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Have YOU Made These Mistakes After Your Relationship Break Up?

Photograph by LunaDiRimmel

Months, or even years after a relationship break up, we will fully realize the fatal mistakes we made right after it happened. Especially the panic controlled actions that made us appear as a different person – often we don’t recognize ourselves any more.

It can bring out the worst in us.

It usually happens that we hate ourselves later for the things we’ve done. This is understandable, but the wrong thing to do. Not only does it damage our self-esteem, which is urgently needed for the recovery, (what’s left of it), but it also destroys the new concept of self-love we are trying to build up.

Avoid these feelings by telling yourself that the past is the past, and concentrate on the NOW.

There is a famous quote where it says that one should learn from the mistakes OTHERS make and thereby avoid them.

On the other hand:

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
—John Powell

I believe that there are two kinds of mistakes: the kind that you can learn and evolve from, and the kind that should be avoided.

When it comes to post relationship break up mistakes, there are some which better be avoided.  The following fall into that category.

Here are the main mistakes most people make right AFTER a relationship break up:

Mistake #1: Panic Controlled Actions

Confronted by what we think is the worst that can happen to us, we do anything to fight it off: we plead, we beg, cry in front of our Exes, harass, stalk, write e-mails, IMs, etc.

All these things will make you cringe when you later think about it.

I think that almost every “Dumpee” makes these mistakes – I don’t think that they are completely avoidable. These are desperate actions by our “animal” part of the brain, fighting for survival.

The sad thing is that they are completely useless. I’ve never heard that a “Dumper” came back after the “Dumpee” wrote them a gazillion e-mails begging to have mercy.

If you’ve made these mistakes, don’t beat yourself up over them.   If you’re about to commit them, try to resist.

Mistake #2: Reassuring Love

We are committed to thinking that if they only KNEW how much we loved them, they would come back immediately, so we keep telling them – over and over again.

The only problem is, they KNOW. They’re breaking up anyway.

Breakups happen rarely because the “Dumper” thinks that they are not being loved. Constant reassurance only leads to humiliation.

Mistake #3: Hoping To Stay Friends

This is a very common mistake that is often made by those having little experience with relationship break ups.

I know that your Ex was your best friend, your intimate partner, the closest person to you. But it is impossible to maintain this kind of relationship AFTER the breakup. Everything has changed – nothing is as it was before.

You can’t count on your Ex any longer, because they will harm you more than they would help.

The good news is, you CAN find another support system: Look for old friends who used to be close. Your family should also be of great help.

Use every connection you have for support – you need it.

Mistake #3 leads us directly to the next one.

Mistake #4: Maintaining Contact

The no-contact rule is the number one precondition IF you want to get over your relationship break up fast.

Look at it like a drug addict: you can’t get clean with YOUR drug right in front of you.

I talk about this is more detail here.

Mistake #5: Use Your Exes Friends And Family

Out of the ambition to make sense out of all of it, we use their friends or their family. We interview, manipulate and try to use them for our purposes.

Besides the fact that they rarely know anything about the deeper reasons, it really is inappropriate to involve a third person in your breakup. This is something that’s between you and your Ex.

If you do this, you will regret it later.

Mistake #6: Rebound Relationships

Many people leapfrog into a new affair right after their relationship breaks up.

I absolutely do not recommend that.

It may appear that this is the best thing to do in order to get over your Ex but, believe me, the opposite is the case.

You will be constantly comparing to your Ex, everything will remind you of them and you will be frustrated, because NOBODY is as good as your Ex.  (This is an illusion of course).

It will throw you back and it will mask your pain, hiding you from the issues your breakup needs to resolve. Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to work these things out. If you do, you have to face that problem again and again, from relationship to relationship.

For many people, healing will not start until they are alone with themselves, confronting their inner demons.

These are the main mistakes most people make right AFTER their relationship breaks up.

Please don’t beat yourself up if you’ve already made some of them.  Even if they should be avoided, some of these mistakes are part of the healing and learning process.

