This post addresses how to deal with a break up. A break up can be very difficult and very painful, depending on the length of time together and the nature of the break up. A lot of emotions can be involved including anger, hurt, resentment and even rage. Going through a break up can ruin our feelings of happiness and can make us feel depressed, hopeless, rejected and despondent. Some people say and think it is easier to be the dumper than the one getting dumped, but I beg to differ. For both individuals, a break up represents the ending of a relationship you both cared about at one time. It is the death of the relationship, both people feel the loss and both must mourn the loss.
How to Deal With a Break Up
First we must process the break up and begin to understand the reasons why it occurred. Was it due to fundamental differences that made you ultimately incompatible? Was it due to frequent disagreements, arguments or fights? Or was it due to one person cheating, being unfaithful or lying? Or, perhaps it was due to an unhealthy relationship dynamic that made one or both people unhappy? Or perhaps you grew apart, wanting different things in life and became different people than you once were?
Often times, people also can break up due to a lack of communication within the relationship, causing many misunderstandings and disagreements. And sometimes values differ, or lifestyles and social habits differ. Uncovering the reasons for the break up is the first step in the process towards healing, acceptance and getting over it.
Confront, Deal With and Work Through Your Emotions
Another necessary step for how to deal with a break up is to confront your emotions around the break up. Do you feel angry, bitter, resentful, sad, guilty, enraged or hurt? Identify how you’re really feeling and write it down even. Journal your feelings to get them out on paper. Journaling can help us identify how we are feeling and also let out our feelings. You can even write a pretend letter to your ex, explaining exactly how you feel, without any intention of sending it. You may even want to write something every day about how you’re feeling in order to process through your emotions, which can change on a daily basis. One day you may feel sad, another you may feel angry. Getting out your emotions in this way is a healthy way to both deal with them and release them.
Also, think about what you personally learned or gained through the relationship. Did you learn more about what you really need and want in someone, and what you really don’t want or need? Did you make mistakes that you could learn from and apply in the future to do better? Did you learn more about yourself that is valuable for your next relationship? Being clear on what we want and need helps us to choose more suitable partners in the future.
If the relationship was long-term and the break up particularly painful, you may even want to think about seeing a therapist to help you work through your emotions. There is no shame in seeing a therapist, unlike many people may think and believe. There is no shame asking for help if you are having an especially difficult time. Sometimes our friends can only provide so much support if the pain is prolonged and long-term. Most especially if you have become depressed as the result of a break up, I would suggest seeing a good therapist to both treat the depression and help you work through the break up.
Take Good Care of Yourself
Another important method for how to deal with a break up is to take good care of yourself while you are healing. Understand that break ups typically require a period of healing, reflection, mourning and recovery.
Taking care of yourself involves taking care of your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Allow yourself time to be sad and mourn, but also give yourself time to enjoy yourself. Do fun things for yourself. Get out and exercise, spend quality time with your friends, treat yourself to something nice, take hot baths, watch good movies, read a good book, attend church services or pursue another form of spiritual practice, if it moves you. And do lean on your friends and family for support during this time.
Be Positive and Hopeful
Often times, through a break up we can think and feel the worst. Meaning we can think that no one else will come along, there will not be another love like the one we just had, or that we are unlovable and unworthy of love. With a break up, we can have all sorts of negative thoughts about ourselves and about the prospect of love in the future.
But remember that just because certain relationships do not work out or last, this does not mean that there is no one out there for you. We cannot project the past onto the future. The future is unknown. The key is to apply lessons learned from our past relationships and carry those lessons forward with us to make wiser decisions in the future.
Remember That This Phase is Temporary
A break up is a temporary state that we move and transition through. Yes, it can be very painful, lonely and difficult, but by taking good care of ourselves, by getting the support we need and by working through our emotions, we can begin the process of moving forward. Healing and recovery can take time, but the mourning period is a phase that has an end. The sun will shine brightly again, and hope and optimism can be renewed. Just as with any ending, there are always new beginnings.
Learn to Enjoy Being Single Again
It is healthy and necessary to take breaks in between relationships. Otherwise, we bring our emotional baggage from the last relationship into the new relationship and we haven’t taken the time to truly heal our wounds. We must first fully get over the last relationship before we can enter into a new one. So take the time to learn how to be happy single, and how to be happy all on your own again.
Sure, being single after a break up can be lonely and it can be very tempting to jump into a new relationship to fill the void. Many people make this mistake. If we do this, we have not truly learned, we have not truly healed and we most likely will keep repeating the same mistakes with the next partners. Instead, after a break up, we can fill our time up with fun activities, friends, interests, exercise or new, exciting projects and become happy again and less lonely.
Don’t Harp on Your Last Relationship
After a break up, it is very common to allow feelings and thoughts about the person to linger long after the relationship has ended. It is also very easy to romanticize all the good qualities that person has and to allow memories to haunt us, even into our next relationship. Learn to let go. See the relationship for what it was in reality, and know that the relationship did not work out for a good reason. Often people try to return to their last relationship, only to find that the same issues creep up again causing similar problems. Once you have a firm grasp on why the relationship ended, and once you fully see that the person is truly not meant for you, it will be easier to let go and move on.
Know that Love Does Come Around Again
Lastly, after a break up, do know that love does come around again. We never know where, when or how we may meet someone, but if you really want a partner in your life, it is certainly possible to find the right one. It may not have worked out this time or many times before that, but now you are equipped with much greater knowledge and wisdom for finding the right kind of partner. You know what did not work the last time, and you know now what will work better for you. When you are ready, seek out partners that have the qualities and traits you know you need.
So after a break up, allow yourself the time to work through your emotions, get the support you need, take good care of yourself, apply any lessons learned, learn to be happy again and then be hopeful about future dating prospects.
So there are some tips on how to deal with a break up. Here’s to your healing, your recovery and to your future happiness!