1) Do not go on your ex’s Facebook page: One of the most tempting things you will encounter immediately following a breakup is the easy access you may have to your ex’s Facebook page. While you may feel seeing what your ex is or isn’t doing may make you feel better, chances are it will only cause you anxiety over the level of over-analyzing about every post, picture, comment etc. By “creeping” your ex’s page, you continue to allow them the opportunity to break your heart over and over again.
2) Don’t post any pictures or updates on any social networking site: The problem with Facebook and other types of social networking sites after a breakup are the access that both you and your ex have with one another through “social updates”. Whether it’s posting overly positive updates, or sad pathetic updates, both provide your ex with insight that they can interpret any way that they choose. The best way to make them wonder what is going on with you is to completely disappear online, leaving them to wonder what you are doing, and why you have become invisible to them. At least for a time, not forever.
3) Don’t “Drunk Dial” your ex: The worst thing you can do is to put yourself in a situation where you are vulnerable, social, and lacking inhibitions. Typically the bar encompasses all of these things, and can lead you on a direct path to the late night “drunk dial.” While it may seem like a good idea at the time, anyone who has ever engaged in this behavior knows that the next day is typically filled with regret and anxiety. The drunk dial allows your ex to do one of two things.
a) Your Ex can make you feel pathetic and sad, or
b) They may not answer which will leave you suspicious, anxious, and sad. Either way it is a dangerous proposition and one that should be avoided at all costs, even if it means either skipping the bar, or leaving your phone at home.
4) Don’t have “revenge hook-ups”: Often after a breakup we feel the need to connect with a person physically, hoping to fill a void that our ex has left in our hearts. Often we try to fill this void with a spontaneous hook up. In theory this is a good idea, however in application it usually only brings more hurt, humiliation and regret. Your ex has already hurt you enough; there is no reason to put yourself in a risky situation, or one that you will regret in order to try to replace loneliness with instant gratification. Once the excitement ends, so does the comfort and companionship.
5) Don’t Air your dirty laundry: Typically when we are hurt from a breakup, we either don’t want to talk about it at all, or all we want to do is talk. Both are bad, and talking too much typically has a quicker negative effect then the former. One of the main things that you want to accomplish when recovering from a breakup is not allowing your ex to know how much they have hurt you. A quick way to ensure that you fail in this, is too air your dirty laundry all over town, and leaving the possibility that your ex will hear what you are saying open. If they hear that you are speaking negatively about your relations that will only strengthen their decision to end the relationship, and let them know that you are not over them. If you were over the relationship, it would no longer be something that would be on your mind and lips.
The best way to avoid these 5 pitfalls are to remember that only you can provide yourself with the closure necessary to overcome your break-up, and you have the power, strength, and control to raise your standards and find someone who deserves you.
Dr. Matt Borer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and EXaholics.com contributor