So even IF you will look back month/years later and regret a few things you’ve done, they might have been necessary to get you to the point you are today.

Now it’s your turn, tell me, which one if these mistakes have you made?

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395 Responses to Have YOU Made These Mistakes After Your Relationship Break Up?

  1. BlakeBwrittensongs September 18, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    I don’t know what made me type the question into the search bar tonight that brought me to this site, but I type How can I redeem my relationship with my ex? It has been over a year and a half since she walked away and I’m thinking she mustve read this site suggestions because I’ve never heard of NC but she initiated this immediately. I could rave on for hours about how our relationship began, lingered and ended and how there are so many un answered questions but I will not go to those lengths. I broke all of the above rules ecspecially the texting calling crying and in my case singing, lol ruthlessly into her voice mail. I would do this and text and fb messaging so obsesively that I would get her to break NC but her responses only hurt and confused me further. She was so hateful and mean. I was hurt even more upon accidentally discovering her relationship she had going on with one of my life long friends and training partners in Martial Arts. I went into an extremely bad self destructive phase which I was lovingly saved out of by a family member who helped me move and get back on my feet within a couple of months. During this recovery I would call my friend that she had gotten involved with and that I had accidentally discovered together and try to just shoot the bull with him but would eventually just have to come out and ask him, Man are you still seeing her? He always assured me he was not. I eventually moved again nearly 6 hours away and for some reason called him one day and ask this question again and this time he said well she stopped by and said Hi the other day. I went crazy and texted her and him while on a mad dash drive to my hometown in a very emotional and intoxicated state that I wanted him and her to face me and be real and not hide because the damage was done but now I wanted to do some. Well I prompted a break in NC out of her because she attempted to call my phone 2 or 3 times and then left me a very hurtful message about how I should go back whereever I came from and leave her and him alone and that If I showed up at either of their homes that they would call the police. I decided to stay in my hometown to take a job with a heat and air company I had worked for in the past and realize now that was just my way to justify staying around and keep tabs on whether them two were up to no good or not. I visited my friends house 2 or 3 times over the next 3 or 4 months of course always showing up unexpectantly and kept insisting that I was wrong for being hurt and that I valued our friendship and wanted it back and owed him an apology and he would always give me this deep long shake of his head and dead stare and so “No man, you don’t need to apologize to me, ” or something similar cant remember but I know it always made me wonder if he was saying that to me because I didn’t even know half the story perhaps more than I would want to know about them two. But all in all I lost him as a friend I say at his request but I did become a real psycho friend after alll this because I didn’t realize I was being psycho was just in crazy hurt and regret. I eventually got into self destructive mode again which is an easy thing to do in my home town due to knowing where all the good strong drugs could be found and found myself needing help again, homeless, helplesss, lifeless. The same family member came through again and I now live a couple of hours a way where I had lived for a couple months last year when this family member helped me get on my feet again. I’ve sunk my roots in deeper this time though, moving into a more permanent living place and opening up to a life change I’ve been putting off for 18 years that will allow me to have full connection with my blood family again If I can just see it through to its completion which may be pretty soon. See my family are devout Jehovah’s Witnesses and I was raised but left at 18 and was disfellowshipped. I’m workin on reinstatement in the organization now which is my choice, and I didn’t mention that to bring comment about it only to get to the whole point of this discussion. I’ve been seperated from my ex for 1 and a half years. I have broken every post relationship rule there is multiple times and even coaxed her into breaking NC by agitating out of her a hate response and have never seen any evidence of her wanting to see or talk to me or that she is even alive or cares that I am, but I’m this far down the road , and have givin in to wanting my family relationship back and a healthy lifestyle, only to be plaqued daily with my thoughts of how she is NOW, whether she misses me and How much I still “Love her”. The family member that has helped me get life straight knows I think like this everyday because I have just recently admitted to it and they lovingly took me to the bible to comfort me and my feelings and show thier concern. I’m a song writer, I havn’t mention that until now but was a big part of our connection relationship and since the breakup I havnt made a youtube video wrote a new song or learned a new cover song without the thought in mind of will she hear it. Does she even go to my Youtube page? who knows. Probably not even though I couldn’t imagine how she could have been that big into my music and not be now, lol. I even wrote a new song last week where I mention her name in it as the woman I still love. Like I’m thinking while I’m writing and recording it if she just hears this public display of my unfailing love then I bet she’ll start to reconsider her choices and maybe just maybe, lmao. What’s wrong with me. First I should have let got of hope of reconcilliation by now and ecspecially after what she said and did post relationship, Secondly, I have a family that I broke up with 18 years ago that offer me nothing but warm wonderful love and I am about to have that connection reconnected again yet I think mostly of my ex all day long instead of that wonderful reality, and Third, and last cause this has draggged on long enough, How much longer am I to have to feel this way and when will I quit hoping and healing and just be awsome again so that someone even more amazing can come sweeping in the way she did totally unexpected and unforseen? I’m tired of feeling like I’m the psycho or the less attractive of the two of us. She was 16 years younger than me and very attractive but I’m a great looking guy with a lot of amazingness about me. I love myself. I love my life. I want to be done with the healing process and ready to move on with someone else but I keep holding on to hope. A hope that after reading these post I realize could transpire but it would be at a time that is certainly not in my life’s best interest. I am 37 single no kids. She would be 23 now and as far as I know still no children. I always wanted to have a chance to make children with someone who didn’t already have some from a previous experience and I think that is part of this. Everyone my age down to her current age is almost exclusivly a parent of least one or more children and I don’t want that… So is there anyone out there left I’m sure there is but it’s hard to believe easily and just seems more convenient that I could just redeem what I had lost with her that would be easier, but I know is just my fleeting hope and drudgery. I shared this not so you could answer because there are no answers only opinion. I shared this in hopes that it might lighten my load or close my chapter or end the book on this subject of me and her for good, when , lol, I know deep inside that’s the last thing I would want to happen. After all we are twin flames I always believed. And twin flames are destined to asscend to the heavens together as one. I really believed that garbage and still want to deep inside.

