe have a rebound person while your away that no one will know about, that way it’s completely harmless. Hope that helped

  4. Dmitriy Ryabichev

    Ladies always think that most men are hardcore dudes who only have one shit on their minds but reality is that we have feelings too.. Yes I said it, I have been dealing with this almost everyday, people think I’m funny and awesome, but deep don’t they have no clue what’s going on; it’s like to better put the mask on and be happy than actually understand the person by just listening to him or her… Brake ups are a mess and couple or ex’s will always have problems with it, but it’s the dealing with someone else that helps a lot…

  5. Simona Mazikova

    try to find a new goal to change thoughts

  6. Balpriya Kaur

    Going through a break up is most certainly very hard. No matter what anyone says to you will help you through the pain of it but that is part of the learning curve. It enables you to become a stronger person and more able to deal with the pain when you eventually get through it. However, staying as positive as possible and keeping yourself fit and healthy is also a very important stage.

  7. Amit Kumar

    Try to be happy by doing some other thing like spending your time with someone else
    Join some work so that you can engage yourself there and not consider about past.

  8. Bahar

    I think it is important to keep your mental healthy stable after the break up. some people cant handle the situations and fall into depression.

  9. Kimberley Martin

    What about if you are and have been in a negative feedback loop as you said for a very long time do you act as if the break up was a month ago or is there other methods for getting out of the rutt?

    • Adam Rogers

      The most important part is being honest with yourself and how you are feeling. Just a few minutes of self analysis and you will know, just quickly skim over in your mind how you feel and why you feel that way. Then you should notice a few patterns e.g. “When I’m at home on my own, I really miss my ex” then you start to ask yourself “why?” and an answer maybe “I have no one to talk to, it makes me feel lonely and isolated.” So you’ve quickly found the answer to the cause of your low feelings, but then you need to change that, you can’t rely on any one else to do that for you, you have to grind through and uncomfortable feeling to make positive changes until these become positive habits, but examples of what you could do in this situation is try and make plans or do something new every evening, if you’re short of money, then be productive with your spare time instead (great guide here:, if not then just see if you can meet up with friends, or at least chat to them on the phone. But I’ll repeat it, it’s up to you to drive through it and change it, no one else will do it for you.

  10. Z

    Some great truth in this, ultimate goal after a breakup: restore mental health & pull out of depression that diseases the heart.

  11. Laura O\'Reilly

    But don’t let this advice scorn lovers who have faith they can get through the travel, and stay together. It is possible. Sometimes you can be surrounded by a sea of new people at university – and no one compares to what you have already – and you feel that person is right for you, and no-one else can better that. That’s if you love them enough I guess, I feel this way – and I hope it won’t change with all my heart, despite the difficulties, it’s worth the reward of having a close, loving relationship that’s been built up and stood the test of time. Now it just has to stand the test of distance, but don’t let this put you off – those travelling lovers – because true love, and strong character, will survive. If not, it’s not meant to be, don’t let it get you down – not when it’s something you can’t change. Accept and move on, make your own life now. But until then, enjoy having someone to love and hold. Not many have that.

  12. Deborah

    Some harsh but true advice you can not dwell on th epast and the what if`s and maybe if you going to get anywhere in life you got to grab it and work for it youself. Like Adam said you only get out what you put in thats life!!!!!!