Dealing with a Breakup – Letting Go of a Lost Love
There are few things in life as fulfilling as being in a good relationship. When that relationship ends, whether by them or by mutual consent, it can feel as though everything is crashing down around you. The good news is it’s not the end of the world. There are ways to get through these tough times.
The first thing to remember is that it is ok to cry or have regrets. After the split, take some time for yourself. Let yourself grieve the end of a phase of your life. Whether you were together for months or for years, when you decide to go your separate ways it is going to be sad. Chances are there were some bad times. If you didn’t have problems you would probably be together. Yet there were more than likely a lot of really good times too. There will be things about that person you will miss. So give a couple of days to yourself. Get it all out of your system and let the healing process begin.
Once you get over the initial change in status, don’t second guess yourself. Be ok with the decisions you made before and during the breakup. You can’t change the past. Sitting around saying “what if” will only make you feel worse and could cause you to make a big mistake –going back to a relationship that just a day or two before you had good reason to get out of. There can be reasons to get back with an ex. Just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.
If you are having a hard time adjusting after a breakup, remember your support system. Lean on close friends and family. Make sure you don’t isolate yourself from the rest of the world. There are still people out there who care about you and if you cut yourself off from the world you risk losing out on those people as well. Go out and have a night with your best friend. Chances are if you were in a serious relationship you haven’t gotten to go out just the two of you in a while anyway.
Get rid of the bad memories. Look around your place and see if there are things that remind you of that person in a particular way. It may not be possible to trash everything that makes you think of them. Yet, if there are things that bring up particularly strong memories, you may want to move them to the attic for a while. More importantly, if there is something around that reminds you of a particularly bad instance, this may be a good time to get rid of it. Memories will fade over time but years down the road you will see something that will remind you of someone from your past. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. The last thing you want is to be sitting alone right after a big breakup and see something that reminds you of bad things that have recently happened.
Now for a great big DON’T. Don’t jump right into another relationship. You just ended a big phase of your life. Take some time before you start the next big one. Spend some quality time with friends and family. Work on some projects that have been neglected lately. Get a hobby. Whatever you do, give yourself time to heal before you try to get into another serious relationship. Whatever baggage you have from your recent breakup will only poison anything you try to make immediately afterwards. Make sure you are ready mentally and emotionally before you try it again.
Reflect on what worked in the last relationship and what didn’t. Be honest with yourself about this. What made you stay with that person? What made it end? What can you use from this to try to make your next relationship better? This is not just a list of requirements for your next love. What do you need to work on in your own life to make sure that your next try has a better chance of succeeding? By learning what you are looking for and warning signs to avoid you may be able to avoid another big breakup after a huge time investment in something that was going nowhere from the start.
The average person has between five and seven relationships that last more than one year in their lifetimes. Obviously some have more and some have less. If you just ended your sixth, I would not start getting nervous. Just because this one has ended, it doesn’t mean there will not be another one in the future. Take it easy, take it slow and hope that the next one can become your last one.