The thing is that break-ups just suck until they don’t. There will always be an element of having to simply ride it out. But if you want to heal your broken heart a little faster and more effectively – whether the break-up was your call, or theirs – we recommend using some of these tried-and-true methods.
If you’re finding yourself obsessing over your ex’s new life without you (we’ve all been there) take a decisive step back. Do not be afraid to mute or block them on social media. Ask mutual friends to stop passing on tidbits of gossip. Avoid places you know you’re likely to bump into the ex. You need space.
Similarly, let them do what they need to do. If it involves suddenly blocking you on all social media channels or being aloof when you suggest meeting up for the first tentative “just friends” coffee, accept that they too are doing their best to move on from the relationship.
Kiwi men are notorious for not vocalising their emotions, which can result in any unaddressed hurt becoming calcified. Get in touch with some of your closest mates and talk things through with them. Remember, New Zealanders are ticking up more than 8000 divorces every year – no doubt someone you feel you can talk to has been through something similar, and can help you identify your emotions and process them.
You used to spend your free time hanging out with your ex – you’ll need to fill that time with productive distractions. ‘Productive’ being the key word here. Now is the time to “do you”. How did you spend your time before your ex entered the picture? Maybe pick up some of those activities again.
Join your mate’s social football team, enrol in a te reo class or focus on getting that promotion at work. At some point you’ll realise you were so busy you went the whole day without thinking about your ex once.
Just like you and your ex had A Song, it helps to pick yourself out a break-up song too. Crowded House have pushed out any number of break-up beauts. Big Sean’s ‘I Don’t F*** With You’ is good for letting the rage out, ‘Heartless’ (or even just 808s and Heartbreak in its entirety) by Kanye West is good for those moments of sadness, while Dua Lipa’s ‘New Rules’ transcends gender and sexuality – follow Dua’s rules, she knows what she’s talking about!
An easy trap to fall into is trash-talking your ex. It may feel good in the moment, and you might think it is helping you to get over them, but ultimately it doesn’t do anybody any favours. While it also doesn’t help to reflect on the relationship with rose-tinted glasses, being petty is unnecessary. (This no bad-mouthing rule must be ironclad if there are kids involved).
Science has shown over and over again that exercising, especially in nature, is good for mental health. In Aotearoa a good bush walk or beach wander is never far away, and now that the weather is improving it’s the perfect time to go for a day trip. You could also book a DOC hut (preferably one without 4G reception and with a bit of a walk to get to) with some good mates for a weekend. Take a nice bottle of whisky, a bluetooth speaker and a pack of cards and you’re set. Instant perspective.
At some point, weeks or months after the break-up when your judgement is no longer foggy with emotion, it is useful to reflect. Ask yourself why the break-up happened and how you may have contributed to it. Once the healing is over it is time for growth. Don’t let old pain turn into new pain in your next relationship.