At one point or another, you will experience a relationship breakup. For some, it is like a breath of fresh air. For others, it feels like you are suffocating. The outcome of a breakup depends on many factors, but most of all your expectations. Either you were ready for the relationship to end, or you were not. You wanted it to be over, or you didn’t. So, how do you deal with a breakup? This really isn’t an easy answer. The “how to” is relative to why the relationship ended, your emotional resiliency, and your outlook on the future. It also matters who did the breaking up, you or your ex. However, you can get through the pain of loss, even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment.
The following is an outline on what you can do to deal with a relationship breakup:
Admit and be okay with how you feel. It down right sucks! You feel crappy! It’s okay to feel this way. Accept that these feelings exist.
Allow yourself time to mourn. You are suffering a loss. Your expectations, hopes, and perception of the future with this person have ended. It’s okay to grieve this loss, so give yourself time to go through the grieving process.
Accept there is a reason for the breakup. In the end, this breakup has a valuable point to learn. Most importantly, you may learn that something was unhealthy in the relationship. Whatever the reason, learn what you need from the situation so that you can grow as a person.
Acknowledge that you may or may not be at fault. This is a tricky one. The breakup could be about your ex-partner and the cause has nothing to do with you directly. Or, you might have sabotaged the relationship. Therefore, you must objectively examine your accountability or cause towards the breakup.
If you are the cause of the breakup, regardless of the reason, accept that you choose this outcome through actions and decisions you made. Forgive yourself, learn from it, and move on.
If you are not at fault, do not blame or burden yourself with guilt. When you are not the cause, there is nothing for you to change or do. Remember, you cannot change others. So, accept its not you, forgive the other person, and move on.
Get support. Your support system becomes the stable foundation you need while you deal with a breaking up. You can also hire a relationship coach, like me. Being able to talk with someone can help you find validation and strength.
Know that it will pass. What you are feeling will diminish. It will get better over time. It is hard to see it when you are experiencing it. However, the saying: time heals all wounds” is true, even if it is a cliché.
Forgive. You may never forget, but it’s very important to forgive. Forgiveness is more for you than the other person. You are not being foolish and you are not condoning someone hurting you. When you forgive, you are releasing feelings of hate, shame, guilt, regret, anger and revenge. Forgiving someone hurting you can feel very vulnerable but also very liberating. There is tremendous strength and freedom in vulnerability because it allows you to discover who you are. You are strong, capable and resilient because you can forgive.
Find other stuff to do. The worse thing to do is to do nothing at all. Sitting in the house, eating comfort food and hiding from the world may help for a day or so. You need time to regroup and collect your thoughts. But, after your pity party (and its okay to have one--temporarily), get out and do something different. Find one or more positive outlets to release the emotions and feelings of breaking up.
Give yourself time to heal. Your mind and body needs to adjust. So, let it.
In the end, if you truly allow yourself time to emotionally and physically process the breakup, you will heal and grow. There is much to learn about yourself and others in a breakup. Some people return to each other and to a healthier relationship after a breakup. Some find they were much better off without the other person. You may discover how to love yourself, and others, more reverently through this experience. Ending relationships and moving on is sometimes a hurtful, but necessary, part of life. But, once you get through a breakup, you know so much more about the type of person you are, and the type of people you want in your life.
If you recently got over a breakup, what did you do to feel better? How did you get over it? Share your thoughts. If you have questions or need advice, send an email and you might see your question and our response in an upcoming post.