Breakups can be heartbreaking, regardless of the circumstances. Whether you knew the breakup was coming, if was your decision or not, you can still feel blindsided somehow. It’s the finality of it all, it’s the realization that it’s really over, it’s the bizarre reality that this person who knew everything about you, now is like a stranger to you.
The more you invest time, energy and your heart into someone, the harder it becomes to move on from the breakup. You find yourself in this mysterious place of ending one chapter and beginning another- starting over and putting yourself back out there.
Initially you’re often in shock. You’ve gotten so used to your lifestyle, the routines and patterns you’ve created as a couple, that they become hardwired and we tend to want to continue them…to do that, means wanting to be with your ex again. It isn’t necessarily about how special the person is, it’s for familiar patterns and to plug emotional holes. Without acceptance of the breakup, this becomes incredibly common.
Acceptance is a really important first step to bridging the gap between potential heartache and moving forward. The idea of accepting that someone who was once a staple in your life will no longer be in your life is certainly not easy, but it is doable. It’s incredibly hard to accept something we don’t always want to believe. Knowing someone will never be in your life again is so harsh…it’s so permanent but it also allows you to start the healing process. Acceptance of the breakup allows you the closure you need to move forward in a healthy and positive way.
Let me remind you- without this person in your life, you’re still the powerful, important and unique person you were before you met your ex. Sometimes we end up feeling like we need that person in our lives to be happy. It’s as if you morph into a joint force and you don’t remember life before this person. You don’t need to be with someone to feel worthy and lovable, you should do that all on your own.
Giving yourself time to properly grieve your relationship is a very important part of the healing process. Breakups are compared to the loss of a loved one. You spend so much time getting to know someone’s habits and quirks, you become close to their family and friends, you think you could be with this person forever and all of a sudden, boom, they aren’t in your life anymore. There is a definite sense of withdrawal and loss.
You feel incredibly sad, then you feel really angry, then you feel remorseful, then you wonder if it was the right decision, then you get sad again, then you start to feel a bit better, then you start seeing their name and people who look like them everywhere you go and hear songs on the radio and go to places you used to go to together- it’s torture and all the pain comes up that you’re desperately trying to stuff down to your toes, just so you can function. It’s not always pretty but it is all completely normal.
You’re trying to mentally and emotionally process everything and as you do that, different emotions are going to come up for you at different times. Allow them to come up and do NOT judge yourself for them. Acknowledge them and allow yourself to feel all of it. Even if the relationship was dysfunctional for most of your time together, you still have the right to feel pain and sadness.
As you go through the grief process, I recommend writing a letter to your ex saying everything you want to say, everything you feel, about the relationship, everything that has been circulating through your head, don’t hold back…but don’t send it to them. The point behind this exercise is to give yourself the closure you deserve to move forward.
Extracting the lessons from a relationship that didn’t work out is one of the most beneficial things you can do to turn an unfortunate situation into a positive one. There is at least one lesson to learn, if not more, from every breakup we go through regardless of the reason for the breakup or how long you were together.
Without judgment, take the time to identify what lessons you learned from this relationship, be honest with yourself and write them down. No one else will see this so be sure to make it as complete and truthful as possible. Not only is this exercise important in order for you to identify the lessons you learned but this also holds you accountable to this list. When life teaches us lessons, which is often, we sometimes ignore the lessons. Hold yourself accountable to these lessons to prevent you from learning the lesson again in the future.
Redirecting your energy of sadness and anger towards your ex to making positive changes and improving yourself, putting yourself first and finding your happiness is the key to moving forward and attracting more positivity in your life. This includes experiences and people who gel well with you and enhance your life. Focus on your goals, both big and small, professional and personal. Work towards the goals that you set out for yourself. This will keep you productive and constantly investing in yourself.
You’re not a failure simply because your relationship failed. Figuring out how to do date differently moving forward that works best for you to have a happy and healthy relationship that you truly deserve. Our hearts have an incredible way to mend and open up for an amazing partner to show you what true love actually is. Remember love is possible; never settle for anything less then the kind of love you fantasize about.