How to deal with a breakup in Leeds

A tried and tested formula for success

Following Valentine’s Day, it dawned on me just how many of my friends and people I know have broken up with their long-term partners. I was surrounded by single people; some celebrating freedom and some acting like their ex had just died. Apparently, over the course of the festive season, many couples started the new year with a new relationship status. Single.

But how exactly do you navigate the world of being single in Leeds? Brudenell Social Club never struck me as the place to find your new partner. And how would you ever heal your heartbreak when you stand a pretty good chance of seeing your ex on campus? I asked my heartbroken friends: “What is the best way to heal your heartbreak in Leeds?”

‘Housemates. And all my friends’


Leaning on your friends was unanimously declared as the best breakup cure. The hardest part of any breakup is that you inevitably lose a friend, maybe even a best friend. So, if there is any time to lean on your friends, it’s now. Friends that you live with, friends on your course, friends you haven’t seen in a while and new friends. Everyone agreed that it is your friends who will make your hard time a little bit easier.

‘Find someone new!’

This one divided opinion. The infamous “get under to get over”. There were some who advocated that finding a replacement vagina/penis is not conducive to a healthy break-up. It complicates things and you might find yourself shutting your eyes, praying that the human lying next to you is your ex. However, there were a lot of people with the opinion that the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. Make of that what you will.

‘I just drowned my sorrows. A lot’ 

Mango Margaritas to the rescue!

Another breakup tactic that has split the jury. Whilst some feel strongly that the only cure to a broken heart is vodka, others have suggested that alcohol is seeking solace in a bottle and a cure that will never last longer than the next morning. All I have to say on this matter is that unless you are prepared to deal with the consequences of phoning your ex 11 times, I would avoid alcohol at all costs. So, I cannot help being surprised that so many people favoured booze as their breakup remedy.

‘Going out to events and having fun. Dancing and meeting people’

A night out – the perfect distraction. Your pain and aching will disappear in the face of strobe lights, loud music and sweaty people. However, it will probably bite back with a vengeance when you wake up alone in bed. That being said, going out is much less pathetic than sitting at home in your ex’s hoodie.

Get out and spend time with your friends. And if you stand any chance of meeting your Romeo/Juliet, it will probably be on a night out. This was a very popular remedy albeit a temporary one and even if you spend the whole time sulking in the smoking area, at least you’re getting some fresh air.

‘Get outside or go on a walk. Exercise’


Speaking of fresh air, one of my closest friends found running to be the perfect outlet for her heartbreak. Rumour has it that running, the gym, and exercise in general, is healing in more ways than one. Not only is it great for your mental health, but equally there’s something satisfying about a revenge body. Personally, I hated running before and I hate it even more now. But even just getting outside and taking a walk might do you the world of good.

‘Get on Hinge. Tinder. Anything’

The general consensus was that dating apps are great for validation, great for browsing your options, but absolutely hopeless if you are looking for something remotely comparable to a relationship. But, my one of my mates found her boyfriend on Hinge, so you never know.

‘Two words. Bridget Jones’

A classic tried and tested method. There’s a reason why this movie is worshipped by so many singles around the world. Ben and Jerry’s, big blanket, bottle of wine. There is something very satisfying about crying and letting it all out over ice-cream, knowing that at least you don’t wear granny pants. But obviously, don’t do this every night (that’s silly).

‘I focused on loving myself and loving being single’

When I first heard this, I genuinely thought that it sounded like what lonely people say to stop themselves from crying. However, there lies some truth in this cliché sentiment. Amongst all genders, investing in yourself was considered a very healthy and positive way to end a relationship.

‘Go and see my mum at home’

Ignore my dad’s very disappointing roast (I know it needs more gravy)

Once that breakup sets in, there is nowhere you want to be less than the same city as your ex. And as big as Leeds may be, there is a strong chance you’ll bump into them on a Tuesday at RPP or strolling through Floor 12 of Eddy B. So, go home. By far one of the best things you can do for yourself and everyone agreed.

Getting away from the intensity of university, clubbing and your loved-up friends is a much-needed mental detox. Nobody can guarantee that your parents will give good advice or that they’ll take your side in the breakup, but they might give you the normality and routine that you need after weeks of eating takeaways and sleeping in till two. And nothing says home like your mum’s cooking.

‘Channel your time into doing uni work’

I can’t say I did this, but it sounds like it was really effective for a lot of people. You cannot control the outcome of your breakup. You cannot control whether your ex cries about you every day or whether they hardly remember your name. But, you can control what happens next and sometimes the thing that is easiest to control is your uni work. It will keep you busy and distracted.

The difference between distracting yourself with partying and distracting yourself with work is that doing work will produce positive outcomes that will soften the blow of the breakup. Getting a 2:1 is somehow far more satisfying than beer-fear about the weird videos you put on your Instagram story.

Truth be told, any breakup in Leeds is bound to be rough. However, between investing your time into your degree and spending your Tuesdays at RPP, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Love might not always be enough to fix everything, but that’s why things like wine, house parties and music exist. You might regret the way things ended, but time is a healer and fingers crossed, there’s better things yet to come. Whether it was a messy breakup or an amicable one, the only hope is that one day you’ll both be very, very happy.  And if all else fails, your ex probably lives five mins away in Hyde Park if you fancy a post-breakup rendezvous (only joking).

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