How to deal with a breakup, scientifically: unsolicited advice 2/6

Relationships are all about feelings, not facts, but a healthy dose of data won’t hurt your love life — just keep it out of the bedroom, please. Here’s what can you learn from science to have a less-than-awful breakup:

  • First things first — breakups suck. Psychological research has equated breakups with the grief associated with a death. It’s okay to be mad, angry, sad, or disappointed, or all of the above. The fastest way to get over it is to embrace the suck. Just give the suck a big bear hug — it’ll be shorter that way.
  • Unfriend them. Unfriend and unfollow them on every social media platform you have. Delete their phone number. Facebook even has a tool to help you forget your ex. Seeing their posts — or your ex seeing yours — is just asking for more emotions than you can handle right now.
  • Don’t drink. Drinking away your sorrows sounds like a great idea — it’s not. Alcohol is a depressant and is just going to make you feel worse. And don’t go out and try an upper because that will just bury the problem for an hour or two before all those feelings come crashing back down on you.
  • Reach out to friends. Humans hate rejection. Back when we were hunter-gatherers, being rejected by a group meant death. While a breakup is not (repeat not) life-threatening, your brain isn’t good at differentiating between types of rejection and loss. A little acceptance — with some help from your friends — can go a long way towards tricking your brain out of its post-rejection slump.
  • Exercise, eat well and get enough sleep. More and more research is coming out about how taking care of yourself really is the best medicine.

And whatever you do, don’t get back together with your ex.