How to Deal With Getting Dumped by a Boyfriend

Three Parts:Riding the Emotional Roller CoasterStrengthening Your Self-WorthBecoming a Better You

It's one of the worst emotional pains a human being can experience. You spent every waking second together. You were each others' best friends, you could tell him anything, and you maybe even thought he was the "one". But somewhere down the line, he thought differently. He ended it. It hurts, but you can bounce back from this. Learn how to effectively cope with getting dumped and pull your life back together in the aftermath.

Part 1
Riding the Emotional Roller Coaster

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    Anticipate and overcome the desire for a "fix". After being dumped, you may find yourself wanting the person even more. You might beg your boyfriend not to leave or resort to a variety of embarrassing tactics to prevent him from going through with the break-up. Research shows that emotional pain can often resemble a physical pain. You will do virtually anything to make it stop.[1] This is a common reaction after a sudden break-up. Therefore, you must set a few precautions to prevent any dramatic actions on your behalf.
    • Avoid your boyfriend at all costs until you have fully come to terms with being dumped. Refrain from showing up at his doorstep and questioning his motives.
    • If you must, delete his cell phone number and email address from your contacts list. Sure, you may remember them by heart, but the simple action of pressing "delete" can bring you some closure. Plus, the shock of scrolling through your contacts and not seeing him listed may be just what you need to remind you that you shouldn't be reaching out.
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    Allow yourself to grieve. When someone breaks your heart, and you don't see it coming, you are bound to experience a range of emotions. You may have a desire to push these emotions away. You may tell yourself "He's not worth my tears". Having loved someone at all means you should, at least, allow yourself to properly grieve the relationship. There are seven stages you can expect to go through while grieving.[2]
    • Questioning - You are consumed by a desire to understand what happened or what went wrong. You may try to seek out your ex. You may argue with friends and relatives. You may even consult absolute strangers to find clarity about what happened.
    • Denial - You have trouble accepting that your relationship has truly ended. You may continue to hope that your love together can be saved. You may refuse to believe otherwise.
    • Bargaining - You offer up any and every solution just as long as you two can stay together. You promise to change. You will be the perfect girlfriend. You try to take responsibility for the entire relationship.
    • Relapse - You manage to convince your ex to give the relationship another shot, only to go through the same break-up process all over again. Afterwards, you are finally convinced that it cannot be saved.
    • Anger - This stage occurs when you have released some of your fears about being single and can now recognize that you deserved better than what you got. Your anger may be directed at yourself, your ex, or the circumstances.
    • Initial acceptance - At this point, you are "going along" with the break-up because you have no choice. You are starting to see that the two of you just aren't meant to be. You finally stop trying to resolve things.
    • Redirected Hope - As you come to accept the circumstances, you start to assess the possibility that you may be okay on the other side of the break-up. You begin to feel some level of hope that your future--whatever it includes--will be brighter.
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    Give yourself a deadline for wallowing. When a relationship ends, you often feel resigned to just get by in life. You may lie around in sorrow. Eat your share of junk foods. Rewatch your favorite TV shows or movies. Yes, you have to grieve, but recognize that the wallowing isn't a requirement.[3]
    • Set a precise deadline for yourself--it can be a week, two weeks, or a month (depending on the seriousness or the length of the relationship). Tell yourself, after that deadline, you will no longer sit around wasting your days in misery. Make an active choice to lead a meaningful life, alone for now.
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    Get rid the personal reminders. As you are trying to successfully grieve your relationship it's a good idea to temporarily purge your life of any reminders of your doomed relationship. Holding on to personal items basically demonstrates that you expect him to come back some day. Toss these out in order to move on with your life.[4]
    • Getting rid of these things doesn't have to mean throwing them away. Toss pictures, gifts, love notes, and such in a box to tuck away in storage or in an attic. Later, when you have fully grieved and come to terms with the loss of the relationship, you can decide what to do with these items.

