Your 6-Step Guide for Getting Over a Breakup

Not only is fall the season of the legendary “turkey dump” phenomenon—in which high-school sweethearts split over Thanksgiving break during their first semester of college—but it is also, innately, a time of turnover in other respects. The leaves are changing color. New fashion collections are arriving in stores. Hot coffee is taking the place of iced. The end of the year is suddenly hurtling toward us. So it’s no wonder that this time of year is fertile territory for relationship second-guessing, even when you’re finished with college. Indeed, you could go so far as to say we are in the apples-and-cream thick of breakup season.

If you find yourself a participant, whether as dumper or dumpee, there is typically a requisite recovery period that follows the fissure. There’s an old saying that it takes at least half the amount of time you were in the relationship to “get over” it when it ends, but there’s truly no one-size-fits-all duration for breakup recovery. There is, however, a one-size-fits-most approach to arriving at the finish line of the moving on Olympics–a six-step protocol for getting over a breakup, sourced straight from the Man Repeller community members who have been there.

Scroll down for the ultimate heartbreak prescription.

Step One: Wallow Your Socks Off

There’s no wrong way to tackle this preliminary step–or any step that follows, for that matter, but especially this one, because it basically just involves feeling your feelings. During your rawest, newborn-babiest, most freshly broken-up period, the very best thing to do is to simply entertain every thought, emotion, and impulse to write sad diary entries that comes over you. If crying’s your thing, do it. If ice cream’s your thing, eat it. Give in to your primal instincts and let your most human qualities seep out of every pore. (Too gross? No, this stage is about crossing emotional lines.)

Step Two: Partake in Some (Legal) Stalking

As much as digitally stalking an ex sounds unproductive, especially after all that quality wallowing, it can actually be a vital step in putting a breakup to bed. Mainly because if you don’t do it early on, you’re going to want to do it later. So go ahead! Conduct a little Instagram investigation. Check out their Snapchat location. Take the route home that just-so-happens to pass by their favorite bar. Worst-case scenario, they catch wind of your antics and it’s kind of awkward, but ultimately not that big of a deal because, of course, they’ve been doing the same thing. Best case scenario: All that “checking in” will reacquaint you with some of the reasons why you aren’t meant to be in the first place.

Step Three: Life-Affirming Sleepover Time

Now that you’ve checked off your breakup recovery’s solo activities, it’s time to circle back to the friends who have been patiently waiting for you to finish blowing your nose and buck up just enough for them to smother you with cheer-upping. Invite a few of them over for a sleepover (black-tie leisurewear optional). Feel free to set the tone of the evening with either of the following themes: a) forgetting your ex ever existed or b) talking about your ex all night long. Snack suggestions include popcorn and M&Ms (combined in the same bowl, naturally) and movie suggestions include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (if you to comfort yourself that the breakup of two fictional characters was WAY worse than yours) or Crazy, Stupid Love (Ryan Gosling–self-explanatory).

Step Four: Get Down With a DFMO

Knock knock! It’s time for you to leave your Netflix nest. At this point, you’re probably feeling exactly the opposite, which is to say a Night Out–capital N, capital O. But this phase is the perfect opportunity to tease out your hair and put on that feathered top you’ve had in the back of your closet for ages–plus shoes with dancing written into their destiny. Apply an extra swipe of deodorant before heading out the door and into whatever evening vibe speaks to your soul. You may or may not want to indulge in a DFMO (highly recommend), but either way, this post-sundown extravaganza is yours for the unabashed gyrating.

Step Five: Lobby for a Hobby

Relationships take up a lot of time, which is precisely why picking up a hobby in the aftermath of one dissolving is an excellent idea. Now is the perfect opportunity to finally go to that pottery class that’s been intriguing you for months. Or join the book club that’s advertised on a flier in your building lobby. Or buy a ski outfit with the intention of learning how to ski… eventually. Regardless of the pastime you choose, it’s likely to not only take your mind off the breakup but also introduce you a new crew of potential friends and—who knows—maybe even lovers?

Step Six: ROAD TRIP!!!!!!

Pack your bags and rent a Jeep! The final phase of your breakup recovery is road-tripping anywhere and/or everywhere, either alone or with some pals. Thanks to their facilitation of moody soundtracks, heads hanging out of windows, scenic routes, gas station Pringles, and the thrill of uncertainty, road trips are an ideal cherry on top to finding yourself in newly-minted singlehood. When you’re sitting on the hood of your car breathing in fresh air and staring up at the Big Dipper without even the smallest impulse to text your ex, you’ll know you’ve made it.

Any other tried-and-true tips for getting over a breakup? Drop them like hot potatoes in the comments.

Stylist / Director: Monica Morales at DLM
Photographer: Daniel Nadel at DLM
Videographer: Gemma De Maria at Chic Model Management 
Makeup: Katie Angus
Hair: Gavin Anesburry using Hair Rituel by Sisley, Represented by Vivien’s Creative
Talent: Nuria Rothschild at IMG, Geegee Ferguson at Kult Australia and Kiesha Bovill at Kult Australia
Stylist Assistant: Gemma Brookes

Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

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