By: Rachel DeAlto

It’s arrived. Breakup season. Broken hearts will abound at the beginning of the year, rising through Valentine’s Day, and peaking mid-March.

Dating is tough, but breakups are even harder. We’ve all been there. That time you thought everything was going great. You were connecting on all levels. You were making plans months in advance. Then BAM. They decide it’s over. Maybe they have a reason, maybe they don’t. Either way, it hurts.

Emotional pain is real. Not to scare you, but you can actually die of a broken heart! Typically, it’s when a partner dies, but a bad breakup can feel like a death. Your hopes and expectations are crushed. You miss their friendship. You miss your “good morning” and “night babe” texts. Everything you see, hear, and smell reminds you of them.

How do you move on from something that feels so soul-crushing? I’m here to tell you that even the most painful breakups can be overcome. Here’s how:

  1. Cut contact. Unless you have a legal reason to stay connected (money owed, lease agreement, etc.) there is absolutely no contact. Block them on your phone. Don’t go to their favorite bar pretending like you “just wanted to go there”. Avoid completely. You can’t heal a wound if you keep touching it.

  2. Stop blaming yourself. Just because they broke up with you doesn’t mean something wrong with you. There are a million reasons why relationships end, and self-blame is useless. Sometimes we get closure; sometimes we don’t, but either way we can move on.

  3. Take your time. There is no set time to get over a broken heart. Maybe it’s a day. Could be a month. Maybe more. Give yourself the time to heal. Ignore friends that tell you what you “should” feel.

  4. Get back out there. As soon as you feel up to it (see #3), get back out there! Research has shown that rebounds are actually good for you, and don’t necessarily lead to a fling – rebounds can have staying power. Proving to yourself that you are desirable can be a great prescription for sadness after a breakup.

It’s never easy, but I guarantee that with a little time and renewed hope, you’ll look back on this ending and realize it paved the way for a new beginning.

Learn more about Rachel DeAlto and her programs on relationships, communication, and leadership at campuspeak.com/rachel-dealto