The Bad Breakup Guide: How to Stay Positive and Move On

A women who's in the middle of getting over a bad breakup closing her eyes and breathing slowly as she faces the sunlight.

Chances are you’ve been through a breakup at some point in your life. Whether it was a recent and difficult breakup, or a high school sweetheart from years ago, these events shape who we are and how we form new relationships. Learning how to accept and validate your feelings is critical to moving on and forming a new happy and healthy relationship.

This bad breakup guide is created from the knowledge Rachel Dack, a licensed therapist, who shared her insight with me and my husband Chase on our I Do Podcast #118: Bad Breakups: Learn How Past Relationships Shape Who We Are. In the interview we go even more in-depth about accepting and validating your feelings so you can move into a new happy and healthy relationship.

Take the time to heal. 
After a breakup, it’s tempting to avoid dealing with your feelings and not take the time to heal. You may find yourself denying, disowning, or ignoring your feelings and trying to distract or numb yourself with alcohol, emotional eating, sex, or dating too quickly. These avoidance tactics become problematic and keep you unavailable and unable to gain the healthy closure you’re looking for. If you want to be fully emotionally available to attract the right person, you must take the time to heal. The goal during your healing process should be to accept your feelings and validate your emotions about the relationship and breakup without any judgement. You have to grieve the loss before you can welcome in a new relationship without baggage. Acknowledging the pain you feel now will allow you to heal permanently instead of on a temporary basis.

Prepare to date again.
Unfortunately, there is no set amount of time it takes for someone to heal and be ready to move on, however, if you’re experiencing any of the following behaviors, you may not be ready to start dating again:

  • You’re stuck in the past.
  • You have a negative mindset.
  • You’re still angry about what happened with your ex.
  • Your guard is up.
  • You feel fearful about relationships.
  • You reject people that treat you well.
  • You become a serial dater.

If you’re going on dates, and all you can think about is your ex or an unresolved breakup, you’re not going to be present enough to connect to the person sitting across from you. Before you start dating again, it’s important to be willing to participate in self discovery in order to learn from your breakup and previous relationship.

Create a healthy mindset.
Even if you don’t feel completely ready to start dating again, you can use positive affirmations to help rewire your brain. A healthy mindset is key to successful dating and keeping the past in the past.

Positive Affirmation Example: “I am open and ready to connect.”

This research based technique allows your thoughts and goals to guide your actions. If your thoughts are not supporting your dating goals, then your focus should be on changing your mindset.

Negative Mindset Example: “I don’t want to date a jerk.”

Positive Mindset Example: “I want to attract a partner who treats me well, and who wants to make our relationship a priority.”

In addition to positive affirmations, do a thorough investigation of your own beliefs. Take ownership of your own thoughts and feelings and gain awareness of your patterns. Understanding and being aware of your patterns is a critical step in having a successful future relationship.


To hear the full interview and get more tips about online dating and relationships check out Episode 118 of the I Do Podcast with Sarah and Chase: #118: Bad Breakups: Learn How Past Relationships Shape Who We Are. And to get more great advice to improve your relationship and fun ways to keep the spark alive, check out the I Do Podcast on iTunes or download the show directly.

Sarah Kosterlitz

Relationship Expert and Host of the I Do Podcast

Sarah and her husband Chase host the I Do Podcast, where they interview today’s most successful and inspiring relationship experts, therapists and couples.

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