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No matter how much we wish it were true, there’s no perfect solution to moving on from a dead relationship. Whether you’re the person who was broken up with or the person who initiated the breakup, you’re bound to feel variations of sadness, loneliness, confusion, and even anger. In fact, the dissolution of a relationship is often equated to grief. So, if you feel like you can’t move on from a breakup, rest assured in the knowledge that it’s a universal experience.
Heartbreak is what people consider an ambiguous loss. The negative feelings felt during this period are often exacerbated by a lack of closure, and the journey towards healing is stalled. At the end of a relationship, you’re not just grieving a relationship but also the life you envisioned for yourself with this person. The loss is then more complex and challenging to wade through. While there is no simple, one-size-fits-all approach to getting over a breakup, there are methods you can employ to heal more thoroughly.
Talk about your feelings
Acknowledging your emotions is very often half the battle. People tend to bottle up their feelings and deny their existence as a way to cope. This is often ineffective and counterproductive.
The alternative, then, is to talk to someone about what you’re feeling. The healing process is not linear and can have its highs and lows. This means you might feel alright one moment, sad the next, embarrassed tomorrow, and so and so forth. These emotions are nothing to be ashamed of and, in fact, are perfectly normal. Find a close friend, loved one, or even a therapist to talk you through it all. You’ll be surprised by how much expressing your emotions can help.
Do things that make you happy again
Once you’re in a relationship, it’s natural that you’ll have less time for yourself. At times, that means you forsake or push aside certain hobbies that make you happy. These hobbies can give you something to look forward to during the bleaker days. You’ll also be able to rediscover parts of yourself that might have been lost otherwise. At the end of a relationship, it can feel empowering to pick them up again.
Toss out reminders of your ex
One of the most pragmatic and cathartic things you can do is to rid yourself of every reminder you have of your ex. While you don’t have to throw out everything, some things should remain off-limits.
For instance, saving old texts or opening up communication channels between you can do more harm than good. You’re leaving the possibility of reconnection open, forcing you to remain stagnant instead of moving forward.
For this reason, sentimentality should be limited in the early days of the breakup. However, you can keep mementoes from your relationship to be looked at when the feelings have faded. Just ensure that you keep it out of reach before you reach that point.
Take a break from dating (until you’re ready)
Being on your own, especially after a long relationship, can seem intimidating to many. However, as trite as it sounds, you must know how to be happy single before you can force yourself into another relationship.
Dating someone else soon after the end of a previous relationship can have detrimental effects on you and the new person you’re seeing. Keep your healing process free of regrets and unwanted stress by only taking the plunge back into love when you know you’re ready.
That being said, how can you tell when you’re ready? Experts say you can tell you’ve successfully moved on from a past relationship when you start feeling more consistently positive. Be self-aware enough to note when you’ve begun to laugh more freely and be happier.
It’s also helpful to monitor your emotions when thinking of your last relationship. If you no longer feel too strongly either way about it, you might be ready to date again. In the end, you must want to be in a relationship because it’ll better the quality of your life, not just as a means to feel less alone.
Breakups can feel like the end of the world, but they’re not. While you should be able to feel your grief and all the other complicated emotions tied to heartbreak, you also be able to see that these feelings aren’t forever. Utilise the tips above to ensure a more wholesome and interrupted healing process.
Remember that you’re not alone. If you still want someone to talk to, consider seeking professional help. Here at A Space Between, we’ll match you with a qualified and compassionate therapist to help you through difficult times. Whether you’re looking for a group, one-on-one, or family therapy session, we have you covered. Contact us today to learn more.
No matter what you’re facing, perhaps our website can offer up some solace or comfort. Know that you’re not alone, and that there is help available. This can be hard to keep in mind if you haven’t quite found the right support system. While it’s definitely not easy to find the right fit—whether you’re looking for a support group or a mental health provider—with diligence, it’s totally possible.
If you are a therapist, life coach or counsellor looking to join our growing community, head over to book a tour once you have learnt about the plans we offer. At A Space Between, there is a ready league of providers you can network with. With professionals from various backgrounds and therapy practices, there are bound to be the ones you can connect with. Private practice does not have to be lonely.