How to Overcome Loneliness After a Breakup – 5 First Steps

Scientifically reviewed by Viktor Sander B.Sc., B.A.

Breakups suck. Let’s get that out of the way first.

When you’re in a relationship with someone, you open up and literally share your life with another person. You’re vulnerable, which makes things that much more difficult when things eventually end.

Some breakups are mutual. Some breakups are one-sided. Some breakups are necessary. Some breakups happen over time.

Long story short, breakups are never easy and you will most likely feel many intense emotions following them. These feelings can make you feel isolated as you wonder why others are happy together while your relationship came to an end. Even if you’re the one doing the breaking up, it’s totally normal to not feel totally normal when all is said and done.

Just two days before starting this article, I went through a breakup. (You can imagine how I felt after seeing this was my next assignment.) Truthfully, these tips will help me over the next few weeks just as much as they will help you. If you feel like you’re the only one going through this, know that I’m literally right there with you. More on how I’ve been doing the last few days in just a bit.

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After a breakup, you’ll need to indulge in some self-care to make things feel as normal as possible while you work through your feelings. If you feel lonely, remember that’s a typical side effect of a breakup; this is especially true if your relationship was a long one and you still share many aspects of your life together.

Here are some tips to help you connect with others and learn to heal after a heartbreak:

1. Why breakups hurt and make us feel so lonely

If we want to understand why loneliness seems to loom over our heads after a breakup, we need to look at what love and heartbreak do to the body to figure it out. We all know that love is one of the strongest emotions out there, but what you may not know is how much a broken heart can affect you physically as well as mentally.(1)

Breakups hurt because they’re an altering of your life and you’re forced to adjust to a new way of being without that other person always around. If the person you spend the most time with is now suddenly not a part of your life, you need to be ready to adapt to changes, which can take a toll on your brain. Loneliness happens because your go-to person is no longer there. Reaching out to others (which we’ll go over later) is a great way to help mend that part of your life.

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The average person will never experience anything this extreme after a heartbreak, but following a divorce or especially painful split, your health can actually deteriorate because of the stress from a breakup. A broken heart can change your body’s biology to make you more susceptible to illnesses. In the worst-case scenario, the Broken Heart Syndrome can kick in.

The Broken Heart Syndrome is also known as Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy (TC). It’s a temporary heart condition that is caused by acute emotional stress in one’s life.(2) That’s right, enough stress and emotional trauma can actually cause your heart to stop working properly. When experiencing TC, your heart will act as if it was having a heart attack without any of the long-term physical damage to the heart. I’m not saying that all breakups will stop your heart, but there have been documented cases where divorces with extremely high tensions have caused this condition to occur.

If you’re not feeling like yourself after a breakup, that’s expected and totally normal. Keep in mind that because of the breakup, you may be experiencing mental and physical changes to your body, even if that’s as simple as feeling more tired than normal. Be sure to listen to your body and give it what it needs so you can focus on growing from your breakup.

2. Don’t beat yourself up

We all make mistakes during a relationship. Even Brad and Angelina’s seemingly perfect celebrity marriage couldn’t stand the test of time.

When you and your partner split, you’ll probably go through the highlight reel of mistakes you made in the relationship and things you wish you did differently. These thoughts are valid and real and should be felt in a healthy way. While it’s healthy to grieve after the end of a relationship and to learn from your past mistakes, beating yourself up over and over mentally isn’t the best way to grow.

One thing you can do to counteract negative thinking is to be kind to yourself. If you wouldn’t say what you’re telling yourself to another person, you shouldn’t be saying that to yourself. We tend to be our own worst critics. Practicing self-compassion is important to remind ourselves that we’re only human and we can’t hold ourselves to super-human standards.

Lastly, be patient. Try to remember what you did well during the relationship and make peace with the breakup. This process may take some time, so don’t be hard on yourself if you’re still feeling bummed after a few weeks or a few months. You can’t rush healing.

3. Understanding loneliness helps you deal with being lonely

Being alone is different from being lonely. Being alone in itself isn’t a bad thing, it can even offer a nice change of pace if you’ve been tied to another person for a long period of time. Loneliness strikes when being alone begins to feel unbearable and uncomfortable. Being alone is not a negative but being lonely can be.

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At times, loneliness happens when we unintentionally isolate ourselves from others. If you think you’re the only one that’s felt this certain kind of heartbreak, reaching out to others can feel impossible. I know the last thing that you want to do is to describe intimate details of a breakup as soon as it happens; it’s just simpler to keep your emotions to yourself.

When deciding whether or not to share your breakup and relationship details with others, remember that everyone has experienced those same emotions you’re feeling of loneliness, happiness, and love. Others have gotten through it. You will, too.

The next time you think “I won’t talk to him because he wouldn’t understand,” challenge yourself to confide in them. Others may have insight that can help you deal with feeling lonely and give you a different perspective on the situation at hand.

Personally, when I’m lonely, I find my best friend; he’s always around when I need support… it just so happens that he has four legs and a furry body. Animals can help substantially reduce feelings of loneliness. In one study, it was shown that animals can help lower fear, lower anxiety, and improve mental health.(3) Even if you’re technically alone, adopting a pet in need can be beneficial for you if you’re ready to take on that kind of commitment.

