Break Up First Aid Kit

In the past I’ve done videos on deciding whether or not to breakup and how to do it in healthy ways. Today, I’m going to explain how to survive a breakup. Whether you’re the one being dumped or dumping or it’s something mutual, breaking up can wreck you. It can leave you feeling confused, depressed, infuriated, lonely, the list goes on. Let’s focus on what you can do to manage the mess. First, acquire a vicarious experience. According to psychologist, Albert Bandura, one of the most effective ways to accomplish something like surviving a breakup, is having it modeled for you by someone who’s like you and who has been in a situation like yours. Think of someone you know who has gone through a breakup. Did they make it? What was it like for them? How is their life now? Beyonce and Dwayne Johnson are stretched comparisons but they’ve both gone through breakups and survived. You can too. Next tool in the break-up first aid kit is environmental trickery. Find a setting that looks how you want to feel, not how you do feel. For me that’s sunshine, moving water, and happy dogs. It could also be a cozy blanket, candlelight, and my favorite sitcom. The point is to give your mood a boost. Not to stuff or hide what you’re feeling , but to feel more complexly. So it’s not all confusion and misery. It’s confusion, misery, and ease, and freedom . Time to make some calls and/or texts. Identify ten or more people in your social circles you can reach out to. Bonus points for people in other time zones you can contact when you’re restless at odd hours. The calls aren’t to say “I just got dumped” They’re to open up and be of service to others. Try something like “Hey, I’m having a hard time right now. My relationship is confusing and I’d love to get out of myself for a while. How are you doing?” Listen to the other person’s feelings and challenges, hear what they need, and think about ways you can be there for them. If you really can’t give anything, it’s okay to ask for something you need such as “I need some company right now would you like to go for a walk?” Next, look up Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’ stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The cycle isn’t the rule for every experience of loss but it’s a guideline that can help track the progress you’re making. Remember: Getting into a relationship is a gradual process. You get to know one another, date some, and then make things official. The other end of a relationship can be just as gradual. Give yourself some time to unravel what was. Then, there’s repeating the mantra. The pain is in the resistance to change, not the change itself. Which means feeling awful like your skin is on fire and your heart is in a vice is not really because the relationship is over and you’re not going to be romantic or physical with someone you’ve grown attached to. The pain is a result of resisting what is happening. Scrambling around in the past trying to figure out what went wrong then scrambling around in the unknown future to get a different outcome. If you can be right here in your present, you’ll find that you’re okay and you’ll start to feel okay. Next in the first-aid kit: start writing. There’s incredible research on the therapeutic effects of writing. Some suggest that unpacking trauma in a journal, also known as abreaction, helps to clear the trauma from the mind and reduce health problems. Another theory is that the eye movement from the left to right side of the page, as the person writes or types, mimics eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, or MDR treatment. What I like most about writing is that it forces me to focus on one word at a time and in doing so, calms the spinning of multiple thoughts. Here’s the starting prompt: What did I eat today? Make sure you’re eating and sleeping. You need both to function. I, for one, lose my appetite when I’m stressed and I stay up really late and sleep in really late. So the trick for me is to go in search of food that I won’t reject like pad thai and sushi. For you it might be kale chips or a double cheeseburger. Eat ice cream if it’s all you can choke down. Just try to aim for something more than sugar. You’re in crisis and your body needs to be treated with extra special care. To help with sleep and horniness, I highly recommend masturbation. Rub one out or ten until you’re so sexually satiated, the thought of booty calling your ex is unwanted and you get all the benefits of physical pleasure like mood elevation, lower blood pressure, postponed worried, heightened self-esteem, tension release, and better sleep. Finally, I’ll leave you with a story. A woman answered a knock at her front door and two men in uniform stood there to tell her, her son had died at war. She invited them in for tea. The men were puzzled. Why wasn’t she losing her shit? So they asked “How can you just invite us in for tea when you must be feeling so inconsolable?” She told them that she was taught that when in crisis, to proceed like you would if there wasn’t a crisis. If they had just shown up at her door without tragic news, she would have invited them in for tea and so now she’d do the same. What would you be doing right now if you weren’t devastated? Write a thank-you card, wash the dishes, get a ticket for a concert you’re looking forward to, take a road trip you’ve been putting off. You have no idea what the future holds. None. You could get back together with your partner, you can meet someone more compatible, you could be really happy single. Let your future soul take care of all of that. Just be here now and stay curious. A special thanks to all of our patreon sponsors at /Sexplanations and now We’re so grateful to have your support. If you’re not already, please subscribe to our channel. Hit like if this video helped you at all and share it with someone who could use our first-aid kit.


