There’s no way around it man, breakups suck. They suck even if you’re the one doing the breaking up.
They suck especially hard when you’re the one being broken up with. Getting dumped just tends to suck in general.
Trust me, I thought I was bulletproof in life until I got broken up with for the first time. It shattered my illusion of invulnerability (for the better), and I know that you’re probably not feeling so hot yourself.
First things first, you will come out of this okay.
I’ve gotten dumped several times, and the good news is it gets easier every time. The even better news is that breakups can make you awesome. Seriously, I credit my first breakup for launching my first business, giving me motivation to get into the best shape of my life, and most of all, the women skills I’ve needed since then to radically improve my life.
The good news is that all of this is possible for you too. You’ve just gotta get through the breakup first.
When I got dumped for the first time, there wasn’t a ton of information out there on what men should do. Everyone I knew gave me advice that I couldn’t help but feel was tailored for women. Even my own dad drew a blank.
So how can you handle being dumped like a man and come back more awesome than before?
Stay calm in the moment my man
We’ve all seen the Worldstar videos of explosive breakups gone wrong. I admit, as someone who writes about breakups I watch a fuck ton of them. There’s a time and a place for getting fired up, but it’s not while you’re being dumped.
Part of being a man is handling the difficult situations in your life without allowing yourself to be caught in the moment. If you’re a fan of Mad Men, Don Draper demonstrates exactly how you’d want to react in an emotional moment. Watch this scene, where his wife Betty essentially tells him their relationship is over.
Notice how Don coolly handles the situation, and then excuses himself when he needs a minute? This is exactly what you want to do. Get the unpleasant situation out of the way, and then excuse yourself to begin your grief.
Don also avoids insulting her, choosing to instead rise above the bombshell dropped by Betty. At least in terms of this scene, Don handles the entire thing admirably.
Lashing out emotionally is just going to get your ex-girlfriend more riled up and cause you additional pain. Plus, it will demonstrate to her that you’re not in control of your emotions which will hurt your chances of getting back together with her later.
Don’t be afraid to be sad afterwards
After my first breakup, I managed to hold back my tears until I made it into my car. I then spent about 2 hours bawling my eyes out behind the wheel in Boston traffic.
In the ensuing weeks I would have to excuse myself from class several times to cry in the bathroom. It felt like there was a dark cloud over my life for the first month or so.
But like any sickness, the sadness passed.
Did I think it was manly to cry in the bathroom? No, but at the time I didn’t care too much, and neither should you. You have to express your grief in a way that works for you. Don’t be afraid to do so, because you need to let everything out so you can begin to rationalize your emotions down the road.
Part of healing your broken heart is to allowing yourself to actively feel your emotions without judgement.
Think about how children, the most uninhibited of us handle emotions.
They cry and scream, and sometimes punch their pillows. In the moment, it looks like a horrendous blend of tears and red faces.
After they’re done crying however, they’re always back to normal. It’s incredible to watch a kid go from crying his face off to running around like nothing ever happened.
Read between the lines here: getting your emotions out in the open and allowing yourself to feel them freely is what helps you feel better. Children aren’t taught how to process their emotions and they do it instinctively.
Let instinct guide you. If you want to cry? Great. Cry. Scream. Hit your pillow in private. Do whatever feels authentic to you. I also enjoyed punishing distance runs as an outlet.
Whatever will allow you to express your emotion, do it. Fear no judgement.
Think positive thoughts (even when you really don’t want to)
Everyone these days is a “positive thinking inspiration”. Yeah, I admit this one has been done to death by all these faux inspiration speakers. However, the idea that you become what you think about frequently is 100% true, and it will help you handle getting dumped like a man.
So let’s look at it in a bit of a different light, yeah?
As I previously mentioned, many of the best things in my life today are due to that first breakup. Whether that’s my portfolio of small businesses, my wonderful girlfriend, or my renewed love of fitness. All of it came from cultivating positive thinking after being dumped.
Choosing your thoughts carefully is one of the best kept secrets of the most successful people in the world. Cultivating a mindset that aligns with your goals allows you to accomplish anything.
When it comes to being dumped, I know your initial reaction is going to be to think negatively. Whether that’s about yourself, your future, or your ex.
You can choose to think like that. But, as Napoleon Hill so eloquently stated “We become what we think about”.
These 6 words can change your life. Really, I mean it.
Part of being a man is being proactive in dealing with your situation. Start by thinking about some good things that came out of your relationship, followed by the good things you love about yourself.
An exercise I particularly love is one by Brian Tracy, from his book “Maximum Achievement”.
He advocates repeating “I love myself!” 100 times a day.
The first time I read those words I had to stop to laugh.
“There’s no way this shit actually works” I remember telling my best friend.
However, I decided to suspend by disbelief and try it for a couple of weeks. The first couple of days, nothing happened. I still felt sad from the breakup. However, after about a week a funny thing started to happen.