  2. Kay October 6, 2014 at 5:11 am #

    Oh my… the rebound. I would not have believed it could make things worse. Make me miss my ex even more, as wonderful as this new guy is. I wish I had believed it was a bad thing to do.

    • JRT December 6, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

      All breakups are unique as much as the relationship and the people within it. But after 2 ½ months after my breakup and researching information online, I have not come across one quote like mine. Did you ever meet someone where you felt that the match was so compatible and the situation was SO right that God Himself was responsible for putting you both together?
      My ex and I were together for 2 years. They were very good years with very little if any arguments and fighting (a red flag I would later conclude). We were having a great time, making plans, doing things and having a lot of fun. We became engaged and she moved in to my home with my daughter and I. Three weeks into her living here, she packed up everything that she had just hauled over and left while I was out of town on business. She sent me a text in the afternoon telling me that our relationship was over…that I should never try to contact her. She blocked me on her phone, text, social media, deleted all of our mutual friends and compelled her friends and family to unfriend me (successfully). I have no idea where she had moved to either. There was no incident, no acrimony and by her own accounts supported by her friends, family and co-workers, I was a dream come true for her in the way that I treated her and our compatibility.

      I had tried to contact her after a month of NC and I was greeting with the threat of a PPO from a lawyer friend of hers. I sent a letter to her a few weeks later and it was returned unopened. Come to find out that after a significant amount of digging that there are folks that have an incredibly intense fear of intimacy to the extent that they reject the very thing that they long for. Everything, as is true with hindsight, added up that I researched.
      I do speak with her father every now and again who tells me that she is seeing a therapist and working on this problem (she has sabotaged all of her relationships in all of her 44 years) but she refuses to discuss why she did what she did to even her family, apparently. I am having a hard time dealing with the way that this was done by her and the future that changed radically at a moments notice….I am otherwise a very emotionally healthy and strong person – I am shocked at how painful this has been. Largely because of the silence….I probably would have been over it by now if she had the mind to call me and tell me what kind of a horrible person that I was or something to that effect. Any thoughts? I mean: is she going through hell over there? Should I hold out?