4. Make a connection

Though animals are fantastic and can reduce loneliness, the best way to feel less lonely is to make a connection with another person. If your relationship was a serious one, much of your time may have been spent with your significant other. If you found that you gradually spent less and less time with your other friends, don’t worry; that’s something that commonly happens in many relationships.

If you didn’t spend much time with your friends before the breakup, you may feel that you’re too distant from your friends to reach out to them for support. If this happens, your first step is to make a genuine attempt to reconnect with them. Many times, a simple phone call or Facebook message can re-open the door to a close friendship with them.

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If you have to start fresh and make some new friends, your first step is to find other people similar to you to make a connection with. Here are a few ideas on how to do just that:

  1. Attend a club you’re interested in
    • You’ll be excited to go to meetings because you love the subject, and you’ll be with others that share a similar passion. When speaking to other members, just be yourself and ask questions to get to know them better. Remember, you shouldn’t be afraid to open up to them. (You’re here to make lasting friendships, after all.) Your genuine answers will give them a glimpse into your life, allowing for a deeper connection to blossom.
  2. Go to work parties
    • If you’ve declined invitations from coworkers for baby showers or happy hour drinks in the past because you were busy with your partner, now is the time to start going to those events. You’ll get to know the people that you see daily much better, which will improve your work-life at the least. If you’re lucky, you may realize you and a coworker have the potential to become good friends.
  3. Use your pets and children (in a good way)
    • If you’re looking for another reason to adopt a dog, going to the dog park is a great way to meet other animal lovers. Instead of reading a book while your dog plays, strike up a conversation with some of the other owners. Pet parents are just like regular parents in that they always want an excuse to talk about how great their pet is, so this is an easy way to make a connection.
    • Similarly, if you have children, bring them to group playdates and talk to the other parents there. You already have a huge commonality in that you have children the same age, so start the conversation there and use that as a platform to make a deeper connection.
  4. Network
    • If you’re the kind of person that dives into their work after a breakup (guilty), you’ll be relieved to find that you’ll have no trouble finding networking opportunities in your city. Be sure to check out events that are in your industry so you already have a shared foundation to build from. When doing this, you may find a group of people that will not only support you professionally but personally, too.

Potential friendships are all around you if you know where to look. Be intentional about making connections and you’re sure to find a few people to support you and help you thrive after heartbreak.

If you have no friends currently, here’s our full guide on how to make new ones. That guide is made to work specifically for those of us who are more introverted, anxious or shy.

5. What to do now

Like I mentioned earlier, breakups suck. That fact still hasn’t changed.

What has changed is that we now know why they hurt so much and what we can do to make them suck just a little less. In the past couple of days as part of my own healing process, I’ve reached out to a few old friends, I started planning a road trip to Arizona to visit gorgeous national parks on my bucket list, and I made an appointment to get that haircut I’ve been wanting to get for months. (Cliche, I know.)

Finding happiness in a breakup may be difficult at first, but with patience, the loneliness will subside. Trying to keep a self-compassionate attitude through it all and being intentional about finding and creating your own happiness is key.

Here are the things you can do now to help kick-start the healing process and overcome your loneliness:

  1. Allow yourself to think about the relationship, but don’t only focus on the negative. Give yourself credit for the things you did right to generate positivity from this negative situation.
  2. Be kind to yourself and be patient as you go through the grieving process.
  3. Reach out to old friends and rekindle connections with them.
  4. Meet new friends through clubs, work, networking, or parenting meetups. (Optional: adopt a dog.)
  5. Comment below letting us know how you’re feeling and what you’ve done to work through your breakup and overcome your loneliness. Reach out to others that need support.

As the wise Neil Sadaka once sang, “breakin’ up is hard to do”.

Ain’t that the truth?

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I'm a Phi Beta Kappa initiate graduated from Baylor University's honors college; while there, my concentrations were psychology and ASL interpreting. I hold a Master of Science degree in Environmental Design from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in University Scholars the Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Go to Comments (76)

76 thoughts on “How to Overcome Loneliness After a Breakup – 5 First Steps”

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  1. Loneliness is obviously a by product of losing your best friend, she took one day to break up with me, no explanations, no chance to sit down and talk about such a horrible topic. I am over her, but I am having an extremely hard time not knowing why. It’s a void that no matter what I do, I question myself everyday and it is driving me insane. My therapist was my savior, I seen her for almost 16 months, its been 3 years since we split, wrong or not I sold absolutely everything I owned, because I associated material things to her touching or breathing on it thats how bad this break-up affected me. If I was so bad and mean to her, I would understand her actions.On that day she appeared extremely angry, very cold and and such…I am seriously baffled, I was true to her, if I made an error I confided in her, I never let a moment go by without giving her a kiss and a hug. Synopsis: I don’t know why I was dumped, maybe it was a gradual dislike for me, I don’t know!

  2. How to make the pain stop after a break up? Can’t eat or sleep, I feel depressed. How can I make myself feel better and sleep better?

