The Dos & Don'ts of How to Handle a Breakup

Are you going through a recent breakup? Your world may have just come crashing down, but Boston's dating & relationship expert Samantha Burns is here to help! Read a quick break down below of Samantha's dos and don'ts of how to handle a breakup.

If you need more help, you can contact Samantha today for personalized breakup advice, dating advice, and relationship & couples counseling. She's based in the Boston area, if you're local and would like to visit her in her office, but if not, she's always available for Skype/phone sessions!

How to handle a breakup

How to handle a breakup


  • Beg/plead/bargain to get back together—you should not have to convince someone to love you or want to be with you. The right person will recognize you are a catch!
  • Drunk dial your ex—you’ll regret it in the morning, I promise
  • Self-medicate with drugs/alcohol
  • Lure your ex back with sex—the fleeting physical intimacy won’t mend your broken heart
  • Spend hours stalking your ex on social media--defriend, defollow, get rid of them!
  • Show up at your ex’s house unannounced--hello stalker!
  • Contact him/her in moments of weakness—that’s what friends are for
  • Put your ex on a pedestal—in your mind, you may be highlighting all of his/her wonderful qualities, but there are likely many things that bugged you or you wish you could change
  • Compare every new person you date to your ex—if your ex was really that amazing, you’d still be dating but ultimately something was wrong with your relationship
  • Rebound with every person that shows you attention—ultimately you may just feel worse about yourself (and no one likes STDs)
Getting through a breakup

Getting through a breakup


  •  Get support from your besties & bros—you’re not a burden, this is what friends are for
  •  Cry if you need to—there’s no shame
  •  Give yourself permission to wallow in sadness for a distinct period of time—grab your ice cream and sweat pants! After a few days, if you miss work, isolate yourself from friends/family, and stop doing activities you enjoy, you may want to seek professional support
  •  Pick up a new hobby, like boxing or a cooking class
  •  Reconnect with old friends--if you drifted apart when you were in your relationship, a simple "I'm sorry, I really miss you," can go a long way
  •  Invest yourself in work—set new career goals
  •  Keep a busy schedule because down time is usually the hardest
  •  Drink responsibly in a social setting, not alone in your room
  •  Give yourself time and space to process your emotions—you can try journaling, bibliotherapy (reading books/blogs), or talking to a counselor
  •  Remove your ex from social media and shared accounts
  •  Create space by not talking to or seeing your ex—aim for two months, then reevaluate communicating if you’re still obsessing over it (at this point, you may not even remember his/her name)! Be weary that connecting with your ex may trigger intense emotions and you might take steps backwards
  •  Accept that no matter the reason for the break up, the outcome is still the same—you’re broken up and the relationship on some level was broken
  •  Accept that when your ex ended the relationship, he/she was choosing to live his/her life without you. You deserve someone who recognizes the awesomeness that you are and who can’t live without you!
  •  Create your own closure with positive self-talk—tell yourself that you deserve better and that someone will be lucky to have you. Your job is to believe this!
  •  Accept that you can’t control other people—you can only control yourself and your reaction to them
  • Accept that breaking up is part of dating. The majority of your relationships will end, and ideally only one will be for the long run. 
  •  Start dating again when you feel ready
  •  Be optimistic that time is the best cure for a broken heart

As much as the breakup may have felt out of your control, you can take recovery into your hands! The best way to handle a breakup is to implement these skills.  Avoiding the "don'ts" will minimize your pain. These are some of the fastest ways to get over a breakup. 

Need more advice or personal tips? Contact Samantha, Boston's Love Expert!