When your first girlfriend dumps you, it can feel like you are the only one in the world who has ever experienced this kind of pain. People who are grieving the end of a relationship report feeling heaviness, sadness, anger and numbness, writes Jen Kim of Psychology Today. It takes time and effort to get over this feeling, but there are healthy ways to move on and become stronger.
Men are socialized to avoid crying because it might make them seem weak, but it is a healthy and normal activity for someone who is grieving. You don’t have to blubber in public, but allow yourself to grieve at private times, even in the shower or when you are in bed at night. Giving voice to your emotions will help you get over the breakup.
Talk About It
Expressing yourself helps make sadness and anger less intense, say UCLA researchers, because it activates a part of your brain that controls impulse. You can work through emotions by discussing the breakup with a trusted friend, family member or counselor. Guys might choose to talk to women because women have been socialized to listen and talk about feelings more than men.
It is tempting to check your ex-girlfriend’s social media accounts, but don’t, says advice columnist Julie Gerstein of The Frisky. Unsubscribe from her Facebook updates, Twitter feed and everything else. Gerstein even recommends deleting her phone number so that you don’t feel compelled to call her. The more space you give yourself, the shorter the time until you feel normal again.
Get Out, Get Away
Post-breakup, exercise is the last thing you feel like doing. But soaking in some Vitamin D from the sun and releasing endorphins by running, biking or playing team sports can make you feel better, says Kim of Psychology Today. It is a healthy way to deal with the sadness and anger you are feeling. Taking a vacation is another healthy way to change your mood by changing your environment .