When a relationship ends, there are a number of emotions that we go through – especially if the break-up was unexpected / unwanted. This article from Psychology Today suggests there are seven stages to getting over a relationship which includes the grieving process, so it’s little surprise that most of us could do with extra support when a valued relationship comes to an end.
We've pulled together some things to remember if you’re going through a break-up:
It’s OK to not be OK (for a while)Relationships take time and effort and chances are you will have invested a lot of energy and emotion into your partnership. When someone you love is no longer around – for whatever reason – even if you are the one that finished things, it’s only human to feel sad for what you have lost and for what you hoped would be in the future. Give yourself time to grieve the end of your relationship and to properly process the emotions that the breakup brings to the fore.
Being busy helpsChances are that your relationship had resulted in some routines and that many memories will have been created as a result of the time you spent with your partner. After a breakup, there is a need to replace these memories with new ones and to try and form new routines that don’t remind you of what you have lost. Post breakup there is always an urge to wallow in self-pity, which often only serves to make us feel worse about ourselves. Our advice: go to the gym, take a walk, start a new hobby. Keeping yourself occupied helps both physically and mentally.
Clear your mind – and your spaceMemories… Everywhere you look after a breakup you’ll see things that spark memories of the happy times you spent together. While in time, you’ll be able to value and treasure these memories, in the raw, emotional state that you will find yourself in after a relationship ends, such memories only serve to reinforce your sadness. Take some time to have a spring clean. Sort stuff away, change your furniture around – you’ll be surprised how much clearer your mind will become.
Beware the reboundSometimes we think the best way to get over someone is by getting back out there. Not only does this prove we’re still attractive to others, it also takes our mind off the breakup, right? Wrong! While dating again might seem like a positive move to make, resist. Until you’ve worked through your emotions you’ll not be sharing your best self with others. Give yourself the time you need to heal alone; it will make your future relationships more positive and productive.
Realise it’s not all about youBreakups are hard. They call us to question ourselves and often result in us taking a long, hard look within so that we can prevent things going wrong in future relationships. While a bit of inward reflection can be a positive thing, to make sure that we offer the very best version of ourselves to future partners, we also have to appreciate that it takes two people to form a relationship – only one of which you have no control over. Keep focussed on yourself but don’t take the full burden of the breakup on your shoulders.
Remember, recovery takes time. In much the same way as it took time and effort to develop your relationship, the same is true when it ends. Don’t rush the time it takes for you to become an emotionally healthy person again. Every journey of self-discovery and self-improvement is built one step at a time but by being kind to yourself you’ll come out the other side a better person.