Getting dumped is horrible, but there are things you can do to make it a bit easier.

There is no way around it, breaking up is a bitch, especially if it wasn’t your idea to end the relationship in the first place.

“I couldn’t believe it when my boyfriend said he wanted to finish,” says David from Acton. “And I went a bit mad to be honest. I would find any excuse to show up at his flat or ‘accidentally’ bump into him on the scene. I thought that if I was around he would realise he had made a mistake in breaking up with me and I would be there when he realised it.”

David’s boyfriend Bradley saw things from the other side. “David did act weird when I dumped him. I would see him on the scene and he would get off with someone in front of me to try to make me jealous. He would turn up at the flat just wanting to chat. One night I woke up and he was standing at the end of my bed. He had let himself in with a key I didn’t know he had. That really freaked me out. And when he started to get more angry and aggressive, I got really worried. Nothing really bad happened and we are actually friends again now, three years later.”

What happened between David and his boyfriend actually happens a lot. Going from being lovers to being friends is not as easy as we would like to think. It’s a difficult task to transform a deep sexual and emotional bond into a mere friendship. People with traumatic childhoods involving death and loss of a loved one have an especially difficult time. The person being dumped will usually have the hardest time because they are either surprised, hurt or they feel like their life is ruined. Here are some things a boy can do to get over a break-up without becoming a bunny boiler.

Accept it’s over

Hanging on to a fleeting chance of getting back together when it is well and truly over is a one way ticket to trouble. It may not be easy, but suck it up and walk away. “It’s important to reach closure and to put it behind you. Think about the things that went wrong in the relationship and try to learn from them,” says counsellor David Tinney.

Don’t have sex with him 

Whoever said ex-sex was a good idea? It may seem like the good old days, but it isn’t. You are playing emotional Russian roulette and someone almost always takes the bullet. If you are the one who didn’t want to break up in the first place, that person will be you and it can kill off any progress you have made in getting over the break up. Don’t do it.

Make a change

If everything about your life reminds you of your ex, then make a change. Start going to different places, join a club and meet some new people who didn’t know you when you were with your ex, or even move flat if you want to. Don’t let the break-up deprive you of things or people that you enjoy, but don’t be afraid to get out there and try something new and exciting. A fresh start can be the best medicine.

Take a break

Most relationships end with the pledge to ‘still be friends’. While this may be possible in the long run, right after a break up, most people need a break from each other to establish separate lives. Keeping close ties can lead to mixed messages and give the illusion that there is a chance of getting back together – what is commonly referred to as a ‘mind-fuck’. The pain, confusion and stress of this kind of situation can tip someone over the edge, so it’s best avoided. Don’t see each other for a month, two months or a year, as long as it takes for you to feel comfortable.

Make the rules

David Tinney says it’s important to set parameters for the new relationship that you and your ex now have. Set out what is OK and not OK for you. If your ex ringing you for a chat is going to mess with your head, then tell him that it isn’t allowed. Make choices that are good for you and your well-being. Your ex-partner made the choice to end the relationship, but you can make the choice to do what is best for you, not to become obsessed, and to get on with your life.

How do you get over a break up? Leave a comment below or tweet us @FSmagazineUK

If you are struggling with a break-up and need someone to talk to, ring London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard on 0300 330 0630 . They can offer help, advice and information on services available to you as a gay man.