Getting Over A Breakup
Suddenly, you’re single again. Now, instead of cuddling up to a significant other, you are sorting through a morass of emotional baggage. Is it possible to get through this without permanent damage to your psyche?
Yes, actually. Getting over a break up takes some time. You’ll go through a process of grieving and healing. If you can come out of this process understanding yourself a little better, you’ll be more than ready to hit the dating scene again.
6 Ways To Deal With A Breakup
#1. Accept that your suffering is temporary
Your heart will scream that the pain will never end, but your head knows that it will. If you don’t feel like you’ll ever get over this breakup, try writing “this too will end.” It’s weird but sometimes writing down an objective observation will help it seem real to you.
If it doesn’t, don’t worry or try to force it. Just look at your words and keep writing it down every now and then. As the pain does recede, the words will feel more and more real to you. Getting over a broken heart just doesn’t happen overnight!
#2. Leave the past in the past
When you catch yourself reliving the final days of your relationship, don’t rehash the arguments and emotions in your head. It doesn’t do you any good to suffer it all again. Try to notice when you are dwelling on the past and bring yourself back to the present. To help yourself stay present, describe everything that is going on in the moment.
For example, “I am sitting on my chair. I’m wearing shoes. The dog is here. There’s a book on the table. I can smell my coffee in my cup. I can hear the neighbors watching TV.” Keep yourself focused on the present until you feel that you can let go of reliving the past. It will take you a while to get used to this strategy, but keep trying. It will help you literally leave the past behind.
#3. Also, leave your ex in the past
Don’t make plans that involve getting back together at tearful reunions. There might be a time when you two come back together, but at this point, it’s clear that you two are not working as a couple. Your job is to pick up the pieces, learn some lessons and take care of yourself – whatever the future brings.
#4. Let the emotions come, then let them go
Breakups often involve a lot of guilt and blame. You two may have said terrible things, leaving simmering resentments in your wake. You’ll need to let these resentments go, but that’s easier said than done. To help yourself let go, try this strategy. When you think of something hurtful your ex said to you, write it down. Then write down the opposite.
For example, if your ex said you were selfish, write that down. “I am selfish.” And then write, “I am not selfish.” Then think of examples of each. You might realize that you did work late to avoid dinner with your ex’s family (selfish), but you also gave up your night out with friends to take care of your girlfriend or boyfriend when they had a cold (not selfish).
This exercise lets you see objectively that accusations like “You are selfish” are both true and not true. Since the hurtful words are neither true nor false, they are essentially meaningless. Without meaning, these hurtful words lose their force, and it’s easier to let them go and overcome the separation.
#5. Spend time with friends and family who love you
Take solace in the support of your friends and family, but do not use the time to rehash the break up or whip up hateful ‘ex’ bashing. That won’t help you heal. Let your friends remind you how great you are. Let them bring you some much-needed fun and remind you that life is positive and your future is sunny.
It’s so tempting to drown your sorrows in tubs of ice cream or bottles of whiskey. If you do, remember that it will not help in the end; you just feel bloated with a hangover and a broken heart to boot. Do have friends with you, especially if you’re drinking, so you won’t be tempted to call your ex and leave embarrassing messages on voicemail.
#6. Take your time
Don’t expect yourself to get back to normal right away. It’s OK to be off balance for a while. And don’t jump right into the next relationship. This is the time to realize what you love about living single. You can use this time to prove how well you can take care of yourself, which will give you an independence that will make you an even better partner next time.
When you’re feeling some self-pity for being alone on Saturday night, take a breath and find what your grateful for. You’ll feel stronger and happier before you know it.