When the breakup wound is fresh, things can get a little crazy. Research on breaking up has shown that the same part of your brain activated when you're profoundly addicted to cocaine is affected when you are rejected from love. (I really wish someone would have told me that fun fact after my last bad breakup.) So the good news is, part of this whole thing is chemical and it's not totally your fault! But that's no excuse to let your crazy run wild with free reign. There are some behaviors that you absolutely have the power to control and should do so for everyone's sake, including your own. Here's what not to do after a breakup.
- Try to be BFF with your ex immediately. I've never heard of a platonic relationship working out immediately after breaking up with an ex. In order to move on, you need time apart. This situation has a strange way of shifting into a painful friends with benefits situation, which is messy, messy territory. Give yourself a chance to heal, sister! Maybe someday in the future you'll be able to connect in a different way, but trying to hang out right away will only make the split harder and more confusing.
- Refuse to look at things with an objective eye. I know it's your pain and I know it's personal. Every situation is different, and I understand that breaking up is hard to do. Really hard. But if you really look back, chances are you can see where things went wrong. A great question to ask yourself when you're feeling the crazy sets in is, "What would I tell my friend to do here?" If you would tell her to put down the ice cream, put on some jeans, and not text him for the fifth time today without receiving a response, that's probably the right thing to do.
- Self-medicate it up. Do not get too drunk. Do not take things to help you sleep. Do not self-medicate by jumping into bed with someone new. At the end of the day, escaping from your feelings is only going to hinder your progress and make this whole thing harder. This is your time to grieve and process. Look at this time as an opportunity to figure out what you really want, and more importantly, deserve.
- Ask his friends for advice. I know they've become your friends too. So where do you draw the line? If they knew your ex first, that's typically where their loyalty resides. I'm by no means saying it's time to cut these people off. They're your friends too. But, I would make it a point to not ask for their opinion about the situation or worse, ask if your ex is seeing anyone. You might as well pour a heaping pile of salt into that big, beautiful wound.
- Ignore calls from your friends and family. The people you love have a magical power to make things seem a little better. Your family and friends always have your best interest at heart. Plus, they understand how you operate, sometimes even better than you do. Talk to them, spend time with them, wrap yourself in love. You deserve it.
- Hash out every detail with everyone you see, meet, or make eye contact with. Talking it out certainly helps, but don't air your dirty laundry everywhere you go, especially if you're trying to connect with new people and make some new friends.
- Pretend nothing has happened. I've attempted to break up with someone before who continued to call and act like nothing had happened. From this experience I can tell you that it's both incredibly annoying and strangely patronizing. Even if you don't agree with taking time off, it's integral to acknowledge and respect your partner's feelings.
- Stop taking care of yourself. I get that you're hurting and washing your hair seems like a silly and mundane task since you're going to have to just wash it again tomorrow. Instead of ignoring your needs, why not take the time to pamper yourself? Splurge on a massage, get lost in your yoga practice, or cook up a storm for your family and friends. Do things you love to remind yourself that you're still you. And you are awesome.
For four more behaviors you should 100 percent avoid, read on.