“Did you choose the wrong type of person? Not recognize signs that something was awry? Try to make something work that wasn’t viable from the start? Did you both grow in different directions?” Then empower yourself by taking action: Look for those cues in your future relationships and use this heartbreak to change the way you end them. “What you can do is not reject somebody in this way,” says Paris. “That is something you can control.”
4. Take care of yourself.
When a romance or friendship ends, “not only will there be a hole in your heart, but also gaps in your schedule,” says Levine. Fill them with positive activities and people: Try a new type of workout, take a class in a subject that’s always interested you, nurture your existing—or brand-new!—friendships. Eat well. Get out in nature. Get enough sleep.
“Anything that is self-supportive and increases your sense of your own efficacy is a great idea,” says Paris. Embrace distractions—and relish happy moments.
5. Stop talking about it.
“It’s natural to feel a sense of pain and loss when someone who was meaningful to you disappears,” says Levine. “The closer you were, the longer it will take you to recover.” But while venting about your confusion and anger to friends and family can help, so can not talking about it. “Don’t keep ruminating about what happened,” says Levine. “People will grow tired of hearing the same story—and repeating it continually won’t allow you to heal.”
And while it’s never wise to bury the more serious feelings (like severe depression), try to do your best to discuss something—anything—else. “Don’t make the mistake of thinking that closure takes two,” says Levine. “It’s something you can achieve on your own.” You don’t need that ghost to get there. -Chrissy S.