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6 Strategies For Moving On From A Breakup

While ending a relationship can be traumatic and painful, there are ways to get by with minimal drama and your dignity intact. Here they are.

You've been with him for what feels like forever, and suddenly you struggling to get by without him. It is difficult, that's for sure, but drawing out some guidelines for yourself during the post-breakup period can help you trudge through it.

Greg Behrendt (who co-wrote the mega best seller--now turned movie--He's Just Not That Into You), came out with a helpful, gutsy guide, It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken: The Smart Girl's Breakup Buddy, which he co-wrote with wife Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt. The book offers a no-BS approach to the gut-wrenching emotional roller coaster known as breaking up. We pulled together the couple's six breakup strategies to help you come out strong after a painful split, whether you've been dumped or decided to sever connections with an unworthy beau.

1. Don't See Or Talk To Him For 60 Days

You've heard of detox, right? Well think of this as "he-tox." We don't care if he still wants to be friends, if he has anything of yours, or if you were freakishly fused together in a welding accident, there should be zero communication for two whole months. After that, when you've regained some much-needed mental and emotional clarity, you can then revisit whatever issues there are between you both.

"But what if I can't hold out that long?" you ask. Trust us, you can. In fact, you may not even have a chance to make that decision if he opts to cut you off first. So instead of giving him the power to call all the shots, be the boss of this breakup by setting the ground rules before he does.

That doesn't mean you can't see or speak to any guys, so if you do meet a new dude during this time and think he’s cute, it's okay to have a fling. But know this: rebounding can give you a major boost or it can make you feel even worse than you did before (we assure you, it's possible). Ask yourself how much of a slump you'll be in if your replacement guy doesn't call one night like he promised. Only proceed if you think you can handle a potential rejection in your tender emotional state.

2. Toss Stuff That Reminds You Of Him

It's crucial that you transform your place into recovery central—not an altar to your failed relationship. That means saying buh-bye to anything that brings him to mind. Photos, his favorite shirt, and that sappy CD he burned for you are just slowing you down. So box up that crap ASAP. Be firm, but be reasonable. Don't pack all your juice glasses because he happened to love OJ. Do ditch his nose-hair clippers. Who cares if he needs them or not? Right now, you should only worry about you.
The next step is to give your digs a new look. Move your couch to the other side of the room or hang your pictures on different walls. These changes are minor, but they'll help you shift your focus.

3. Enlist A Breakup Buddy (BUB)

The idea is simple: A person in distress (you) is not always able to think clearly. For instance, take the Vincent van Gogh example (you know, the famous artist dude with the beard). He decided to deal with his relationship turmoil "his way," by cutting off part of his ear and sending it to a chick in a box. Okay, maybe he was going loco and you'd never do anything that drastic (what would you do with all the extra earrings?), but you get the idea. So recruit one of your best pals—or a family member, or even a coworker you're close with—to be your Breakup Buddy.

Your BUB's new job? To talk you down when you're struck by an uncontrollable urge to call your ex or stalk him or boil his pet bunny. When you approach your potential Breakup Buddy, tell her that she'll have to devote time and energy to helping you stick to your recovery program, and warn her that she'll need to be your sounding board and listen to you harp about all the gory details.

Besides the fact that you'll drive only one person crazy with your nonstop whining and wallowing—as opposed to every single human being who has the misfortune of being within earshot of you—enlisting a BUB is another way to step up and take control of a messy situation that seems totally chaotic.

4. Get Your Ass In Motion Every Day

You need momentum to move through the breakup process, so instead of moping around feeling sorry for yourself, get out there and kick butt…literally! Try Plana Forma, martial arts, or some other strength-building sport. Exercise is one of the best ways to jump-start the healing process. Not only does it make you feel tough and accomplished, but it also clears your head. Focusing on your jab-hook-cross will enable you to shut off the ongoing brain loop of "Why, why, why?"

If you can't make it to the gym, that's okay too, just find something that requires going outside your house. Visit friends, hit Republiq, or catch up on flicks you've been wanting to see. Sitting on the couch with your face planted in a trough of ice cream is not going to make you feel any better.

5. Don't Wear Your Breakup On Your Sleeve

When you are bummed out, you sometimes tend to let your appearance slide. Leaving the house with greasy hair, dressed in your most comfortable—and unflattering—fat pants become the norm. You tell yourself "Who really cares? Life is nothing but all-consuming sadness, which eclipses everything else, right?" Uh, no! Drop the woe-is-me MO. You can move through this relationship setback a helluva lot faster by looking toward the future. We're not talking about calling the Psychic Hotline here. We mean you should envision yourself months from now when you are whole, healed, and the most rocking version of yourself that anyone (including you) has ever seen.

Our rule of thumb is to never leave the house sporting something that would make you want to crawl under a rock if you happened to run into your ex-boyfriend. By dressing in a way that makes you feel like a sexpot, you project the confidence and togetherness that you're working toward. It's a fact that if you look good, you're much more likely to feel good. And an accidental bump-in at your hottest would be so worth it!

6. No Backsliding

Picture this: You get to day 16 of the 60-day rule. You've returned all his stuff, your Breakup Buddy is on speed-dial, you've been hitting the gym regularly, and you look H-O-T. But then you pass that cute little cafe where you had your first date and think, 'Oh, it wouldn't hurt just to call and say hi…' Next thing you know, the two of you are knocking boots…and you're left struggling with some serious morning-after remorse.

Sure, it's tempting to hook up one last time. Maybe you convince yourself that you need the carnal closure. But that kind of relapse doesn't just put the brakes on your progress; it sends you reeling to the bottom of that hellish pit of pain you’ve been working so hard to claw your way out of.

However, if you do slip, don't beat yourself up. No matter what happened, you can still get back on track. Just start over at day one of the 60-day "he-tox," and aim to do better the second time around. And whatever you do, stay away from that damned cafe!

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