Tired? Anxious? Unsure of what to do with your future? These are all feelings that might come up when you’re going through a breakup. But, no matter how bad it feels at the time, this is only temporary. You’re not alone in feeling these things and it will get easier eventually – but before you can start to heal, it’s important to get out of the “sad dump” mindset and be more proactive about what happens next.
The first step is understanding what a breakup means for you. A breakup can be a period of uncertainty and the end of something significant – the death of something that was supposed to last forever. In these times, it’s easy to let yourself be consumed by guilt, anger, anxiety or rejection and lose sight of the possibility of moving on.
When you’re hurting, it’s easy to focus on what you’re losing while forgetting about everything else that is still there for you. It’s important to remind yourself how much potential is still in your life before giving up everything because of one relationship.
You may have lost the relationship, but you didn’t lose all the skills and qualities that led you to it. You still have all of your talents, your skills, and your hopes and dreams for what is going to come next. And in most cases, people who have had one relationship fail end up in another just as strong – they just have a little more insight this time around.
To start rebuilding, it’s important to acknowledge that you are not a failure because of the breakup. It was an incredible experience that brought out some very cool aspects of yourself. It might even be a step towards better things – if not now, then down the road.
Don’t let the negative feelings you’re experiencing change the way you think about yourself. It’s okay to feel upset and angry, but don’t let it cloud your judgment.
Stop focusing on the side effects that bad relationships bring and start focusing on how to find a better one. When you’re able to look at a breakup from a new perspective, it becomes much easier to get over whatever is going on in your relationship (and not just with him).
Everyone has something that they like about themselves – whether it’s their sense of humor, their intelligence, or their ability to make great meals in no time flat (you made that last one up). You can choose to focus on these things that are uniquely yours or you can turn the idea of your breakup upside down.
There’s a lot to be learned about love – and most of us don’t understand how it works (in part because it is such an abstract concept).
Know that what happened to you wasn’t “wrong” and try to look at the breakup as an event in your life rather than a tragedy. It was just another experience that brought out your whole person, as opposed to some negative end.
Don’t let yourself feel badly about all of the things you might have done wrong – the important thing is figuring out where you made mistakes and getting better at them.
What happened to you was just a part of the experience. Remember that breakups are good for figuring out how to handle yourself in a relationship and for making yourself stronger and more versatile.
Devote your energy to something else that is important to you, whether it is work or family or whatever – don’t let the breakup make you feel responsible for its cause. Trust us, it wasn’t your fault, okay?
The important thing is not allowing yourself to get caught up in guilt over something that didn’t have anything to do with you as an individual.
The most important thing to focus on is not the breakup itself, but rather the person you’re becoming.
No matter what happens next, you’re going to be okay. We promise.
If it helps, pretend that you are in an old Wes Anderson film.
Breakups are situations where one person leaves the relationship and another person doesn’t get what they wanted or expected in the relationship. Some of us may have experienced this type of scenario multiple times throughout our life. For some of us, breakups can easily bring up feelings of sadness and rejection as we consider how our relationships were supposed to turn out. However, there are also similar emotions that can accompany relationships at other stages in our lives such as: happiness, contentedness, frustration, depression, anger, and anxiety. The feelings that come with a breakup can be a variety of these emotions.
Demonstrating an understanding of the different types of feelings associated with a breakup and how each feeling is going to influence your life helps you to determine the best steps you should take to begin moving on. The post-breakup feelings are going to depend greatly on the person with whom you shared your time and energy. Each relationship is unique and so are the emotions that come with it.
The most important thing is learning to embrace each emotion expressed as an indication that you should move onto something bigger and better in your life. A way to help embrace these emotions is by acknowledging them for what they are (i.e. I am feeling sad because I am feeling rejected). If the feelings that come with a breakup are too difficult to manage, you should seek the help of a professional.
A good example of this is my own breakup. This instance was the first time I had ever experienced this type of event and I was overwhelmed by emotions that were completely different from each other (I felt confused, frustrated, angry, sad, anxious, and depressed). It was hard for me to understand how to handle things because I never knew how to deal with these emotions at once before in my life.
You can try and identify what each emotion feels like emotionally and physically (for example: Sadness can feel like crying or feeling helpless or hopeless. Anxiety can feel like feeling hopeless or trapped).
These feelings are completely normal. Emotions can be extremely overwhelming and confusing, but the best thing you can do is to try and understand them (for example: I am feeling sad because I don’t know what to do). The important thing is learning how to accept each feeling as a way for you to get over your ex-partner and move onto something else in your life (i.e. Embrace these feelings that are forcing themselves upon me because they’re only making me stronger and more determined).
But there are certain things that damage the emotional state of a breakup. Here are a few…
- Don’t blame yourself.
Get your mind out of the self-blame trap because it’s only going to make you feel worse about yourself and agonize over the breakup even more. (i.e. I cant believe I did this! ) Nothing good ever comes from blaming yourself because it will only make you feel bad about yourself and possibly make you feel inferior to your ex partner or others in your life. Accept that it is what it is and move on from there.
- Don’t blame others either (your partner, friends, family).
The most important thing you can do is to take full responsibility for anything and everything that happened during the relationship (i.e. It’s my fault, I forgive myself for all the mistakes I’ve made). This is known as self-forgiveness and it is essential to recovering from any trauma in life.
- Don’t cry over your ex (i.e. Don’t reminisce about good times or keep pictures of them).
This one can be very difficult for people to do because we tend to idealize our ex partners when they were at their best, but this only serves to hold you back and prolong the relationship’s lingering effect on you emotionally (i.e. He was such a great guy). To process a relationship and get closure, you have to be willing to let go of all the good memories/moments you shared together. Otherwise, the breakup will remain stuck in your life and linger on indefinitely.
- Don’t try to get back together with your ex (i.e. Don’t beg or plead for another chance).
Like I said earlier, if someone doesn’t want you in their life, there is nothing that can change that fact and it is useless trying to persuade them otherwise. If you try to get back together with your ex after a breakup, not only are you going to wind up feeling more insecure about yourself (i.e. if she can reject you, imagine how bad your current relationship really is), it’s also going to make things more awkward when (not if) you bump into each other in the future. I can’t tell you how many times a guy has tried to get back together with me and I’ve seen them again and had to pretend like nothing happened, when I had already moved on with my life and didn’t want anything to do with them anymore.
The feelings that come with a breakup can be intense and can overwhelm you, but don’t let that stop you. I’ve found that the best thing to do is to accept each feeling as it’s own emotion and process them accordingly.