Closer to Closure: 10 Tips for Moving On After Getting Dumped

Sad Woman Looking at a Photo Album

Breakups are often a painful ordeal, but the pain is all the more excruciating when you don’t see it coming. You thought things were going great, and then seemingly out of nowhere your partner breaks it off, leaving you alone with an aching heart.

Finding closure after an unexpected breakup can be incredibly challenging, but here are 10 tips to help you move on after getting dumped.

1. Allow Yourself to Feel

Studies have shown that the brain copes with rejection similarly to the way it processes physical pain. Some may be tempted to numb the pain with drugs and alcohol or jump immediately into another relationship to avoid their feelings. Rather than taking this approach, allow yourself to feel the emotions in their entirety, whatever they may be.

It is natural to grieve after any loss. Even if you avoid the pain initially, eventually you have to face it to heal. By giving yourself time to grieve, you’ll find it easier to obtain the closure you seek and move on with your life.

2. Understand the Grieving Process

Relationship counselor Jesse Johnson, MA, LPC suggests, “After a relationship ends, it’s important to honor the grieving process, not only in the loss of the relationship, but in the loss of any future vision for the relationship. Some people need to grieve an entire life’s vision in this way. It’s a big deal and honoring the end will help greatly with closure.”

3. Practice Forgiveness

Holding on to any grudges or resentment for your former partner will only prevent you from moving on with your life. Offer yourself a pardon by being willing to let go of the past and forgive your ex for any ways you feel you were wronged.

Likewise, forgive yourself for any mistakes you may have made in the relationship. Hold yourself in a state of compassion, and be willing to learn from the past so you can make better choices in the future.

4. Channel the Energy Elsewhere

Rather than sit around and let your anger, sadness, or frustration eat away at you, choose to channel that energy into something productive. Exercise is an excellent way to move energy out of your body and it releases endorphins, which will help improve your mood. You may also consider getting involved in your community or taking up a new hobby.

5. Maintain Your Self-Worth

There’s no denying that being rejected by someone you love hurts, but refuse to let it impact your self-esteem. Know your value as a person, and honor your self-worth.

Choose to maintain your dignity by not trying to force someone to be in your life who doesn’t want to be. Eventually, the right person will come along and you won’t have to prove your worth because he or she will recognize it.

6. Throw Out the Mementos

It’s tough to get rid of old love letters, photos, and other mementos, but choosing to keep them only encourages you to hang on to the past.

There is nothing wrong with keeping your memories, but choose to do so in a way that isn’t destructive. Consider taking down the old photos and keeping the mementos out of sight in a keepsake box or other non-visible location.

7. Create Your Own Closure

Ironically, seeking closure can be one of the greatest hindrances to moving on from a breakup. It can be tempting toSometimes when a relationship ends, it was meant to end. There may be someone else out there for you who is a far better match than your former partner. try to organize a big conversation with an ex to get real answers for why the relationship ended. In many cases, you won’t be able to have that conversation and the odds are that even if you did, it probably wouldn’t help much anyway.

While closure tends to work well in the business world, it doesn’t really fit in when it comes to matters of the heart. We may want a neat little ending to our pain, but it’s rarely that simple.

In reality, the best way to get closer to that feeling of closure you desire may be to simply cut off all contact. Let go of the idea of mending the relationship and create your own form of closure. Allow yourself to start building a new life outside of the former relationship and do what you need to do to move on.

9. Embrace the Impermanence of Life

Change is the only constant in our lives. As much as we try to hang on to anything in life, there is no forever. Everything is constantly in flux. By refusing to accept this, you resist life itself.

Help yourself move on by embracing the natural impermanence of our ephemeral lives on this planet. Understand that people come and go in our lives, and sometimes we have no choice but to let go of the old and embrace the new.

9. Keep the Faith

It is far too easy to become cynical after being dumped. Rather than being bitter, remain open to the possibilities of love. Therapist Deb Hirschhorn, PhD offers this piece of advice for the brokenhearted: “Don’t think of it as getting dumped; think of it as being set free.”

Sometimes when a relationship ends, it was meant to end. There may be someone else out there for you who is a far better match than your former partner. Allow yourself to grieve and then, when you’re ready, consider the possibility of entering a new relationship.

10. Seek Support

You don’t have to go through a breakup or any relationship problem alone. Seek support from your friends and family. Allow them to hold a safe container for you to share your feelings. If the container of family and friends is not enough, consider finding a therapist you trust to help you work through and process your feelings in a safe space.

