Relationships end. Despite our best efforts, our best intentions, sometimes things don't work out. What's worse, oftentimes, it's completely out of our control.
We've all been there. You're madly in love and genuinely believe you belong together. The concept of you not being a couple is simply unfathomable. Until your partner decides they don't want to be together anymore.
If you're going through this now, it's probably taking you longer than you like to admit to get over it. That's OK; the healing lessons of a break-up can take a lot of searching to find, no matter how old or strong you are.
Here is what my experience has taught me about healing after a break-up: three important things you need to do in order to start the healing process and begin moving forward.
Cut off contact
I genuinely believe one of the main reasons why it takes so long to get over a break-up is because often people try to remain "friends" with their ex.
The truth is, you probably never wanted to be friends with your ex, not before you started dating, and not after. You wanted to be with them romantically, and when you end things but remain "friends", all you're doing is remaining attached and invested in their life. You're still on their radar, and they're on yours. They come to you with their relationship problems, and you pretend to give them advice. The entire time you're hoping, deep down, that they'll realize you are the one for them.
Does this sound familiar? If it does, know that you are torturing yourself. Staying "friends" after someone breaks your heart is not smart, and arguably not even possible, until you truly move on from the breakup and find your peace elsewhere.
If you are heartbroken and still texting, calling, or depending on your ex, it's time to cut the contact, at least for now.
Do Not Dwell, Idealize, or Romanticize.
After a breakup, it's OK to spend a week or so dwelling in the sadness.
However, with any break-up, it's easy to make a profession out of dwelling. You let yourself listen to sad songs that reminded you of your "lost love", you allow yourself to keep items and pictures that remind you of your time together, and you spend hours talking about how sad you are with friends who are dealing with break ups as well. You start to romanticize the sadness you feel, just like they do in songs and movies.
All this does is drag out the pain and waste months, if not years of your life that could be spent finding new love. If someone ends a relationship with you, hear them. Make it real. Feel the burn and the pain, and then deal with it.
Sadness can be addictive, and heartbreak can become a comfortable place to hang around. Beware of romanticizing your heartbreak. Beware of dwelling in it, and beware of idealizing the relationship you had. Turn on some up-beat music, go out with your single friends, and don't make an activity out of being sad.
Be Honest With Yourself
At the end of the day, the best way to come to terms with a break up is simply to be honest with yourself. If a relationship doesn't work out, it's usually for a reason. Unless there has been some huge misunderstanding or miscommunication, it's safe to say that the relationship wasn't meant to last if one of you walks away.
Being honest with yourself and admitting that the relationship might not have been what you hoped it could be is the first step in healing. Admit to yourself that maybe it was filling a void that needs to be filled with something else.
Maybe you were clinging to the relationship because you needed a partner to feel worthy. Maybe being single gives you anxiety. Maybe you were in denial about your lack of compatibility. Maybe they simply weren't who you thought they were.
Whatever it is, whatever the reason for the breakup, just be honest and learn from it. You deserve better than a relationship where you are begging someone to stay. The very fact that they left means you are better off without them. And that's the honest truth.
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