Firstly, I’m sorry. I have been where you are, more than once, and I can still remember the feelings vividly: being overwhelmed with grief, terrified about the days, months, and years ahead, and sickened with the thought of them no longer romantically tethered to me.

I can remember, for instance, minutes post breakup with a boy when I was 25, lying on the floor in my parents’ house after I’d driven there in tears, frantically trying to Google my way out of the pain: “How to get over a breakup,” evoked many guides and listicles, but none of them had helped me.

(Cut all contact for a while? I would read. Yeah thanks, but no thanks. Just tell me that it wasn’t my fault, and I won’t be alone forever!)     

That’s why I wanted to write about it myself.

Of course, nothing I – nor anyone – can write will rid you of the pain you are feeling right now. Losing someone you love is one of life’s most painful experiences.

What I do hope to do with these words is to help you move through this pain, to not blame or berate yourself for the relationship ending while doing so, and to help you believe you will find love again.

For me, my last break up was years ago. I did, actually, cut all contact with him for a while, though he’s since been reinstated on my Facebook and Instagram. And when I see his photos, I feel… nothing.  

In fact, I do not regret a single one of my what-I-thought-as-soul-destroying breakups. And, interestingly, all of the women and men I have talked to about this topic don’t, either. They’ll chat with me about their exes, flushed with excitement about their life now, their partner now, how they’ve grown, how they didn’t realise what a mess the relationship was until they’d found themselves days, months and even years away from it.

But that’s not helping you now, I know. Not when it’s fresh.

So, here’s what hopefully can.

Challenge your negative beliefs, and practice new ones

The most important thing to have on your side post-breakup, besides your Mum and/or friends, is your brain. Actually – it’s important to have your brain on your side at all times, but many of us don’t really know how to do that, because it’s hard to notice and choose our thoughts on purpose.

But now is a great time to start.

So, take a few deep breaths, and notice, really notice, what’s going on up in there.

Here’s what would often run rampant in my brain after a relationship:

  • It was all my fault
  • I ruined it
  • I’m unlovable
  • They’re going to find someone better/prettier/sexier/whatev-ier than I am
  • I’m never going to love someone as much as I loved them
  • I’m never going to be happy again

These don’t feel great, do they. And I can say with 100% certainty that none of these thoughts were true for me. Nor, if you’re thinking similarly, are they true for you. I would bet my life on it; and I don’t even know you. (Well, I might… [hello my supportive-of-your-blogging-hobby friends] but it doesn’t matter.)

Here’s how I know.

Because these are just thoughts, and thoughts aren’t facts. They are always our interpretations of them.

Even if you cheated, I guarantee that the end of the relationship was not your fault, that you didn’t ruin anything, that you are certainly still lovable and absolutely not broken.

Because some partners decide to stick together and work it out after such events. And some partners don’t. It’s not you who caused a partner to leave, rather their own thoughts and feelings about the relationship and what happened that did.

Unhelpful, self-deprecating thoughts like self-blame will only drag behind you, like a stubborn dog on a leash, slowing your journey to feeling better. They offer you nothing. That’s why you should practice ones that do.


Instead of: ‘It was all my fault’, or ‘I ruined it’, you could try:

  • It takes more than one person to make an interpersonal relationship work. The wellbeing and constructs of such relationship can never rest on one person’s shoulders alone. One person cannot be wholly responsible for its demise.
  • I am human, and humans are imperfect. We all make mistakes. I was doing the best I could to navigate the relationship as who I am at this moment on my journey: with my perspectives, experiences, hurts, fears, worries, and dreams as they are now. It would not have benefited me to have been anybody else.

Instead of ‘I’m unlovable’, you could try:

  • I believe that all humans are inherently lovable.
  • I believe that many relationships end, and that both parties of the relationship still deserve to be loved. I am no different.
  • I would continue to think my [brother/mother/friend] is lovable even if their romantic relationships came to an end.

Instead of ‘They’re going to find someone better’, you could try:

  • Our relationship was special; there is no way they could say goodbye to me and not be hurting now, too.
  • There is no universal truth as to what ‘better’ means. The only truth is that there is only one me, and that my partner will never find another me, nor replace the memories we shared: the experiences, laughs and adventures.
  • One day, I will be with somebody new. Perhaps instead of wondering what my past partner is up to, maybe I can think about what my future partner is doing now.

Instead of: ‘I’m never going to love someone as much as I loved them’, why not try:

  • I have no idea what a relationship that “works” is like. If I can love a person this much in relationships that don’t work, just imagine how much I can love a person in a relationship that works.
  • I have had more than one relationship come to an end, and each relationship has helped me discover new experiences, feelings and thoughts, and I have thought that each one was “better” than the last. This is unlikely to stop being my journey.

Instead of: ‘I’m never going to be happy again’, why not try:

  • Studies have shown that going through a break-up is on par with healing a drug addiction. The pain I am feeling from this break-up is a biological response. However, humans have historically healed from these hard times.
  • I am not alone. Think about all of the love songs, romantic movies, and the like based on love; they simply would not exist if others had not felt this way before me. Think about where these people are now (off the top of my head, I’m thinking Coldplay’s tragic Magic after Gwyneth Paltrow. Ol’ Chris moved on. I will too.)

So, first thing’s first: these new thoughts are your new best friends. Keep them with you at all times. Write them down. Practice them. Save them on your phone.

BUT here’s the thing. “Positive thinking” or affirmations won’t help you if you’re just repeating words in your head that you don’t actually believe. Thoughts that sound good but which you don’t believe aren’t going to help you. That’s why you really need to do some digging, if my examples above don’t feel right, explore ones that do. And then these are the ones you can practice.

I’d also recommend the following.

Yes, cut all contact (for now)

Because we want your thoughts focussed on you right now, not scuttling off to them, wondering who they’re with, why they’re wearing the shirt you bought them, and whether you should send them a not-so innocuous “Hey.”

Hide your correspondence

Again, we want your thoughts on you, not pouring over the many messages you shared. Archive those messages, hide the love notes in the dungeon with your fire-breathing dragon. That way, you can look back on them in the future when you’re in a good place again.

Cry when you need to

Nothing beats a good old cry, but be sure that your tears aren’t due to those unhelpful thoughts we went through above. If you need to, allow yourself to wallow in them for a designated timeslot (no more than 5 minutes) to help purge them from your system. But always finish your wallow sesh by practicing your new thoughts.

Exercise, even if just a walk

Because endorphins, and you’ll feel great knowing you’re looking after yourself.


Make lists about what your life will look like now. Make realistic goals. Look forward to your future that is brimming with opportunities.

Socialise, when you’re ready

I especially vouch for joining a new class, like a sewing class, and meeting new people who do not know about the break-up, and who accidentally give themselves a front-wedgie because they measured and sewed their pants an inch too small. It’s refreshing to have new perspectives, new friends, and new experiences.

Lean on tools

The following helped me immensely.



  • You can heal your heart by Louise Hay and David Kessler
  • Am I There Yet by Mari Andrew
  • When Life Is Not Peachy by Pip Lincolne


And, of course, a good therapist.

And remember, the pain you’re in now is because you gave your all for something special. No matter what, you can be proud of yourself for investing in relationships in the first place, because, inevitably, they only have two ways to go – until death, or until break-up.It’s always a gamble, but if you’re willing to get hurt, to go through what you’re going through now, the pay-off will be worth it one day, when you do find that relationship that works. So good on you for being so brave.

Good luck, my friend! The human race is behind you, and we know that you can do this.

Lots of love,

E x