      • Paul December 15, 2014 at 6:31 am #

        No, you should not hold out. Look up narcissism. Devalue and discard phase. She did you a favor by leaving. If you take her back, it will be even worse for you next time. There are tons of articles and related materials you can study at length, that will give you more insight. What you need to do now, is find out why you were attracted to such an individual, so you don’t do the same thing again.

  3. lavandalo October 7, 2014 at 7:37 am #

    What about when you feel they humiliated you until the very end and you were too shocked to even react and only cried. That was my break up, long story short, after 9 months he used me for sex one morning and admitted he wanted to break up before that, then he was awfully cruel… I just cried. I didn’t beg, I didn’t do anything but I did cry and almost couldn’t stop until I left, he even had the nerve to offer me “another chance” but I just asked him to give me back my stuff. That was it. Was that a big mistake? the crying and not being able to save face in such situation?

    • Juan December 12, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

      That’s so mean of him.

    • JRT December 16, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

      Paul,

      As I have learned that she is finally seeing a therapist, the irony here is that I am led to understand that she has presented herself to the therapist as the victim of a narcissist! While I am still unsure that holding out is a good or bad idea, the fact of the matter IS that I had two outstanding years with her that reinforced that she was an excellent match for me.

      I have done a significant amount of research on this very bizarre, surprising and sudden episode. It turns out that through varying degrees, that there are folks that have a strange aversion to intimate relationships despite desperately wanting nothing more than to have one. The mountain of evidence that I have that supports that she is one of these folks is beyond the scope of this thread and makes the picture very clear. She is definitely not a narcissist (although it seems to be a fashionable diagnosis these days).

      Some of what I have read about these folks makes me feel even worse about this than the impact it has had on me, which has been significant. People like her take this sort of action (she did something similar several times before) and MOST of the time, have no idea what guided their decision to bolt. They live their lives in deep shame, guilt and regret and have little chance of experiencing the joys of healthy romantic or platonic relationships.

      If you see this as a malady, a condition….you can see how this deepens my conundrum and confusion especially to know that I had two great years with her and that, having been around the block enough times to know otherwise, she was the right one for me. I was attracted to her because she was a beautiful, intelligent, hard working and decent woman who I established a foundation with. Not because she narcissistic-ally tricked me into loving her…..

      Time will ultimately tell if she did me a favor or not, perhaps she did. While I appreciate that you contributed here, I would also encourage you to be less dogmatic and perfunctory when encouraging folks to not consider exhausting all possibility for reconciliation and salvation as opposed to discarding what took years to build without exercising possibilities.

