At some point in your life, you’ve probably had a breakup.
Nobody finds them simple, but because of the way we’re designed — and our desire for connection — we can fall into traps that make splitting up with a partner considerably more difficult than it needs to be.
Although there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to breakups, understanding what you shouldn’t do might be helpful, especially when your mind is emotionally jumbled after losing someone you care about.
Here’s what you are doing wrong;
Actively seeking out the other person
In the immediate aftermath of a breakup, the massive sense of loss is likely to fall down on you pretty hard. Even if ending the relationship was your idea, you might not have realised how lonely it would feel knowing you don’t have that person there for you anymore.
This can mean people contact the other person and talk to them because the habit is so hard to break. Ex-partners might find themselves falling into their old conversations, and even meeting up because it feels familiar. But this won’t do you any favours in the long run, especially if things get physical again.
Not doing ‘no contact’
This isn’t to say exes can’t be friends. They can, with enough time, and if both people have strong boundaries. But people are impatient, and this can mean they don’t take enough time to reflect and really get over the relationship before trying to be friends.
Sometimes people don’t have the best intentions either, because they are impulsively reacting to the loss. This can make people behave quite strangely, like breaking into their exes property, destroying their belongings, or coming up to them uninvited in the street.
Getting back out there too soon
It’s not just the relationship you left behind that takes time. If you don’t wait long enough before dating again, you’ll probably be doing yourself a massive disservice.
If you jump back into the dating scene too soon, you haven’t given yourself a chance to learn from the experience or mourn the end of your relationship.
So take a deep breath and allow yourself to take that time. People will always be looking to date, so you’re not missing out on anyone if you don’t re-download Tinder the next day.
Thinking dating apps will make you feel better
We live in a world of instant gratification, which is why it’s so tempting to re-download all your dating apps as soon as you find yourself single again.
It’s so easy to make a new profile and find people, and you get a hit of dopamine when you realise someone else has matched with you. This might boost your self-esteem in the short term, but Ettin said this isn’t really the best idea.
“That to me is not the right reason to go on… I say your self-esteem should not come from other people liking you — your self-esteem should come from within. But unfortunately, not everyone practises that.” she said.
Comparing your own experience to other people’s
If you and your partner don’t feel like you’re getting the love you deserve, one of you could cheat.
Everyone experiences the ups and downs of a relationship differently, and the same goes for breakups. If you feel like you’re taking longer to get over your last relationship than your friends did, that’s completely normal. Ettin said ultimately, you can’t compare yourself to anyone else, because your experience will be totally different.
Asking too many people for advice
Similarly, if you get advice from a lot of different people, this can confuse you even further. It’s great to have a support network of people who will listen to you, but if they all offer their words of wisdom, you’ll probably hear a lot of contradictory ideas.
“Friends will always give advice — usually conflicting advice — and ultimately the only person who knows what you need to do is you,” said Ettin. “That same client, the one who said she should be ready, she was getting advice from her brother, her friend, her this and her that, and they were all different. And I said if you ask 10 people the same