Getting over a break-up

Breakups happen every single day of every year. Somewhere in the world, someone is breaking up with someone else. It is one of the most stressful events that almost every human being will most likely go through at some point in their lives.

Whether you are the one breaking up with your partner or the one who is being broken up with, it is a difficult experience, and the transition to singledom can be very rough. You’ve invested your time, energy, and emotional resources into this relationship. You’ve gotten used to their presence in your life and you’ve combined them with family, friends, and colleagues. After a breakup, you (unfortunately) have to learn to do this very awkward thing of simultaneously and it feels like you have lost a limb right? Trying to get used to life without, every little thing you see or do around your home, certain events or times of the year those memories come flooding back and then still having to talk about this person (because people in your social circle will ask questions). If you have hung your hopes on this relationship being “the one,” then you are also dealing with a tremendous amount of grief and loss of what could have been.

From personal experience in heart break it does take time but trust me that sickening feeling at the pit of your stomach and all of the emotions you go through will pass. Everyone who goes through heart break feel as though there is never going to be an end, but have a look at these examples I have put together (below) and see if they are something you are willing to try – I wish I had something like this when I was going through my breakups! These are some of my healthiest ways you can heal from a breakup. 

It was meant to be – but something better is going to come along

It may be hard to think or see breakups as an opportunity, but they are. Well I can see that for myself now, when we really do think about it as an opportunity for you to rediscover your identity as an individual or the breakup now gives you a chance to find a more compatible partner who can offer a more fulfilling relationship, there is opportunity in every breakup, no matter how much it hurts as first. Trust me when I went through my first real heart break with a long term partner it took me a good year and a half to get over them.

I know this may be hard for some of you but try writing down at least three ways in which the breakup is an opportunity for growth, change, or meaningfulness in your life. It may be hard at first but there are many teeny tiny things I’m sure you can write down – obviously when you are ready too.  I like to encourage putting pen to paper because it makes the ideas more concrete and you can see for yourself how you are truly feeling or what may make you feel like that. After you write these down on a piece of paper or sticky note, put it somewhere so you can reference it when you need (like in your wallet or purse) and when the time is right you will have that comfort.

Get Social
During this vulnerable time, lean hard on your friends, family, and people you trust. If they aren’t going to be truly there for you when you are hurting you need to also get them out of your life.

Part of what you are missing is the social attachment you had to your partner, and the feelings of loneliness and despair can often be reduced if you spend time with people you care about. You may be feeling embarrassed that you are on your own but embrace it! Learn how to stand on your own two feet again. Although sometimes you may be tempted to stay at home all by yourself and wallow into the bottom tub of ice cream or maybe even the opposite and lose all your appetite. The best advice I can give to you is force yourself to make social plans and then keep them! It doesn’t even have to be something extravagant or expensive – reach out to a friend for a coffee date or a walk around your town or out in the country. If your friends do ask about the breakup (which I’m sure they would, and it is only right of them to ask how you are doing) but try keep it to a set time 15-20minutes top!  Just to get them up to speed of where you’re at and then move on to a new topic, you don’t need to keep reverting because it really isn’t going to change a thing.

Unless you are not in a good head space then I would recommend speaking to someone professionally. Never keep your emotions locked in if it is going to be putting your health in danger

Allow yourself to feel your emotions
One thing I will say is that whether you are male or female you need to expect that your emotions will come, both positive and negative. They may appear at the most inconvenient times, when you are at work, out with friends, or when you feel like you just turned a corner and really feel like you are finally past it all dealing with the breakup and then the tiniest thing reminds you and you turn back.

When this happens, don’t try to push them away or down and pretend like they are not there, because then they will just come back with a vengeance and most likely at an even more random time. What I would suggest to do is this, remind yourself that this emotion is there and accept that and knowing it will also go. Know that emotions are only temporary, and that if you allow them just to be, they won’t hang around as long to pester you.

Cut out the reminiscing
It is natural after a breakup to start thinking of all of the great memories you’ve had together, looking through old photos, videos. It is a normal process for human beings to reminisce about the past, and oftentimes, as we play back memories in our head, the picture becomes more and more ‘perfect’ because we still have our rose tinted glasses on and you then forget all of the reasons why you broke up in the first place! – So let’s just remove the glasses and put them away.

When you do notice your vision becoming more ‘rose tinted again’, direct your thoughts to something else more productive for yourself. It is often helpful to interrupt your thoughts by engaging in an activity that requires some mental focus, like listening to some upbeat music or completing that work task you were supposed to do ages ago! Or, get out and meet with a friend or co-worker to get your mind off things, or one thing I found worked for me is simply telling that friend or family member ‘I’m thinking about them again, I need a distraction!’ and they came to my rescue.

Repeat or write down this tip every time you notice your thoughts wandering to the good old days, and over time you’ll find that you reminisce less and less, and it will become easier to redirect your thinking because – without sounding too negative, you cant go back to that point in time it has happened, we only need to look forwards! 

We all love closure but most of the times, we are not going to find it from our ex. Try as you might, you will never truly know how they are doing, how they are processing the breakup, or have they moved on already, because you will only know what they tell you (and sometimes people aren’t great at being honest, especially about breakups).

So, find your own closure, just for you! This is helpful to have a concrete ritual of some sort to mark the ending of the relationship that allows you to say goodbye. For example, you can write a letter to your ex-partner that conveys what you’d like to say to him, then you recite it out loud (in your own comfortable safe place) then screw it up and put it in the bin, don’t hold back with what you would want to say. The hardest bit I did was throwing out (or recycling) all of the mementos you may have collected over time (cards, tickets, receipts), I am not saying to do it all at once if you struggle but starting with something will make you realise how okay it is to let go. Creating your own goodbye ritual will help you to achieve closure and move on from this chapter in your life as you welcome the next adventure.

Take Home Message - Everything is going to be okay. You will be okay. Pain takes time to heal. Surround yourself with good people.

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