    • you just have to accept that you’re no longer a part a your ex’s life so you have to move on no matter how hard it is .. take care of yourself and don’t let the depression ruin your life

      • Why dont it take a toll on our ex?

        Why do she moved so swiftly and accepted her best friend proposal and is gonna marry her after 3 months of our breakup?

    • I’m on the same page as you.

      I can ask nothing but just want to be friends.Atleast this will help us focus our time on our work.

    • yeah, besides maintaining a good sleeping habit, thinking good thoughts and “giving it time” when does it actually stop hurting?

  3. because I have seen many testimony around about his good work. problems of marriage and illness, so I decided to try my luck with him and now I am sharing this testimony because he has also helped my situation, all thanks to him for the restoration of peace in my home.

  4. Greeting to everyone that is reading my comment, All Thanks goes Dr Amigo, for helping me to restore my happiness back again, i was married to my husband, and we were living fine and happy. it come to an extend that my husband that use to love and care for me, dose not even have my time again, until i found out that he was having an affair with another woman in his working place, i tried to stop him, all my effort was in-vain suddenly he divorce me and went for the woman. he live me with three of our kids, i cry all day i was in pains and sorrow, and i was looking for help. i read a comment on how this grate spell caster called Dr Amigo helped a lady to bring her husband back home after 7yrs of break up , and i also saw so many comment how Amigo help people with his love reuniting spells. so i decided to contact him and explain my problem to him, he did a love spell that make my husband to come back to me and our kids and never think about the woman in his working place. Google his name as Dr Amigo online love spell caster to review his article.

  5. I am going outside my COMFORT ZONE!!!
    I am going into a divorce…it was just yesterday that he came and got the rest of his things…i didnt want this but he did and i am trying to respectful and just throw a straight fit…even though thats wat my chest feels as…its been us for so long andi really dont have any friends…no close ones anyway… It was hard enough at times trying to communicate with my ex husband…him and i could sit in a room not speek and still kno wat the other wants by facial expression…so i am at whoo hoo this is going to be challenging but once i grasp the flow it will fall into place…

    I got a facebook account but i really want to start all over again and just meet new people… I am looking forward to it but also need some advice on what web sites that would be good????

    Please and thank you for sharing it does help knowing someone else is hurting…


  6. Thank you so much but find it hard to contemplate how a partner can be so cruel could go on and tell u a thousand stories but will continue this anger in silence best wishes my dear friends

  7. I have no family, pets, kids or friends. I go out all the time but people dont want friendships. I cant get a date no matter how hard I try. Im sick of seeing articles that tell us to seek help and support… and how to make friends.
    I do everything! I am alone. NO one to talk to, hang out with. It isnt always that simple

  8. I wish it was that easy . The only thing that is getting me by is that she cheated on me with another guy throughout our three years together . When we got back from Jamaica at the beginning of August , the next week she came home and flipped out on me for no reason and said I want you out . Right there I knew that she was in another relationship already . I’m wishing bad karma on her cause the crap she put me threw . She is already in a full blown relationship with this new guy . She has two kids and she is even confusing them , one guy leaves another one comes into the picture . Women like that have no morals at all .

  9. My girlfriend broke up with me unexpectedly yesterday which was our 1 year anniversary. I’m hurting so badly right now. Everything was fine yesterday morning when I picked her up but later in the day she had an anxiety attack and said she needed to go home. When I dropped her off, she said she wasn’t feeling well and needed to go to bed and she would call me later. She ended up breaking up by text instead of calling. The thing that hurts the most is she said not to contact her ever again and she would call the authorities if I harassed her. I have never been mean or aggressive to her so I’m confused as to why she would say that. I’m shocked at the way she handled this. There were no issues between us leading up to this.

  10. Ashley – thanks for your very practical article. I realized some time ago that I am putting up with unhappiness because I really really am scared of loneliness. I literally have a phobia for loneliness. I need to face it and confront it. And your article helps with some practical ideas

    • You are so wise to decide to face it and confront your fears, Ashley. I faced a lot of loneliness during my husband’s deployments and after he came back home and we had difficulty reconnecting. Volunteering was the best way to connect and make friends in the new town that I lived in. If you find something that you care about and volunteer you will make friends that have similar interests and values and the friendships evolve naturally. It also helps by allowing you to get away from your own thoughts while assisting others. I hope things begin to look up.

  11. I was meant to get married last month and called it of a week before to my partner of 8 years. He has addiction problems. Since I have called it of his addiction is out of control, sometimes fights for me, sometimes doesn’t. Lies to me about where he is and even found messages to another girl he met on a night out while he was meant to be fighting for me. We had the most amazing 8 years together and I believe that he loves me and wants to make it work but he still lies to me. I truly love this man but how could we ever be back together after all of this, my family obviously don’t think I should be with him after all of this and I can’t see a future where I could truly forgive him or trust him again but how can I just stop talking and seeing someone I love and was going to marry and still want to be with. My head knows its not right but my heart wants it so bad. Im scared to be by myself and lonely, I enjoyed his company so much, we were truly best friends. Everythink I wanted in life I had with him. Now I have to start all over again. I can’t let go!

