New Age Breakup Advice

A couple in the midst of a split; the woman wonders what to do after breaking up.

Everett Collection /

If you are going through a breakup, whether it was posed by you or the other person, you’re probably dealing with a lot of painful emotions right now. You might be eating a carton of Chunky Monkey ice cream, talking to your cat, or pretending you’re totally fine. Either way, you’re not yourself and need some help recovering. And that’s okay.

Dating today is more complicated than ever before. It’s no longer simply, “It’s not you; it’s me.” Mixing technology with the dating world makes it much more challenging to move on from those breakups.

A stick figure sitting alone wondering how to get through a breakup

Lemonade Serenade /

Love is a tricky subject no matter what, and anyone can attest to that. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help from friends and counselors. As someone who has been through a few breakups, I want to share with you some tips for healing to help you conquer the challenges you’re facing.

Take Time for Yourself

Step one: Shut off your phone and put it at the bottom of a drawer. It’s not a bad thing to take time for yourself. Being alone to refocus your wants and needs without compromising with any other person is so important. It allows you to collect your thoughts on the breakup and decide where to go from here. In this time, you can start a journal; make a list of wants, needs, and desires; or take a walk in nature. Remember, you are the most important person in your life. Take care of yourself first.

Allow Yourself to Feel It

The more you hold your emotions in, the longer it will take to heal. This doesn’t mean you need to shout at your ex about how badly you’re feeling, but when you need to cry, cry. It’s okay to acknowledge your pain over letting go of a friend and lover. Just remember that every ending is a new beginning, and even if you can’t see it right now, this happened for a very important reason. Also, remember, there is no time limit on the healing process!

Keep Your Distance

Staying friends may be a priority for each of you, but a healthy breakup means separating yourselves until the dust settles. No texts, no emails, no calls, and maybe you shouldn’t spend so much time with mutual friends either. This can be especially challenging if you go to the same school, and even more so if you’re in the same classes as your ex. Think about making a clear agreement with the other about when you will feel comfortable reconnecting. This shows that you respect each other’s feelings while taking the space that you need.

Don’t Cyberstalk

This is probably one of the biggest roadblocks for getting over an ex, and it seems that very few people want to talk about. When you date someone, it’s likely that you follow that person on all forms of social media, but that profile might pop up after the breakup too. Though it’s nice to see what your ex is up to, the truth is, we often cyberstalk to hold onto old memories or because we want to see who is “winning the breakup.” It’s self-torture! Make a conscious effort to avoid your ex’s page updates; it will give you peace of mind. After one particular breakup, I put Post-It notes on my computer to remind myself something good was on its way. Another option is to simply delete or unfriend your ex. Letting go is not the end of the world!

Get Back to the Things You Love

When you’re ready to get up and moving, start doing activities that you love. Maybe you used to paint or go to the gym, but you put it on the back burner recently. Now is a great time to be reminded of the things that make you, well, you!
Who knows, it might even lead you to something new that you’ll love even more. Either way, keeping busy with your hobbies will keep your mind off of the breakup.

A stick figure going for a jog

Hannah Ensor /

Train Your Brain

Sometimes, even when you’re busy, it’s hard to keep your mind from straying back to the situation. Often, we let our feelings become distorted because we’re upset, resulting in either too negative or too positive of feelings when looking back at the past, and truthfully, I can’t help you sort out what’s real from those distorted memories. What I can tell you is that you have the power to bring positive affirmations into your thoughts at those times. Take that highly recommended time for yourself to figure out what brings your emotions back into yin and yang. What helps you continue to move forward? If you think speaking to a school counselor or finding a therapist in your area will give you the freedom to sort out your emotions, don’t hesitate. It will be worth it.

Remember to be kind to yourself. Often, when we go through hard times, we get so focused on getting through the negative emotions we’re harboring that we forget to take care of our bodies. Nourish yourself, drink water, eat. It’s one of the best ways to go about feeling like yourself again. Letting go of a relationship is never easy, but when one door closes, another one opens. Remember that there are better things ahead. Be gentle with yourself. A greater love is on its way, and it starts with you.

About Katelyn Brush

Katelyn likes learning, good health, traveling, and pizza on Fridays. Her mixed education, composed of SUNY the College at Brockport, a semester at a community college, and one abroad at the University of Oxford, helped her earn a bachelor’s degree in English. College also gave her a few lessons in Taekwondo and sleeping in a hostel dorm with total strangers. She’s a yoga teacher, author and illustrator of the children’s book, “Signing Together: A Guide to American Sign Language for Everyone.” As a Student Caffé writer, she hopes to help you through the highs and lows of college with a laugh ... or 20.

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