A relationship break up is one of the most unpleasant experiences we can go through. From splitting up with a girlfriend or boyfriend after a few months to the end of a long marriage, all types of break up carry their own pain and stresses. If you are going through a break up at the moment, I hope that the following pointers will help you deal with it and move forward…

It is important to recognise that the emotions and feelings you will experience at the end of a relationship can be very similar to those which you experience when someone dies. There is a definite grieving process to both and you should allow yourself to go through these stages.

Whatever the circumstances surrounding the break up, the first few days are often the hardest. During this time you will probably feel all sorts of things from anger to despair to frustration to hurt. Most likely you will feel extremely sad, tearful and quite possibly devastated. Try not to do too much for the first couple of days after your break up. Allow yourself to cry (men included) as much as you need to. Talk to your friends and family and try not to be on your own.

After a few days of feeling sorry for yourself, it is really important to try and think about moving on. You can't sit at home blubbering for the rest of your life and doing so will just drag you into a state of depression. The first thing you need to do is ensure that you are taking care of yourself – this means eating properly and getting enough sleep. Of course, it is likely that you will have a period of not wanting to eat and finding it hard to sleep and it is important to recognise if this becomes a problem. Exercise is also something that will help, firstly because it is good for you and will help to make you feel better and secondly because it will occupy your mind. It will also help to make you physically tired which will assist your sleeping pattern.

Talking about your experience with a close friend or family member will help you as will discussing the reasons for the break up. It is fine to examine what went wrong but don't do so obsessively. Relationships fail for all sorts of reasons and there are always two sides to the story. Don't blame yourself but equally if you are on the receiving end, don't put all the blame on your ex. Whatever happened, you contributed to it too in some way and you need to accept this if you are to learn from the experience.

Try and keep your distance from your ex initially, this means no phone calls, no texts, no emails and ideally no contact. This doesn't have to be forever, just until you are both capable of talking to each other rationally and without being overwhelmed emotionally. It is perfectly possible to remain good friends with an ex but it will take time. How long depends on how well each of you handle the split.

There will be things in your house which remind you of your ex and you should remove these from view as soon as possible – photos, gifts, anything which you can attach a memory to. Put them out of sight and this will prevent memory triggers of happier times.

Allow yourself to be angry, hurt and even hateful for a time but let these feelings go as soon as possible. Negative feelings are a part of our human makeup but they won't do you any good in the long run.

Look to the future. A break up can be the start of a whole new life. All the things you wanted to do but your partner didn't are now an option. Be positive – there might be something better just around the corner. In the meantime, there are many eBooks available which may help you to deal with a break up.