Breaking up is hard, and moving on after a breakup can seem impossible. Ending a relationship is difficult when you are the one ending it, and even more difficult if you don't want it to end. If you or someone you know is faced with this difficult challenge in life, then this article can help guide you on your way to finding peace with yourself and be able to move on from after your breakup.
It's important to know the way you handle a breakup and the process for moving on is different for single people, without dependent children, compared to moving on after divorce or a long term relationship where children are involved and directly affected by the split. This article is meant for people without children involved. If children are involved, while you may find this article useful, there are obviously a lot more things that need to be taken into consideration.
Give Yourself Time To Mourn
There is a time of mourning that generally follows the "death" of a united couple who now have to find a way back to being a single person without their partner. What do you do now? How will you ever find love again? How do you stop feeling so... broken?
Give yourself a week or two to mope around, cry, get mad, lay around the house, and plenty of time to vent to people about what went wrong. Don't try to change your feelings, if you feel anger, frustration, lonely, sad or in pain, that is OK. Feel whatever you feel and vent as much as you need to, just remember that you have to cut yourself off from feelings of self-pity after a week, two tops.
During this time that you give yourself to really feel all your emotions, don't have any contact with them, at all. I know, you still have a lot of stuff at their place, or maybe your home is filled with items of theirs, that's no excuse. If it is absolutely essential to get your things, or return theirs before the week or two of mourning that you have allotted, then make arrangements to have a mutual friend do the exchange. This is an important step of the healing process and it's only two weeks, tops, that you need to not have any contact.
You can look at pictures, stalk their Facebook page, listen to old voicemail, read old texts, but under no circumstance should you have any physical or technological contact. If they text you, wait until the end of two weeks before getting back to them. Even if you want it to work with them, you will not be missing your chance to make it work by avoiding contact, or not returning their calls or texts in the beginning. Chances are, they feel some form of guilt and want to make sure you are OK or see if you forgive them. Maybe they are having second thoughts. If this is the case, in two weeks time, these feelings won't change, but it allows you both to think about the relationship and come to terms with the decision that was made. wait two weeks, I can not stress the importance of this step enough!
Your identity became morphed into being a couple with this person. A week or two is not going to be enough time to "get over" the relationship, unless you were only together for a month or so, then maybe it would be enough time. However, too often when people get hurt, they overlook the importance of this step and try to pretend they are OK, often internalizing the pain they feel. Even if you weren't happy, your partner wasn't happy or the relationship was toxic, a part of you has still been stripped away. It is natural to feel loss and pain at first. This is true whether or not your relationship was healthy, less than perfect, and even if it was downright toxic. Allow yourself time to mourn the loss, don't try to control your feelings, but embrace them, and avoid any and all contact for a minimum of one week and a maximum of two weeks.
View The Relationship Through Refreshed Eyes
Take a couple more days, to reflect on the loss of your relationship. Make sure you don't blame yourself or your partner during this time. Try and be objective, a part in ways is generally mutual, even when one person wants to try and work things out, the relationship got to a breaking point by mutual actions. For one reason or another the relationship came to a point to where staying together seems more painful than splitting up by one or both people involved. This is no ones fault, and thinking about all the things you did wrong and how you could have done things differently, or how you will do things differently in the future is going too drive you crazy. Likewise, blaming them for everything that has happened or thinking negatively about them will just make you bitter.
This is a person you vested your time, emotions, well-being and life in. Embrace the memories you shared, acknowledge all the good they brought into your life, know that you contributed to theirs as well. Forgive them for what has happened, you don't need to verbally forgive them, they don't need to know that you forgive them, but in your heart, find forgiveness. Also forgive yourself for how you contributed to the point your relationship came to, acknowledge your part in the split and find a way to forgive yourself for your part in it.
Sometimes people find that they have grown apart from their partner. There's no one to blame. Perhaps your relationship started out full of passion and longing for each other and after that faded one or both of you realized you don;t have much in common, other than the intense pleasure you once received from each other. This is fairly common, and has nothing to do with you or them, in relation to character or the ability to love and be loved. Passionate love is extremely intense but doesn't always turn into a more fulfilling, lifelong relationship.
By doing this, you will begin the healing process and help yourself to not become bitter or hateful towards love. You will also be able to look at them someday with appreciation for who they are as a person and be thankful to what they added to your life. Most importantly, you will build yourself into a better person. If things change and you want to get back together, you can do so without a chip on your shoulder, if you move on, you will have more to offer the next relationship you enter. There is a major difference in the attitude of people who have been hurt and become hateful over the experience, and people who have been hurt and become stronger and more compassionate from the experience.