Reference:

  1. Saul, Heather. (2013, October 16). Brain treats rejection like physical pain say scientists. The Independent. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/brain-treats-rejection-like-physical-pain-say-scientists-8884507.html

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  • 37 comments
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  • Lil

    Lil

    August 11th, 2015 at 11:25 AM

    Nothing like making you think the absolute worst things about yourself like getting dumped can do! I have to admit that there have been men who have made me lose my confidence and who have reduced me to tears, but I have learned that the best way to get over it is to finally make some peace with myself and who i am. Not always the easiest thing to do, I know, but once you are accepting and tolerant of who you are then it doesn’t seem to matter quite as much what other people think about you.

  • jonathan

    jonathan

    August 12th, 2015 at 10:28 AM

    the instinct for me has always been to hide the pain. Never let them see you hurting even if it is killing you on the inside, don’t let anyone else know that. Not the healthiest way to cope, but you know, I’m a guy so thre pressure is always there to just suck it up and move on.

  • Sierra

    Sierra

    August 12th, 2015 at 4:16 PM

    You have to learn to not only forgive yourself but also forgive the one who breaks up with you. Of course the break up will break your heart, we have all been there done that. But most of the time in a young relationship this is not the end of the world. It probably does feel like it is at the time, but believe me it isn’t. I would encourage anyone going through this to acknowledge the power that forgiveness can have in your life- you may not forget what was done to you, but letting go is one of the best feelings ever. Let go of that pain and move forward.

  • Vaishnav L

    Vaishnav L

    October 14th, 2017 at 9:44 AM

    Being dumped will hurt u a lot . But nothing can be done if u don’t push your mind out of it . Its a hard process but always remember the harder it gets the better u be rewarded . You may feel like you’ll never get a person like your ex , but suck it up cause you were even after you trusted gave everything you could from your side . Another person would always be there as you deserve it who will understand your effort even if your not the best and make you feel special and happy as you always wanted . Just remember and live by this principle . I believe in karma and its gonna make it even to those who deserve and those who don’t . Just be true honest and kind hearted as a human being you will deserve everything you have put your heart into <3 have a nice day

  • dawn

    dawn

    August 14th, 2015 at 7:35 AM

    Sooooo much easier to be the dumper instead of the dumpee!

  • Allison

    Allison

    August 15th, 2015 at 7:38 AM

    I won’t say that I have or have not done this, but there is something that can be sort of therapeutic about burning all the stuff from the relationship!

  • Carter L.

    Carter L.

    August 16th, 2015 at 10:55 AM

    You have to give yourself some time and space to live with the loss that you have gone through. Just because you have ended a relationship or someone has ended it with you is not going to mean that automatically you will stop loving this person. That’s crazy. You have to take the same kind off time to mourn the end of thship the same way that you would with anything in your life that ends and I think that this is where so many of us get into trouble. We want to add things to our lives to just avoid those hard and difficult feelings, whereas if we would simply learn to process the grief that we are feeling I think that w could see that the healing time could be cut down immensely because we would actually confront those feelings instead of simply trying to bury them.

  • lark265

    lark265

    September 22nd, 2017 at 2:25 PM

    nice….thanks

  • Lewis

    Lewis

    August 17th, 2015 at 9:35 AM

    When you fail to forgive and forget the person that you hold that grudge against is living in your head and still getting the best of you, ruining your life long after they shouldn’t even be a part of it anymore. Just let it go.

  • Dan

    Dan

    September 26th, 2017 at 2:51 AM

    Eventually my gf dumped me, my Mexican heritage never bonded with her japanese perfection. She was very happy with me but the differences and non skin communication finally made her to leave me. My self-steem was always on the floor, she just fulminated my human value. I am not a savage, edudated with collegue degree living in Australia, glad maybe is good to be free and will heal all this wounds. Something inside me tells me that she was so racist and never open to me.

  • dani

    dani

    August 18th, 2015 at 4:32 PM

    You are so right- Exercise can be a great way to get rid of those demons!

  • Mercy

    Mercy

    August 16th, 2016 at 5:35 AM

    Your advice has been very helpful to me,since I just got dumped

  • Loice

    Loice

    January 3rd, 2017 at 11:50 PM

    We have been taught to say ‘when you were set free’ eliminate that being dumped inyour mind dear, u will then acknowledge the freedom you now have and move on enjoying that Freedom

  • theoldguy

    theoldguy

    February 16th, 2017 at 11:42 PM

    Must be nice to be able to do all that. My former girlfriend got engaged on the day before my birthday so I’d always remember

