Some breakups you can spot a mile away, while others hit you like a ton of bricks – literally. Regardless of the circumstances, breakups are never painless. If you think about it, when you break up with someone your whole life changes – from the places you used to visit, to the friends that you used to “hang out” with to the songs you used to listen to on the radio. And, to make matters worse, you no longer have your “best friend” to lean on when times get tough. Although you may feel as if your life has utterly ended – it hasn’t. You will survive and maybe even flourish now that you are riding solo. The key to getting back on your feet after a breakup is to focus on “you” and embrace new experiences.
Listed below are some steps that you can take to successfully move on with your life once your relationship ends:
• Accept it
Ok, so the relationship is over – what do you do now? Well, the first thing you need to do is accept that your relationship is over. Yes, that is easier said than done, but it is a reality. While there is a chance that you and your partner may reunite at some time down the road, fantasizing that you will “find your way back to one another” will only increase your heartache and prevent you from successfully moving on with your life. In other words, you will only be able to move on, if you accept that the relationship is over.
• Express Yourself
You will also need to learn how to express your grief. This does not mean that it is OK for you to wail in your bed for days or slash your ex’s tires in anger, rather grieve in a productive, non-violent way. Do not “blast” your ex on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or stalk your ex to see if he or she is “dating again.” These activities only make YOU look crazy. Instead, channel your frustrated, angry and sad energy into a journal, poem, story or song. If you aren’t much of a writer, call a close friend or relative and vent until your heart’s content.
• Avoid Excesses
One thing that you do not want to do is to “overdo it.” In other words, avoid excesses like binge drinking, drug abuse and over eating and exercising. It is easy to fall into despair and look for something – anything to dull the pain, but the remedy is NOT indulging in excesses. Rather, look for positive things to focus on such as: joining a special interest club, volunteering at a shelter or charity, “bettering” yourself, strengthening your career skills, writing a book or song, preparing for a race or spending more time with friends.
• Seek Support
One of the most effective ways to successfully move on with your life once your relationship ends is to seek support. It is common to drift away from friends and relatives when you first “fall in love.” In most cases, loved ones understand the feelings and behaviors associated with “new love” and do not hold your actions against you. But, now that your relationship has ended, this is a great time for you to reconnect with your biggest supporters – friends and family. These individuals can help you process your feelings, offer valuable advice and provide support as you move on with your life.
• Acquire New Skills
You can successfully move on with your life once your relationship ends by acquiring new skills. Use this time to learn how to bake, sew, play a guitar or drums, write a book or song or learn new career skills. In addition, purchase a Rosetta Stone foreign language program and learn Spanish or French. Acquiring new skills will make you feel productive and it will also open you up to new people, perspective and interests.
• Join a Group
Although you may not feel like “socializing” immediately following the breakup, a fantastic way to get out of your “rut” is to join a group. In other words, join a book, chess, theater, math or gardening club, try out for the cheerleading squad or join a sorority or fraternity. Joining a club will help you focus on positive activities instead of sitting around your house feeling sorry for yourself. It will also help you feel optimistic and supported.
Lastly, if you really want to successfully move on with your life once your relationship ends, you will need to “get back on the horse.” In other words, you will need to make yourself “socialize” with others. This is probably going to be one of the most difficult things you will ever have to do, but it is required to get past the breakup and move on with your life. Go out with close friends and make an effort to be friendly and open towards new people. No one expects you to jump right out there immediately following the breakup, but eventually you will have to take that first step.
Do not full yourself into thinking that it will be pleasant, fun and easy when you finally take those first steps. Truthfully, you will probably be miserable the first couple of times you go out. The good news is that over time, the dread will subside and you will actually look forward to going out and meeting people who share your interests. Furthermore, do not jump into a relationship too quickly or you will risk entering into a “rebound relationship.” Rather, take your time and only seek a healthy relationship when you feel ready.
Dr. R. Y. Langham
Lowe, C. (2013). How to move on: 10 steps for closure after you break up. Lifescript. Retrieved from http://www.lifescript.com/well- being/articles/h/how_to_move_on_10_steps_for_post-break_up_closure.aspx
Segal, J., Kemp, G. & Smith, M. (2014). Coping with a breakup or divorce. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/coping_divorce_relationship_breakup.htm