1. People & Relationships

Surviving a Breakup: 7 Time-Tested Tips

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Few things hurt more than being dumped. In fact, most people would rather be body slammed by a sumo wrestler than endure the pain and loneliness of heartbreak.

Though breaking up is depressing, your life's far from over. It's important to see the end of a relationship as the beginning of a new chapter in your life. Here are a few tips on how to let go of your ex and move on with your life.

1. Be Nice To Yourself

Breakups happen to the best of us. Actually, they're a normal part of being a teenager. It's important to cut yourself some slack when you're feeling vulnerable and rejected. Let yourself mourn the loss, and remember that you don't have to be perfect all of the time—or any of the time. Nobody is!

2. Accept Your Single Status

Getting over your ex is virtually impossible if you're fantasizing about getting back together. It's important to learn how to be happy as a single person before you start to date again.

Being single gives you the freedom to do what you want, when you want. Watch a cheesy movie you would never admit to liking. Switch off your cell phone at the time your ex used to call. Perform a cleansing ritual, such as throwing away her yearbook photo or deleting his mushy e-mails. You'll be amazed how much better you'll feel.

3. Recognize and Release Your Feelings

Breakups can cause a range of unpleasant feelings, from deep sadness to intense anger. It's important to identify what you're feeling, acknowledge that it hurts, then let it go.

If you're struggling with the "letting go" part, try writing what you feel on a piece of paper, then ripping it up. When you're feeling really awful, taking a nap or going for a walk can help ease the pain and break the cycle of negative thoughts.

In general, try to get your demons out in a constructive way, such as sports, music, art or journaling. It's also OK to cry, scream and complain about how bad you feel. Find a secluded place to get out the nastiest feelings, then seek out friends and family to lend a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.

4. Remember Your Ex's Flaws

It's easy to get teary-eyed thinking about his adorable brown eyes or her cute way of answering the phone. But what about your ex's not-so-great qualities? Remind yourself just how annoying, boring or insensitive your ex could be, and you'll be on your way to recovery.

5. Resist the Urge To Contact Him or Her

One of the worst parts of a breakup is the loneliness. Use all the willpower you've got to resist calling your ex when you're feeling lonely and sad.

Though your ex may have been a source of comfort in the past, calling him or her for an ego boost will only make it harder for you move on. Look for new sources of support among friends, family members, counselors and online support groups.

6. Get a New Hobby

Without a boyfriend or girlfriend to entertain, you have a lot of freedom to try new things. Indulge yourself in some activities that didn't interest your ex, whether it's hockey, ballet or bird watching. Take a photography class, start writing poetry or join a club that interests you. You'll meet new people and feel good about yourself, which will attract both friends and admirers.

7. Don't Obsess About What Went Wrong

Many breakups don't have a specific cause. They tend to happen when two people have been growing apart for a while. This isn't to say you shouldn't reflect on what you could have done differently in the relationship, but it's not helpful to dwell on the whys and wherefores.

Instead of focusing on the past, live in the moment and begin to dream about the future. You'll find a boyfriend or girlfriend who's at least as great as the last one—and perhaps a better match. Who knows? That special someone could be right around the corner.

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