How to handle a breakup that ended on good terms: 20 helpful tips

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Many people like to think that once they break up with someone and part ways on good terms, the problem is solved. 

This couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Each of us may handle a breakup differently but the feeling is no less overwhelming or painful during the experience. 

Whether you’re going through it right now or have been through one in your past, these 20 tips can help ease the pain and allow you to move on.

1) Take time to grieve the lost relationship, but don’t get stuck in the past

Crying, sadness, and depression are all a normal part of the grieving process that comes with a breakup. 

The feelings you feel now may even be stronger than when the relationship ended. But getting stuck in your feelings of loss (or longing for the person) is simply going to delay your ability to move on.

So how to handle a breakup that ended on good terms?

The trick is to allow yourself time to grieve the lost relationship. 

This may include feeling sad about the breakup, being upset about whatever it was that caused you to break up, and even crying when you think of an aspect of your relationship with the other person. 

But those steps alone won’t get you over your ex—or help you get back together—and they can even make things worse if you let them drag on for an extended period of time.

So give yourself time to grieve, but don’t get stuck in your mourning.

Get out of the house, go for a walk, talk to your family and friends, or just try to be alone so you can think about what it was you lost. Do something every day that will help you move on. 

2) Reach out to your friends for emotional support

A relationship that ended on good terms should not be left behind as soon as you decide to break up. 

Even if the breakup was amicable and you decided to part ways so you could continue to heal, it’s important that you take time to let your friends know how you feel. 

A wise man once said: 

“It’s always easier for a friend to comfort someone else who is comforting the friend.” 

One of the best things about having friends is that they understand you better than anyone else. 

They’re the ones who know you the best and can relate to your emotions better than anyone else. So take advantage of this fact and use them as a pillar of support throughout your time of grieving. 

Try to schedule a weekly lunch or dinner date with one of your closest friends so you can talk about your feelings and process the breakup. 

3) Get involved in new social activities 

When a relationship ends, it can be easy to get caught up in the melancholy of your grief—but it’s also important that you continue to stay emotionally healthy. 

Do something new this week (even if it’s just going out to a movie or meeting up with your friends for drinks) so you can shake off the stress and sadness of the breakup.

Here are some ways to keep your mind off of your former partner:

  • Take a walk in a park or do some gardening.
  • Learn a new language or start a new hobby (pottery, painting, drawing, etc.)
  • Sign up for an event in your area that requires you to put together a team (run or walk for charity, 5k run, etc.)
  • Try out a new restaurant and make it your weekly go-to spot. The more social you are the better.

4) Try not to obsess about the other person’s life 

It’s easy to get caught up in wondering what your ex is doing right now and whether he or she is missing you as much as you miss them. 

But just as there’s a period of grieving that comes with any breakup, it’s also important to honor your feelings of loss by allowing yourself some time to move on. 

And that means knowing when to put your thoughts of the other person aside and think about your own life. 

It’s a little easier to do in the beginning, but not as much as you might think. So try to build up that ability to let go of thoughts of your ex over time. 

Make a list of all the things you like about yourself and try to keep it constantly in front of you. 

5) Rebuild your self-esteem and learn to love yourself again

Here’s the truth: 

A breakup that ended on good terms is just as painful for you as one that ended badly

After all, it’s not like the relationship is completely gone; you still feel the same way about him or her and your memories of them are still there. 

That’s why it’s so essential that you let go of those negative feelings about yourself and try to rebuild your self-esteem and love yourself again. 

It’s not an easy process, but it’s necessary if you want to be able to move on. 

Try doing something nice for yourself or buy yourself a present you’ve been wanting so your feelings of worthiness will remain at a high level. 

6) Don’t rush into another relationship

OK, I know what you’re thinking: 

“It feels like I need to get out there right away and start trying to date again.” 

And that’s understandable. 

The pain of a breakup that ended on good terms is just as excruciating as one that ended badly, so it makes sense you want to move on as quickly as possible. 

But it’s better for your mental health if you don’t jump back into another relationship right away.

Let me explain: 

Your mental health will be better if you don’t do this.

It’s not that it’s important to begin a new relationship right away; it’s more that if you meet a new person sooner than later, you’ll be in the midst of a roller coaster of emotions and reminders of your ex

So you hurt both mentally and physically until you can get your emotions under control. 