      • Paul December 18, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

        There are a lot of things that go into my brief comment to you. Obviously you don’t know enough about my situation, nor I yours. I was pointing you in a direction to do some reading that could perhaps help you better understand. The fact that you would refer to me as being dogmatic and judgemental from such a brief comment from me, makes me wonder about you. If you have it all figured out, then why ask for other’s input.
        Two years in a relationship is ‘nothing’ really. I had been married 34, when I found out my wife was being unfaithful while I was travelling, had betrayed me financially, and announced she was leaving without explanation. I spent the next two years reading and studying on the subject to better understand. There is a demean, devalue and ‘discard’ phase. Narcissism doesn’t get better with time, and wounds from her childhood (things that went on long before I met her intensified and caused her to lose all perspective (though her selfishness and other signs were there a long time and her entire family are all narcissists. All the reading and studying helped me understand her family of origin more, and the reality of what had just happened, but didn’t lessen the pain. Narcissists care nothing about anyone else, only how others ‘supply’ something they want for their ‘false self’.
        Everyone has ‘some’ degree of natcissism. There is the ‘healthy’ kind…like some self esteem, and there is the very ‘unhealthy’ kind where the selfishness and ‘false self’ become very unhealthy and destructive to others. We live in an increasingly narcissistic society that is getting worse in many regards, where more and more people care less and less about anyone else but themselves.
        If she has commitment issues, it could be for a number of reasons. Usually there is a damaged or dysfunctional background with one or both parents (often the father), or abuse from childhood, physical, or emotiuonal (covered up and denied). The list is long. If she is seeing a therapist that is good. Narcissists are generally not treatable, and never change. All someone can do is ‘run’ when they see their true colors. They usually go after someone that has co-dependent tendencies or will have some after they are through with them. They ‘love bomb’ them, until there is some form is tentative commitment they demean, devalue and discard. This can take a while, or can happend fairly quickly.
        She might be ‘gaslighting’ you about you being the narcissist, or she could be correct as well. My wife through that out when leaving, and it was the first time I had heard the term but it got me reading and talking with others. On a list of 40 ‘symptoms’ I had two or three and she was 38 of the 40. I am not ashamed of the husband or father I’ve been. Have I been perfect? No. But good person and faithful to her and my son. That’s for you to perhaps figure out, and not something that can be determined on a brief forum post. I can see the pain and bewilderment in your writings, and very few understood the nature of what I experienced. It leaves you wondering, did they ever ‘really’ love me, and is there hope for a truly healthy relationship if I just hang in there. It’s not easy at all. Good luck with reconciling, or moving on perhaps to another better relationship if and when it became obvious. That is what I must now do, though not through it was never on my radar screen to do so.

      • Paul December 19, 2014 at 4:28 am #

        If she is a ‘narcissist’ or just has ‘commitment’ issues, perhaps a counsellor can help her. If she thinks you are a narcissist and is right, then she would be better off to move on. You need to decide what you want to do. At least you are only a few years into it.

        My wife is a very beautiful and attractive woman. Beauty only matters for a while. Then the condition of the heart matters more. I gave my heart to her, and tried to love her. She never gave me hers. Intimacy is based on truthfulness, and trust. Lies destroy intimacy.

        Narcissists are an empty can. They cannot give love or receive love. Nothing will ever be good enough for them. Kind of pitiful actually.

        Nothing worse than being married to someone that does ‘selfish’ and damaging things to the relationship, family and home for 30 years or more and leaves without a glance back. That is what people with BPD do, demean, devalue and discard. It’s not a ‘fashionable term’. It is a ‘real’ and ‘evil’ level of selfishness that is getting worse and more prevalent in society every day. Good luck.

  4. I am hurt October 25, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    I am 30yrs old woman very educated, used to be strong, my story that I knew my ex after my divorce with my husband, I loved my ex boyfrind so much more than my ex husband I knew him for 1 year and 4 months, then 6 months long distance, I made a lot of mistakes during my long distance appeard needy clingy etc…we were fine he promised me when I left the country he lives in that by end of this year 2014 we are getting married when he sloves his financial issues.

    When I was with him I was strong not needy, but with the long distance I changed completely to a stupid woman, we had many fights over stupid things but he was understanding and we could manage till this month, when he was in a meeting in his job and apparently they told them that the organization will close and they are going to be jobless soosn, that morning I was in a bad mood I sent mean msgs, he didnt relpy I called no answer, he ignored me totally for 2 days, I didnt know about the job thing, then he sent a viber msg replying to all my over 100 msgs and calls saying he can’t be in a bad mood can’t be alone for a while, asked me to leave him alone and not to caal dor the moment, i could not i gave him only one day no calls.

    I didnt stop calling 0, I even called his relative asking why he is dojng that to me, I mad all the mistakes you mentioned.

    So he sent me a msg 3 days after saying that no because of me he is beaking up , but because financially he cant continues, I went crazy I beg I craied that all was over viber msgs, I threatened I would kill myself, noresponse, last we agreed for one monthe break, but i left the conversation saying i wont forgive you.

    One day after he sent me a viber msgs sayinv why I talked to his relative and said my mistakes are becoming more, I answered that because I trust every one you trust, that why I called your relTive to make sure that you are fine.