Part 2
Strengthening Your Self-Worth

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    Recognize all your positive traits. There are few situations that damage our egos as being dumped. From the moment your boyfriend told you it was over, you have been analyzing yourself with a microscope to identify all the things that went wrong. To counteract that, the time has come for you to acknowledge all the wonderful things that you have to offer.
    • Grab a pen and paper and list some of your best qualities. If you have trouble coming up with these traits, you can ask close friends or family to give you a few. You can also find a list of positive traits online by conducting an internet search.[5]
    • With your positive traits at hand, start a journal that details specific situations in which you have exercised those positive characteristics in your life.[6] For example, if you listed "considerate" as a positive trait, you might write in your journal about the time you spent a beautiful summer day doing crafts inside because your best friend had a broken leg and couldn't go outside.
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    Date yourself. Getting to know yourself on a deeper level can strengthen your self-worth. It also does double-duty of helping you recognize what qualities you value in a mate. Treating yourself just as kindly as you would a lover will help to rebuild your self-confidence and even connect you with better suitors in the future.[7]
    • Make a reservation to a nice restaurant. Dress well and enjoy a lavish dinner on your own.
    • Treat yourself to a spa visit. Get a facial, massage, pedicure or manicure.
    • Buy yourself a gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers, just because.
    • Go see that movie you have been dying to watch.
    • Take a new class, such as cooking, dancing, or exercise.
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    Look your best. A great way to maintain your self-esteem after being dumped is presenting your very best self to the world.[8] Many people do this as a way to show their exes what they're missing. However, you should do it for yourself. Do this to remind yourself that you are an attractive and worthwhile person, with or without a date.
    • Plus, dressing and looking your best naturally makes you feel better.
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    Believe that there is a better match for you. It may not be a good idea to immediately jump into a new relationship. However, it can be perfectly okay to casually date. The important thing is to believe in your heart that there are better days ahead for you--because there are!

Part 3
Becoming a Better You

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    Nurture yourself. During this transitional state of your life, it's important to take good care of yourself. Spend time with good friends who support you. Listen to soothing music while taking a warm, bubble bath. Spend a leisurely afternoon shopping in your favorite boutique. Hibernate at home with healthy snacks and a good book.
    • It doesn't matter what you do. Simply engage in activities and be around people that pour into your cup rather than taking from it. Be gentle with yourself and indulge in your favorite pastimes.[9]
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    Eat well. You might think that a pint of ice cream will soothe your woes. An indulgence here or there is fine, but too many indulgences can leave you feeling guilty later. Make a commitment to avoid self-sabotaging behaviors and eat healthy instead.
    • Fuel your body with real, whole foods like lean proteins, veggies, fruits, and whole grains while avoiding processed, sugary, and salty foods. A healthy diet can improve your mood.[10]
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    Stay active. In some ways, exercise can be one of the best forms of therapy.[11] You start a session feeling somber and down, and 30 minutes later you are bounding with energy and enthusiasm. Take advantage of nature's feel-good chemicals, endorphins, and schedule regular physical activity into your day.
    • Double the benefits by asking a friend to come along when you work out, or joining a group fitness class. Being with others who are in a bright mood can also influence you to feel better.
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    Strive to forgive. If you notice that no matter how many strides you take to move on, you keep returning to the past, you may need to forgive. Holding on to bitterness or resentments against your boyfriend can keep you from fully recovering after being dumped.[12]
    • You can reach a place of forgiveness by trying to understand your ex's reasoning. Have you ever been in a bad situation and didn't really know how to get out of it? Have you ever handled a situation badly and ended up hurting someone? This is not to say that what happened to you was right, but allowing yourself to at least empathize with your ex can help you find emotional closure.
    • Another method is to write a letter. You might start by simply outlining the break-up from your point of view. Then, you can move into your thoughts, feelings, and the way you reacted to being dumped. Feel free to express any anger or resentment in the letter. Get it off your chest. Finally, close the letter by telling your ex that you are choosing to forgive and move on (this doesn't mean you are forgetting!). Afterwards, you can burn the letter or shred it to pieces.[13]

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Categories: Handling Rejection