But it’s worth waiting a little while before starting a new relationship. It’ll give you time to heal on the inside and build up your confidence again. 

And when you meet someone who truly wants to be with you, you’ll feel secure enough in your own skin to be able to handle it mentally and emotionally. 

7) Get rid of the stuff you two were together

Trust me, it’s going to happen eventually. 

There will be something you will want to get rid of—and you should. 

It might be a gift from them or a reminder of some amazing moment you shared together. Whatever it is, do yourself a favor and get rid of it now, before you get over your ex (and after). 

There’s no point in holding on to those old feelings at this point in your life.

It gets worse every time you think about them, and it will only give you way too much to think about whenever you encounter that object again.

8) Don’t overanalyze the breakup

The fact that your breakup ended on good terms makes you want to try and make sense of every possible reason why it happened. 

Well, cut it out! 

If the relationship is over, that’s the end of it. 

It doesn’t matter if the breakup was something you and your ex decided on or if someone left you for another person: All that matters is that you had a good relationship for as long as you did. 

And no matter what, keep in mind that a breakup ending on good terms is not easy. It still feels bad, so don’t beat yourself up if you think it’s somehow your fault. 

In reality, the breakup is simply a part of life—an inevitable but unpleasant part of life. And everyone who’s worth their salt has to go through it at some point or another. 

9) Express your feelings through writing in a journal or blog post

Another helpful way to cope with a breakup is through writing. 

You can write about what happened between you and your ex but try to keep it as positive as possible. 

Don’t focus on why the breakup happened; just write about what you learned from the relationship and how it has made you a better person. 

Just make sure not to blame yourself (even if your breakup ended badly), because that will only make the situation worse. 

So don’t hold back when expressing your feelings in writing.

This way you’ll be able to work out your feelings and process them in a healthy way. 

If you’re comfortable, talk to someone about what happened so you can let off some steam. 

10) Stay connected with your ex while keeping your distance

Even if your breakup ended on good terms, you still might not feel like going out of your way to keep in touch with your ex. 

And that’s understandable. 

Maybe you don’t want to be reminded of the good times you had together or it could just be that you don’t feel like talking at all right now and the thought of calling or texting them makes you totally depressed. 

But there are benefits to staying connected and letting your ex know that you care. 

Here’s why: 

First, it will be a reminder that he or she is still important to you even though the relationship is over. You still care and want them in your life. 

And even if there isn’t an emotional connection, you might feel a sense of companionship just by talking to them again. 

You’ll also find that you feel better just by talking to them once in a while. 

Finally, you might unintentionally be able to give your ex some important advice or help in the future. 

And all of this only happens if you stay connected. 

11) Don’t be afraid of all the vulnerable emotions that come up

Don’t worry: 

You won’t feel like this forever. 

Emotions are just emotions, and they won’t last forever. 

The pain will go away even if it takes a while, and you’ll be able to deal with each day without feeling as upset as you feel right now. 

But before you can get to that point, there are going to be vulnerable emotions that come up—and that’s OK. 

It’s only natural that you have these feelings. After all, this breakup is a big part of your life, and it’s bound to hit you hard. 

There are going to be times when you feel depressed (or even get really depressed). 

There will be times when you feel sad and wonder why you’re going through this when there are so many other people who have it much worse. 

But no matter what, remember that these emotions won’t last forever. No matter how severe the breakup was, it will end someday, and things will get better. 

12) Do something you’ve always wanted to do

If you’ve always wanted to learn something new or do something new, now is a perfect time. 

After going through a breakup, you might feel like doing things that you wouldn’t normally want to do. 

For example, you might want to volunteer at a homeless shelter or take up boxing lessons—just because. 

Or you might want to start writing poetry again because you can finally be your true self in front of the computer screen. 

Whatever it is, do something that you’ve always wanted to do in order to get back into the swing of things. 

And if you’ve never been able to do something before, now is the perfect time to start! 

13) Seek professional help if necessary 

You might think that the only breakup that ended with a nasty fight or something destructive was the only one that needed intervention, and that’s simply not true. 

Well, before you know it, you’ll be going through an emotional roller coaster and feeling like you can’t interact with anyone without getting upset. 