    Again I kept texing through viber saying I miss you, sending stupid msgs asking him to forgive that I didnt know about the job issue, another msg telling how could he done that to me, he respond only with few msg saying he can’t continue it because of financial issue not because of me, I said you dont love me this is not an excuse, you used me when I was there with you, now I am far thats why you are breaking up with me, he said bye

    I kept sned vuber msg, I am stupid, angery begging insulting, I am crazy, today I called sent msg, he switched off his phones.

    I hate myself I don’t know why I am doing this to myslef, what should I do, is it me who caused this breakup, is it possible that after a big love, he does this to me, I am so hurt lost, please advice, sorry for my bad English

  5. sumit November 5, 2014 at 7:47 am #

    Thank to god that i have never done any of the above things except one thing,when she told me that she is gone to breakup with me that time i told her i wanted to meet her then she said she did not want to meet on that time i cried a lot in phone then finally she has ready to meet me and when we met i completely nil down infront of her and start crying,she has also started cry as she has never seen me that way.After that our relation could be good but unfortunately it become more bad then i thought may be time want me to do this thing after all what ever thing happens it happens for correct.Now it is been more then 12 days neither i called her nor i saw her.God please help me to recover from this trauma and pain as soon as possible.Take care all

  6. Will November 11, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

    I committed #5 and almost immediately regretted it. I hadn’t slept in about three days and my judgement was impaired, to say the least.

  7. Lia December 7, 2014 at 1:31 am #

    I went through the same thing . My boyfreind of two and a half years was someone I loved as a teenager.because I came from a strict family and he was poor my family broke It up. He loved me back then as I did but I left and never saw him again.2and a half years ago I contacted himbecause I saw the titanic and it reminded me of him. We began a relationship again but he scared of everything and still lived at home. We are both in our late four ties. We never argued or fought and we had a lot of fun together. He got a job as a computer instructor and taught computers to homeless pele part time. He visited me every weekend and I was very happy. A little over a monthago he told me that he realizes he didn’t love me like he did thirty years ago. I cried all night and just kept asking him why. He told me he would seek counseling but wouldn’t go. Then we agreed to talk to each other and he told me he wasn’t coming to see me on the weekend to take me to the city like he had promised. We both grew up in San Francisco. I had a very hard life and worked very hard to overcome pain and abuse. I was so upset he wasn’t coming and I texted him and told him I couldn’t be rejected any more. He closed his phone and has given me the silent treatment or no contact. I sent my last email today that he hurt me and that I was moving on with my life. I was so ill I had to go to the hospital.my daughters who are both in college were devastated that he left me. They knew how much he meant to me. We were both very nice people but I didn’t deserve this.i thought he would never go away. Does anyone have an opinion don’t worry you are not alone. There are plenty of people every second of this life that are gettinghurt there will be a bright future for all of us

  8. Angela December 15, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    I committed all of the mistakes, although usually I am a rather reasonable person. Anyhow, the break-up of my long distance relation was very rare and unfortune: I met a wonderfull man, honest, smart, committed who loved me deeply and who was really very attached to me. We had no arguments or nothing and two days before the breakup we were very close and decided to meet up in a forseeable time. Then things went totally wrong: I had promised to catch him on a special evening (night for me due to the time difference), but for whatever reason I slept over. When I finally woke up and took his call on skype I was still totally sleepy, somewhat paralysed – shame and guilt having made him wait in front of the computer for couple of hours – went to turn on the light instead of replying and meanwhile the removed and deleted me from skype, probably asuming that it was my way of telling him “good bye”. Unfortunately, I never could re-astablish the contact and made a total fool out of myself by sending him messages for a long time from my different email accounts (taking that he blocked me on mail as well). Why I acted like that? In a way I just wanted to really let him know that I had lots of affection for him, that in the end it was more a kind of misunderstanding that led to the break but I am afraid that it made things just worse. He had loved me with all of his heart but I am sure that now he will only remember me as totally messed up person and that hurts even more than having lost him.

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