If you are or have gone through a break-up, it is one of the most difficult and jarring experiences you will face in your life. The sudden loss of someone you held dear and close and love can feel similar to the feelings you have when you lose a loved one to death.
At the onset, it can look hopeless and feel as though you will never find love again. When you have been in a long-term relationship with someone, it’s difficult to move forward because of the time and energy you have invested in your relationship. You thought it would work. And when it doesn’t, it is devastating.
Love may seem more difficult to fathom after you saw what you thought would be a long-lasting future with your significant other (SO). We know love is complicated, but a break-up brings with it an additional set of feelings you may not have known you would ever experience. It can affect your psyche in ways you hadn’t imagined. Here are some ways to handle your break-up without allowing it to break you completely.
Change Your Perspective
If you are or have recently experienced an ending to your relationship, it’s super critical to change your perspective and narrative of how you will confront and deal with what happens next. Learning to deal with the various emotions you will likely face is imperative for healing and becoming whole again. First of all, don’t despair because all isn’t lost. Just because this relationship didn’t work out, doesn’t mean the opportunity to love won’t happen to or for you again. And while those words may seem empty to you at this particular moment, I want you to realize that these feelings and your heartbreak will subside over time.
Secondly, realize that even while you may have reconciled that your relationship is over logically, emotionally, it will take longer for this reality to sink in and for you to come to an emotional acceptance of this change in your life. And if your relationship ended suddenly and unexpectedly the shock and devastation will take time for you to accept. Your emotional healing won’t happen overnight. With loss comes pain, but also valuable lessons and lots of personal growth. And these lessons, while painful, can and will help you move forward.
Know that what you are feeling is normal. And as you go through a range of emotions don’t be too hard on yourself when you feel angry, helpless, loneliness or despair. These feelings come with the territory when you leave a long-term relationship of which you thought would be a permanent union. Going out afterward and trying to navigate the dating terrain and being single again can feel foreign, scary and unfamiliar. And that’s ok because you are used to being in a committed relationship with someone.
Fear of the Unknown Is Normal
It’s natural to fear the unknown, which is why learning to embrace your feelings and go with them is critical to helping you move forward. Initially, it will be normal for you to want to replace your partner to fill the void. And when you first start dating, you may fall into relationships or attach to others quickly even if they aren’t a good fit. Part of this is your desire to mimic your past relationship or union or feel some something akin to a safety net, something which you have become very familiar with having in being in a committed relationship.
Try these things instead to help you heal in the right way and prepare you for the next chapter of your life. If you are sad, allow yourself permission to feel sad. If you need to cry, go ahead and cry. Crying is a healthy way to release negative emotions and help you let go. Releasing your pain and hurt is a much better alternative than holding in these feelings.
Confide in a trustworthy friend, if you need to talk to someone. Find a support group informally or formally of others who have gone through something similar or speak to a counselor if you feel as though you mentally are unable to move forward. If you need to laugh, go ahead and do that too. Find the vehicle that will feed your soul during this difficult period. Break-ups are not easy, and part of your healing and recovery includes being able to get to know someone you may have been neglecting – YOU.
It’s Time for Introspection
Take time following your break-up for introspection. It is your time to determine what is important to you. Focus on what makes you happy which you may have been neglecting during your relationship. Whether it’s picking up a new hobby, spending time with your friends, exploring new places, or learning something new to engage your mind differently, these are all ways for you to move your life forward in a positive direction. If you have kids, take advantage of this time to strengthen your relationship with them.
Why Self-Love Is Critical to Finding Love
Often in focusing on love and finding love again, it’s crucial first to exercise self-care and self-love. Without having a healthy respect for who you are, what you want, and what’s important to you, you are setting yourself up for future relationship failure. Finding love is harder when you aren’t clear on who you are, what is important to you or having an understanding of what you need. Take time to figure out these things. If you do so, it will help you align with and attract someone who is truly compatible with you.
Valuable Lessons You Learn Post Break-Up
A break-up can change people in lots of good ways too. Learning from a relationship which didn’t work can bring more depth and understanding to your next relationship. It can also make you grateful when you do meet someone who exhibits qualities you haven’t experienced or may have wanted in a partner.
Having increased self-awareness of who you are can help you have a better understanding of what you need from someone else. When someone doesn’t meet you with where you are, having a strong sense of self will help you weed out those people who aren’t a good fit for you. Being in sync with yourself, knowing your deal breakers, and what you will and will not tolerate sets boundaries for healthy future relationships and paves a clearer road to love.
Finding love shouldn’t be something in which you focus on wholly following your break-up. Your primary mission should be to exercise self-love and self-care. Understand what lessons you can take from your relationship which didn’t work or aren’t in synch with you are in your next relationship.
Break-ups will never be easy. When you lose someone you love, it hurts. But it also doesn’t mean you will be unable to find love again. Each person you are with, no matter the period or circumstance, can help you to reach a greater understanding of who you are as a person.
They can also aid you in gaining a clearer understanding of your values, deal-breakers, and needs within a relationship. When you can tie together these pieces, it helps you to formulate in your mind a better picture of what you need and deserve in your significant other. There is a definite result of this process. All of these steps while painful at first, enable you to set the foundation where you will attract, build a relationship with, and find someone who is truly deserving of you.