  • Shahab

    Shahab

    February 20th, 2017 at 5:10 AM

    Just got dumped by the girl I Love. Yap, deleting all her pictures. Isolating myself. I hope it will help. If you ever ever read this, know that I loved you crazy and despite all the promised that you’ve broken and all that you’ve made me go through, no, I don’t hate you. I love you. But I’ll have to change. You’ve left me with no choice. You’ve paralyzed my life. I’ve loved you with all my heart and you’ve repay me in the worst way. But …I’ll live. I might never be the same again but I’ll live.
    Thank you, @author. This has been really helpful :)

  • carrie riley

    carrie riley

    March 4th, 2017 at 6:47 PM

    I was just dumped by my boyfriend i loved for three years. I did the same…deleted all our pictures ect. I feel for you and hope in time we both find true love again without the pain. Right now I cant imagine forever really exists with that one special person. Even though it is all I want. I have no desire to play the field. Good luck…to all of us.

  • Joan

    Joan

    March 31st, 2017 at 4:35 AM

    The comments were as helpful, as the article was. I helped my boyfriend get a better job, better vehicle, and supported him 100% throughout our time together. He dumped me. Without warning, or hesitation. He tried to break my heart, but he broke his the most.

  • Dumped

    Dumped

    April 15th, 2017 at 2:16 PM

    I was just dumped while going through some depression and anxiety… She was my rock, albeit my shakey rock… But I needed her support. I felt very hurt because her leaving only validated how I felt that my depression and anxiety was pushing people out of my life. Now I have to be strong for myself and it’s very hard. Three years is a long time to be together and just throw away. Now I’m picking up the pieces by myself and even around friends and family I feel alone. I’m still trying everyday… I hope one day these afflictions will lift and I can be naturally happy again. I will still love her and could never hate her for finding her happiness without me. Thanks for this article and I hope everyone else out there finds their happiness too.

  • Sunny

    Sunny

    June 24th, 2017 at 7:45 PM

    Wow our experiences are so similar….Q-Q other than the gender role is flipped and it’s a long distance relationship. We’ve been seeing each other around 3~4 months/year and it’s been almost three years. He helped me a lot in getting better with my depression and anxiety… he was the one I could turn to show all those crazy thoughts and emotions that struck me sometimes. Although he can’t be together anymore because of the distance and our position in life, I can’t help but wonder if it was my personality that pushed him away,just like how I pushed all my of friends out of my life because I feel like I’m not the same person as before and it would only depress them if they hang out with me. Now he’s gone too. He wanted to stay as friends and we did for two weeks. But it was so hard.. hearing him say that he doesn’t love me anymore, I’m only a friend (a long distance one too), feeling him shifting away further and further, and knowing that I’m no longer his priority. It hurts so bad. I still yearn to hear his voice, even if it is just online. But I know he couldn’t care less anymore. It’s been 6 days since I cut off all contacts with him. It hurts, but it will get better. Talking to him may make me feel better temporarily, but the pain will never stop this way. This article and all these comments make me feel less alone, like there are people who understands my pain. Thank you and best of luck to all of you :)

  • Dumped hard

    Dumped hard

    July 17th, 2017 at 3:24 PM

    I am in the same boat. My long distance boyfriend just broke up with me. It ended in the worst row, id had a lot of bad luck lately and stupidly took it out on him, I basically fought daily until he had to walk away. He is telling me he wants to be friends but being so cold. This is just my first day not talking to him after the breakup on 23rd June and it hurts so bad. Does anyone else struggle with the idea of trying to get the person back? These tips will help but I’m struggling so much.

  • Dumped hard

    Dumped hard

    July 11th, 2017 at 8:13 PM

    Can you actually die of sadness? food..no sleep….NO friends supportive words…NO

  • Amber

    Amber

    July 12th, 2017 at 8:24 AM

    dying on the inside indeed… but it will get better eventually. You can follow r/BreakUps on reddit, you can post your story anonymously and get a lot of great advices; or just read through what other people post and feel that you are not alone in feeling the pain.

  • loice

    loice

    October 29th, 2017 at 5:06 AM

    Sadness on its self does not kill, what u are doing is neglecting your body hence depression will give room for more diseases, not mentioning you not having a proper diet…….. those plus lack of sleep will lead there

  • Lindsey

    Lindsey

    February 4th, 2018 at 7:28 PM

    Feels like I am dying

  • Liesel

    Liesel

    August 17th, 2017 at 2:31 PM

    I have been divorced a LONG time and rarely fall in love. But I did. Three months into it, he ended it abruptly, saying he wasn’t “too sure” he wanted to be monogamous. Same reason his wife divorced him a year earlier. Devastated. It’s stupid to hurt this much. My heart skips when I see a reminder in town. I’ve tried everything this article recommends. Now I just have to wait for it to heal, I guess. : (

