Whether it's stalking an ex's social media for signs that they miss you or staring at old pictures from vacations you shared together, we all have our own breakup vices. It's the thing we do, even when we know we shouldn't. We just can't help it. It becomes almost instinctual to give into these urges while we're tending to our broken hearts.
But you're not alone. These 12 Menders shared their breakup vices with us, and we have to admit, we can relate.
“I’ll just call it for what it is: emotional eating. Plenty of us, maybe not intentionally, are raised with this really terrible relationship to food as comfort. And it comes from loving family members who say, 'Oh hey honey let me get you a cookie, you’ll feel better.' But then you believe that and it becomes a pattern. We comfort eat or we emotionally eat and in most cases, it doesn’t make us feel better. It actually prevents us from feeling our feelings or accessing our rational brain or mind and we end up feeling worse for it. This is something I used to do that I have gotten well beyond.”
—Liz DiAlto, Writer, Coach, and Creator of Wild Soul Movement
"A heart to heart with that person. In the midst of healing and feeling so so strong, that nearly ruined me because I didn’t understand what it was going into it. Sometimes you have to realize that just because someone can express themselves and say all the things you needed to hear before the breakup doesn't mean they are interested in putting those feelings into action or growth. And that's okay. But know that first: an apology is sometimes just an apology, not a plan."
—Leanne Mai-ly, Founder of VAUTE
"My rebellious hiccups when I was in high school. I was very into partying. I wouldn’t drink every day but when I would drink, I would black out. I was just numbing. I was finding ways to numb. Not wanting to cope and not having the tools yet to cope with such an intense heartbreak that I dealt with as a little girl."
—Rachelle Tratt, Creator of The Neshama Project & Yoga Teacher
"The men that I have dated are generally really cool, chill guys and since I keep who I am dating private, their names come up in conversation or interviews a lot, day to day. There isn’t that opportunity of just silence about them. So it’s painful sometimes, when you just want to go 24 hours without hearing a name just for the sake of wanting to mend. Yeah, that sucks sometimes. I don’t want to hear their name and cringe. I guess that’s not necessarily a vice as much as I just have a harder and longer time to mend. I don’t drink when I’m sad or have these bring me down vices. In fact, I only drink when I’m happy…or if it’s Sunday."
—Mary Shenouda, Founder of Phat Fudge
"I need to stop looking at my partner’s exes on Instagram. Really, I need to stop. It’s bad. And then you get caught—like, I got caught last night! He didn’t say anything, but he knew what he saw. We’re human! I want to emphasize that that was fucking human. Of course I want to make myself feel like shit and compare myself to whatever hot chick you used to get cozy with. Self-sabotage! It’s a weird insecurity issue that I’m working through. And what’s the answer? Self-love!"
—Lena Fayre, Singer
"Cyberstalking. It's bad news bears. It’s like a rash—it itches so you want to scratch it, but when you do it just spreads and gets worse. And the worse it gets the more you want to scratch."
—Daniela Tempesta, Therapist
"My breakup vice is that I hide away in my shell, whether it be staying in bed, watching too much TV, eating too much food, taking a trip alone. Too much isolation can be bad for the mind, so if I notice it's been too long, I start reaching out to my friends and try to give myself a deadline to snap out of it. Sometimes I throw myself into work mode and use my heartache as inspiration."
—Aurielle Sayeh, Writer & DJ
"I guess you could say that my vice is that I can be sort of a depressive. An introverted depressive at that. A friend once told me that I remind him of Scarlett’s character in 'Lost in Translation.' Which is to say that I’m susceptible to moping around in mesh underwear as I gaze through large windows. But I do have feelings with a capital “F,” so when I go through a breakup, I’m susceptible to isolating myself, feeling sorry for myself, and just letting those feelings fester and get the best of me. I conquer that tendency by forcing myself to go out with friends or by getting outdoors. Taking a break from negative feelings in terms of the physical space I occupy is very effective for me. It’s funny how the mind is so easily influenced by the body’s surroundings."
—Vanessa Labi, Style Blogger on Babesicle
"The vice that happens to everyone is that you break up and you want to see the person again, even just going on Instagram to see what they're doing. I'm on a social media sabbatical right now, but I just un-followed my ex on everything. I didn't unfriend on Facebook, but I removed notifications. The vice is the part that wants to stay in it, and that’s the part that makes the heartbreak longer. I knew if I just cut it off, it would allow for the healing process. It's like a wound. You have to cut it off so the wound heals. If you just keep creating an opening for it, it just never closes. I've had that experience before, so I knew I needed to block him completely. And I told him that it was important not to see him. I told him that yes I love him, but I can't do it right now. I made it very clear."
—Patricia Echeverria, Founder of Creative Futures
"Any sort of contact. I don’t think you should judge yourself, because everyone does it. I haven’t seen my ex now for five months. But it’s too hard to—when you’re in love with someone and you make that decision to stop seeing each other. That love will never go away. And if you’re making a decision that’s for the better, then you should try to stick to it as much as possible. Communication just confuses the process. As hard as it is—and oh, it’s so fucking hard! I still want to talk to him all the time—he was my best friend! It’s so brutal. But if you ever want to have a chance at being friends again, then you need to have that break in communication for a while, I think."
—Mereki Beach, Singer & Songwriter
"I definitely hid in a lot of really casual relationships after the Big Heartbreak and sort of numbed myself to the idea of commitment. I was afraid of being hurt again. I was afraid to admit that I'd been hurt. I just didn't want to deal with any of the emotional fallout. To me the breakup felt like a failure—that I hadn't been good enough to keep him. I hate admitting failure or showing weakness, so instead I walled myself up and had a lot of emotionally detached flings that were seriously lacking in the give-a-damn department. I didn't let myself hurt or grieve properly."
—Juliana Richer, Musician