When you’re dealing with the aftermath of a breakup, everyone will have an opinion on how to do it “best.” And, of course, you should start getting over an ex immediately.
Your mom will remind you repeatedly that there are “other fish in the sea,” your college roommate will encourage you to “get over your ex by getting under someone else,” and your best friend will show up at your door with all of the supplies necessary for a 48-hour pity party: ice cream, trashy magazines, and a DVD box set of the Sex and the City series.
While your loved ones undoubtedly have your best interests at heart, their actions and advice are most likely prolonging your pain and anguish. (Those jerks, amirite?!)
Sometimes, after a breakup, you just don’t want to talk about it. You may just want to wallow in a pint of ice cream, mope around, and cry yourself to sleep.
These are natural feelings when you break up. So there is nothing wrong with feeling them.
You have to move at your own pace, and, yes, reliving your breakup with everyone doesn’t let you start mending your heart. You just keep on festering and being upset over it.
And you probably feel like if you could just stop thinking about your ex, talking about them, and come to peace with what happened, then you would be able to move on quicker.
Scientists are now saying that there is a “right way” to get over a breakup, and as it would turn out, almost all of us have been doing it wrong.
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According to Teen Voguein 2015, researchers at the University of Arizona and Northwestern University determined that the best way to get over a split is to spend a significant period of time reflecting on the relationship — which is pretty much the opposite of what most of us have been doing. (ie, hopping into bed with other people, eating copious amounts of junk food, and/or ignoring the whole thing entirely).
The researchers came to this conclusion after conducting a study of 210 young adults, all of whom had recently experienced a breakup.
The data showed that participants who discussed their breakups at length over a 9-week period reported lower feelings of loneliness and obsessive thoughts than those who did not.
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Researchers say this period of reflection is necessary for “self-concept reorganization,” the process by which a person redefines themselves post-relationship.
So, as much as you want to push the whole blasted thing out of your mind or drown your sorrows in a bottle of chardonnay, allowing yourself the time to examine your feelings will help you emotionally accept the breakup and move on from it as quickly as possible.
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Kristyn Filip is a writer with a focus on relationships and lifestyle topics. She’s a frequent contributor to The Gloss.