Breaking up is hard enough—but what if you caused it? We’ve put together 11 steps to begin healing and get over the guilt after you’ve caused a breakup.
Head online and you’ll be inundated with advice on how to get over a breakup. How, though, do you get over a breakup that you caused? People think that if you were the one who asked for it, it will be easier to get over—but on the contrary, depending on the situation, it may be much harder to do.
What some people don’t understand is that there are many layers to a breakup. The who, what, why, when, and how are supremely important and each of these questions will determine whether both parties will emerge unscathed after the whole experience. There’s a chance that you’ll emerge happy as a clam after breaking up but, like I said, it totally depends on the situation.
Whether you cheated and got caught, decided to end things for your own well being, or simply decided that relationships aren’t for you, it really doesn’t matter. I’m sure that you have your own reasons for asking for a breakup and despite what people think, it’s not going to be an easy road to recovery. Getting back on your feet and establishing your own single identity *especially if you’ve just gotten out of a long term relationship* is one of the hardest things to do.
Onward and upward – Getting over your ex after dumping them
If you have no clue what to do next, here are 11 ways to get over a breakup that you caused.
#1 Learn to enjoy being alone. It is strongly advised that you not dive into another relationship as soon as your former one is over. Not only do you want to avoid looking like an insensitive ass, you also need time to re-establish who you are as a single person. If you want to have loads of rebound sex, please go right ahead, but be sure that you know where to draw the line. It’s unhealthy to bounce from one partner to another without some breathing time in between.
There’s also nothing wrong with spending time alone. Whether it’s spending an afternoon in quiet contemplation at a park, or having breakfast, lunch and dinner alone, you may find peace in solitude.
#2 Be mindful. You have to remember to be mindful of your actions. As you were the one who asked for the breakup *and I’m sure you had good reason for doing it*, there’s no denying that you will be judged by everyone you know.
People love a good story and there’s nothing that’ll get the rumor mill working overtime more than a good breakup tale. Be mindful of the things that you post online, of what you say to people, and how you react when you’re asked about your ex and what happened. Remember to approach curious questions with elegance and mindfulness. You’ll find that the less you offer up to gossip mongers, the better your chances are of escaping from them.
#3 Take responsibility. This is probably the hardest thing that you have to do, but you are going to have to take responsibility for your actions if you want to move on. Depending on what happened and how it panned out, there are probably going to be a whole lot of people unhappy with what you did. From parents to shared friends, to colleagues to your cleaning lady, everyone’s going to have an opinion on what happened.
Don’t be afraid to take responsibility for what you did. Hold your head high, but don’t forget to exhibit remorse for your actions. I know you shouldn’t care about what people think, but when you’ve done something wrong, the best thing for you to do is to admit it, deal with the consequences, and move on.
#4 Leave your ex alone. This may be hard for some of you, but please leave your ex alone. Don’t whine and cry and beg to be taken back. Don’t send “I’m sorry” messages, emails, flowers, or gifts. Don’t stalk them on Facebook, and stop liking everything they post. You did something to provoke the breakup. You asked for it. Now you deal with it. Leave your ex alone and let them heal while you do the same.
#5 Travel. I’m a huge advocate of traveling. I advise people to travel when they’re happy and when they’re sad. I believe that no matter what stage of life you’re at, travel can only make things better. It’ll broaden your horizons and give you the chance to think, feel, breathe, and taste something brand new. Sometimes, that’s all we need. Whether it’s going off on a life-changing volunteer excursion to help Syrian refugees, or heading to Koh Tao for a beach holiday, just do it.
#6 Talk about it. Whether it’s out of embarrassment, fear, or guilt, don’t hide behind what happened. Whatever happened, happened and you have to admit it. Don’t go all crazy on everyone and be worryingly extreme. If you’re embarrassed to speak to a friend because you’re worried about being judged, then reach out to a counselor or therapist. You’ll need to get a load off your chest if you want to get over this breakup that you caused.
#7 Focus on your life. Now is perhaps the best time for you to focus on your life. Why not do things that you’ve always wanted to do? Throw yourself into interesting projects and hobbies and watch your efforts take flight. Set a bunch of goals and do your hardest to work toward them. When you try to be the best version of yourself, you will find that you can and will.
#8 Don’t obsess over it. No matter what happened, if you’re the one who caused the breakup, there’s a very good chance that you’ll feel guilty. If you don’t change your mindset, the guilt will eat you alive. Your mind will definitely start playing tricks on you and you will go stark raving mad with guilt. Try your very best not to obsess over what happened and, although you need to take responsibility for what happened, leave it at that and move on.
#9 Disconnect yourself from social media. Disconnect yourself from social media during this time of mourning. It will only make things worse. People will stalk you, ask a boatload of questions, and “poke” you until you spill the beans. Plus, you may have to deal with your ex and their friends badmouthing you on Facebook. Why deal with that drama? Excuse yourself until the chaos dies down.
#10 Sweat it out. As much as you want to dive into that tub of rum and raisin ice cream and live there forever, you shouldn’t. Be sure to throw the mental pain that you’re feeling into pain felt by your muscles. Indulge in exercise whenever you can and, if you’re like me and are not one who enjoys working out, I highly recommend yoga. It’s great, as it balances the complexities of mental and physical well being.
#11 Plan for the future. Breakups mean that the plans you had so carefully laid out with your partner are gone with the wind. It’s time for you to plan for the future and you must not be afraid to go at it alone. Set short term goals if you can’t bring yourself to plan far ahead. Something is better than nothing.
At the end of the day, you must realize that time heals all wounds. You may think that you will never forgive yourself for hurting your ex and, honestly, I can’t promise that you will—but you have to at least try.
[Confession: What I want to say to the one who’s heart I broke]
There are many things that you can do to get over a breakup that you caused. It’s not going to be easy, but always remember that despite what happened, you are certainly worth the trouble. Using the 11 tools above, forgive yourself, love yourself, and move on.