I am ALLLLL about this subject.
When I first started writing for Ex Boyfriend Recovery, Chris asked me what subject matter I thought I would be best at writing about. I told him…
- the importance of using the No Contact Method correctly
- learning to re-love yourself
- and emotionally coping in the aftermath of a breakup
And here we are: An entire article where I get to talk about these things!
Are you excited?
So let’s start with an overview of what you already know because, well, if you’re on this page right now, chances are you’re living through it right now.
After a breakup, our egos and self confidence take a huge hit. Rejection hurts. Even if we rationally know that the breakup may be a good idea, it sucks to have someone say “no thank you.” It’s an extremely personal rejection, and it feels horrible. You also may be having mixed feelings about the breakup itself and your actions right before and right after the split. That’s normal, too.
If you’re going through a breakup, chances are you are probably feeling pretty awful, no matter the reason. It is normal to want to get lost in your grief and suffering. And that’s okay, for a while. But, sooner or later you have to get back up on your feet and move the only way there is: forward.
How to Feel Better About Yourself
I know you are likely here because you want to get your ex back, but to do that, you have to put a lot of effort into yourself, first. The key to doing this is the No Contact rule. No Contact works in a few ways:
It helps you to come to a stable emotional place after emotions have been running high after a breakup.
The time and space away from your ex gives you a chance to reflect on the relationship and frequently plays a big part in making your ex miss you.
And, most importantly, No Contact gives you the wonderful opportunity to re-create yourself and become the person you want to be.
All of these combined will assist in your healing.
I know it feels counter-intuitive, but time and space away from your ex should be the first thing that you seek after a breakup… EVEN if you already know that you want him back.
Firstly, you need to be in a stable emotional place. If you just went through the breakup, chances are you are not. Feelings and emotions are all over the place after a breakup, and it is easy to say or do things that you will later regret. Perhaps you and your ex ended on bad terms, with lots of yelling and unkind words said. It is important to have a cool down period where you allow yourself to settle emotionally, give yourself time to reflect, and put energy into yourself.
Ex Boyfriend Recovery is a long, difficult journey (that is totally worth the effort). You will need to be emotionally strong. In your interactions with your ex, he will likely say and do things that will bother you, and you’ll have to have mastered the art of holding your tongue and responding in a Ungettable Girl manner.
If you are unsure about what an Ungettable Girl is, here are a few articles about becoming Ungettable.
The basic idea here is that you shouldn’t over-react. This time apart will provide you the opportunity to come down from your intense emotions after the breakup, and start learning how to logically think through things before responding emotionally.
No Contact also gives you time to step back and gain some perspective. During your No Contact period, the time away from your ex could help you to realize that although you care for him, maybe the match wasn’t such a good fit after all. Sometimes, we are so stuck on the idea of gaining back what we lost, that we don’t stop and think logically about what we deserve and if we were actually happy with that person.
This space and time away from your ex will help you to ask yourself some tough questions and in the process, the space away from your ex could get them to start to miss you.
Your ex will expect you to be weak and reach out after the breakup. The best thing you can do is remain strong and keep on with No Contact – it will surprise him, and over that period of time, you may surprise yourself.
Which brings me to the most important component of No Contact.
The best thing you can do during the No Contact period is to throw yourself into self-improvement.
This is where I see so many women go wrong in the Ex Boyfriend Recovery process. So many women continue to focus on their ex and make changes for their ex, rather than for themselves.
I’m going to tell you a hard truth, so brace yourself.
At the end of the day, the only person you can trust, the only person you have, is yourself, even if you claim that you ex was “your other half” – a phrase I hate, by the way. You are you own damn person – you can never trust anyone 100%. It may sound cynical, but it’s just realistic.
Anyway, I digress.
The best thing you can do is to throw yourself into self-love activities. Focus on what we call The Holy Trinity of relationships:
After my breakup almost a year ago (wow!), I made a list of things I wanted to work on and accomplish. Then I broke them down into the categories. It looked a little bit like this:
- Health: Start a regular workout routine, focus on getting clearer skin, get a massage and get my nails done to pamper myself, begin cooking more at home to eat healthier.
- Wealth: Apply for a new job, move to a better place with more amenities that I wanted (shout out to my in-unit washer and dryer!).
- Relationships: Work on my friendships, be better at calling my family members on a more regular basis, and most importantly, work on loving myself.
Also… because I love lists, I made a separate one of things I should do whenever I started feeling sad. I saved it on my phone, and every time I felt a bit of sadness creep in, I would choose something to throw myself into one of these things:
- Write or journal
- Reach out to friends and family
- Do yoga
- Read something new on my reading list
- Practice one of the instruments I’m trying to learn
- Watch a Favorite TV Show (mine’s Buffy… shocker, I know)
- Take a class (baking, painting, pole dancing)
- Work out
- Volunteer somewhere
- Plan my dream get-away
- Go for a walk and spend time in nature
- Do a crafty DIY project
As you can see, I kept myself busy. Focusing on all of these different components did not JUST help me to stay distracted as I went through my No Contact period, it also helped me to learn to take care of and love myself again.
In my opinion, that’s the most important part of No Contact – learning how to feel better about yourself and working towards becoming a better person.
