How to survive a breakup: 13 tips from a psychologist

Author of the article: Naumenko Alexandra Igorevna Family psychologist, child psychologist. Practical work experience: 8 years.

We want to love and be loved, we strive to create a happy and strong family, to live in abundance and prosperity. But before finding the perfect life partner, many of us are destined to go through a series of breakups. Some people perceive this as the beginning of a new stage in life and find the strength to move forward, but for others, a break with a loved one is comparable to a serious loss.

All will pass…

Of course, time heals even the deepest wounds. But in the present moment, it seems that it is simply impossible to continue living, since the brain is absorbed in memories of the past, and feelings towards the ex-partner are still as strong. As a result, we withdraw into ourselves, refuse to communicate with loved ones, surrender to the power of negative thoughts and anxious expectations, and get bogged down in a depressed emotional state.

Although now you don’t understand how to live on after a breakup, sooner or later the mental pain will pass. The main thing is not to give up and do everything possible to prevent this condition from leading to prolonged depression and leaving its mark on subsequent relationships. Life is not over, many interesting things await you ahead, including new, no less happy relationships.

If you are unable to cope with the pain of loss on your own, we strongly recommend enlisting the help of a psychologist. When breaking up, this is the best decision. Or at least take his advice.

If the breakup occurred suddenly and on the initiative of a loved one, and the relationship itself was characterized by painful dependence and the need to care for and control the other, then the experiences may drag on for more than a year.

How long does it take to get over a breakup?

Many people are interested not only in how to survive the breakup of a long-term relationship, but also how long it will take. Everyone is individual and experiences this difficult period in their own way. In turn, the intensity and duration of experiences directly depend on a combination of the following factors:

  • type of nervous system;
  • circumstances surrounding separation;
  • the desire and effort you put into starting life over with a clean slate.

It is believed that full recovery from a rupture takes from several months to a year. However, if the breakup occurred suddenly and on the initiative of a loved one, and the relationship itself was characterized by painful dependence and the need to care for and control the other, then the experiences may drag on for a longer period.

It is much easier to survive a breakup with a loved one if both partners found the courage to admit that the relationship had exhausted itself, and at parting expressed gratitude to each other for all the good things that happened. Of course, this does not mean at all that people who are able to easily give another person the desired freedom and part peacefully are robots devoid of human feelings. They simply know how to find resources within themselves that support them in difficult periods of life and, after parting, experience bright sadness rather than unbearable pain and reluctance to live on.

Realize that relationships, in any case, cannot be a mission and goal in life.

  1. Social programming suggests that relationships are the most important component in life. That is, people make building relationships the main component of life. This is a very common thing that can be observed now.
  2. She is so Hollywood and from films or from some secret childhood dreams. It occurs in both men and women. And if you do not get rid of this illusion, you will still need advice from a psychologist on how to survive a breakup with your loved one.
  3. There is another wrong belief among people . People come to their soulmate as if under the bosom of a tree from work or school with the conviction “but here I will feel good.” And if this happens in your head, then, as a rule, it does not live up to your expectations.
  4. Sooner or later, illusions will collapse . To some extent, people can create this illusion for each other, then it all just falls apart.

Relationships are definitely important.

In them we can realize ourselves, let another person realize themselves, establish emotional contact with a partner, make our life and his life easier.

But in general they cannot be a mission.

Relationships in any case cannot be a mission in life!

Illusions of girls

On the part of girls, this thing is present in their heads more often. And therefore, they more often need help and various advice from a psychologist on how to survive a breakup with the man they love.

Girls elevate relationships to a higher rank because they have such a biological factor as family and children.

Your problem is that you needed to distract yourself from tightly clinging to relationships and making them a goal in life.

This will only make things worse for you, because sooner or later your illusions will begin to shatter, and you will again think about what to do when your loved one has left you.

Why do you feel bad from a scientific point of view?

The “broken” state after a breakup is caused by hormonal changes in the body. What distinguishes humans from primates and other animals are social bonds, which include love. To understand what happens to the brain during separation, it is necessary to determine the physiological processes that accompany falling in love.

  • Attraction. As soon as partners who are suitable for each other meet, those same “butterflies in the stomach” appear. The hormone testosterone is responsible for ensuring libido.
  • Love. Motivation to achieve a partner is provided by the hormone dopamine, which activates the reward system - internal confidence in pleasure with the object of passion. At this stage, cortisol is produced, which puts the body into a state of stress. Adrenaline begins to actively release, hence the pounding of the heart, the desire to jump at the sight of a loved one.
  • When you fall in love, norepinephrine levels increase. The hormone fixes in memory the stimuli associated with the object of passion - in scientific words this is called “imprinting”. The image of the beloved is sealed in the memory, which makes it difficult to survive the separation in the future. At the same time, the level of serotonin decreases, as in obsessive-compulsive disorder, obsessive thoughts about a loved one haunt you.

