I was 12 years old when I got dumped for the first time, and I still remember it like it was yesterday. At the time, my godmother gave me the best piece of breakup advice I have ever received. “Breakups are like a bikini wax — they never get easier, but after a while, you learn how to deal with the pain,” she told me. A dozen broken hearts (and bikini waxes) later, I’ve now realized just how unerring her words truly were.
Unless you’re one those people who ends up marrying their grade school boyfriend/girlfriend, which is less than two percent of the population btw, and staying together forever, you know that breakups are a part of life. And, as I so eloquently learned as a pre-teen, it’s not whether they happen that matters, but rather how you deal with them when they do.
According to new research, there are a number of different ways to “properly” get over breakup brain — including distracting yourself, filling your head with negative thoughts about your ex, and reminding yourself that it’s okay to love someone you’re no longer with. Each method works in its own way, but the common theme is that they all change your way of thinking about about the other person.
Truth is, as anyone who’s ever found themselves crying into a pint of Halo Top and re-reading old text messages knows, this is a lot easier said than done. So, to find out how to put this science into IRL practice, I reached out to women and men who have been through a bad breakup before. For me, meditation and going on long runs always helped, but there are many, many more helpful (and creative) ways to get through it. Keep scrolling to learn more.