  12. She left after 12 years. Almost an years has passed since. Lot of up and downs, lot of things happened, which confused me and at today I still haven’t started accepting this. I miss her every day. She was my friend, my lover and my life. I did many mistakes but all in good faith and I never denied, I’m always up to learn and grow.

    I guess she was tired, I need to accept the fact that she is not coming back. She is fine without me.

    Now, what scares me the most is being alone. I’m fine on my own, but I don’t want to live a life alone. I want to share it with someone build something for/with someone else and leave a legacy.

    However, I never was interested in social evenings, small talk etc… And I can’t fake being ok with that just because I need to find someone.

    I think I still need time on my own, and focus on my own happiness and spoil me a bit. Isn’t the life I wanted, I wanted to give to someone rather than focus on myself, but I guess is the first step to come to peace with this situation and be ready to welcome someone else in my life.

    I like meaningful things, I was wondering if anyone can advice on how I can match the things I like with being helpful for other. Volunteering?

    • What I lack at the moment is motivation. Anything I think of that I can do to unlock this situation seems pointless, and I end up doing nothing

    • I have the exact same scenario.. 7 years and now my team is shattered. I understood I had my flaws as she did as well but the complete disregard in making sacrifices and seeing past the action too the intent was just not an option for her. Last few months of the relationship was all me trying to control or make her feel guilty. Realistically I think she found herself when she had the stability and with that she was able to let go of myself through pointless assumptions..

      It really hits me when she claims to have loved me and that it was my fault this and my fault that, when all I ever intended was to keep my team together and happy. One way relationships never work, I was a fool to think my dissatisfaction with not being able to express myself would shine through. It’s hard

  13. Loved reading the comments three weeks my partner asked me to move out today I miss her so much we got on amazing was never any arguements . I was stressed way moving away from my hometown I moved in way my patner I began stressing no eating sleeping even took a overdose .my partner suffers arthritis and I guess it took its toll in the end I am to blame few family nights out I went cold never spoke to anyone my partner was upset it hurts breakups I have not heard from her she’s blocked me on Facebook and by phone the minute I left her house I want her to contact talk but nothing

  14. I am in a different situation. I was developing a friendship with someone and then I asked him on a date. We went on the date and at the end of the night he asked me on a second date. The day of the second date arrived and I received a text from him saying he didnt think it was appropriate for us to go out again (long story there…we used to work together). I tried contacting him and he finally called me. He said something that caught me off guard…He implied we couldn’t even be friends. The conversation ended with him saying he just needed time.
    I waited and gave him time…A month passed by and I text him again…and then again. And then I finally called him only to find it went straight to voicemail, which means he had blocked me.
    We went from getting to know each other, going on a date, HE asked me on the second date…and then dumped and blocked me with in a matter of days.
    By the way, we didn’t talk between the first date and second date other than when he told me which day he was free.
    I am crushed. I don’t know what happened. I feel so broken. If I had known this would have happened I would have never asked him out in the first place. I enjoyed him as a person. I wanted to be in his life and wanted him in mine, no matter what label we put on it. I want him back as my friend. I am devastated.

  15. I’ve been going through a breakup after being in a 7-year relationship with someone. We broke up March 15th, 2019. The first thing I did was to implement a 30 day no contact rule. I ended up starting it over, I think 4 different times, but I am now 5 days away from meeting that goal. When you have things to say, and patience is not one of your virtues, it’s very hard not to reach out to that person. Especially in this digital world when communication is right at our fingertips. We had hit bumps in the road previously. August of 2018 there was a 3 week period, but we were at least communicating. This time is different. And because it’s different,I’ve needed closure, and he has refused to give it to me. I begged. I pleaded. I just wanted him to tell me it was over for good this time. And he has remained silent for 11 weeks. I decided that if after 7 years, he didn’t feel he at least owed me the courtesy of a response, I would make the decision that was right for me. Did I want to wait this out? Or did I want to go ahead and give myself closure and move on?

    If I’m being honest with everyone, and myself, I still don’t know the answer. What I do know is that for right now, I have to worry about me. I have to heal. And it’s not an easy thing to do.

    My coping mechanism has been to journal. I’ve done this in the form of a letter to him, every day since the break up. Of course he will never be privy to any of the letters. I wrte how I was feeling that day. Whether or not I cried. What I thought about that day. What the weather was like. What I ate. What I did. I have ranted like a crazy woman, I have spilled every feeling and every thought that I’ve ever had. I’ve told him I loved him, I’ve told him I hate him. I just write whatever I’m feeling at the moment.

    It’s been an amazing way for me to purge the emotions.

    It’s no fun being involuntarily strapped into that emotional rollercoaster… no matter how long you’re on the ride, the the ups and downs never become familiar.

    There are days that I get so angry that it takes every ounce of my being to refrain from sending him a text message. There are days that I am so heartbroken, I am paralyzed. I can’t even get out of bed. There are days that I get up and I feel just fine. Those however, are few and far between.

    The loneliness is overwhelming. There is a hole in my life that’s the size of an ocean. I don’t know how to fill it. I don’t really have close friends so I’m alone A LOT. My weekends are so bleake and empty, it’s painful.

    It doesn’t help that I broke my left foot three weeks after the break-up so getting out and even doing anything alone, is nearly impossible. It’s compounded the misery.

