6 steps to moving on from a break up

Struggling to move on from a recent messy break up? You have our sympathies; but with these six steps, you'll feel like a new man in no time.

Break ups are rough. Really, really rough. If you’re in the throes of heartbreak, you have our deepest sympathies. We’ve all been there, in those first few gut-wrenching days of losing someone, and it’s not something we’d wish on any gentleman (or, indeed, on anyone).

There comes a point, though, when it’s important to start thinking about moving on. Tempting though it may be, no one can stay in a heartbreak-induced spiral of tears, despondence, despair and dubious coping mechanisms forever. It’s just not healthy, gents. We know it can be hard, though; so we’ve put together a six step guide to moving on from a break up in true gentlemanly style. Follow these six steps, and you’ll be a new man.

1. Resist the urge to text your ex

We get it. When you’re missing your ex, it’s the easiest thing in the world to think: “I’ll just drop her a text — just to see how she is”. But beware: this is a path fraught with peril. It goes to finding out if they’re all right to thinking you’ve made a huge mistake in breaking up at all in the blink of an eye — and you’ll end up heading down a road strewn with tears, wracked with heartache and overflowing with regrets.

Try not to text your ex. Give your phone to your housemate; maybe even delete your ex’s number, to get rid of the temptation entirely. (Don’t block them, though — that’s just rude. Unless they’re making you uncomfortable, of course.) Remember: you broke up for a reason. Probably a good reason. And starting up WhatsApp conversations with your ex will make those reasons vaguer, muddier and harder to define — until you’re right back where you don’t want to be.

2. Take some time away from alcohol

Bear with us on this one, gents. You may have heard it said that a pint with friends is the best way to cheer yourself up — and we wouldn’t necessarily disagree. But remember: alcohol is a depressant. If you’re already feeling down, alcohol may temporarily alleviate any painful feelings: but there’s every chance they’ll return in full force the next day, twice as painful and three times as acute.

Rather than drowning your sorrows, we’d advise staying away from the ‘demon drink’ while you’re struggling. We know the temptation will be there — and it’s certainly an understandable temptation. But we’d opt for soft drinks where possible. It won’t be as fun — particularly when everyone around you is making the most of our newfound freedom — but you’ll feel better in the long run. We promise.

3. Talk to your friends about it

Trust us when we say: you really, truly don’t want to bottle everything up inside. If you’re wondering whether you made the right decision (you probably did); if you’re missing your ex like crazy (very normal); or if you’re still feeling angry, hurt or worried about something your ex did — the best thing you can possibly do is to talk it all out. Get the coffee brewing, or the kettle boiling; and have a good old chinwag.

That’s what your friends are there for, at the end of the day. You never need to worry about sounding like a stuck record; if it’s on your mind, it’s worth saying. Your friends get that; and they’ll want to help you out. If you don’t express how you’re feeling, the feelings won’t go away; they’ll get bigger and bigger, until you feel the only recourse left is to text your ex (don’t do it). Trust your friends. They get it.

4. Find something to take your mind off things

Obviously, there is such a thing as ‘too much talking’. If you keep going over and over the event of the break up, or trying to guess how your ex is feeling right now, or wondering what they meant when they said *that really horrible thing*, you’ll never be able to move on. Talk your feelings out, by all means: but it’s important to reach a point where you can start to put it all behind you.

The best way to reach that point? Take your mind off it. Find a hobby (if you’re wondering where to start, we can help you out with the six most attractive hobbies for men…). It doesn’t matter what it is; it could be getting out onto the football or the rugby field, or something totally different. Try your hand at pottery; see what all the fuss is about when it comes to gardening; experiment with mindfulness. Whichever one you choose, you won’t be thinking about your break up: and that can only be a good thing.

5. Whatever you do: don’t stalk your ex on social media

It’s a pretty universal rule, really; don’t stalk your ex, regardless. Steer clear of the stalking. But when it comes to social media, this is a point we’ll ram home again and again — and again. It’s a pointless exercise, really, and it’s never going to make you feel better.

If there’s nothing to find on your ex’s Facebook or Instagram, then it’s a wasted (and embarrassing — sorry, gents) exercise. And if you do find something — maybe they’re seeing someone new, or having way too much fun while you’ve been sobbing into your pillow every night — then you’re only going to feel ten times worse than you did prior to your unwise stalking session. Trust us: it’s never going to end well.

6. Get back out on the dating scene

We should be clear here: we’re not talking about rebounds. Rebounds might be tempting; but often, they’ll leave you missing your ex more than ever while simultaneously leaving your rebound feeling hurt and embarrassed. What we are talking about, though, is seeing who else is out there.

It’s always best to be clear about your situation; don’t hide the fact that you’ve just broken up with someone. But it’s worth opening yourself up to other dating possibilities, and seeing who else is out there. It’ll remind you that there’s more than one person for everyone, and your destiny isn’t tied up with your ex — and who knows? You might even find a new relationship that isn’t going to leave you feeling heartbroken and alone. Always look on the bright side.

We know dating’s tricky, though. So to keep you clued in, here’s the problem with pick up lines…and what to do instead

Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.

Become a Gentleman’s Journal Member?

Like the Gentleman’s Journal? Why not join the Clubhouse, a special kind of private club where members receive offers and experiences from hand-picked, premium brands. You will also receive invites to exclusive events, the quarterly print magazine delivered directly to your door and your own membership card.

Click here to find out more