  • lark265

    lark265

    September 22nd, 2017 at 2:41 PM

    I know about those awful “reminders”…..they somehow are almost worse than seeing the actual person
    or hearing their voice…..yes, this site has a ton of advice, but I know for me what helps is walking with others in the same boat…..pain tries to find pain to help itself get through

  • Leonard

    Leonard

    October 8th, 2017 at 9:19 PM

    I just dumped by my gf who has a son, both of us are divorcee. We started relationship 2 years back but she said she don’t have time with me rather to spend her bonding time with her son, spending time with me is tiring, but the core reason is she did not love me at the first place but just to find a companion when she gets hurt by someone before me. This is disaster for me and it really hurt me am I that bad to her while I was blending hard to her life, even go out “dating” with her son most of time. Yes she set me free, I can’t love her anymore as it is stupid to love a person that no longer love you.

  • cindy

    cindy

    November 11th, 2017 at 1:26 AM

    My boyfriend dumped me after 1 year 2 months of being together. I was there for this man when he was injured could not walk or move for 4 months. driving 200km 3 times a week to take care of him. he was on a wheelchair for the last 5 months and I would take him for picnics when everyone thought he was down and out & boring. First thing he did soon after his recovery was to get rid of me and now He spend time with people who rejected him the time he was down. I am hurt , He picked a fight with me and I did not fight instead I decided to give him space and kept quite for 4 days on the 5th day he told me hes moved on there is a lady in his life and no space for me.

  • Felipe

    Felipe

    November 11th, 2017 at 4:32 AM

    I was dumped by my gf of three years out of the bloom, just after an amazing period in which we were really happy, at least in the surface, i guess yes there were problems like in all relationships but i thougt we were working them out activley since we had stablished a policy to communicate and solve our issues. It went down really fast and she was super determiend, also it was just as I i took a job in wich I have to travel for a month an a half, i feel terribly sad and i loved her fondly and still cant belive she came to this determination so fast, only after a week i started this job. I tried to make her reconsider her determination but the only thing i foud was more sadnees an determination to never see me again. I am also really frustrated, disaponted and angry at her since she could not whait a month so i came back from this important job oportunity, now i feel like sh** in a job that should have gone perfectly ok, i am fighting now to find the strenght to overcome this pain and do an excelent job, I feel like she was too strategic of when to end this better for here, since im nowere close but left me in an unknown enviroment and important setting in which i needed to be at my best. We had an age diference she 30 me 25. She said that she came to a point in which she felt that she needed to grow and could not whait for me no more which makes it even harder to digest, and also that our love was just based on needenes and dependence. I have moments of peace over the day but mostly I am living in an emotional rolercoaster, i feel like a drama queen some times, since i have thought the comedown throug many times and talked to 4-5 friends and my mom, reaching the conclusion i have to let her go, only to find myself holding a secret hope that she will make up her mind or some how il get her back. Added to all this mess i foud some extremlely enticing mesages of her and other guy in the computer on one night i was at home town from the job, of her shearing some hot pictures just one night before our break up and talking to the guy before also, yes y violeted her privacy and i am sorry really sorry for that but truly i had no answers as for way she suddenly change so drasticly her mind about us since only tow weeks before we were having a really good time working together in photography projects and planing for the future, other that eh ones she mentioned that seemed so general i could not take them seriously enough, yes at some levevel we were not fully independent a so ther was yes some needenes and dependece on the relationship but im shure it was not at all the definig factor of our dyniamic or at lest i think that myself, for the age diference an her telling i was holding her back i find the claim kind of baffling since i was very very supportive of her plans an future desires, but one thing there was an issue at is economic independence, I was just starting to work my way up while she is already established a reputation and has a sort of constant work income, wedding photograper. I feel i was a rock for her when she strated to work and grow to become succesfull but now i feel she left me alone when im about to start to cath her in this respect, so yes i acknowledge that there is indeed at least an economic gap. But her saing she was hold up by me on her growing and facing life still is a wierd too me, i did no more than help her when i could and was available. If there is anyone whith some insight into my story it wold be gratley apreciated thanks and good luck every one.