    Did I mention I cry? A lot?

    I’m just trying to take this day by day and I’m really looking forward to going back at the end of my complete 30 days of no contact, and reading what I’ve written.

    When the foot is healed and I can get around, I’ve already decided I’m going to take the first step by joining a book club. I also love to read in addition to writing. I’m not sure how that’s going to go for me, but I believe it’s a step in the right direction.

    My email is I’m totally open to a few new “pen pals”.

    And to everyone out there that has posted, and even those who haven’t, know you are not alone. I hope everyone finds something in their world to bring them some comfort on a daily basis.

    • It doesn’t say how long ago you wrote this. Im going through this pain too. Im too nervous to email someone I don’t know, but I wish you (and others like us) happiness and new love.

  16. Boyfriend and I are breaking up after a year and a half. We both thought and still think we are each other’s soul mates. But we have been in a toxic relationship. He won’t quit seeing his ex and has cheated multiple times through the relationship. We were taking some space and he saw her again after not talking since last summer. Things were improving and I thought she was out of the picture, but she found his new number somehow and coincidentally texted him while we were taking space. Really awful timing. I have been recovering from a brain injury and it got to be too much for him which was the reason for space. Now my life is crashing down and we work together and run the company HE founded. Looking like I need a new job now too… He wants us both to take space and become healthy again and see what happens. I think we should cut the cord and the pain once and for all. It has been absolute hell being with someone still in love with their ex 🙁 Not to mention my ex did the same, which totals to about 6 years of this. Can’t take the pain anymore… Any advice helps, it takes a really strong person to leave the person they love, I am not that strong

    • Im going through heartbreak and work with my ex also… it makes things so much worse that this whole other ascept of your life is alsonmade painful and the fact tha getting a bew job adds to the dramatic change.. im going through similar pain as you in that sense. How are you doing now ? is my email or respond here. Idk how long its been for you or if your better at all. Even if your not better you can talk to me

    • Hello Nicole. I don’t think you are weak at all, bearing such pain all through itself tells how resilient you are.
      Not what we want happens all the time, if a person genuinely loves you he will make a serious effort to get back into your life how hard the situation might be, if that’s not the case then you should understand that he was never yours and was just finding an escape in you. Love is freedom, don’t chain it, let it go when it wants to. It’s only our expectations which hurt us. Being lonely is better than being with a wrong guy.

  17. My bf broke up with me 3months ago … i was so broken over him … we met on 2017 been friends for almost 6months and then we started dating after 2months of dating he ignored and left me … then he came back after two months… we got back again … he ignored me again … then again after 5months … broke up again .. and again after four months awe got back again … he’s always the one who comes back then ignore and left me off and on … but still i would take him back … he would date other girls too when we broke up … and now too i know he’s with another girl and seem to be happy …it makes me sad … i felt lonely .. i k ow that he hurt me and doesnt love me but i just idk …. i can’t get over him.. just like he did

  18. Well if there is one person in this world that taught he wasn’t going to make it well that was me my girlfriend left me about a year ago I lost 37 pound in about 4 month I was 207lbs I end up 170 lbs it was so hard on me but I kept my distance cause I knew she wanted out the only way I could cope with it was doing volunteer work at the hospital and the homeless shelter it kept my mind off the relationship and I was reading every night how to fix a broken heart and how to be happy again after a break up the secret is to never give up and never try to pretend or think it can be fix cause if its ment to be you’ll connect again if you don’t then your better off without her or him in the picture myself I had to completely block her from facebook the only way I could move on with time I may unblock her will see today I am doing way better I date women nothing serious someday I may meet the right one but im in no hurry I go day by day just keep your head high there is allways a cover for a pot that fit right on just wait and never take the first pumkin that come around we all learn from a broken heart I hope it can help someone out there ……..

  19. My girlfriend of three years ended things. We were honestly the perfect couple apart from one aspect of our relationship: sex, which has been a problem since the very start. We have had so many different problems in bed that our confidence and desire eventually went, until it became too much. It has been more of a problem for my girlfriend because I (stupidly) push things like that to the back of my mind…
    But I am honestly heartbroken now. As I said, we were such an affectionate, loving couple and we were best friends who spent so much time together. I don’t know what to do…I have no friends, and I have to study for my upcoming postgraduate exams. We both want to still be in each other’s lives. However, I feel as if I want this more and I feel helpless. My family keep telling me that “time will heal”, “I will find another girl”, etc. But I just want her. How am I supposed to get over her when we invested so much in each other and we broke up over something we could have fixed by talking to a professional or something…I love her so much and thought she was the one.

    • Oh I feel for you. Being rejected by the person you love is the hardest thing imaginable. Especially if you have spent this time together. It’s easy to slip into the panic mode when we are losing something/someone so precious to us.

      Taking time to reflect on what you would have actually done differently if you had a chance may help you to see the situation from another perspective. Time and good communication is a paramount thing in any relationship.

      It seems people often do not talk to each other about those seemingly little but essentially crucial things that matter the most and only realise when it’s “too late”.

