You're Approaching Your Breakup All Wrong -- Here's How To Do It Right

You're Approaching Your Breakup All Wrong -- Here's How To Do It Right

By Katie Parsons

Breaking up is hard to do. Except when it isn't.

The ways that people process breakups is as varied as the individuals in the relationship; not everyone chooses to view it as the end of the world as they know it.

There are at least two ways to approach breakups, according to Dr. Wendy Walsh, relationship expert and author of The 30-Day Love. "Breakup style says a lot about romantic attachment style," says Dr. Walsh. She groups breakup styles into these two main categories: Emotional Avoidant and Anxious Style.

Are You An Emotional Avoidant?
People who would rather bury their feelings than process them tend to recover more quickly from breakups -- at least from an outside perspective.

"People who are emotional avoidant tend to cut things off and move on quickly," explains Dr. Walsh. "They take no time to process and prefer not to keep in touch." These people appear to bounce back from breakups quickly and move on with little regard for what once was. This is true whether the person initiated the breakup or not. Occasionally, this personality type will linger for awhile, though, "if they can extract some no-strings-attached break up sex," says Dr. Walsh.

Do You Have An Anxious Style?
Even though a breakup hurts, some people choose to linger in the sorrow. They want to know what their ex is up to and dwell on the details of the good times. "They like to engage in the back and forth of getting back together," says Dr. Walsh. "Think Taylor Swift lyrics."

These people also tend to spend more time obsessing about their ex's whereabouts and are prone to stalking them via social media.

So What's The Right Way To Break Up?
There are many variations of these two breakup personality types but, in all cases, Dr. Walsh says that coping with negative feelings and making a plan to move on are important. She advises her clients to consider the following when on either end of a break up:

Be responsible for your own behavior. It can be easy to play the blame game following a relationship but it's healthier to avoid the finger pointing. "Don't blame. Even if your partner was an awful person, you chose him or her. Learn from your mistakes," suggests Dr. Walsh.

Cut off communication. In cases where children are involved, this is not possible. But for couples without any shared offspring, a clean break is really the best plan. Instead of fanning any potential lingering flames, surround yourself with people in your future -- friends and family members who support and love you.

Rebound with caution. For some people, rebound sex can ease some of the breakup pain. For others, it can be a dangerous prospect. "If you are a love junkie and rebound sex always turns into rebound romance and love, then you need to step back and learn to contain yourself," advises Dr. Walsh.

Unplug. Disconnect any online connections to avoid seeing anything that can be upsetting post-breakup. "De-friend. Stop following on Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram," says Dr. Walsh. "Online contact and Facebook stalking can make you wallow."

Whatever your romantic and breakup styles are, try to keep it all in perspective and think past your emotions. The end goal -- moving on -- is much more easily achieved when the relationships demise is confronted and then accepted.

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