Heart broken? If you’re living life to the fullest, you’re going to experience heartbreak. Sometimes you’re leaving, sometimes you’re left. But if you were truly in love the loss of your mate can cause heartache, but no matter who did the leaving, if you’re looking for some help getting through it and want some suggestions to make it easier then please read on..
The first thing that you should already know is that it is ok to cry.
Examine what had happened, and ask yourself why. Don’t think that it’s your fault. You have to make a point to yourself that this situation is not entirely your fault – or maybe it’s not your fault at all. Thinking about the reasons why it ended can make it much clearer to you that it takes two people to start a relationship, but just one discordant person is enough to end it. It may also help you avoid many missteps in the future if you can identify areas where you contributed to the demise of the relationship.
Don’t rethink your decision. If the breakup was your decision, keep in mind that only thinking about all the good times you had with your mate may cause you to forget the reasons why you broke it off. By the same token, try not to second guess the situation if the decision to end things was not yours. It’s very common to romanticize the good parts of the relationship, convincing yourself that maybe the bad parts weren’t so bad after all, that maybe you could just live with them. Or that maybe if your ex would know just how you feel, he/she wouldn’t want to break up after all. Don’t play this game with only yourself. Accept the situation and work on moving forward only.
Keep your space. Even if you and your ex have decided to stay friends, break away completely from each other right after the breakup. This seriously means not seeing each other, not being around his/her family members, no phone calls, no e-mails, no IMs and most importantly no sex – not necessarily as a permanent measure (except where sex is concerned), but until you feel that you can converse with him/her on a purely platonic level, without an ulterior motive (and yes, wanting to get back together counts as an ulterior motive). If he/she tries to convince you to see him/her, ask yourself honestly what the point would be. If you’re reliving the past by seeing him/her, it’s not hard to get caught up in the moment and it will be harder to let go again. The longer you put off the end, the harder it is to stick to it and maintain your resolve, and the longer it will take to really get over it. Your pain will hold on as long as you do. Practice letting go. Let go. Let go. And now… let go. You may have to have some contact in order to deal with the practical aspects of things like moving out, signing papers, etc., but try to limit this to what’s absolutely necessary, and then keep such calls/meetings short and civil.
Accept your pain. Have good long cries. It’s okay to be hurt and sad, and it’s okay to be alone. It’s okay to feel like you have messed up – accepting responsibility for your mistakes or shortcomings is healthy. On the other hand, you must also accept that you are a good person, and that you did your best and you’re not the only one who made mistakes. Of course, a stage of denial is completely natural, but acceptance is the key to being able to begin to move on.
Think through everything thoroughly, but not obsessively. Go ahead and mull it over, as many times as necessary, within reason. Consider all the reasons you two broke up. Even if it sometimes seems as if there wasn’t a good reason, there certainly was one – and probably more than one. Understand that you enjoyed being together for a while, but if the relationship was not what both you and your partner wanted for life, it would have ended eventually, no matter what. In this case, better sooner than later.
Deal with the ‘hate phase’. This is where you want to just scream because your rage feels boundless. The amount of anger you feel depends on how antagonistic the split was, the circumstances (was there infidelity? That makes it worse), and how long it took to make the final break. You may resent your ex for wasting your time. You may realize that the breakup was inevitable (hindsight will reveal clues you failed to notice at the time). You may even feel a lot of anger towards yourself, but let go of that feeling fast! It’s a waste of time and energy to rip yourself apart over something you no longer have the power to change. There are so many positive things you can do with your emotions and energy.
Talk to your friends. You want people around you who love you and who will help you feel better about yourself again too. Surrounding yourself with compassionate, supportive friends and family will help you see yourself as a worthwhile, worthy person, and you’ll find it easier to get steady on your feet again with your loved ones around you in a comforting net. Be wary of friends trying to connect you with another person, this is not what you need right now.
Write all your feelings down. Write in a journal or write poems. Most of all, be absolutely honest and don’t edit yourself as you go. One of the best results of writing it all down is that sometimes you will be amazed by a sudden insight that comes to you as you are pouring it all out onto paper. Patterns may become clearer, and as your grieving begins to lessen, you will find it so much easier to “get” valuable life lessons from the whole experience if you’ve been writing your way through it. No relationship is ever a failure if you manage to learn something about yourself from having gone through it all with your heart open to both joy and pain. Just because it didn’t work out doesn’t mean it wasn’t a necessary part of your journey to becoming who you’re meant to be. Allow at least the learning part to enrich your life.