Get Rid Of All Visuals
You have mourned, you have forgiven, now it's time to put it away. Take all the pictures you have, as well as everything that's sentimental about them and put them in a box. Vow to never open the box again until the thought of them brings no great response, physiologically speaking, from you. When you remember a good memory of the two of you together, and view it in a positive way, without a great deal of pain or sorrow, then and only then can you reopen the box.
For now, transfer all the pictures from your phone and computer onto a disc or memory card, put it in the box, then delete them from their original source. All the pictures around your home. Every sentimental thing you have, whether it's letters, cards, a pillow, special magnets, decorations, Valentines presents, whatever it may be and put it all in the box.
Double check every area of your home, car and office for things that remind you of them, even if something you didn't realize causes sentimental reactions, such as a trash can, they always complained about it, and looking at it brings a lot of torment to you. Get rid of it. If it has no sentimental value, then throw it away, give it to a friend, donate it, whatever you have to do, just get it out of your environment.
If you can't bring yourself to get rid of the box, then take the it to a friend's house to store. If that's not possible, store it in the attic or in the garage behind a bunch of other boxes. Under no circumstance should you leave the box in a visible place. You can't put it in your closet or leave it sitting in a place where you will constantly see it. You don't need to get rid of it, you just need to make it a distant memory for the time being. Out of your environment completely for a while.
Delete their number from your phone, erase all contact information from your email lists. Unfriend them from all social media, or if you don't want to delete from social media for any reason, then choose to not go on it again, ever. At least until you don't feel the same, in pain and heart-broken. When you actually want to see how they are doing and not because you miss them but because you care about them as an individual the way you would an old friend, then you can re-connect through social media. Although, it is better to just delete them entirely from these sources, so you can go on with life as normal.
You are an individual again. It may have been a long time since you have been able to do something without considering how it's going to affect another person. Get out there and do something new! Do something that you never thought you would or could do. Try something new that maybe you don't necessarily want to do and you don't understand why anyone would want to do it, but do it to try and understand it. Be adventurous and take risks, expand your horizons and live life in a way you never thought you could!
Go shopping and buy something you never thought you would wear. If you are normally conservative, buy something a little more racy. One day go to the store and look through the racks of clothes, trying on the things you normally would never think about putting in your cart, you will probably surprise yourself be how good it can feel to find a different part of you that you weren't aware existed.
Get your hair cut and change the style. If you are a woman, go to the mall and have someone do your makeup for you. If you are a man, grow a mustache or shave it off. Shave your head or grow your hair out. The point is to do something completely different than the norm. It is a freeing feeling to know that you can be whom ever you choose to be. When you have been in a relationship for a while, you start to see yourself the way your partner does, this can be good or bad, but when you break up, completely breaking the mold in dramatic ways will help you get back to an independant state faster.
Learn something new. Take a class at your local college to learn a new language, how to cook, write, dance, or fly an airplane. Challenge your mind! You can always call 211 for information on other resources that offer classes in your area if college isn't an option for you.
The change in your appearance doesn't have to be permanent or even long term, the point is to be comfortable being you again, without the approval of, or consideration of another person. By changing yourself and having fun doing so, changing things that feel uncomfortable, such as your hairstyle, clothing choices, and overall appearance, you fast forward the feeling of individuality you once had.
Meet New People
Not referring to meeting people for a romantic connection. But rather seeking friendships and acquaintances who you meet as an individual and not as someone tied to your ex. Sometimes, when everyone around you knows you as a unit, seeing you and your partner together for so long, their well-intentioned, "how are you", becomes painful to hear. By expanding your network of people who you surround yourself with, you can enjoy talking to people who don't know any stories about the two of you together. They won't constantly tell you how the other person is doing. They will not know of the pain you suffered through.
Having a strong network of people is so important for optimal well-being. This is not suggesting that you should replace friendships, but sometimes a little distance is necessary, when the relationship has been tied to you as being a couple.
Additional Tips And Warnings
Stay or become active.
Activity makes you feel better through the release of feel good endorphins that can help tremendously to get through this rough time.
Regular moderate to high intensity activity will boost your mood and make you feel more confident.
While rebounding can make you instantly feel better, in the long run, most of the time you actually feel worse.
Don't be too hard on yourself, breaking up is hard! Moving on after a breakup is hard! Continues to look forward and shape yourself into the best person you can be. Make it a goal to get a little better everyday, to live a little more, to learn a little more, to let go of past failures and pains a little more.
The end of your relationship may seem unbearable, but in time, you will find yourself again. If you stay open and continue to work on yourself, eventually the greatest love imaginable will enter your world!