After a string of failed relationships in season 5, Buffy comes to the conclusion that maybe instead of focusing on being with a guy, she should focus on spending some time alone:
Xander: “Robots are the strangest people.”
Buffy: “No… people are the strangest people. I mean, look at me obsessing about being with someone. It’s like… I don’t need a guy right now. I need me. I need to get comfortable being alone with Buffy.”
Xander: “Well, I’ll say this, she’s a pretty cool person to be alone with.”
One of the biggest mistakes I see is women and men utilizing the No Contact period incorrectly.
I understand that it’s difficult to think about, but, heaven forbid, what if you don’t succeed in getting your ex back? You’ll have done none of the work to be a happier person, with or without them.
Working on yourself during No Contact works as a re-attraction phase, but more importantly than that, it helps you to be more comfortable in your skin. Whether or not you get your ex back, you have to spend the rest of your life with yourself. So you might as well make sure that you are going to like who you are when you get there.
It’s like I always say: If you get your ex back as a result of the actions you took over No Contact, great. But if not, you’ll be a better person for the next lucky man to enter your life, and more importantly, for yourself.
How to Feel Better About Your Actions and Decisions
During the period of time after a breakup, it is common to question your actions and decisions. Maybe your decisions leading up to the breakup weren’t the best ways to act according to Ex Recovery Guidelines. Here are some things that could have happened leading up that make you feel worse or feel like you could have prevented the breakup altogether:
- He started pulling away or rubber banding and you didn’t give him his space
- You started nagging or showing disinterest towards the end of your relationship
- You stopped caring about yourself and made him your world (not spending time on your own friends, goals, self care)
- You didn’t communicate effectively and avoided heavy topics
- Your sexual relationship was not prioritized.
- Or maybe you’re feeling pretty crummy about your actions or decisions after the breakup:
- You gnatted him (constant calls and texts)
- You begged and pleaded for him not to end it
- You slept with him post breakup
- You emotionally vomited all over him, spilling all of your feelings
- You started reaching out to his friends and family
Though these are all not good behaviors to exhibit post breakup (whether or not you want your ex back), it’s not the end of the world. I have seen plenty of success stories where girls did all of these things, and still managed to get their ex’s back. So don’t lose hope just yet.
What I’d suggest doing to feel better about your actions pre-or post breakup is to keep telling yourself that what’s done is done. Maybe the actions you took weren’t the best, but you can’t control the past.
What you CAN do it to make a commitment to yourself to do a better job controlling your actions going into the future. If you made any of these missteps, take special care in using the “emotional control” component of the No Contact period. Most of the actions listed above are side effects of insecurity and lacking emotional control – both things that can be resolved with time, patience, and correctly utilizing the No Contact period.
How Long Until I Feel Better?
Some common negative feelings that may be consuming you in the aftermath of your breakup could be:
- I feel sick
- I feel lost
- I feel lonely
- I feel like he doesn’t care
- I feel like he’s a stranger
- I feel guilty
- I feel like the breakup was my fault
First, it’s important for you to know that these feelings are SO common. And as much as they hurt, the are part of the healing process. My number one piece of advice is, you guessed it:
Take care of yourself. Indulge in some self care. You need to forgive yourself for any negative thoughts you have about yourself, and work to self-correct.
When I was at one of my lowest points, I did something kind of hokey, but I wholeheartedly recommend it. I was suffering from a very low self esteem, and so each morning after I took a shower, I looked at myself in the mirror for 5 minutes, and picked one thing about myself that I liked. Maybe it was my eyes for 4 days in a row, or maybe it was my sense of humor, or the way one of my eyebrows raised skeptically. The point is, I identified things that I liked about myself, and after some time passed, I learned to appreciate myself.
This brings me to my last topic, which is “fake it til you make it.”
Cary Grant is now known as one of the most charismatic men in history, basically the OG of “tall, dark and handsome.” He was also insanely charming. But Cary Grant wasn’t always who we think of today when we hear his, now widely recognized name. He was born Archibald Leach, and his home life growing up was less than ideal – his father was an alcoholic, and his mother was eventually committed to a mental institution by his father for clinical depression. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg of his woes.
Because he didn’t have the best relationship with his parents, performing became an outlet for Archibald. He eventually chose the name “Cary Grant” as his stage name, and over time, through acting the role of Grant, he essentially became a new person.
“I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be and I finally became that person. Or he became me. Or we met at some point.”
The Take Away
The most important thing I want you to take away from this article is that YOU have the power to control your destiny. You get to choose your story. How do you feel better after a breakup? You do everything you can to take care of yourself and slowly work towards being a person you are proud of being.
Alright, so now that you know how to feel better after a breakup, even a bad breakup, and you have the resources to know what to do DURING No Contact, let’s talk about YOUR breakup in particular.
I mean, we have written articles on almost every situation we have ever come across and, for the most part, every person that comes here thinks that they are an exception to the rules or perhaps that we haven’t touched on a specific situation that they are dealing with already. And you know what, even though we have dealt with a LOT of situations, you may have something unique that we haven’t covered. And we don’t want to leave you in that situation. We want to help! So, In the comments below, tell me about your breakup and we’ll help teach you how to make him know your worth and realize what he’s lost.
I want to know:
- The details of your breakup. Exactly HOW did he take you for granted.
- What you’ve done since the breakup.
- And what actions you are going to take after reading this article.