20 Things You Should Never Do After a Breakup

Don’t focus on what’s next for your ex. Focus on what’s next for you.

It *will* get easier. But ’til then, avoid these all-too-common traps that set newly-single people back.

Don’t Seek Them Out on Social Media
Don’t Seek Them Out on Social Media
Don’t Even Remain Friends on Social Media
Don’t Even Remain Friends on Social Media

Moving on in the age of Instagram and Facebook can feel like an impossible task. Which is why, post-breakup, your ex’s profiles should remain off-limits. To keep you from wandering away from your feed (and onto their page), “I definitely recommend performing a thorough online exorcism in the weeks after a breakup,” says Lisa Steadman, relationship expert and author of It’s a Breakup, Not a Breakdown. That means unfollowing them on Facebook, muting them on Twitter, and untagging any photos of the two of you together. “It’s just easier for you to not constantly see what they’re up to, who they’re with, and what their life is like without you in it.”
Don’t Seek Them Out on Social Media

Of course, not everybody has the willpower necessary to just avoid visiting an ex’s profile. That’s what the unfriend and block buttons are for. “It’s too hard to get over something if you have access to them,” Bela Gandhi, founder and CEO of the Chicago-based Smart Dating Academy, says. “You’ll put yourself in a world of misery watching your ex re-emerge on the scene. Your own pain is hard enough to deal with — and to feel that your ex has moved on will only add another layer of devastation.” If the idea of totally unfriending or blocking someone feels too final, don’t freak out: “You can always add them back later,” notes Gandhi. 
Don’t Even Remain Friends on Social Media

“The single biggest mistake I see people make after a breakup is that they focus on what’s next for their ex rather than what’s possible for themselves,” Steadman says. “Whether that involves obsessive thoughts or asking friends about them, stop! The truth is, you have no control over what’s next for your ex. So why spend any energy, emotions, or time in that space?” Instead, she suggests, do something that makes you happy. What’s most important right now is to get in touch again with who you are as an individual, outside of any relationship. 
Don’t “Casually” Ask Mutual Friends About Them

So you two weren’t a match. That’s totally OK! Just don’t beat yourself up if you see that they’re happy with someone else. Their happiness says nothing about your worth as a person — all it says is that they’ve found someone they are more compatible with, which you’re more than capable of doing, too.  RELATED: 10 Ways to Get On With Your Life After a Divorce
Don’t Compare Yourself to Their New Person

In the early stages of a breakup, “the best thing you can do is to let yourself feel it all the way,” says Wendy Newman, dating expert and author of 121 First Dates. “Hide under the covers with your two good friends, Ben & Jerry. Cry, pout, tell your friends about it for a couple of days (four max). Let them love you up and tell you you’re magnificent.” But once the official mourning period is over, it’s time to clear your head. “Get up, go for a run, or walk somewhere beautiful,” Newman suggests. “You can appreciate the good times, but to really help you get over a breakup, think through all the parts of that relationship that just didn’t work for you — and put those ‘never again’ items on your dating criteria list for next time.”
Don’t Wallow

When you’re depressed, cooking a healthy meal, heading to the yoga class you used to love, or hitting the sack by 10 p.m. can seem like giant undertakings. But those very necessary acts of self-care will — not may — will go a long way towards making you feel better. At the very least, the sense of accomplishment will give you a boost of confidence, which is something you need more than ever right now.
Don’t Stop Taking Care of Yourself

Wallowing for weeks or even months on end isn’t healthy or productive — but neither is minimizing or ignoring the very real pain you’re feeling. “Be compassionate with yourself,” Steadman says. “You can’t shortcut the grieving process. It’s real.” You don’t have to broadcast your emotions to the world, but Steadman suggests opening up to at least a couple of pals: “Feel your feelings and recruit a ‘Boohoo Crew’ — a small group of trusted friends who you know are there for you and who will help you get through it.”
Don’t Pretend Everything’s OK

It is possible to be friends with an ex, Newman says — with a couple of major caveats. First, “be sure to give each other space at the beginning. You need to fully separate and move past the pain of the split,” she advises. Once you’re both in a healthier place, if you still feel the urge to reconnect, think as critically as possible about your dynamic before you jump into a platonic friendship. “This only works if you both meant well and were generally kind to each other throughout the relationship,” she says. “If you cared for each other but fundamentally weren’t a match or you grew apart, there’s no good reason to throw away a potential friendship.” But, Newman cautions, “if your relationship was a total shitshow, or if you brought out the worst qualities in one another, walking away with whatever lessons you learned is probably best.” RELATED: 11 People Over 30 Explain Why They’re Really Single
Don’t Immediately Try to Be Friends

If you find yourself slacking off because you’re either too distracted or too upset to focus on the tasks at hand, it’s time to take action. Opening up to a trusted colleague — or supervisor, if you feel comfortable doing so — can help. If your office support system isn’t enough, it may be time to seek professional help. Knowing that you’ll have a dedicated 45 minutes or an hour every week to hash things out in a safe space may make it easier to focus on the stuff right in front of you.
Don’t Let It Affect Work

Once again, show yourself the compassion that your friends will once you venture out again. Nobody expects you to emerge from your grief-cocoon as a full-on social butterfly; if they’re your friends, they’ll just want to see how you’re doing. Mutual friends are trickier, but if they’re making a clear effort to keep up the relationship — and you trust yourself to not bug them for intel about your ex — then by all means, go forth and bond 

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