Make a list to keep you honest. One of the best tricks to help you stick to your resolve is to make a list of all the reasons your ex was not the one for you. Be ruthless and clear — this is not the time to be forgiving. What you’re doing is creating a picture for yourself that will call up an emotional response when you feel tempted to think that “maybe if you just did this or that, it would work out…” Write down what happened and how it made you feel, being clear about the things you never want to feel again. [“1. She always put me down in front of her parents and I felt humiliated. 2. I don’t want to go to parties with him because he’s always hitting on my friends — it makes me feel physically sick! 3. When I ask her to help with the housework, she says she’s exhausted from sitting at her desk all day, even though I’ve been driving that cab all day and I end up doing all the cleaning by myself!”] And so on. When you find yourself missing your ex in a weak moment, and think you might actually be getting too close to the telephone, get out this list, read it over a couple times, and then talk to yourself, “This is the truth of what it was like. Do I want to go back and torture myself again?” If you’re caught in a low-self-esteem trap, thinking you don’t deserve better, imagine this happening to a friend of yours, and think what you would say to your friend: “Get as far away as you can! That relationship was no good for you!”
Get organized! Clean up! A breakup can signify a new beginning. Therefore, cleaning and organizing your personal space will leave you feeling refreshed and prepared for the new things to come. A mess can be overwhelming and depressing, and will just add to your stress level. The added bonus is that keeping busy with tidying your space doesn’t require a lot of brain power, but does require just enough focus to keep you from recycling pain. Occupying yourself with these tasks designed to make your life better and easier will also occupy your mind enough to help you through the residual pain.
Keep fond memories, discardpainful ones. There are all kinds of things that remind you of your ex – a song, a smell, a sound, a place. Once the grieving process has had some time to process, don’t allow yourself to dwell on painful feelings or memories. There are probably things that are pushing your buttons without your conscious recognition. Try walking around each room in your house with a box and removing things that make your heart ache or your stomach turn. Really focus and look carefully. You may realize that the little heart-shaped box sitting on the mantel was pretty invisible for the last couple years, but when you take a conscious look at it, you notice that every time you turn towards that corner of the room and it catches your eye, you feel a sharp little pain in your solar plexus. It can work wonders to clear your space of all these triggers. If you have a keepsake, such as a watch or a pin that was given to you by your ex, and it’s a reminder of the good aspects of your relationship, there’s nothing wrong with keeping such a thing, but for the time being, try putting it away for later, when you’ve given yourself some time and space.
Find happiness in other areas of your life. (Remember: He/She is not responsible for your own happiness.) Whether that means spending time with your friends and family, taking that class you’ve always wanted to take, or reading every book on the New York Times bestseller list, remind yourself that a relationship is one part of life, but even when you are in one, there are personal pleasures that you can always enjoy on your own. Indulge in those things now. As they say, the best revenge is living well.
Stay active. It’s scientifically proven that exercise improves your mood and alleviates depression, and the distraction will help keep your mind off your situation. Go running outside, visit (or join) the gym, or just go for a walk, maybe with a friend, and think of releasing the anger or sadness with every step.
Let go. Understand that there is no benefit in holding on to heartache, regret, and hatred toward another person. Realize that although it is over, your relationship with that person was unique and special in a lot of ways. You can congratulate yourself for being brave enough to take a risk and fall in love, and encourage your heart that even though love didn’t work out this time, there will be a next time.
Take time. Find a place where you feel comfortable, relaxed, and which is far away from your ex. Take a moment to listen, and to be alone or with someone you trust. Remind yourself that, even worse than the pain of a breakup, is continuing a relationship that was not right for one or both of you.
Think positively. Now that you are single, you have another opportunity to find someone else to be with, someone new and different. You won’t feel bad forever. Change your thinking; that will help change your behavior. Soon enough you’ll be feeling released and free, and ready to take on new challenges. Make sure that in every endeavor you remember to be true to yourself.
Be yourself. If the break up was somewhat triggered by you, remember, you are your own person and nobody can change that.