And it’ll strengthen your friendships—nothing cures loneliness like midweek happy hours and girls’ nights in (or guys' night out).

Break up dating advice video

And if you leverage the pain correctly, the brightest light at the end of the turmoil tunnel is this: Not only do you come out a stronger, healthier, better version of yourself, but also your future relationships are only looking up from here.

First, though, we have to understand why a little love loss hurts so damn much. One study found that when people hooked up to brain scans looked at photos of their ex, the parts of the brain associated with physical pain lit up—meaning you feel the ache of heartbreak much the same way you’d feel stubbing your toe or burning your hand.

But part of that post-breakup distress is actually your reaction to losing your identity, research from Northwestern University says.

When you are in a relationship, your sense of self becomes intertwined with your partner’s.

“The primary question people have after a breakup is, ‘Why doesn't he/she want me anymore?

’” But instead of wallowing in that dark hole, restructure your outlook to make asking the question helpful, Barnes suggests: What didn’t like about yourself in the relationship?Creating a vibrant life for yourself—partner or no partner—should be priority #1 post breakup.“The need to bond is in our DNA and an integral part of the human condition, but it's equally true that a relationship can only be as good as the people in it,” Hecker explains.In fact, breakups between women may be even more painful, as women experience a stronger effect of the "bonding hormone," oxytocin, than men.So a tight bond between two similarly wired women can only break with great distress. Yes, you miss that person—their bad jokes, their Sunday snuggles, their annoying-yet-endearing quirks.The worst part about having that intimacy ripped away is the question that lingers: What the hell am I supposed to do now?