Girlfriend Series Part 3: How To Get Over A Breakup
In part 3 of this series, I want to outline for you guys exactly how to get over a breakup. Before you read this you should check out part 1 on picking the right girlfriend and part 2 on what to expect when you move in with a girl.Unfortunately despite all the screening and precautions you take, a healthy relationship is never a guarantee.
Breaking up with a girl after you’ve lived together is a rough time, there’s no two ways about it especially if you’ve been living together because now you have to figure out how the rest of the lease will be paid, how furniture will be settled and move out. That’s if you haven’t sorted this out in your cohabitation contract outlined in Part 2.
This is especially true if you got legally married, have a house, children and joint assets with no pre-nup. Over 2/3 of divorces in the U.S. are initiated by women and in college educated couples, 90% of divorces are initiated by women, so a breakup is not always within your control, even if you feel you’ve put a siginifcant amount of effort into the relationship.
If you’ve read part 2 you will have had a dissolution plan, didn’t get legally married and will have a legal agreement before you move in together so this won’t be a problem for you. But even with all these things in place this is not something you want to go through once let alone twice.
That’s why its important to keep in mind that when you plan on living with a woman you should plan on it being your last relationship. In her mind despite what she might tell you, living together is the first step towards marriage and a family, you’re now on her plan. Here is exactly what to expect and how to move on with your life:
What To Expect
A breakup after having lived together is painful, even if you’re the one who ended the relationship. Combine this with the fact that as a man you generally don’t have a strong support system of people to rely on after the breakup.
Contrary to popular opinion, studies show that many men hurt worse than women in breakups as guys generally don’t have access to a strong support system when they get into romantic relationships. They become heavily, even exclusively emotionally reliant on their girlfriends. For most guys their girlfriend is their sole source of emotional support and love.
Hugo Schwyzer describes the reality most guys feel after a breakup:
Girl initially seems far more devastated. She talks to her friends, mourns publicly, seems genuinely distraught. Guy seems, by comparison, to hardly be in pain at all. Weeks go by, then months. Because she’s dealt with the hurt immediately, girlfriend is getting over things, moving on, ready for what comes next
He goes on to explain:
Boyfriend, meanwhile, has fallen into a delayed depression. He may suddenly start calling, frantic to get her back, having suddenly realized breaking up was a “huge mistake.” He may even progress to what seems like stalking, begging and pleading for “another try.
In his book “The Stronger Sex”, Dr. Richard Driscoll further confirms this when he says:
Research concludes that men are more deeply hurt by separations than women. Men tend to cling longer to dying relationships, and they fantasize longer about their former partners after it is over. On average, men take about twice as long to recover from failed relationships as do women
He goes on to explain:
The logic of genetic selection accounts for these perplexing traits. The woman who appears dependent obligates her mate to stay and provide for her, thus giving her children an advantage. She makes a man feel responsible for her because she could not make it without him-or so it seems.
Learn From The Experience
If you’re struggling right now, the first thing you need to do is to take responsibility. When you take responsibility it means you get to learn from the experience and make sure you avoid the same mistakes in your next relationship. To do that you need to screen for the woman, especially if you plan on living with her.
That means only move in with a girl who meets all your girlfriend criteria to a T, has a similar lifestyle and goals. Don’t gamble on a girl changing her lifestyle or agenda for you despite how honestly she pleads, she won’t. Realize what went wrong and how to screen better for the next time, or realize maybe that you’re not suited for long term relationships at this point in your life.
How To Get Over A Breakup
Once you’ve taken responsibility, the next thing you need to do is take stock of your emotions and monitor them constantly, accept that you’re going to feel bad for a while and that’s ok, the same as if you were sick. With that said that doesn’t excuse you from not thinking positively, you still have to be putting the effort in. You’re going to feel sad, every man in the world has experienced that pain, it doesn’t make you weak.
Recognize that the chemicals involved in being in love are addictive and are going to f*ck with your head, your oxytocin and dopamine levels will be in the gutter and you’ll experience all the symptoms of withdrawal, the same as a drug addict.
Expect that there is a good chance you’ll feel rebound pain around the 4 to 6 month mark, but remember you broke up for a reason, the same reason you will break up again and again so you need to fight your feelings of regret and getting back together. You’ll find another girl, a better girl, one who fits all your criteria and this time you’ll have learned from your mistakes and will be ready to have an awesome relationship.
Once you’ve taken stock of your feelings you have to cut contact with her immediately, for good, no contact, no exceptions. You need to be extra vigilant about reality management post breakup: no negative people, movies, music or situations if possible, your defenses will be much lower than usual and it will be easy to slip into depression.
You’re a man, you’re strong, your pain is temporary and you will continue to reassure yourself of this and be as positive as you can. And now that you know how to get over a breakup, it’s up to you to take action. Throw yourself into your mission and focus on kicking ass in your goals. Most importantly, start dating other women immediately. The sooner you get with other women the faster your recovery will be.
Every guy in the world has been through a rough breakup. Handle it the right way and you will come out stronger, wiser and won’t make the same mistakes again.