  • Sal

    Sal

    February 4th, 2018 at 1:46 AM

    Sounds like there wasnt real love from her side to begin with, and she didnt really have the courage to tell you that she wanted other things .. sorry buddy.
    I &****ed up in a similar way .. literally having an angel take care of me and put up with 10 years of me being on and off with her .. going to other girls and her taking me back .. me taking a near lethal amount of substances daily (ptst nutcase). And she stood by me while i took all that for granted, took me back every time but ive pushed it to the point where she doesnt love me anymore, packed up her things and left and just decided to live life. The worst part was me being so drug ****ed that i was aware of what i was doing but didnt have the power over my mind to do and say the right things.. its like a demon controling your actions while youre suppressed in the background watching you ruin your life .. today i went to try get her back again only to hear that she doesnt love me anymore and shes gone cold on me.. i got down on one knee in a busy street where we spoke in hope of re conciliating on my part,but thats where she left me in tears on the pavement there. With a smile she told me its too late. Now i have a few easy options im contemplating lets all see if i got the balls to do it

  • Listoh

    Listoh

    April 11th, 2018 at 11:02 AM

    I experience the same right now, The difference from our stories is that on the 1April as we all know that its the april fool..She dumped me and later she said that, it was a joke and yet i understood, during our chat on the phone i told her that i will make my own april fool..after few days i phoned her and we spoke a little but since her area had a problem of network the line cut us otherwise i phoned again and asked who is the important person who was calling and she got angry, same time dropped her phone and sent me a message dumping me. She never answear my calls and SMSs..NOW I DONT GIVE A D*** BECAUSE ITS OBVIOUS THAT SOME PEOPLE PLAY WITH HEARTS

  • Robert P

    Robert P

    February 5th, 2018 at 11:17 AM

    At age 39, I got into a relationship, my first and only, thus far. At age 43, she ended it. I was, and still am crushed. It’s been 1 year, 4 months, since. My anger is just now starting to subside. Working it out on the treadmill; at the gym helped. Still bitter, but mostly sad now. I don’t know if I’ll ever pursue another relationship, I have a lot wrong with me. The prospect of facing my older years alone, isn’t something I’m looking forward to, but being 45 now, with not much going for me, doesn’t scream a great catch.

  • Marie

    Marie

    February 7th, 2018 at 1:15 PM

    He was my first relationship at almost 28 years..I was so happy because I thought finally, this is why I haven’t had anyone else. He ended it after 5.5 months saying he didn’t feel we had a lot of chemistry or things in common, which I don’t think is true. I tried to ask him if he wanted to make it work but he didn’t want to. It hurts so bad. I feel like the pain will never go away. I hope one day I can be genuinely happy again. Even if it does mean I will be alone.

  • felipe

    felipe

    February 7th, 2018 at 5:59 PM

    Hi Marie, I am sorry for your loss, but really i think if its your first relationship its normal what happened look at it as a first try in a very complicated game (that wich is human relationships beliveme they are no easy thing) If he felt that way and you did not i get it its a smack on the nuts (not but really i get your pain you can read my coment is yours in the thread at november 11. So by all means and take it from some one who did the wrong thing, get your life together even if you dont fell like it and start working on your projects, because you will gent nothig from standing still on a rut or stagnating over what happend, life its a ***** some times and thats how it is you can learn from it or not its your choice that its not to say you should not greif or cry by all means do it, but late at night when you had a productive day, i know i did not do it and i can say you it didt came good for me now im having to work and enmend my routines and reputation. so please put your tough side now and work it out, best of luck, felipe. Sorry for my english not my native languge.

  • Marie

    Marie

    February 8th, 2018 at 1:32 PM

    Hi Felipe. Thank you for your comment. I appreciate you taking the time to write it. I will take it day by day and hopefully something better will come along.
    I am sorry for your situation also. I cant imagine being with someone for 3 years and them leaving suddenly. Be strong! The things we can not control/have no power to are things that we should not give so much power to. Only the things we have control over should we worry about. Best of luck.

  • Richard S

    Richard S

    March 5th, 2018 at 1:28 PM

    It’s almost like a death of a loved one.

  • Charlene

    Charlene

    April 10th, 2018 at 6:46 PM

    I have just been dumped from a very close friendship of 13 years. In that time i saw him through many hard times. He battled with depression,money worries,life in general. I stood by him when no one else would be his friend.He had an alcohol problem as well.I sorted his house out and made it liveable.I sat late at night and listened to all his worries.In short i was his rock,he told me he loved me and i him.He managed to get his drinking under control.Started to go out and suddenly has a girlfriend,practically moved into the house that i put right for him. I loved (love) him very much,but suddenly was dismissed from his life without warning.I was even going round cleaning and tidying unaware she was coming round later,We have been together for so long that i feel bereft , there is nothing i can do,life does not feel worth living,but i will carry on. I have no wish for revenge or to cause trouble.I just feel so upset that he could just change on me so suddenly and let me down so badly.He feels he has done nothing wrong.We have been through so much,how could he?

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