      If you are still on talking terms, I would think very carefully about what changes you think you could make and what changes you could actually make if you had another chance.
      Sit down together and tell her how you feel, without any distraction, but be constructive.
      Make sure it all does not sound like a promise, but that you are actually committed to making changes in your life. (After all, what is there to loose?) If there is still hope, she will appreciate this and hopefully re-evaluate the situation.

      Try to be kind to yourself, whatever you do.
      I really hope it works out.

    • I feel you. My girfriend broke up with over the exact same reason 3 weeks ago. I am heartbroken, that she gave up while i wanted to fix it. It is so difficult that you could over look her faults and love her inspite of them, while she could not do the same. Worse, she broke up as soon as i returned from a work trip. Heart broken , alone , while she has go on with her life. Something over problems that could be fixed with just talking or stressing its importance.

    • I don’t know how long ago you wrote this but I’ve just been dumped by my boyfriend and I also thought that we were perfect for each other, he had sexual problems as well, but reading your message has made me continue to realise that we weren’t perfect for each other. He didn’t want to work through the small problem that split us up in the end. How would he have dealt with bigger problems. I get sad because I miss his company but he chose to hurt me when we could have fixed things. He didn’t love me enough sadly and it hurts but I want to with someone who loves me for me and will work through all the problems with me as a team.
      Like the article says, I shouldn’t take away the good memories BUT I’m starting to accept that it wasn’t meant to be. That hurts especially as I’m in my 30s and I want to get married and have children so as soon as I’m ready I’ll start dating again. I just wanted to say that I totally get what you’re going through but those people weren’t right for us. They need and they will eventually get out of our emotions and we will both be able to find someone who truly loves us. I have to take a deep breath every morning I wake up without a tex from him but he chose to not make our relationship work and I can torture myself or get through this initial pain and continue in my journey to find a loving partner, which I really want so I can’t let one bad relationship stop me from reaching my goal. Good luck to all of us.

      • Hi There, This last week I have been going through this same exact situation – Except I was the ‘Dumper’. What was initially a ‘small problem’ between myself and my gf turned the relationship into a spiralling mess – I feel this has a lot to do with the fact I suffer from anxiety (so I was constantly overthinking our argument), which makes me gutted as if I didn’t then potentially the outcome of us trying to fight to resolve things may have been a lot different. As you mentioned in your comment, like you, we always tried to combat things/life as a team.

        I’m unsure when you made your comment, but I wanted to comment to let you know that your ex probably cares for you and your situation more than you know. Currently, I am in the stage where things are still fresh, so I know that for a fact. The thought that I have hurt someone that I cared greatly for is what is destroying me (I know that is selfish as I am the cause of this, but hey, it can be difficult on both sides). I finished the relationship after an argument (heat of the moment), regretted it, tried to save it by going to see her the other night and talk things through – but again my anxiety got the better of me. I miss her and thought we had something , unsure whether to keep fighting, as we spoke again on the phone after our chat and agreed to ‘draw a line’ under everything. This is why I am commenting as I wanted to ask someone whos situation is very similar (if not the same); if your ex ever got back in touch to try again would you try to fix things? or are things better left to fate (if it’s meant to be, it will be)?

    • Time heal everything just don’t give up buddy You’ll make it true myself I still struggle a bit but I am way way better just tell yourself you didn’t lose a relationship you gain a freedom Enjoy your free time for the moment and you gonna come out of it very strong believe me good luck

  20. Broke up with my boyfriend of 3 years. I love him but I know he’s not good for me. Before him i was married for 10 years. I don’t know how to be single. Im going a little crazy, zipping through hobbies just trying to keep busy, adopted a dog (nothing to do with your article, did that bit of crazy on my own lol), but Im finding myself bored and lonely still and constantly thinking about him.

    • Thanks for sharing Jen <3

      Have you tried focusing your time and energy on building new relationships instead of keeping yourself occupied? Meeting new friends through hobbies, spending more time with existing friends, maybe even dating.

      Or do something that feels more meaningful to you than just a "hobby to keep busy". He was a big part of your identity for 3 years, so it's gonna take time. Wish you all the best!

    • I am currently in a toxic relationship and plan to break up and leave in a month. I haven’t told him yet; I’m not sure how to. We have broken up 2 times before but this relationship is so crazy that I’m scared of how he’ll react. This is my first serious relationship and I’m 21 years old in college. I have no family or friends either so idk how to actually do it without turning back? How can I get through this?

      I thought he was the one at first too but I’ve seen so many sides to him. More bad than good. I’m not perfect either but I’ve worked through the things he wanted me to fix but he refuses to stick with his changes. They are temporary for a few weeks then things go back to the way they were… Even though I always force myself to see and accept the good. I’m getting tired of it. I’m so young and haven’t experienced the great things in life to be tied to this aggressive rollercoaster.

  21. I just broke up with my partner.after 4year relationship. Week after he found a another woman and start dating her. It’s make my heart break more. I have done so much to him.when he is in depression I done everything and stand beside him.
    Do men feel the breakup..
    I really don’t want a another person after him..
    Can men move on that quickly.

