Breakups fucking suck.
That’s the golden rule of breakups… it’s always true.
It doesn’t matter if you broke up with her or she broke up with you. It even doesn’t matter if it was working, but one of you had to move across the country.
There’s not a single scenario where a relationship ends between two people who loved each other, and it doesn’t completely suck.
There will be an inevitable period of sorrow, regret, longing, anxiety, and other emotional pain. And it’s very important that you DO NOT avoid these feelings. Repressing them now will only cause them to resurface later in your life and prolong the negative impact of the breakup.
Step Zero: Be With the Pain
Step zero is simply being with your pain whenever it arises, and not feeding the urge to dismiss it and distract yourself from it.
But along with this there are certain other steps a man should take after a painful breakup to ensure that he remains strong, focused, and in touch with his innate sense of masculine energy that will drive him forward confidently to success and happiness.
Before I dive into these crucial steps I’d like to note that I’ve gone through two tough breakups over the past couple years.
So this article serves a double purpose: (a) to remind me what’s worked well for me, my friends, and clients in the past and (b) to share this knowledge with hopes that it will help you, or any other men who find themselves in a similarly painful situation.
That being said, let’s jump right in…
1. Don’t drown in regret
After a breakup, particularly in the early stages, you’re going to start thinking… A lot.
You’re going to wish you didn’t do some things. You’re going to wish that you could get her back. You’re also probably going to get pissed at her for certain things that she did or didn’t do.
Again, I don’t want you to repress these feelings and distract yourself when they come up. That doesn’t work in the long term. But I do want you to think about these things in a different light.
For each one of these thoughts that enters your mind, think about how you can use it in the future. If you wish that you didn’t try and force a solution to every issue or argument that came up during the relationship when you guys probably just needed space (a common man mistake that i’m guilty of), don’t beat yourself up because of it, but rather resolve to treat these situations differently in your next relationship.
If you’re mad at her for always behaving a certain way that irritated you (and maybe you never said anything about), then resolve to be more vocal about things that bother you – or to be mindful of this tendency so that you can better select your next partner.
Either way, allow yourself to feel every emotion that arises but don’t beat yourself up. Things worked out as they did for a reason. If you got to the point of breaking up, then the relationship was “broken”. Don’t beat yourself up… And definitely don’t contact her to express any of these revelations.
2. Nail down an empowering morning ritual
The best way to maintain a positive mindset going forward is by adopting a set of empowering habits that build you up every single day.
And the best time of day to practice these habits is in the morning, because it will dictate your state of mind for the rest of the day… And if you don’t do them early, they often don’t get done.
My favorite morning habits that fill me with a sense of confidence and determination include: meditation, journaling, reading, affirmations, and cold showers. Click here to read an in-depth post I recently wrote about my exact morning routine.
3. Refocus on your purpose
One of the most dangerous aspects of breakups is that we often forget our value as a man in the aftermath.
During the relationship itself, we tend to merge our identify with that of our girlfriend or wife… And when the shit hits the fan, we enter an identity crisis.
The most powerful way to get back on track, and remember your intrinsic value as a man, is to refocus on your goals. Here’s a quick overview of my method for this:
- Brainstorm a list of 10 potential goals you can focus on over the next few months (career, personal, dating, travel, skills, etc.)
- Choose 1-3 to focus on
- Write them down – as well as your motivation for wanting to achieve them
- Start taking action on them every single day
When you’re working towards goals that are meaningful to you, something interesting happens: you begin to draw validation and happiness from within.
External things like whether or not your ex wants to get back with you start to matter less and less. And the process of taking action and making progress on your goals start to matter more and more. You become filled with an intense sense of purpose, and this is always more than enough to drive you forward.
4. Spend time with your man-friends
Another big danger of the breakup aftermath is subjecting yourself to isolation. This leads to overthinking and depression.
You should replace the time you regularly spent with your girl, with spending time with your male buddies. Not only with this occupy your mind, but more importantly it will give you a network of moral support.
Talking things out with your friends is therapeutic and, assuming you have strong friends, will allow them to call you out on your bullshit and keep you moving forward. In fact, spending time with your man friends is always important.
Don’t try and shoulder the weight of this whole thing on your own.. it won’t end well.
5. Slowly re-enter the dating market
After a breakup, there’s always the urge to go crazy and try and have loads of meaningless sex.
“The quickest way to get over one girl is to get under another one, right?”
Not so fast. I’ve been there and done that. I know a lot of guys who’ve done the same.
Sleeping with a bunch of girls too soon never makes you feel better about your breakup… If anything it just makes it hurt even more. You compare all of them to your ex, who of course is so much “better” than all of the women you’re seeing now. And you don’t enjoy any of it anyways.
Oh, and one more thing…
I realized after writing this article I didn’t mention lifting weights… but I kind of assume that anyone who reads my articles takes that for granted. So make sure your exercising and strength training, too – it’s absolutely vital for every man.
Which of these 5 steps do you think is most important? Let me know in the comments below.