  1. Lindsey wondering if you could help with this. My girlfriend is a grade below me in school and I'm going to high school. We really like each other; dare I say love each other; anyways we were really sad about splitting up and there are many cards against us. For one her mom greatly disapproves and works in the school system (her school) and when she goes to high school she will be going to an online one. IM AFRAID ILL NEVER SEE HER AGAIN. P.S. I often find myself anxious and close to panic and the only thing that calms me is giving into the fantasy that if our relationship is meant to be and fate will bring us together sometime. Sorry for the long comment but hope you get to it and consider answering.

  2. I've been following many of these recommendations for the past two months… It's a slow and devastating process, but nevertheless I am thankful that this kind of material exists nowadays. Thanks, Dr. Doe.

  3. Been dealing with a difficult breakup for 6 months. Very deeply entrenched in anger. Fortunately, I think it's all I have left until I reach acceptance.

    Thank you for this. Hearing these things from an impartial source is helpful. <3

  4. I wish I had this video in January! I was dumped by someone who I thought was the one (I realize the break was for the better now and that he was emotionally abusive and manipulative). I'm good now, in a new relationship with real promise.
    I find that the stages of grief helped me a lot, like you mentioned, because I could track my own progress.
    Great video! I hope I never need the tips again but I'm glad this is around.

  5. I was hoping to get some advice with a sexual question I have from Dr Doe, maybe it might make a great video topic.

    I am highly turned on when my girlfriend wears jeans with a leather belt, the sensation of unbuckling her belt and feeling the buckle against my stomach when I lay against her makes me get hard quick and rubbing her jeans with my hands. Before dating I would always masturbate wearing jeans and a belt unbuckled, the sensation of the leather strap and buckle hitting my stomach while jerking off rubbing the jeans quickly makes me cum.
    My girlfriend and I haven't had sex yet, only foreplay, but I find it easier to masturbate clothed and less fully naked, and I want to figure out a way to get and stay aroused or if there is any jeans that can remain on but the crotch area is open for sexual intercourse that way I feel the belt and jeans while my penis is in her vagina. Is this a fetish I have or some new way of pleasuring myself? Any other techniques I could try based on my likes?

  6. Oh this was so good Dr. Doe! I could have used this a couple of years ago, but you bet your butt I'm passing this on!

  7. This video is so helpful and uplifting. Best advice I've ever heard, I had to figure it out on my own and I hope this helps others

  8. Last year I had a first date go horribly awry with a girl who I really liked. To cheer myself up I binged 'How I Met your Mother' and 'Freaks and Geeks', Talked to my best friend about in online, and started a new play-through of Majora's Mask. It worked wonders and I was over her within a few weeks.

  9. Where was this a year ago when I needed it? but hey, ex told me last night that he's seeing someone new and I can tell I've finally reached the acceptance stage, woo 😀

  10. I cannot express how grateful I am that you & this channel exist. You've changed my life for the better! <3

  11. Thank you for this video. It is a bit late for my case but something tells me it will be useful in the futur

  12. Thing about me is that wen I'm in crisis I start laughing histericly at those who are losing their minds.

    Wen I'm not in crisis I usually cut masturbate think about how I will die how many people have killed and got killed bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla

  13. As always really good advise.I always remember and hold dear Dolly Parton's statement "A broken heart will not kill you." This has kept me alive while recovering from some messy break ups.

  14. The bit about the 5 stages of grief is wrong. Read Joan Didion's "Year of Magical Thinking" where she makes the point that the 5 stages don't start or end in the same order, and can often repeat stages multiple times.

  15. I just met you at vidcon! I was super nervous and shy and wish I would have chatted with you more! Definitely coming to your panel in Saturday and can't wait 🙂

  16. one thing that always helps me, whether it be through depression, a breakup, or other difficult life situation, is the saying "H.O.P.E.: hold on, pain ends" 🙂

  17. When I was 17, I broke up with my first boyfriend. For so long I was in denial about something being wrong. This guy was great – a gentleman, patient, kind, but still acknowledged my capability. Why didn't I feel the way people kept saying love is like? They must have just been exaggerating, right? He was great! I felt happy, but it wasn't what I thought love would be.

    Took me a year to realize the happiness was because I was giddy someone, especially a great guy, actually liked me & that I was in a relationship (my first relationship). But I wasn't actually in love with or attracted to him. The point was driven home when he told me he loved me and I couldn't say it back without lying so I said I needed time.

    No matter how much I thought he was great and wanted it to work, I couldn't make myself be attracted to him or love him. I only cared for him & I had to let him go because it wouldn't be fair to keep stringing him along…but I had never broken up with anybody before. Didn't know what to do, how to say it, what to say, or what to do later. I was a train wreck, but I did the best I could. No phone or text, but face-to-face and as gently but firm as I could. I was sulking for weeks thinking I was a terrible person, maybe I was wrong, he must hate me now, etc. Breaking up can be hard (whether you're broken up with or you're breaking up with someone else…).