    • Vick, I am sorry to hear that it is true that some people don’t feel the break up. That is not just men I was in a 3 year relationship with my fiancee when she ended it and 2 weeks later she found someone else and I am still left picking up the pieces. Don’t give up hope that you won’t find someone you deserve.

  22. My partner dumped me. We’d been together for 3.5 years but really we were about 6 years in; we discussed marriage and kids and everything. We were ready to commit. We’d had a great realtionship but he always treated me like shit. I let him do inappropiate things with me and other people because I loved him so much. When I stopped letting it be okay, I got distressed every day for six months. I was depressed anyway and tried to committ suicide. I started dying, he didn’t care. He knew but didn’t even call an ambulance or anything. It was very serious (and not just because of him). Then he dumped me because ‘it was too stressful’. Our mutural friends abused me for no reason, my friends were great at the start and then got over my distress pretty quick. Which left me with one person. They’ve just gotten in a relationship and have no time for me. I am not close with my family at all and any people I know, we’re not that close or they don’t care. I’m seeing a counsellor now but I don’t really have any friends. The loneliness is killing me.

  23. Just got dumped for good yesterday. I feel so empty and alone. This is the first time in my life I have not had a real loved one. My mom passed three years ago. At age 50 it has become clear that there seems to be no sense of permanence in anything. Relationships all dissolve; people leave; die. Even in ongoing relationships there is always the nagging thought “I wonder how all this will end…” I have a birthday next weekend. It will be my first ever alone. I’m thankful for all the nice times in relationships in the past–family, friends, girlfriends, a wife. I feel so broken and confident that I am not good enough for anything or anybody.

    • Hi Todd. So sorry to hear that. I just wanted to say that you are good enough as you are even if everything feels like shit right now. It will get better.

      • I am a medical student. I broke up with my bf of 2 yr of Relationship. Though it was my decision but i had no choice left becoz there were many misunderstanding which just don’t have any solution. And now though I have friends but he was just like a habit in my daily routine and so i am feeling very much lonely can’t even study properly plz suggest me what can I do!

      • Time will heal everything dear just focus on what’s your priority now. Ask yourself a question will it matter me after like 5 years? Staying with a wrong guy or staying single what’s better? Cause you’re a medical student you can work on your loneliness too. Just don’t suppress your emotions, let it come out, you will feel relaxed.

      • I understand where your coming from. You need to find a release of stress and focus on school. It isn’t going to be easy no matter how long the relationship was or whatever your thinking by reading other comments. You need to tell yourself that this is an important part of growing as a person and you have amazing things waiting for you when school is done!

        You got this!

    • I am so sorry to hear all of this, I can’t imagine what you are going through. But just know that you ARE good enough. Someone told me a good quote yesterday that goes something like “you could be the juiciest, sweetest peach but some people just don’t like peaches”. This is something that I have been trying to remind myself as well. But please do not let someone leaving you make you feel less than. And it is true, all of this is temporal, here and then gone like a vapor, but that just gives you all the more reason to soak it up while you can and embrace the relationships that you come across because you don’t want to look back at all you missed out on due to the fear of inevitably loosing someone.

    • I feel for you Todd. My husband just asked for a divorce. I thought we were to be together forever. He was my best friend. We had so much fun together and he was someone that truly understood and accepted me. Then, a few years ago, he became an alcoholic. I stayed by his side through this incredibly difficult time. He finally got sober and I was so happy and thankful that we could finally restore what we had. However, it never happened. He spent all of his time at AA and became very close with men and women there. He drifted apart from me and now doesn’t feel we are right for each other. He feels I don’t know and live the AA program like he and his friends at the AA club do. He is no longer accepting of me. I am 48 years old. This is my second failed marriage. I am so heartbroken and lonely. I also have that feeling of not being good enough and that I won’t be able to find anyone that will understand me and accept me.

  24. My worry is how old is too old to meet someone else after a break up. I live in a village that has lots of single older women, which break up will be my last? It’s been 9 weeks and despite our relationship having been awful still miss my ex.

  25. After three and a half years my boyfriend and I broke up because he couldn’t move forward with our relationship. It destroyed me when it initially happened. It’s been a year and a half and he’s seeing someone now but I still miss him. I feel it worse at night. All of the things in your article have helped me over the past year. I’ve made close friends with a lot of co workers and attended a bunch of parties at work. I’ve reconnected with some old friends in new ways. I’ve spent a lot more time with my dog and family. I’ve found things to fill my time and peak my interest like traveling all over the world. Nights are still hard though and I can’t help wishing he were here with me. It still breaks my heart to think about him and what we had so I try to avoid those thoughts. I gave him everything and I couldn’t have done more for him but it wasn’t enough in th end and that kills me. When we were still talking, he constantly said I am the best person he knows and all he wants is my happiness but the sad fact of it all, is that without him I don’t have true happiness. He took that from me in a way I haven’t been able to find again with anyone else. Maybe I will. I’m hopeful I will find someone to love again and who can love me the way I deserve.

    • So sorry to hear that Maria, it sounds really tough. I know you will eventually find someone else because you sound like a lovely human being with lots of love to give. And don’t forget to give yourself some of that love too.

