Breaking up can be a difficult experience that can leave you feeling disoriented and taking time to recover from. It is commonly acknowledged that getting over a breakup can be challenging, but it is crucial to prioritize your well-being and avoid emotional harm or breakdown.
There is no universal guide on how to move on from a breakup, and individuals may experience feelings of loneliness, a lack of identity, distress, and depression following the end of a relationship.
“According to Michaela Decker, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Mesa, Arizona, a breakup is an example of an ambiguous loss, which can complicate the grieving process due to the lack of closure. This can lead to a longer healing process and unresolved feelings. When a relationship ends, we may grieve the loss of our partner and our dreams and expectations for the future.
This can make the heartbreak more complex and challenging to navigate. While there is no easy solution for moving on from a breakup, there are steps you can take to assist in the healing process. If you struggle to move on from a division, know you are not alone. Below are some tips that may help you.
1. Think If It Happens To Be a Physical Injury.
According to Andrea Liner, Psy.D., treating yourself with compassion and understanding while recovering from a broken heart, just as you would if you were healing from a physical injury, is important. Dr Liner suggests that it is okay if you are not functioning at your best during this time and that you should not be too hard on yourself for being unable to do certain things.
For example, if you would not blame yourself for not going to the gym after breaking your leg, you should extend the same level of kindness to yourself for going through an emotional injury.
2. Permit Yourself To Feel Your Feelings
One suggestion is to allocate a specific amount of time, say 10-20 minutes, to let yourself experience any emotions that arise without self-criticism. You may also consider writing down any thoughts about the breakup in a letter you do not intend to share with your ex or vocalise them.
After the time is up, ask yourself what you need. For instance, would it be helpful to talk to someone who cares about you, engage in physical activity, shower, eat, watch a movie, or engage in self-care? You can repeat this process whenever you feel the need to do so.
3. Go After Things That Make You Happy.
The idea is to resume the hobbies you used to enjoy but stopped doing in a relationship. According to the expert, losing interest in certain activities while dating is expected, so it can be a source of empowerment to rekindle those interests.
4. Stay With Friends
Naturally, when you go through a breakup, it’s common to seek support from your friends. Don’t let embarrassment or anxiety prevent you from reaching out to them. Dr Liner often hears from clients that they’re concerned about being a burden on their friends during this time.
To avoid this, talking to different people in your network can be helpful. Depending on your situation, your friends may not be surprised to hear the news, especially if you’ve been keeping in touch with them during your relationship. Hopefully, they’ll be there for you and provide comfort in ways only they can since they know you well.
5. Apologize To Your Friends If Needed
If you’re eager to reconnect with people you’ve lost touch with, whether due to being too focused on your relationship or the chaos of the pandemic, it’s possible to reach out again and take responsibility for your actions if necessary, according to Dr Liner.
For example, suppose you neglected your friendship because you were so in love. She suggests using one of these phrases: “I realize that I didn’t prioritize our friendship while I was in my relationship, and I’m sorry about that. I want to reconnect with you if you’re willing.” Alternatively, you could say, “I was so consumed with having a significant other that I disappeared on you, which I now understand was not okay
6. Go For a Therapist If You Don’t Have One.
Dr Liner highlights the essential role of an unbiased and uninvolved third-party observer when it comes to understanding the situation, evaluating your own role, and finding ways to grow from it as you navigate future relationships.
This becomes especially crucial when a breakup has a severe impact on your mental well-being. Dr Liner emphasizes the importance of this guidance for individuals facing a significant decline in their overall functioning, such as loss of appetite or sleep, challenges at work, notable shifts in mood or personality, or expressing intrusive or suicidal thoughts.
7. Try To Be Patient.
Recovering from a breakup is a process without a definite timeframe, underscoring the importance of patience. Alli Spotts-De Lazzer, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Studio City, California, explains that during the stages of grief, it is natural to encounter a range of emotions and thoughts.
It is perfectly acceptable to acknowledge and accept your present mental and emotional state, recognizing that some days may be more favourable than others. The duration of your healing process depends on the significance and duration of the relationship, as noted by Habiba Jessica Zaman, a professional counsellor from Tucker, Georgia.
Moving forward can be particularly challenging if you have shared significant milestones with your ex-partner, such as living together. While there is no fixed timetable for recovery, Zaman advises seeking professional support if you have been grieving for more than a year.
8. Distance Yourself From The Relationship
To initiate this process, it is advisable to restrict communication with your ex to essential matters, such as returning personal belongings, and promptly conclude the conversation. Whether or not to delete your ex’s contact number or block them on social media depends on the circumstances, but Decker recommends considering how keeping the option of contacting them affects your well-being.
Dr Liner likens a breakup to a wound and suggests that the next step is to leave it undisturbed once it has been attended to. Contacting your ex is akin to picking at a scab, which can result in infections and scarring, impeding emotional recovery.
9. Try To Get Rid Of Everything That Belongs To Your ex.
“Zaman emphasizes that the healthiest way to cope is by eliminating all reminders of the person, although this doesn’t necessarily mean throwing everything away.
According to Zaman, keeping the option for communication open or holding onto old texts or phone calls can give rise to hope of a possible reconciliation, making it difficult to move forward without that person in your life.
However, there may come a time, once you have processed the relationship and can reflect on it positively when you might regret not having certain keepsakes from your time together. This leads us to the next piece of advice.”.
10. Give Yourself a Good Treat
When it comes to indulging yourself, consider going on a solo date. Prepare a delicious meal for yourself and recognize that you are your own greatest companion. It’s understandable if you’re sceptical about this suggestion, but rest assured, it can truly be beneficial. Jeanine Duval, the editor of an online Tarot and astrology resource in Montreal, shares her approach to dealing with breakups.
She treats herself as if she is in a relationship with herself, going on dates and cooking enjoyable meals. In her own words, she advises, “Treat yourself like you are the best partner in the world! Because guess what? You are your own best partner.
11. Avoid Going Into a Relationship So Soon.
Although the idea of being single again might feel daunting, there is no need to rush into anything. According to Decker, hastily jumping into a new relationship or situation before fully processing your breakup can have negative consequences.
It can increase stress and regret, further complicating the healing process. It is important to allow yourself the time and space to heal before embarking on something new.
12. Try Creating New Memories.
Following a breakup, it can be challenging to engage in activities or visit places that were once shared with your former partner, such as going to a local coffee shop, listening to a favourite artist, or taking your dog for a walk.
However, this presents an opportunity to establish new and independent memories that are not tied to your ex. Sam Bolin, a licensed clinical social worker in Linthicum, Maryland, suggests trying alternative approaches.
For instance, you can visit a restaurant that you and your ex used to frequent, but this time with friends, aiming to have a great time together. Alternatively, you can choose a completely new restaurant, creating fresh memories in the process.