We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what you should avoid doing after you've had your heart broken. Here are some of their most helpful pieces of advice.
1. Don't throw everything out straight away.
"It might hurt to see the reminders (love letters, gifts, photos, souvenirs, etc) while the heartache is fresh, but after some time has passed there's a good chance you'll want at least a few mementos. If you absolutely need them gone, ask a friend to hold on to them or store them in that closet you never use or stuff them away in your car trunk."
— Sara Reichert, via Facebook
2. Don't spill your guts out in a letter.
"When you hand them your stuff, don’t also give them a letter with all of your heartfelt feelings. You’ll end up looking back and realising not only did they read it and not care, but they probably showed it to all their best mates."
3. Don't get a tattoo.
"Your emotions are all over the place and it’s unlikely it’ll be something you like when you’re eventually over them (or it’ll just serve as a reminder)."
4. Don't just listen to sad music.
"Listen to upbeat, obnoxious, 'Fuck yeah I’m the best' music that gives you confidence and reminds you that you don’t need your ex. I recommend Fall Out Boy."
5. Don't drink too much.
"It’s really tempting to drown the hurt feelings in a bottle of wine, but it just ends up making you feel even more like shit. Numbing the pain instead of allowing yourself to feel it just prolongs the healing process."
6. Don't force yourself to move on.
"Don’t rush into another relationship because of a fear of being alone. Alone time is needed after a breakup – you should take your time."
7. Don't let yourself get consumed by negative feelings.
"Don’t hate. Don’t hate yourself or your ex, no matter what the circumstances were that lead to the heartache. If it was true, real love then unfortunately the pain will be there for times to come, so the best thing to do is remember the good! Remember the happy times and know that’ll you have so many more happy times to come. Either alone or with someone else."
8. Don’t avoid special places or activities forever.
"I’m all about grieving for a while, but sometimes it’s not feasible to stay away from the places that remind you of your ex. So make reclaiming them an adventure. When you’re ready, take a friend or family member there (if it’s practical) and rewrite the memories you have at that place. It’s hard at first, but give yourself some new, good ones! It won’t erase the heartbreak, but it helps to make you feel stronger and gives those places/experiences better associations."
9. Don't blame yourself.
"For years I told myself I just wasn’t good enough, wasn’t interesting enough, wasn’t pretty enough etc. for the guy I fell for and that’s why he left me. It’s not true. I’ve realised I’m more than enough for anyone. It’s not your fault if someone leaves you for no reason and it’s no good trying to find something to blame. Sometimes people are stupid. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. It just happens."
10. Don't vent online.
"Don't try to induce any reaction from your ex by changing your profile pic, putting up a sad or passive-aggressive status etc on messenger/social media. Your ex will not react the way you want them to."
11. Don't start another relationship until you're ready.
"It's never easy to get over a breakup, but trying to date to prove to them that you don't need them isn't the answer."
— Jules Campbell, via Facebook
12. Don't force contact between you and your ex.
"Delete their number, Facebook, even other social media platforms. My first heartbreak taught me this. I kept messaging him and it only made me feel worse, which I didn’t think was possible."
13. Don't put yourself down.
"Things happen in life – pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Plus, putting yourself down all the time will only make you feel worse, and who wants that?"
14. Don't forget how much you're worth.
"I carried on seeing my ex, sneaking around and lying to my friends and family because they disapproved. I had no respect for myself and was ashamed that I would continue seeing someone that treated me how he did. Thankfully I saw the light but it required some painful but necessary realisations about myself."
15. Don't torture yourself over the details.
"Never expect a proper explanation or a solid excuse from your ex after they dumped you. Don’t beg for it. Don’t ask them over and over. Even if they try to explain, you’ll never fully understand, because you are a completely different person with different views and feelings. It’s hard to accept it, but don’t make it worse by trying to figure out every least bit that led your ex to breaking up."
16. Dont pretend like nothing happened.
"Something happened, it's fine to be sad. Let it out."
17. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help.
"It's not a sign of weakness if you can’t spring back."
18. Don’t forget that time is the best healer.
"I guarantee that in six months or a year or maybe longer you will NOT still be feeling so broken. You will notice your old pre-heartbreak self creeping back up on you until one day you realise your ex can’t hurt you any more and you are ready to move forward. Please give yourself time – be patient and be kind to yourself."
19. Don’t forget that love exists.
"I’m not necessarily talking about romantic love. Remember your friends, family, pets, and hobbies. They made you once before, and they’ll make you again. I also recommend ice cream."
NB: Some of these submissions may have been edited for length and/or clarity.