A breakup can bring a sense of relief, especially if the
relationship was making you unhappy. But it can also cause
difficult feelings such as denial ("it's not really over"), guilt,
sadness, anger, fear, rejection, confusion, shock, disbelief or
Dealing with a breakup
It takes time to get over the loss of a relationship. You might
feel as though your world has turned upside down and that things
will never be good again. The strength of your feelings might be
overwhelming. You might cry, feel restless, or have less
motivation or energy to do things. Your appetite and sleep might be
With time and support, most people pull through relationship
breakups, sometimes coming out stronger at the other end.
Some things to remember
- The end of a relationship doesn't mean that there is anything
wrong with you! Try not to take it personally - lots of people
- You don't have to be in a relationship to feel happy. It's
better to not be in a relationship than to be in bad one.
- Whatever you're feeling now won't last forever. It may take
time before you feel you have 'moved on', but you will! Take it one
day at a time, and realise that there will be good and bad
- If it was your decision to end the relationship, it doesn't
necessarily make the breakup any easier to deal with. It's
still normal (and OK) to feel upset and to miss the other
- It's OK to feel angry or hurt, but be sure you are safe in how
you express your feelings. Don't act out your anger, or do spiteful
things. Don't follow your ex around or call them all the time -
this sort of behaviour is not acceptable and will make you feel
worse in the long run. Remember that 'stalking' can be a criminal
- Don't feel embarrassed, and try not to worry about how the
situation will look to others.
- Remember that breakups can have a positive side. You can learn
more about yourself, and what you want from future relationships.
You can develop coping skills, become more independent, and have
more time to spend with friends and do the things that you
Some things that might help you feel better after a
- Let yourself be upset. Dealing with your emotions will help you
heal and feel better.
- Look after yourself. Try to keep up healthy eating, sleeping
and exercise routines.
- Be realistic when thinking about your ex and the relationship.
It's common to remember only the good things about the person and
the relationship. But be honest with yourself - it's rare for a
relationship or a person to be perfect. Remembering the things that
weren't so great will make it easier to move on.
- Try to limit how much you think about your ex. Find things that
will distract you, think positively, and try some new things!
- Give yourself some space. You don't need to shut your ex out of
life, but it might be helpful to try to avoid him/her for a while
after the breakup.
- Keep busy. You might find yourself with too much free time on
your hands, especiallyat weekends. Plan ahead to do things and meet
- Take time out for you. Do things that you find relaxing, like
going to a movie, playing or listening to music, meditating,
reading or sport.
- Treat yourself. Buy yourself a treat or do something that you
- Talk to friends. It's OK to want some time to yourself, but
being with supportive people can also be a big help. You can also
get a different perspective by talking things through with
- Don't use drugs or alcohol to deal with the pain. Alcohol will
probably make you feel worse. Drugs might give you a high at first,
but the after-effects will leave you feeling much worse.
- Give it time. Allow yourself some time to cope with the
Breaking up with someone
If you're breaking up, then try to be considerate in ending the
relationship. Think about how you would want to be treated in the
same situation. Try to end things in a way that respects the
other person, but be honest. Clearly state that the relationship is
over, and why. Understand that the other person is likely to be
hurt and perhaps angry about your decision. End the
relationship face-to-face wherever possible, rather than by text,
Facebook or email. If this isn't possible, write an email or letter
clearly stating the relationship is over, and give some explanation
for your decision.
When your ex moves on…
It can be especially hard when you find out that your ex has a
new relationship. If this happens:
- Try to avoid thinking about them being with someone else, as it
can be really painful.
Don't contact your ex or lash out at them for being in a new
relationship. It won't make you feel any better.
- If you are struggling with anger or jealousy, you need to make
sure you stay safe when dealing with these feelings. Talk to
somebody about it and get some help if you need it.
Thinking about a new relationship
Take all the time you need in beginning another relationship.
Think about what you want in your next relationship, but feel
confident about being single for a while.
When should you get some help?
Breakups hurt, but people usually get over them in time and
without any serious problems. If you find yourself unable to move
on, talk things through with someone you trust. This may be a
friend, family member, youth worker or a counsellor. Counselling
can provide a safe space to help you understand your feelings and
gain some perspective.
out how you can speak to someone at headspace.