I actually began to feel better about myself. Quite frankly, I was shocked. I noticed that I was performing better in the gym and in the classroom. I wasn’t over it, but I began to feel more positive about my ability to come out of the situation and keep my business growing.
I’ve since come to love the power of positive affirmation, especially for handling being dumped like a man. It’s easy to kick yourself while you’re down, and get into a rut where you think you’re not good enough. Counter this by trying the affirmation above. You can replace it with anything you want to achieve.
You can try:
- I will meet a better woman
- I deserve better than my ex-girlfriend
- I am the master of myself, I’m about to harness this shit
- I can do anything!
Seriously, if your only takeaway from reading this is how to use positive affirmation, then I will have succeeded.
Reflect on what happened, but don’t get paralysis by analysis
There’s no way around it. At some point you’re going to have to take some time to think about why your relationship ended. Part of the healing process is reflecting on where you went wrong so you can be a better partner the next time around.
However, honest reflection can turn into over-analyzing the situation. It’s an important distinction to make, which is why I recommend you do your reflection with something called focused journaling.
You should be writing in a journal anyway, but that’s besides the point. Focus journaling is taking a theme and then writing your honest reflections about it. I have a series of focus prompts I use to help guys get over breakups. Here’s a few good ones that will help you reflect on the relationship.
- What was it that I did in my previous relationship that led the relationship to go astray?
- What did she do in the relationship that led to it’s end?
- How do I feel about the end of our relationship? Why?
- What are some lessons I can take away from this breakup? How can I harness these lessons to lead a better life?
- What was it about my ex that I didn’t like?
Whenever you feel the need to reflect and analyze, do it in a journal. Writing it down will help you work through any negative emotions you might be holding on to.
Then, once you’re done journaling, stop thinking about your relationship and your ex. If you do find your mind wandering, either start journaling or use positive affirmations to redirect your thoughts.
Remember, you become what you think about. Spending too much unfocused time thinking about your ex will lead you to paralysis by analysis where overthinking will hold you back from taking positive action.
So write about it, and then let it go. You can do it.
Practice no-contact – and get out there and do stuff
You want to get over a breakup fast? No-contact will help you get there. Seriously, read the article I just linked. It will change how you handle this breakup. I’ll leave it up to you to read it.
The other piece of no-contact is going out and doing things. But I’m not going to give you generic advice to just go out and do whatever you want.
Nah, if you really want to take this shit to the next level, you need to do things that align with your goals and values. Part of true happiness is doing the things that align with your broader vision of where you see yourself in the future.
Take some time and think about where you want to be in 5 years. Write it down in as much detail as possible. How much money do you want to make? Where do you want to live? What will you be doing? What will your friends and lifestyle be like?
Steven Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People” calls this beginning with the end in mind. By defining what it is that we truly want, we can set goals based upon where we want to be. Goals that actually matter, with work that actually gets you excited.
Now, don’t get me wrong, going out with your buddies will help, but the path to true happiness is through a clearly defined vision of where you want to be while you work every day to make it a reality.
Once you get in the groove of hitting goals that’ll lead to your grand future vision? Watch out, no one will be able to stop you.
Forgive your ex and let it go
Forgiveness gives you the power to forget.
In order to truly let go of your ex-girlfriend after you’ve been dumped, you need to forgive her.
Yeah, I know you probably don’t want to. She dumped you after all. None of that really matters though, because the act of forgiving her is for you, not for her. Forgiving your ex girlfriend will allow you to make your peace with the situation and release any pent up negative emotions.
In other words, it’ll help you move on with your life.
So here’s what you need to do. Write down everything your ex-girlfriend did to hurt you. I personally like to use written lists. Each time you write down something she did to hurt you, write “I forgive you” next to it.
After you’ve written everything you can think of, read it out loud twice. Many guys I’ve given this exercise to report feeling immediate relief wash over them.
After you’ve finished writing everything, take the paper and burn it. Let the fire evaporate all the negative feelings.
Afterwards, you can move on with your life. Any time you begin to feel resentful towards her, remind yourself that you forgave her. In time, the power of forgiveness will dissolve the negative energy you hold towards her, and prevent you from becoming that guy who’s still bitter about a breakup that happened years ago.
We all know that guy. Don’t be him.
Remember, the future holds many blessings for you
Breakups are a force for change. Whether that change is good or bad is up to you. If you follow the advice I’ve laid out here, as well as throughout this website, getting dumped will be one of the best things that has ever happened to you.
Keep your chin up, because as you work through being dumped one day at a time, you’ll grow. You’ll get stronger, you’ll get smarter, and above all, you’ll have the wherewithal to say that getting dumped really wasn’t so bad after all.
The pain may sting now, but I promise you, in a couple of years you’ll look back as a better man and be able to enjoy a wistful smile.
You’re on the way now.