When everything is good in a relationship, there is a feeling of security and emotional stability. During sex and social contacts, partners produce the joy hormone oxytocin. This is how nature intended for the couple to stay together and raise their offspring to continue the species.

What happens to the body when you break up?

At the beginning of a relationship, the brain produces the joy hormones oxytocin and dopamine. When the object of passion is nearby, the reward system is activated - a feeling of happiness.

After a breakup, the reward system turns off, the protective pain perception system turns on, and stress hormones are produced. They affect the immune, cardiovascular and digestive systems, and the brain receives signals about physical pain. And although everything is fine with the body, it seems to the person that he is experiencing a painful shock.

The posterior cingulate gyrus begins to work intensively, sending pain signals to the neurons of the brain. When looking at a photograph of a former lover, the secondary somatosensory cortex and insula are activated, sending a signal of acute pain. At times of stress and social rejection, opioids are produced - natural painkillers, as in the case of a fracture or other sharp pain.

On a note!

Takotsubo syndrome is a malfunction of the heart muscle under the influence of stress hormones. In severe cases it leads to death. A popular name is broken heart syndrome.

Don't let yourself fall into an emotional hole after a breakup

  1. It is very important when such breaks and critical moments occur, it is not to let yourself slide into an emotional hole. Some people become depressed. You can learn about ways to get rid of depression in another publication. They can last not one day, but even a week or two. This can really undermine you.
  2. Emotionally, the problem may be completely trivial. But, for example, a man can fall so emotionally into this gap that he has a desire to go to the mountains, become a monk and do nothing else in this life, or go headlong into business, forgetting about women altogether.
  3. Although in reality not everything is so serious . Anything can happen. Don’t beat yourself up, don’t make mountains out of molehills, and know everything about how to survive a breakup with a girl after a long relationship or many years of marriage.

How women cope with separation

Most often, women experience breakups more difficult than men. In addition, along with the pain of separation, they tend to experience love addiction. Men, in contrast, are less likely to follow the lead of their hormonal levels. Love addiction is characterized by suffering that develops into depression. This destructive state is very reminiscent of drug addiction, only instead of a prohibited drug, the woman feels the need for her object of passion. The depressive state in this case must be treated as soon as possible. If you do not do this on time, complete disappointment in love may come, and the woman will not be able to build a new healthy relationship.

A psychologist will tell you how to get over a breakup easier. Few women will be able to overcome and overcome their emotions without outside help. A specialist will understand the feelings and also help correct the distorted perception of self-esteem that often develops after a breakup. At the recovery stage, it is very important for a woman to understand that she was not left because she was bad. By realizing this with the help of a psychologist, she will be able to raise her self-esteem and move forward to new happiness.

What Your Brain Can Do to You: The Broken Record Analogy

  • All your memories of past love , when everything was good, bloomed and smelled - it’s just an appearance. If that balance were preserved, then this would really be so. And this is an illusory appearance. This is already like a broken record, which is also broken.
  • How is your brain playing tricks on you? When you had a breakup and there were a lot of mistakes that you don’t even really want to remember, your brain throws this broken record at you.
  • In your head you yourself put on this broken record , where the smooth melody no longer plays, but an incomprehensible grinding sound, a pitiful semblance of a melody and only unpleasant sounds.
  • This record no longer needs to be repaired ! You just need to find what you really need!
  • There's no need to even try to go back . It's not worth it. Approach the situation soberly, and you will know everything about how to start living after breaking up with your loved one.

How to survive a breakup with a man: advice from a psychologist

Those who were friends before the relationship turned romantic often remain friends after the breakup. Decide for yourself whether you are ready to continue seeing your ex. It’s not for nothing that there is a proverb “out of sight, out of mind.” It's easier to forget a person if you don't maintain any connections with him. In any case, you both may need some time to be apart and focus on a purely friendly relationship.

Cut all ties

Try to avoid contact with your ex-boyfriend for at least 5 weeks. Over such a period of time, the strength of attachment weakens, and subsequently it will be much easier to communicate. Make sure that nothing reminds you of your ex. It is useful to unsubscribe from his pages on social networks, delete all correspondence and SMS messages. After a breakup, many people get rid of all photos and gifts from their loved ones together, and even stop communicating with mutual friends. If you can’t bear to part with things that remind you of your loved one, try putting them in a box and hiding them away. For example, give it to a relative or friend for safekeeping.

Remove all music from your player that reminds you of your relationship. Replace them with uplifting tracks that lift your spirits. Ask mutual friends to avoid mentioning your ex in your presence if possible.

Often couples live in the trap of self-deception, believing that they have separated, but in fact they are dependent on each other. For example, they do not end close relationships in bed or live in the same living space. Be honest with yourself and don't make these mistakes.