But in case you need a little bit more help, there are people who are trained to deal with this sort of thing. 

And it just so happens that some of those people are therapists! 

It’s true: 

Every state has licensed mental health professionals who can help you get over a breakup and deal with your feelings in a healthy way. 

They’re experts in interacting with two people, and they’ll help you get to the root of your emotions and work through them in a way that makes you feel better. 

So if you think you need a little help in this department, find yourself a therapist immediately. 

14) Remember that good things will come in time 

You may not believe it right now, but good things really do come in time. 

So hold on and keep believing. 

While you’re still feeling down, don’t look at the situation with sadness and regret. 

Instead, focus on how you’ve grown as a person, how you’ve learned to work through your emotions and how your life is starting to move on. 

And don’t let this break up ruin all the good things that have happened to you. 

It can be easy to get knocked down by a breakup, but that doesn’t mean you have to fall into the hole with it. 

You can rise up and look at the positive aspects of your life right now and see how much better it could be if you ended your relationship early on. 

15) Learn from the experience

After the breakup, write everything you’ve learned about yourself in your journal or notebook. 

Do this on a daily basis for four weeks, or until you feel like you’ve made some progress in your healing process. 

Once you’ve finished writing down everything you learned about yourself and why the relationship didn’t work out, stick it up in a place where you can see it every day. 

If you’re the type of person who likes to talk out your feelings, this process might take a little longer since you’ll be talking with someone else about what happened. 

But the experience can be very helpful in getting you over it faster and dealing with your emotions in a healthy way. 

When you take certain steps to get over it, trust me—you will feel much better.

16) Think about the future

This is a major step to moving on. 

But even with all your feelings and sadness, you have to look at the future. 

It’s important that you don’t just think about the good parts of your life right now, but also the good parts of your future. 

Make an honest effort to stop thinking about the past, and instead focus on the future. 

Trust me: 

This is the best way to get over it and not dwell on sad events. 

If you’re having trouble thinking about your future, write down what you want to accomplish in the years to come. 

And if you think that writing it down will make it easier to see, then go ahead. After all, what do you have to lose? 

17) Realize that no relationship is perfect

So, here’s the deal: 

No relationship is perfect. 

Sure, it may seem like it when it’s ideal. But when the going gets tough, everything changes. 

And that’s OK! You can’t expect every relationship to be perfect all the time. 

But sometimes, you have to realize that relationships are always going to change and there will come a time when they’re just not right anymore. 

So really, it’s better to end things early than to drag out the situation and let it rip your heart out. 

18) Be realistic about your next relationship

Being realistic about your next relationship is important if you want to take full advantage of the experience. 

Don’t expect your next relationship to be the same as any other one, because that’s not realistic. 

You should always be open to change and realize that things might be different with your next relationship. 

So before you get into it, make sure you know what you’re expecting from it. 

You should be able to think about the good parts of your relationship and know that there’s something that’s just not right. 

And by being realistic about your next relationship, you can take good care of yourself so that you can truly move forward to a new chapter in life. 

19) Support your ex in the right way

One of the effective ways to handle a breakup that ended on good terms is to support your ex in the right way. 

Maybe the breakup didn’t work out because the two of you just weren’t right for each other. 

But even though you still care about your ex, you don’t want to go and make things worse. 

So instead of trying to get back together again, be supportive as best as you can. 

You don’t have to go out of your way to do this or say anything special. 

You can just be there without holding a grudge. That’s all you have to do in order for the breakup to go well. 

20) Be thankful for what you do have

Being thankful for what you do have in life is always a good thing to do. 

It allows you to focus on the positive things and not dwell on the negative ones. 

Being thankful for what you do have doesn’t mean you don’t want to move on. 

It just means that while you’re moving forward, you’re also aware of your past relationships and all the good things they did for you. 

Not only will being thankful help you get over it, but it will help keep the good memories from fading. 

So when we’re finished with this section, take a moment and thank what you have in life and all the things that make it so great.

Final thoughts

A breakup that ended on good terms can be one of the most difficult to get over. 

But that doesn’t mean you have to fall into a pit of despair. You can get through it and start looking for something new. 

Just find a way to make peace with your ex, learn from the experience and realize how much better your life will be in the future!