How to Deal With Your First Big Breakup

Breakups are no fun for anyone, even if you're the one initiating the breakup in the first place.

Whether you're the dumper or the dumpee, your first breakup will probably hurt more than you expect (and probably more than most you'll experience later in life, too). But before you dive into that pint of ice cream or send too many texts you'll regret later, here are some things to remember that will help you deal with your first big breakup:

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Relationships Can't Be Forced

Relationships, especially major ones, cause us to mourn in ways similar to grieving the loss of a loved one in that the stages of grief still stand. One stage that stands out in breakups for some people is "bargaining," and that can lead to you trying anything to make the relationship work if you aren't the one that wants the breakup to happen. The thing to know about this, though, is that relationships cannot and should not be forced. When that happens, you both end up being unhappy instead of moving on and becoming better people. Plus, do you really want to be with someone that doesn't want to be with you right back? There's little that feels worse than that situation, so it's better to just let the relationship end and learn to move on, as difficult as that may be at first.


That Person Wasn't The One

Your first major breakup has extra weight to it because, well, it's the first. Between the time investment you put into this person (and the fantasizing you probably did about the relationship) and our society's weird obsession with idealizing young love and "high school sweethearts," you might be feeling like you've lost "your person" or that you'll never meet anyone like them ever again. To put it simply: try to forget all of that. Sure, you probably won't meet someone exactly like that person—because every person is unique and you'll actually meet someone better. If you felt the need to break up with that person or they wanted to break up with you, then the relationship just isn't meant to be (or at least not right now). That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you or that you aren't worthy of love. In fact, the opposite is true! You're actually worthy of a love that is so much greater than what you had, and that is worth waiting for.

Shutterstock: Expressively gesturing. Swearing couple having quarrel about their life together and woman raising her hands in strong gesture

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You Can Explore So Much More

Another thing to know about dating when you're young (as you probably are during your first major breakup) is that you're dealing with a much smaller pool of options. Whether it's your school or simply just your city, you still stuck in a smaller setting with a lot of the same people you've probably known for years. That means that simply statistically speaking, there are still so many people you haven't met yet that could be a much better match for you! Relationships are all about timing and setting, which is why so many people choose to wait until college or another chapter in life to start dating. There's a whole world of people out there you haven't met yet, and your breakup just means that you'll be free to explore that world whenever you're ready.


Your Needs Come First

If seeing your ex on social media causes you any form of discomfort or hurtful feelings, it's completely okay to block them (or at least mute them). Your mental health and needs come first, whether that means being the one to break up with your partner in the first place or simply separating yourself further from them post-breakup. This also means that it's okay to do whatever you need to do to get over the relationship ending, whether that's scheduling a few more girls' nights or just doing a couple more self-care rituals throughout the week. Most of us tend to actually have a bit of a glow-up after a breakup (after the worst part is over, anyway), so try throwing yourself into your hobbies and embracing healthy habits and just see how well you come out of this whole situation.


Being Single Is Actually Pretty Great

People stress breakups as a loss, but try to remember that you're also gaining so much by being single! Being single is not a curse, it's actually a chance to figure out who you really are and become better for yourself, let alone for the next person lucky enough to date you. You can spend more time doing the things you love, spending time with friends and truly investing in yourself and your future.

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The breakup is still probably going to hurt, but this is not the end of the world and you have so much more to look forward to. From the new people you have yet to meet to the major life experiences you have yet to have, your whole life is still ahead of you—and being free from an unhappy relationship lets you take it all on head first.


Still feeling down? That's completely okay. Try talking it out with a friend, and when in doubt click HERE for some reasons to embrace being the (newly) "single friend."