Clear space

Update your apartment: do a general cleaning, rearrange the furniture, put up new wallpaper. Change your appearance: go through your wardrobe, throw away clothes you no longer like. After clearing the external space, mental cleansing occurs, and it will become easier to accept changes.

Often, parting with a loved one has a detrimental effect on the appearance of women. Due to worries, representatives of the weaker half of humanity often lose their appetite, which leads to excessive weight loss, or, conversely, they eat stress and gain extra pounds. Poor sleep immediately manifests itself in the form of dull skin and dark circles under the eyes.

Monitor your health

You need to find the strength to continue taking care of yourself. Regular healthy eating, manicures, hairstyles, walks in the fresh air, and sports will help keep you in shape - both physically and emotionally.

The external influences the internal. You can try such a psychological technique as changing your image. Experiment with hair color and length, buy new beautiful clothes and shoes. And very soon you will feel better.

Friends support

After a breakup, friends will try to distract you from painful thoughts, get you out of the house, and keep you busy with something interesting. Don't refuse help from others. Having “suffered” the time allocated for this, allow them to do it. Having fun with loving people is a great way to feel better after a breakup.

Allow yourself to leave forever: there is nothing left to decide, no need to cling

Let yourself go forever.

Understand that there is nothing and no one to resolve.

Some of you messed up and it is important to understand that this is normal.

No matter how painful it may be, give yourself the opportunity to leave forever.

Just like your partner gives himself this opportunity.

Every girl and every guy gives himself this opportunity.

Understanding this will close your worries about thoughts about how to survive the breakup of relationships with loved ones.

Self-therapy diary

Keeping a diary is useful during any emotional upheaval; it allows you to express all the feelings and thoughts that torment you and becomes a calm for the mind, obsessively returning to the object of former love.

To take back control of your self-assessment, use a notebook, a pen, and your mind. Write down on paper both what you are grateful for to your partner, as well as the criticism and regrets that have accumulated during the relationship. Formulate why your relationship didn’t work: you wanted different things from life, you didn’t agree on values, the relationship was painful, someone suppressed someone. Make a list of things you had to sacrifice and compromises on that you didn't want to. Write down your daily thoughts and experiences, trying to comprehend the past stage and crystallize it into experience.

It is this experience at the end of your breakup that will become a new part of your personality, your wisdom and maturity. Meaningful experiences are your wealth. Even painful experiences can benefit the individual if they are recognized and processed.

Regaining your independence and learning to rely on yourself will serve your personality well: you are complete, and you don't need another person to have value, to know what to do and who to be.

After such work on understanding your emotional experience, you will feel relief and the beginning of a new life. Research shows that people who understand the reasons for a breakup recover faster and are more satisfied with their next relationship than those who do not reflect on it.

Make a choice to be cool and not needy, remove expectations.

  1. A non-needy person is one who does not cling to other people, is inclined to give more than to receive, and never expects anything from this life! Strive to be one.
  2. A person who is not in need does not think about what you will have in the future (even if there is a 99% guarantee, you do not tell others). You can say: “Yes, I have such plans...”. You're going to do it, but you're not living it.
  3. You take what you have at the moment , but you never expect anything to happen in the future - good or bad. It's useless.
  4. Those things that you can cling to in life can be so ephemeral and destructible .
  5. Your reality should not be based on something external!

A person who is not in need does not need both things and people equally! The paradigm is that they are with them, but there is no fear of loss at all!

A person who is not needy never asks questions about how to continue living after a breakup.

A strong person is only glad that weak people themselves leave his life.

It’s harder for a woman to live like this, but it’s possible. No need to cling to people.

Detailed principles of self-confidence for girls are also collected in another section on the site.

Women have a natural need for a man who will protect her, take care of her, they cling to men. This is their problem!

On our website you can also read another article on the topic of how to get rid of attachment and love addiction.

Psychological assistance to children during separation of parents

Divorce is stressful not only for the husband and wife, but also for the rest of the family. To minimize the negative consequences of parental separation for a child, it is necessary:

  • explain to the baby that husband and wife get divorced, but mom and dad never, he never loses either of his parents;
  • Explain to the baby that the blame for the separation of mom and dad in no case lies with him;
  • the child must have a clear idea of ​​his future - how he will live, with whom, how often to see each of his parents;
  • under no circumstances use the child as a means of revenge and manipulation of each other;
  • If there is a sudden change in the child’s behavior (fears, aggression, hyperactivity), you should immediately consult a psychologist.

It is important to get rid of the feeling of guilt in front of the child. After all, the baby accurately reads the emotional state of the parents. If you yourself are convinced that an irreparable tragedy has occurred, then the baby will feel the same. Remember that in order to maintain psychological health, it is more important for a child to live in an atmosphere of love than in a complete family, where there is a constant tension and conflicts.

