My Girlfriend Broke Up With Me: What To Do When A Relationship Ends

Medically reviewed by Laura Angers Maddox
Updated February 21, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Content Warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include suicide which could be triggering to the reader. If you or someone you love is having suicidal thoughts, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. Support is available 24/7. Please also see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

When the person you were closest with breaks up with you, it can leave you feeling lost, confused, hopeless, and like your life lacks direction. That person was probably the center of your everyday life and your plans for the future. And all those memories! It can just seem like too much at times.

So, what can you do when your partner breaks up with you? You can start by looking within. You have the strength to overcome this with the right tools and information.

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Wondering what to do now that your relationship is over?

Who are you without them?

If they had been your partner for a very long time, you probably have a very good idea of who you were when you were with them. You may have found it easy to be funny, caring, or smart when you had them by your side. Now, you need to find out who you can be when you are by yourself, as well as with people other than them. If the relationship spanned for many years, understanding your identity might take some serious effort now.

You are not the person you were before them, but you are not who you were when the two of you were together, either. That can be a really scary concept to contemplate immediately following a breakup. It can also be incredibly liberating when you consider all the possibilities. The canvas of your life and future now has blank spots where you previously assumed there was permanent art. What are you going to create for yourself? We'll discuss this more later in the article.

What are your priorities now?

Now that your partner is out of the picture, your life path may seem like a road to nowhere. Now is the time to think about what you want for yourself. What kinds of people do you want in your life? What events or activities would you like to attend? What kind of work would you like to do? After you answer these questions, make a list of priorities for your new life. Then, let the list guide you as you plan each day, week, and month.

Your relationship probably took up a large portion of your life's pie chart. This is an opportunity to consciously replace that time and energy with healthy and productive choices. That space will be filled with something. If you are not mindful, that space can end up being filled with things that are either not helping you achieve your goals or are working against your goals. For example, you may end up on the couch watching television, which may not be very productive.

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How do you get over them?

Let's cover some strategies to get over someone when the relationship has ended. Take your time reading and understanding them. Make a note of those that particularly resonate with you.

  1. You may be best off avoiding the person who broke up with you as much as possible. No calls, letters, texts, sleeping together, or trying to be friends. Nothing. If you are going to be friends, that will be down the road, not now, since you may still be in love with them. This is the hardest step, and it's the one people stick with the least. It is also the most important.

  2. When you find yourself thinking about them,  immediately distract yourself. But you must throw yourself into an activity that demands your attention, or you will be multitasking and thinking about them while doing the activity.

  3. If you find distraction is not effective, then redirect your mind to thinking about all of your ex's undesirable qualities. (You're not together for a reason, after all, and the reason is not that things were going well.) Think about things that annoyed you about them, how they dumped you, how they slept with their new partner, etc., anything that helps you begin to associate them with negative feelings.

  4. Avoid contact with anything that reminds you of them, for example, places you used to go, places you planned to go, mutual friends, pictures, texts, mementos, and emails. Anything that reminds you of them should be avoided at this time. 

  5. Stop telling people how much you still love or miss them, and try to stop saying it in your head. "Unfriend" and "unfollow" on social media.

  6. If you run into them, there's no going out of your way to hug them or be super nice to them. Be polite, then move on. There will be a time for the "high road," but we are not there yet.

  7. Rinse and repeat.

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Wondering what to do now that your relationship is over?

Try these steps faithfully, and you are more likely to get over them, perhaps even sooner than the usual passage of time.

“I feel depressed since my partner broke up with me”

Sometimes, getting over them on your own is not enough. You may feel many emotions when your partner leaves you. Emotions are a natural part of losing touch with someone who matters to you. But, if you begin to have signs of depression, you need to address it. Some symptoms of depression to watch out for are the following:

  • Being excessively worried, agitated, anxious, or irritable. 

  • Feeling indifferent to what happens in your life

  • Having low energy

  • Feeling guilty

  • Having trouble concentrating

  • Having trouble making decisions, especially decisions that are relatively minor or used to come easily to you

  • Isolating yourself. (Some isolation may make sense. You are mourning a loss and taking stock of your life now. But you also need support from the people who care about you. It can be hard to get that support if you are alone.)

  • Having unexplained pain

  • Experiencing loss of or increase in appetite

  • Having insomnia or sleeping too much

  • Thinking about suicide or engaging in self-injurious behavior (SIB)*

If you are having thoughts of suicide or harming yourself, it is important to seek help immediately. You can call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. If you feel that you are a danger to yourself or others, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Other solutions

  • Implement self-care routines. Connecting to yourself can help you adjust to life without your partner. Make sure to set time aside daily to dedicate to taking care of yourself. 

  • Do some yoga. If the changes in your life are causing stress, yoga can help. You don't have to be a pro; plenty of poses are perfect for beginners. This method has proven to be a low-impact, calming way to deal with mental health concerns. 

  • Try a new hobby. Sometimes, all you need to get over your partner is something to distract yourself with. Starting a new hobby could give your mind something new to focus on that will give you a chance to breathe.

  • Consider therapy. A therapist can help you assess your mood and determine the best treatment to help you heal during this time. With the right kind of therapeutic help, you can recover from the breakup of a past relationship and have a fulfilling life on your own. If seeing an in-person therapist is inaccessible, consider online therapy. Online therapy is a convenient way to get the help you need from the home, ensuring you avoid any run-ins with your ex. It's also often more affordable than traditional therapy. 

Additionally, online therapy has been proven to be as effective as in-person therapy for treating common mental health conditions, like depression and anxiety, which can be common after a breakup. 

Counselor reviews

"Julia is a very open-minded, understanding, and warm-hearted person. She listened with kindness and without judgment. Her advice helped me tremendously through a bad breakup and ensuing personal problems. Her advice and understanding have been very helpful in guiding me to a healthier mind frame."

Takeaway

Recovering from a breakup can be difficult. If you follow some best practices, like avoiding contact and things that remind you of them, you'll have a much easier time moving on to the next phase of your life. However, dealing with a breakup alone can be too challenging for many people. That's where therapy can help. Whether in-person or online, therapy can help you on your road to healing. Below, you can read a review of a BetterHelp counselor from someone who experienced a breakup.

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