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How to Get Over a Breakup

How to Get Over a Breakup, According to Experts

couple with relationship difficulties wondering how to get over a breakup

The circumstances around every breakup are unique. Sometimes the passion fizzles out, or you decided to leave for a chance at a healthier partner or relationship. Other times, a breakup happens despite still being in love with a good partner, and an incompatibility or life circumstance means you must go your separate ways. Regardless of the reason (and sometimes there isn't a clear reason why you or another person want to leave), losing a relationship can be a painful experience — but there are things you can do after a breakup to start feeling better.

"Breakups are so difficult because we are hard-wired to form strong social bonds," Lisa Van Loo, certified dating and relationship coach, says. "We have evolved to have a deep desire to form intimate relationships with others. Historically, if we didn't have close bonds, our chances of survival would have been greatly reduced. When a relationship ends, it can feel like we are losing something that is essential for our physical and mental well-being."

It can be helpful to think about a breakup in terms of grief, but you're also allowed to feel relief, freedom, and excitement for your new life as a single person. Regardless of who ended the relationship, most people will feel the emotional impact of this significant change — and will need to learn how to get over a breakup.

POPSUGAR spoke to Van Loo and certified relationship coach Angelika Koch about how to cope with a breakup in the healthiest ways possible. Ahead, you'll find strategies to find support, heal in a helpful way, and move on.

Feel Your Feelings Rather Than Avoid Them

An important part of accepting the end of a relationship is to give yourself permission to feel the pain, anger, guilt, and messy emotions that come along with a breakup.

For those who have been broken up with, Van Loo says people often feel lied to, manipulated, or rejected. It's OK to feel blindsided by a breakup and to stew in these feelings of rejection. On the other hand are those who initiated the breakup themselves. Van Loo says feelings of guilt are common, as is feeling bad about hurting someone you care about.

In either case, remind yourself that you deserve to be with someone who is 100 percent invested in being with you and who you want to be 100 percent invested in. In other words, partners deserve their feelings and commitment to be reciprocated — and if that's not the case, it may be time to break up.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to grieve and process your pain. "There's so much emphasis on being strong and not caring these days, but to move on, you need to grieve almost like you would a death. Someone is no longer a part of your life. Acknowledge that, and allow yourself to go through all the emotions," Koch says.

If you have a hard time giving yourself permission to feel, there are some things you can do after a breakup to tap into those emotions: try journaling, listening to a breakup playlist, watching a movie, or moving your body.

Seek Support

When mourning your breakup, you don't have to deal with your feelings and heartbreak alone. You can seek support from friends, family, and professional mental health experts.

Friends and family can provide comfort, especially because they know you well and are invested in your well-being. Your support network can also act as a buffer if you feel tempted to text your ex — if that's the case, you can text a supportive friend instead and ask for their help. As always, you should be mindful of leaning on your friends and always ask if they have the capacity to support and listen to you in the moment.

Leaning on your support system can be instrumental in getting over a breakup, but it's not the only option. You can also consider seeking therapy.

"Everyone should spend time in therapy, if they can, so if you haven't had professional support, during a breakup could be a great start," Van Loo says. "Professionals can speed up your process and help you learn and grow from your experience, supporting you in all areas of life, not just the breakup. It can be life-changing work; once you learn the tools they teach you, you have them for life."

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