Some breakups are more difficult than others. At some point, you might find yourself going through a particularly difficult one. And if that is ever the case, here is some advice on how to deal with it:

Breakups happen every day. It is unfortunate, but that’s the reality of many relationships. Sure, there might have been a point when you thought this person was “the one”. However, that feeling can always fade after a certain period has passed. And that is perfectly okay, because each relationship teaches you some new and important lessons.

Give yourself time to heal

As the old saying goes, “Time heals all wounds”. Whether you are the person who initiated the breakup or have just had your heart broken, chances are that you will feel bad after a breakup.

It makes logical sense for you to miss the good times and the things you liked about your partner. They were part of your life and you likely saw them regularly and kept in near-constant contact. And now that part of your life is over. It is only natural to feel sad that your relationship is over.

You can’t break up with someone one day and expect to be over it three days later. That is not how love works, unfortunately. You should not put pressure on yourself to get over a breakup too soon after the relationship has ended. There is no set time frame within which you have to recover from a breakup. So, give yourself however much time you need.

WIN a R 2,000 Woolworths Voucher

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

Set boundaries and enforce them

There is a reason why this is what you consider a “bad breakup”. Either the relationship was a difficult one filled with fights and arguments or perhaps you really loved each other but could not be together due to physical space between you two or some other obstacle. Whatever reason makes this a bad breakup, you are currently going through a lot. You don’t need your ex contacting you to make things even more difficult.

Even though you might want to talk to your ex like you used to, you cannot do that anymore. Long phone calls, constant text messages and showing up at places where you know they will be is not going to help you heal. And, therefore, it stands to reason that you need to make sure they keep their space from you. If they are constantly around you or contacting you, neither of you will heal.

Long phone calls, constant text messages and showing up at places where you know they will be is not going to help you heal

If your ex won’t leave you alone, take action

There is a chance that, during a bad breakup, your former partner might not react well. They might not want to let go. And in this situation, they could behave irrationally and even violently.

If your ex does not want to leave you alone, you have the right to take action. If you feel that there is a chance that you are being harassed, read through the harassment act. There are many harassment case laws in South Africa to look to for information on what to do. The minute your ex starts to act in a way that makes you feel unsafe or threatened, you should consult someone about obtaining a protection order.

A bad breakup can leave you feeling drained and helpless. Having an ex who won’t leave you alone will only make that worse. Don’t let yourself become a victim of harassment. Consult a legal professional if you ever feel like your ex is becoming a danger to either your physical or mental health.

Deal with your feelings in a healthy way

There will always be the temptation to isolate yourself during a breakup or be overly social to distract yourself. While binge-watching a series for a bit and eating some ice cream is a generally accepted way of recovering from a breakup, you should also try to maintain your usual daily routine after you have given yourself time to grieve.

Your relationship, unfortunately, ended in a way that is difficult to deal with. However, this does not mean that you should let it take over your life as that will only make things worse for you in the long run.

Instead, find healthy ways to relieve the stress and emotional trauma of a bad breakup. For example, eat healthy foods (in addition to the odd treat), exercise daily and make an effort to see your close friends as they will be your support system. Of course, it is also important that you ensure you get enough sleep.

Bad breakups are, well, bad. And they aren’t easy to get through. However, if you follow the above advice, you WILL be okay.

Just remember that time heals all wounds, boundaries are important, you need to feel safe and secure, and deal with your feelings in a healthy way that will help you get back on your feet.