Why Getting “Revenge” Is The Worst Possible Thing You Can Do After A Breakup


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You just got out of a relationship. Maybe it was the one you thought you were going to be in forever, but they hurt you out of nowhere. And now, you’re dreaming of getting revenge.

But you shouldn’t do that.

Trying to get revenge after a breakup is one of the worst things you can do (not just for your ex, but for you, as well). Although we think getting revenge sounds like a great idea at the time when we’re really hurt, the honest truth is that it will probably never do what you intend for it to do. In fact, it probably makes us feel worse overall.

Here are some reasons you might not want to start crafting your revenge strategy now.

1. You’ll Come Off As Immature

OK, breakups suck, but let’s face it: When you go out of your way to get revenge, you come off like a really immature baby. I’m sorry to be the bearer of harsh words, but better me than your ex or their friends.

When we all think of ways mature, emotionally balanced people handle breakups, we usually think of tea and yoga and chats with friends on a couch somewhere. We don’t think of post-breakup horror stories like keying someone’s car or sabotaging their next relationship.

Although you might be feeling like revenge would feel great right now (in the heat of your breakup sadness and anger), if you give yourself a few days to calm down, you’ll realize you don’t want to come off looking immature and irrational. Instead, you want to come off looking mature and classy, so take the high road and let your revenge wishes go.

2. You Won’t Be Able To Move On As Easily

You’re probably thinking that getting revenge will help you get over the ex, right? Once you’ve handled it once and for all, then you’ll be good to start moving forward, right? Wrong.

It turns out, by plotting or even actually getting revenge on an ex, we make it that much more difficult for ourselves to move on, according to Psychology Today. People who intentionally try to move on and let things go end up feeling better than people who try to get revenge. The reason is because revenge keeps the bad feelings in our heads, and we ruminate on them over and over again, rather than forcing ourselves to think about something else.

I’m guessing you don’t want to keep feeling as bad as you are feeling right now. If that’s the case, the best thing to do is to actively remove all thoughts of revenge on your ex and start to move on.

3. Your Ex Might Feel Justified For Their BS

Unfortunately, we live in a world where people call their exes “crazy” for totally rational behavior. “Crazy” has been used as a buzzword to describe any behavior that someone doesn’t know how to handle, and quite frankly, it’s BS.

That said, if you go off the deep end and do something actually “crazy” — I’m talking property destruction, intentional stalking, etc. — to your ex after your breakup, your ex might feel totally justified in whatever poor behavior they engaged in before.

Now, in an ideal world, we’d all be totally moved on happily after a breakup and not worrying what our ex may think about us. But if you live in this world, and you are thinking of revenge, you are likely still trying to live in your ex’s head. And if you are, know this: Getting revenge will just make them even more irritatingly smug.

So don’t get revenge. Get some exercise with your friends instead, and let it go.

4. There Might Be Greater Consequences Than Intended

If you are considering getting revenge on your ex, you are probably feeling pretty short-sighted right now. After a breakup, it’s normal to be so consumed with whatever negative emotion we’re feeling, we can’t seem to look past it. And if you’re really tempted, maybe you’re thinking, “What’s the worst that could happen? It’s just me and my ex.”

Well, maybe. But maybe not.

Depending on what your particular brand of revenge is, you might be dismayed to find that other people have gotten involved. Whether your ex talks to their friends about it (or even worse, their parents/family) or whether someone else happens to get in the line of fire meant for your ex (like a new partner), revenge can have unintended consequences far beyond those you mean it to have. And it’ll haunt you forever, because reputations aren’t easy to change.

Don’t be known as the girl who did something wild for revenge. Be known as the girl who looks totally happy and carefree without some lame jerk on her arm.

5. You’ll Inevitably Regret It

No matter what you’re feeling now, one day, you won’t be feeling it. However angry, sad, or upset you are feeling, it, too, will pass. If you get revenge, though, then what?

Well, it’s likely you won’t look back and think to yourself, “I’m so glad I got revenge on that jerk.” It’s much more likely you’ll end up thinking, “Why did I do that? It was such an awful thing to do!”

Even if you feel 100 percent certain right now that getting revenge is the right thing to do, the truth is, you probably aren’t thinking straight post-breakup. Because breakups are hard, and they make you feel all kinds of bad feels. Plus, I guarantee that if you end up waiting out that feeling for any amount of time, you’ll quickly realize you don’t want to get revenge after all.

So don’t do it, if only for your future self.

While we think getting revenge will make us feel good, it almost never does. It keeps us locked in a moment of anger and just makes us seem desperate and immature. Breakups and your ex aren’t worthy of making things even more difficult for yourself. So instead of focusing on getting revenge, focus on moving on and being happy.

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