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15 ways to handle breakups in your twenties
By our Instagram followers

14.06.21

The top​ 15 tips for quarterlifers from quarterlifers on how to handle breakups in your twenties.

The average length of 20-something relationships is 4 years, and 6 in 10 of us report having at least one on-again-off-again relationship in our 20s.

Breakups are a huge, unavoidable part of this decade we are told is supposed to be the best, freest and happiest of our lives. No breakup is ever fun, regardless of the circumstances or which side of a split you fall on. Often the only comfort is that one day, with time, things will feel less shit - that everyone goes through breakups, and that the pain and teaching they bring will make us better people in the long run.
 

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In a recent Instagram poll, we asked you, our readers, what you have learnt about navigating breakups in your twenties, and the response we got was overwhelming.

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Turns out it's true what they say - painful breakups are something everyone has to go through at some point in their lives. We chose our favourite 15 pieces of advice to include in this piece. We hope they bring you some comfort if your life has been touched by a breakup recently. 

  1. Feel your pain. You have to face your pain or you'll never get over it. Let yourself cry and rage and then, when that's done, find other, new ways to feel joy. - Anonymous
     

  2. If you can and you feel you need to, see a therapist. Even if you only do a couple of sessions, this can be really valuable. Your other relationships will thank you for it! - @littleinkspills.art
     

  3. Get closure, then let it go. I got through a break up with the person I thought was the love of my life, having planned our futures together and lived together for a year. My first tip would be: journal every day so you can process your feelings completely without overwhelming friends. Then have one big talk about the breakup with the person, say everything you want to say, then let it go. You can't get closure multiple times! - @anitamarkoff
     

  4. Mute and unfollow. Mute, unfollow and block them on all social media. When you're feeling emotional and processing a relationship that is ending, the last thing you need is to be ambushed with a photo of them having a good time with someone else. Be kind to yourself and remove the possibility of seeing a curated version of their life online. You need time and space to heal. - @lizzie.a.robinson
     

  5. Cultivate new routines. Often relationships seem to flourish in specific time frames. Saturdays at specific restaurants and Sundays at someone's apartment. It's important to rejoin life even if you're rejoining it sad. Invite your friends over for Friday night movies three Fridays in a row. Lean into the new stretch of open calendar time. Then give it time - arguably one of the hardest parts, but time flies when your calendar is full. - @chloeinletters
     

  6. Get comfortable alone. Calculate the length of time you've spent as an adult being single and ask yourself if you think that's enough. We treat being single as a waiting place - somewhere to get out of as quickly as we can instead of a sunshine to bask in. We place so much weight in our romantic relationships that we forget all of the love that surrounds us from those we don't have sex with. - @kirstiejaynenorris
     

  7. Give it time. Take comfort in the fact that "time is the greatest healer". It's incredibly true. The sadness and the hurt will not last forever; gradually they lessen until they're not there anymore. Things won't always feel this raw. The sun will come out again. - @_rubyalice
     

  8. Lean on people. Don't be alone if you don't want to be. Move in with a friend for a week or two if you have to! Lean on people - the special ones will not only let you, they'll be happy to have you. - @katyejacks
     

  9. Keep it healthy. Less virtual time - focus on a hobby instead - and don't drink or take drugs to fill the void! - @the_rudi_project
     

  10. Put kind voices in your head. On the hard days, when you can't switch off the loop of painful thoughts, turn to sources of inspiration and positivity. Whether it's authors, columnists, poets or podcasters, there are so many fortifying voices to be leant on for wise words and storytelling, to help remind you that you're not alone in this heartache and that things will get better. - @becca_yeadon
     

  11. If you can, read. It's not always easy to read straight after the breakup has occurred, but once a bit of time has passed and you feel like you can focus, just read. Even if you don't feel like you have the mental strength to get outside the house yourself, reading can be a great way to provide some escapism and enter other characters' lives for a while. I downloaded the Goodreads app during my breakup and it was the best thing I did. It gave me another focus, stopped me checking my ex's Instagram so incessantly, transported me elsewhere, eve if just for a little while. Once you're feeling stronger it's also a great excuse to get out of the house and go somewhere nice to sit and read! - @_franhannon_
     

  12. Book a holiday. Holidays are the change of scene we need in difficult or changeable times. Get as many people signed up as possible - there's strength, comfort and funny memories in numbers. Be the organiser - it'll give you something to do - and find something that suits everyone. An all-inclusive, cheap package holiday which won't require any strength or organisation out there is often the best thing. Then get yourself some in-flight entertainment, a hair cut, a disposable camera and a ridiculously extra inflatable. You'll come back a different person, and getting the photos developed at home will bring new memories to cling to and go back over. - Anonymous
     

  13. Remember your age. You have your whole life ahead of you to be with someone. Your 20s can be your selfish years. Don't talk to the person you've broken up with (unless you have kids) and have at least two months off dating or speaking to people. Focus on you. - @xciaralouisexx
     

  14. Try stuff. Write a list and try one new thing every day for a month. It will keep you busy and distracted. - @manifestingjessie
     

  15. Say yes. Make a pact with yourself to say yes to all social opportunities. Don't let yourself hide away. - @jess_garrett21

Image by unknown Pinterest artist.

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