Don't forget that the same event can be perceived in different ways. Treat relationships as an adventure that doesn't always end well. See them as part of a success story (“thank you for the time we spent together, for our son”), rather than a failure (“nobody loves me,” “all men/women are worthless”).

In the next six months or a year, completely change your perception of the relationship.

  • After your breakup, don’t immediately cling to a new person and don’t try to make him yours for a very long time.
  • This should not be confused with not communicating or getting to know anyone at all. No, you are still communicating and getting close to new people, enjoying the attraction between you.
  • But there should not be this desire to make a person your property for some long time.
  • You must remove the time frame into which you will begin to unknowingly drive a person.
  • Live like this for at least the next six months after the breakup. Then, after six months, based on your inner feelings, you can again return to a long-term relationship with one girl (man).

A subtle point that needs to be implemented

Replace the desire to make a person your property with the desire to make him happy.

The best thing you can do for your partner is to let him live his life to the fullest, and you will be there with him whenever he and you want.

You still truly love your partner, but you don't try to keep him in any way.

You must live your own life and give your partner complete freedom of choice.

Implement this perception and no longer worry about how to get over a breakup with your lover or your secret crush.

You can also read about the psychology of relationships between a guy and a girl in a new publication.

The difference between healthy and unhealthy neediness

  1. There should be no boundaries or understanding that a person is yours. And then you can always go further in terms of developing your spirituality, your level of happiness and harmony.
  2. Yes, you may have a certain percentage of neediness in a new relationship, but this healthy neediness is when you just want to see the person (no matter how you spend your time). You just want to be together.

A psychologist's view: what is an open gestalt

From a psychological point of view, a painful state of mind after a breakup is an open gestalt. Events and relationships from the past constantly arise in thoughts, do not allow you to concentrate on the present, cause a feeling of discomfort and, in especially severe cases, develop into neurosis.

Resentments are mentally tied to the former partner. On a subconscious level, a person wants to take revenge or achieve satisfaction. There are several ways to close a gestalt.


The feeling of revenge pushes the desire to return the former partner and leave him. The psychological clamp is removed, the gestalt is closed.


The abandoned partner decides to change himself for the better. Guys go to the gym, girls go on a diet. Having changed himself externally, he arranges a meeting with his ex so that he can see the changes. The goal is achieved, the gestalt closes.


After a breakup, you work on yourself. A person moves towards his goals, achieves a high social status, increases his value in the eyes of others and finds a new partner of his level. Comparing him with his ex or ex, he understands the difference and closes the gestalt.

Logical path

Requires enormous willpower and self-improvement. It is necessary to realize your complexes, mistakes and do a complete reassessment of values. After accepting responsibility for the past, do what you love, which will make it easier to survive betrayal and separation, and close the gestalt.


The most difficult strategy for the power of internal work on yourself. It is necessary to fully accept your ex-partner and yourself as you are, with all the shortcomings. Gestalt closes after all grievances are closed.

Leaving into the sunset

To be realized, you must have significance for your ex-partner. You need to part ways without a scandal, wishing them luck. Do not monitor on social networks, do not look for meetings and do not call. Gap for 1.5-2 years, after which you arrange a meeting, say hello and show with all your appearance that you are not suffering. The gestalt will be closed if you really work on yourself and accept the situation.

Psychologist Tatyana Gribanova offers a strategy for closing gestalts, aimed at freeing oneself from anchors and hooks - psychological ties to the past:

  • staging;
  • ending with fantasy;
  • liberation through story;
  • acceptance and resignation to the situation.

The essence of the strategy is to act out dialogue scenes in which the ex-partner asks for forgiveness and accepts the apology. This helps to free yourself from psychological anchors and express your thoughts and feelings.

It is necessary to repeat the story according to the script 5-6 times; over time, the events will be perceived as a boring series.


Parting is sometimes the only way out, a test that must be experienced and accepted as experience in order to meet a worthy and loving man in the future. But emotions must be thrown out, the pain should not remain inside. There are many examples from real life when a former relationship destroyed a family, but unforgotten love beckoned. But only a few, after a long break, became a happy couple, the rest received a new portion of negativity, and returned to the first stage of the experience.

Living in the past is not an option; the Universe is not fixated on one person. There are a huge number of single people in the world looking for a partner. Don’t focus on losses, concentrate on analyzing the past union, whether it was ideal, whether this person really gave you everything you wanted to achieve. Maybe becoming free is a luxury that is not available to everyone, maybe it’s a chance for development, transformation, to conquer a dream.

Share your stories in the comments? How long did it take you to get over the breakup? Are there any readers who, having returned to their ex after a breakup, found happiness together again?

( 1 rating, average 4 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends:
For any suggestions regarding the site: [email protected]
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]