  26. I just went through a breakup with someone that I was with for 2 and a half years. I am only 26, and I currently going through a quarter-life crisis realizing and asking the questions of “Who am I?” and “Is this the right direction for me?” and “Am I happy?” I couldn’t answer any of those clearly when I was with him, and I knew that was something was wrong. I know that I still love him as a person, but I realized that this direction with him was not the right one because everything was manufactured, and I had a hard time being myself. Once you haven’t been yourself for a while, your true self eventually comes out. I had such a hard time with the breakup on my side as well, and I have had a lot of self-doubt, but I cannot stress enough that the gut is always right. I am on a strenuous road of figuring out who I am, and what I want. I know it is hard out there because I feel weird doing things on my own already. I am thinking of all the people that are on the same boat as me, and I am trying my hardest to figure out who I am. Wishing everyone that is in the same boat my best wishes!

  27. The period after a breakup can seem quite lonely, although see it as a blank slate, a new start. After a long marriage then two hasty relationships, I’e realized I have jumped from relationship to relationship for the last 2 decades. Now it’s time to get to know myself? What do I like, what do I want to do. This has been impossible with the influence of a mate and getting stuck in patterns that just aren’t healthy. I think it goes back to looking for outside stuff (people, things, etc) to make me happy on the inside… So it’s a slow process I suppose to find ones self. To really sit in the discomfort of not knowing what to do, what makes me happy, what is my passion. So here I sit, waiting for answers. The one thing I am sure of is it’s better to be in my own, then to be in an unhappy relationship day-after-day, week -after-week, month after month. I have no answers except that any emotional relationship now would be repeating unhealthy patterns that have continued to plague me. So I take it one day at a time until some answers come. I must resist contacting old girlfriends or even playing the FB game of back and forth, only really looking for attention from someone else. The price is too high! The unhappiness is not worth the “company” of a partner or spouse, just because it’s confortable and fills your days/nights. So I keep striving every day to enjoy my life, without having a relationship to comfort me.

    • Evan
      Sounds like you know yourself pretty well and the words you speak ring loud and clear as a viable path I should take with my recent divorce and rebound relationship of 6 years that was so one-sided and unhealthy . It sounds that you and I both have been thru similar experiences . Although I do miss her company, I have to somehow let go . And I’m hoping the things I learn through David will gain me the tools I need to meet a worthy partner in the near future, with an emphasis on ‘near’ since my age of 56 is playing a bit of a mental hurdle as well !. Thanks for sharing

  28. I had my long distance relationship for almost 4 years now, Our relationship was okay and good, but for some reasons I couldn’t understand My ex boyfriend broke up with me for almost 2years, and it made me sad, frustrated, devastated having mix emotions to face the reality that he doesn’t want to work it out anymore.

  29. Alot of advice seems alittle unrealistic, you can’t just find friends who will be genuine so fast, especially if they dont know you well, another point is yes talking about it constantly to people who you socialise with might help you be distracted, but unless your heart stops loving that person, no matter what social event or meeting you have is going to help you move on and maybe reconnect with someone else, break ups are horrible, espcially when its mutual, and both parties didnt do anything wrong, your left confused and shaken, you feel torn and alone, you have lost a connection with someone who genuinely cared and loved you,.

    • That’s exactly what happened to me, my ex called it a day with no reason?? We never fell out and I was always supportive to her ( maybe that’s where I went wrong?) I’m still heart broken with constant memories in my head of her, her beauty her fun loving personality. She has met someone else now and that has only increased my heartache and longing for her. Ive read so many tips and advice on the net but if I’m honest nothing has helped so far. It may just be that time will heal my broken heart or maybe it won’t, who knows, all I know is at the moment it’s a case worse than physical pain and there’s no cure.

      • Steve
        I feel for you becoz I know that feeling all too well of being shut out of a relationship unexpectedly without reason . As if the shock alone isn’t ban enough , we then find ourselves paralyzed as to how or why this could have happened . The measure of pain from this can be unbearable . My break up nearly sent me over the edge becoz I needed answers and I couldn’t move on not knowing how things turned so quickly … I needed to know what I had missed or what I must have done so badly to deserve such stab in my heart . As humans we naturally strive for answers so we can better ourselves and I think it should be an unspoken law that as humans , especially those of us experiencing a loving relationship, we should have the respect and descentcy to give us closure or something in the way of a farewell then to just pack up and leave without warning , do u agree?
        GL Steve and thanks so much for sharing

    • Anonymous – This sounds soooo true!
      I have been trying to keep busy:
      work, work outside work, bought a guitar and learned how to play it, gym, babysitting my nieces and nephews, trying to keep busy with friends, writing a diary to keep myself sane, but…
      The pain is just unbearable and I feel like I am making everyone around me miserable, just don’t know how to go on any more. There is only so many rejections one can take, there is only so many times you can pick yourself up and make light-hearted jokes out of bad situations. I am so exhausted by everything right now. I am exhausted having to explain myself to people all the time too. It’s all so very painful.
      Truly, I don’t know what to do with myself and how to “be” any more.

  30. This is great advice, thanks so much for sharing. So many people struggle after a break up. They need to reconnect with themselves, don’t you think? I think that is the key. Cheers, Louise


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