Unhealthy Post-Breakup Behavior That’s Affecting Your Current Love Life
Breakups are hard for everyone. After a breakup it’s instinct to pretend everything is okay and try to move on too quickly, but doing these things may be causing you more harm than good.
Reliving the good moments
This is the worst and I do it all the time. “Oh, but remember when we did this together? I LOVE HIM. I want him back so bad. WE’RE PERFECT TOGETHER.”
NO. If there’s some chance of salvaging the relationship, then do it. If there isn’t, you must come to terms with the fact that it’s over and probably wasn’t as awesome as you remembered it. It’s like your last week at the job you hated: suddenly, everything looks awesome and you can’t leave. It’s separation anxiety, and the tendency to romanticize the past because we’re afraid of the future. If you were so perfect together, you’d probably still be together, even with difficulties.
Agonizing over the bad moments
Oeranalyzing every fork in the road, every moment that went awry, and all the things you could have done differently is classic unhealthy behavior. There’s nothing you can change about the relationship. If there was, you would probably have done it already. When a breakup is for real, the best way to remain in a healthy mindset is to stop wondering what you could have done to save it, or whether it was all your fault. Chances are it wasn’t just your fault; relationships are fiddly, complicated beasts that mutate for a myriad of reasons, large and small. They’re hydras.
Don’t pity yourself, hate yourself and wonder what you did. Now’s the time to look forward, not back.
Constantly bringing them up in conversation
I’m guilty of this—I constantly think of my exes and tend to bring them up organically in conversation. But bringing them up just makes you more aware of them, makes you remember things, makes you nostalgic, maybe even self-pitying. Unless you really need to vent or confide in a friend, pretend they don’t exist and reflect that in your language. Otherwise, you may be tempted to look them up online later! Which is a very, very bad idea…
Oh, the stalking
Do me favor: just unfollow your ex everywhere. Block them on Facebook if you don’t trust yourself not to look, and make your friends do the same. Unfollow on Instagram, Twitter, and erase them from your Snapchat contacts. Cut off all social media ties, because there’s nothing worse than reading into your ex’s drunken tweets and Snapchat stories and wondering if there’s a new person in their lives. It’ll only make you cry and smash things. Just don’t do it, promise?
Studies show that rebounding causes more harm than good. Even though it’s commonly accepted wisdom that “getting back in the game” or “getting under someone else” is good for you after a relationship, it’s actually a very bad idea. Who knows why? Just don’t do it. Maybe. ;)
Waiting for something better
After a breakup, we tend to think that the only way to replace this hole in our lives is to immediately find a “replacement” partner. Without fully healing from our previous relationship and the subsequent feelings of grief and loss, we throw ourselves into another relationship and end up projecting all our pain and needs onto a new partner and a new relationship just as balm for our souls. Chances are, a serious relationship right after a previous one ended won’t last very long.
Comparing new potential partners to old flames
If you do wait to date and take some time to heal emotionally, when you do meet someone new, you may compare this new person with our old S.O., unfairly. We shouldn’t judge a new relationship by an old one, unless of course, you’re being severely mistreated. Remember that people are all different, and that you may be harming your budding love by placing this new person against a legacy they may not be able to live up to. You may be unconsciously sabotaging a good thing.