5 Steps to Processing a Break-Up

 

Breaking up is a sad but sometimes unavoidable ordeal after a relationship has soured and things are no longer working out. You and your partner split ways, and whether you’ve been together for five months or five years, it hurts. The emptiness, the fights, the physical ordeal of taking apart lives that had been knit together is never pleasant, but here are 5 ways to move through it and get “over” the trying period.

 

Give Yourself Time to Grieve. The end of a relationship is an upheaval that shouldn’t be taken lightly. For better or ill, you lost a person who once made you happy. There should be emotions of loss and sorrow, of missing the person even if you have no desire to be back together, and you need to let yourself process through that.

 

Try not To Rush Into a New Relationship. Sometimes, going from one relationship to another quickly can work out, but more often than not, there are layers that were effected that you might not even suspect. Give yourself time to sort through the memories and emotions so you don’t take the emotional baggage from the break-up into a new relationship. When you’re hurt, it’s easy to rush into welcoming arms, no matter who’s doing the welcoming…and it can also be just as easy to become overly sensitive or jaded, looking for the same fault in the next person you meet.

If your girlfriend left you because you were always fighting and struggling about finances, for example, you could easily feel that every woman is equally money-minded and shy away from positive experiences and perhaps even someone who could one day make you happy, just because you see in her off-hand comments the very shadow that ruined the last relationship. So let your perception and feelings have time to recover.

 

Focus on the Non-Romantic in Your Life. Now that your schedule is freed from romantic expectations and the need to make time for your partner, you can catch up on all the things that might’ve taken a back seat: your friends, your hobbies, your reading list, etc.. Exploring things you enjoyed before the relationship can not only distract you from the missing “other,” but also can help you recall who you are and what you love in life so you can bring all of you into the next relationship, whenever that takes place.

 

Make a List of What Went Wrong and Right. This should only be attempted once some time has passed, but understanding why the break-up took place can be a growing experience (and it feels good to write down all the things your ex did poorly). Just don’t forget to mention the things you might’ve done to weaken the relationship so you can improve. Maybe you need to take less extra hours at work or learn to be more patient, and he needed to learn to be a better communicator. And don’t forget the good things, the positives that made your relationship work well for a while. That’s what you’re going to want to take with you as you move forward, and noting it all down can help you process through things and use the experience to make you a better person.

 

Consider Changing Your Relational Expectations. Once you’ve given yourself time and written what happened, you need to take stock of what you’re looking for in a relationship. Do you actually have time in your life for someone else, or are you just looking for fun on the weekends?

Do you want someone who shares your interests and wants to do everything together, or have you discovered you need more time by yourself? You may learn you need another introvert in your life rather than an extrovert, or that it’s really important to find a partner who enjoys the outdoors.