Why did she break up with me? Suggestions for moving forward

Medically reviewed by Andrea Brant, LMHC
Updated March 25, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Over 40% of young American adults have gone through a breakup in their lives. If an ex-partner recently broke up with you, you're not alone. However, the end of a relationship can be painful and confusing, even if it was a healthy choice. It might leave you feeling heartbroken, angry, and afraid. 

The pain and emotions of a breakup can be overwhelming, and you might feel like you can't move on. However, with support, guidance, and self-care, there are ways to cope with these feelings and understand the circumstances surrounding your breakup.

Ways to cope after someone breaks up with you 

If your ex-partner has left you, you might miss her or want to have closure. However, reconnecting or understanding what occurred may not be possible in every circumstance. If you're struggling with the loss of this person, consider the following coping mechanisms to move forward. 

Allow yourself to feel your emotions 

After a breakup, try to allow yourself to feel how you feel. You might feel anger, sadness, fear, disgust, or confusion. However, suppressing these feelings or putting them off until later can have health consequences

Instead, take the time to process how you feel in a way that makes sense to you. Externalizing your emotions can look like crying when needed, journaling about your experiences, creating art inspired by your feelings, writing poetry, talking to a friend, using affirmations, or talking to a therapist. 

Cut off contact, at least temporarily 

After a breakup, try to cut off contact with your ex, at least temporarily. Not speaking to or seeing your ex could help you avoid getting caught up in emotionally charged conversations or reliving the pain of the breakup. If it helps, block their number or social media accounts. Temporary separation might give you the space to heal and move forward. 

If you feel that your relationship dynamic was unhealthy, your ex disrespects your boundaries, or you don't want a future relationship with this individual, you might cut off contact completely. In some cases, moving on may be healthier than wondering what might have been whenever you see this individual.

Surround yourself with your support system 

Surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family members may be helpful during the healing process. A support system can provide comfort and encouragement to express your feelings and return to a healthy schedule. Talk to people who care about you and let them support you. If you don't feel comfortable talking to your loved ones, consider contacting a therapist or support group.

Practice self-care 

Taking care of yourself can help you distract yourself from the breakup and increase self-resiliency. Self-care can include caring for your physical and mental health. Eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and engaging in physical activity could also help improve your mood and boost your energy levels. As mental and physical health are connected, the activities you mentally or physically participate in can simultaneously impact both health areas. 

Keep busy 

Keeping yourself busy could help you take your mind off the breakup and give you a sense of purpose. Try picking up a new hobby, volunteering, or traveling. Engaging in new activities could also help you discover new interests and passions. You might notice reduced boredom and loneliness when you're busy.

Getty/Halfpoint Images

Reflect on your relationship 

Reflecting on the relationship and the factors that led to your breakup could help you understand why it ended and what you can learn from the experience. Learning from the relationship might also help you identify behavioral patterns you want to change for future relationships.

Reflect on what you want in a relationship and a partner. You might make a pros and cons list about your past relationship. Take the cons from the relationship and ask yourself where you contributed to them and how you could avoid them in the future. Keep the pros in mind to remind yourself how you succeed in relationships and what you can continue to do with future partners if you choose to date again. 

Focus on self-improvement 

Focusing on self-improvement could help you feel empowered and give you a sense of control after a breakup. Consider setting new goals for yourself that align with your values. Whether learning a new skill or improving your physical health, focusing on self-improvement can increase positive feelings like joy and excitement. These emotions may also boost your confidence and self-esteem. 

Give yourself time 

Many people want to get into a relationship immediately after a breakup to connect with someone else. In some cases, rebound relationships may have benefits, such as decreased loneliness and distraction from painful emotions. However, if you're not ready to date someone else and you go along with a relationship, you might change your mind in the future or find that you still have romantic feelings for your ex. 

These feelings might come up with your new partner, causing conflict. Try to wait until you're over your ex and feel that you have closure from the relationship to start a new long-term relationship. If you feel lonely, you might seek casual connections for a while until you're ready for more. 

Seek professional support 

If you struggle to cope with a breakup, consider seeking professional support. A therapist can provide you with guidance around your breakup. They may also help you work through any underlying emotional issues that could be contributing to your challenges in moving forward. If you feel nervous about seeking in-person support or aren't sure you can afford therapy, you can also try online therapy through a platform like BetterHelp.

Many internet-based therapy platforms provide a safe environment to express your feelings, as you can attend sessions from home and choose between phone, video, or chat formats. In addition, if you feel shameful about seeking support due to your breakup with this individual, you can use a nickname on many online platforms to remain discreet while receiving services. With online platforms often being more cost-effective than in-person therapy, you can receive these benefits at a low cost. 

Research indicates that online therapy can be effective in helping individuals process a breakup and experience personal growth. In the study, participants experiencing breakup-related distress had more significant growth when working through reflection with their therapists. These findings suggest that online therapy could help those with anxiety or anxious attachment patterns work through the challenges of a breakup and gain insights into dynamics that might have contributed to the end of the relationship. 

Getty/Vadym Pastukh


Healing after a breakup may require patience, self-care, and support from loved ones. Try to avoid behaviors that harm you during this time, and reach out for professional help if you are struggling to cope. You can contact a licensed therapist online or in your area for further guidance and compassion.
Build healthy relationship habits with a professional
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet started