Information Centre

How to handle a break-up

Couples Romantic Relationships

Being dumped by someone you care about can seem like the end of the world.  Whether the relationship lasted a month or three years, feeling rejected, hurt and angry is pretty much par for the course.

Even if you knew your relationship was in trouble, an actual break-up can be a bit of a shock.

There is, unfortunately, no antidote to how’re you’re feeling and it’s rubbish for a while.  It sounds like a cliché, but it really is true that time will make the break up pain less intense.  You will get over this bit. People have been getting broken up with and getting over it for centuries.

Don’t be embarrassed

Don’t worry about what your friends and family will think when you tell them.  Most of them will have been through similar things during their lives, so they’ll have nothing but support and understanding.

Try to accept it’s over

You might not really believe what’s happening, and think you can persuade your boyfriend or girlfriend to stay.

You don’t really want them to stay with you on those terms though, even if you might feel like you do at the time.  Accepting it is the best move, hard as that is.

Talk to someone

You’re going through a tough time.  Reach out to the people you trust.  Tell them about your anger, your resentment, and your feelings of betrayal.

Acknowledging your feelings will help you come to terms with the end of a relationship.  Think about going for individual counselling if you’d rather talk to a professional.

Get some distance

This is often the hardest part of a break-up to deal with.  You’re used to going to your girlfriend or boyfriend for support, so it might seem natural to ask them for help now.  But, cutting ties with them for a while is the fastest way to get over them.

Delete their number from your phone to avoid the temptation to call them after a few drinks, or make a deal with a friend that you’ll call them instead.  Hiding their Facebook profile means you won’t be able to keep checking up on them.

This might seem like the last thing you want to do, especially when you’ve been so close, but it’s actually easier in the long run if you get some space.

Don’t rush yourself

There’s no hurry and it’s ok that you’re feeling like this.  Let yourself take the time you need to get over it, even if people around you tell you it’s time to cheer up.

It can take a while for both of you to accept that the relationship has ended and move on.

Ways to cope

Sometimes the end of a relationship can be a chance to learn more about yourself, spend more time with your friends and do things you enjoy doing.

Keep busy – staying active and doing stuff you enjoy helps keep your mind off the break-up.  Hang out with friends, read a book, go for a run or walk, or listen to music.

Try something new – make a fresh start by trying something different. Maybe there’s a course you’ve always wanted to do, like drama, art, yoga or a sports team you can join.

Look after yourself – stuff like this is a really hard and it’s important you look after yourself.  Eat healthily and stay fit, much as you might want to get into bed with a tub of ice-cream.  Treat yourself by doing something fun, like going away with your friends or even going to the cinema.

Remind yourself you’re ok – think about your achievements, your friends, things make you laugh, and the positive things people have said about you.

Talk to someone you trust – getting support after a break-up can help you work through how you’re feeling.  Talk to your friends, parents or a counsellor.