    This video really would have helped me with the aftermath back then. Keep doing what you do, Dr. Doe!

  18. Great Video Doc! It's so hard for me to be in the here and now "We" make our lives so very busy and Not live today right now.

  19. Thank you so much Dr. Doe, this could not have come at a better time for me. I needed to be reminded to stay in the present, and that I am OK, so I will be OK and so much happier than I can imagine.

  20. "Identify 10 or more people in your social circle and reach out." Dude, I'm an introvert! I don't have 10 fricking people in my social circle that are that close to me!

  21. Thank you Lindsey, this was great! My boyfriend and I broke up a few months ago, since then every time I have an orgasm I cry afterwards. This makes masturbating really confusing and not so enjoyable. Does anyone have any tips on how to get my mojo back?

  22. I remember in freshman year of highschool my first girlfriend said I don't like hugging you any more and I broke up with her cos it made me cry and then it made me have problems like I had no apatite and would usually get 4 hours of sleep any my health teacher would always ask me if I was on drugs

  23. I've been a fan of your show for a long while. I got dumped a couple weeks ago and it's hit me harder than I thought it possibly could have. I've spent the last 14 years dating and learning who it was that I was looking for. I thought I'd found her, she is everything I could have hoped for and after only 3 months of dating she called it off definitively. She was everything I wanted except that she doesn't want me. I respect her decision and I've got a fairly good head on my shoulders but it hurt more than any relationship I've been in including one that had lasted 2.5 years. I'm really thankful to you for this video in particular. It was perfectly timed and I was pretty glad to realize that I've already done many of the things on this list. Thank you. As sincerely as I can say it, thank you. For sharing your wisdom, your openness, and your research. You're amazing and I'm very glad you do what you do.

  24. Does masturbation actually give people higher self-esteem? I just feel awfully "guilty" and, when done after a break up, the guilt is coupled with feeling pathetic..

  25. Thank you Lindsey. My long-term partner died a month ago and as well as the grief, I'm also feeling the heartache of the end of a relationship. I'm going to keep watching this video and following the tips whenever I feel low.

  26. I had a breakup, and I was stuck in Denial-Anger-Bargaining-Depression-REPEAT FOR HALF A YEAR. kinda sucked.

  27. I wish I had had this 2 years ago. It was hard like oh boy. But it's all good now, still working through some feelings of anger but I'm getting there. Finding myself happy being single, it's awesome! Sending hugs to everybody who are having a hard time. You'll get through it 😊

  28. This really did help because I have been feeling really insecure about myself sexually… since I’ve become a CNA… (I think the naked bodies makes me feel uncomfortable) I sometimes find that the people I work with have no sense of where my boundaries are. Even after I tell them. I’m getting out of the field this year. But today was particularly bad. I really wish I could stop feeling so sexually insecure honestly. If you don’t mind my asking can you do a vid on how to be less insecure sexually?

  29. tips: Do not masturbate to your ex, do not get back with them (If it did not work the first time then what makes you think it will work again and tip 3 is remember that there is someone for everyone and that break up just brings you one person closer to finding who is right for you! Good luck and fuck on! 😀 <3

  30. I just got broken up with. First guy I've been with after my husband died, I put my heart our there just to get broken again and now I feel awful. I was stupid thought my husband sent him to me and I'm 33 and am now too scared to even try again. I can't handle this pain

  31. For some reason this video made me incredibly sad. I have been broken up with. It was a slow and weird break up. Very quiet but very strategic I feel. The video made me cry because I'm realising that I don't really want to feel better. Because I feel like having at least this outdated mental connection is better than being left with nothing.

  32. This video actually helps a lot! I don't usually comment but I watch your videos frequently. While all of them are helpful in different ways this one really is helping me to see things in a different light as far as my break up goes. I've been broken up with my ex for over three months and while I have done a lot of these things mentioned in the video I've also felt like I'm in an emotional rut. It's nice to know that I was able to figure out most of these healing techniques on my own and know I'm not crazy! Thank you Lindsey! You're the best

  33. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross also teaches you how to cope with death and embrace it I heard it off of cheap RV living YouTube videos

  34. My partner broke up with me a week ago. I've never been broken up with before, I've never experienced this type of pain. I really loved him. I can't believe how much it hurts, and I'm scared over how long the feeling will last. I was struggling with lots of stresses in my life and poor mental health as it was, so to get this big shock has really knocked me down. I don't know how to stop the physical sensations. I try to distract myself the best I can but I constantly 'feel' the grief and loss in my body, if that makes sense? Skin crawling, higher heart rate, feeling numb, feeling immense distress/upset, constantly being on the verge of tears or actually crying. I can't forget about it when my body is in this constant state of high stress. I don't know what I'm supposed to do about that. I feel so alone and scared.

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