The only way to truly get over a breakup is to give it time.
As biological anthropologist Helen Fisher previously told Business Insider, “The day will come when that person who’s been camping in your head is out. And you wake up in the morning and you realize that yesterday you never thought about them at all.”
In fact, research suggests that we tend to overestimate how long it will take us to feel better after a breakup.
That said, if you’ve just landed in Splitsville, there are plenty of ways to speed up the recovery process — so you can show up to work as a functioning human being, and not a sobbing mess. Below, find five scientific and expert-backed ways to cope with a rough breakup.
Don’t Facebook-stalk your ex
A study published 2012 in the journal Cyberpsychology found that people who creep on their exes’ Facebook profiles are more likely to have negative feelings for the person, more likely to desire that person, and less likely to grow from the breakup.
It’s hard to say whether looking at an ex’s Facebook profile directly causes distress, or whether it’s the other way around. Either way, do yourself a favor and try to resist the urge to “just check” what your ex has been up to since the breakup.
List five ‘must-haves’ and five ‘can’t-stands’ in a potential partner
That’s a tip from Andrea Syrtash, dating expert and author of “He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s a Good Thing): How to Find Love Where You Least Expect It.”
Syrtash previously told Business Insider she recommends going deeper with each value — so instead of “must have brown hair and brown eyes,” try “I must be attracted to this person.”
One benefit of this exercise is that you might realize while you want someone who’s emotionally open, for example, none of your exes have been. From there, you can start to look for a partner who’s more suitable for you.
Try not to assume that the breakup reflects something wrong with you
A 2016 paper in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin suggests that your ability to deal with a breakup has a lot to do with your sense of self.
One of the study authors, Lauren Howe, broke it down in The Atlantic:
“In our research, people reported the most prolonged distress after a romantic rejection when it caused their self-image to change for the worse. People who agreed that the rejection made them question who they really were also reported more often that they were still upset when they thought about the person who had rejected them.”
On the other hand, Howe wrote, people who responded with remarks such as, “I learned that two people can both be quality individuals, but that doesn’t mean they belong together” tended to have an easier time with the breakup.
Howe recommends that we try to “question our own narratives” about what the breakup reveals about us in order to have an easier time coping.