Getting over a failed relationship, especially a long-term relationship, is never easy. During the relationship, you had developed habits and routines around the other person. You had a ready escort for parties, movies, and other events. And, most importantly, you had a special bond with a special person.
When a relationship ends, adjusting your routines is the easy part. Dealing with the emotional loss and the impact on your psyche can be an uphill battle. But you can get through it and come out a stronger person. Here are 10 tips that can help.
1. Don’t deny it. Whether or not you reestablish any kind of relationship in the future with your lost loved one (if you even want to), what you had up to this point is now behind you. Face it and accept it. Try not to dwell on false hopes at this point. Instead, look forward to the future and all the wonderful surprises that it will bring.
2. Allow yourself to hurt – for a little while. Whether you were the dumper or the dumpee, it’s going to hurt for a while. This is normal, and you shouldn’t try to fight it with alcohol, food, or any other crutch. Instead, welcome this chance to deal with the emotional aftermath. Recognize it as a normal part of a breakup. And remind yourself that this, too, shall pass.
3. Let loved ones help. At times like this, you need your friends and family. Even if you feel as though you want to be left alone to suffer privately, do yourself a favor and let your loved ones help you through this. Their warmth and support can be a great comfort at a time like this, and you won’t feel so alone when they’re around. Best of all, your friends and family might know just the right things to do or say to cheer you up.
4. Exercise. Go for a walk, go bicycling, or learn to rollerblade. Physical activity is a great way to deal with emotional stress. Besides giving you a healthy way to let off steam, it will leave you in better physical condition, so you’ll feel better about yourself in more ways than one.
5. Pursue new interests. After a breakup, you’ll likely have a lot of extra time on your hands that would have been spent with your beloved. Instead of spending all that time feeling sorry for yourself, get out and do some new things. Join a club, take a class, or pursue a new hobby. Not only will your new interests help to occupy your time and take your mind off your heartbreak, but they’ll also give you more things to look forward to.
6. Make new friends. While most relationship experts agree that you shouldn’t start dating right away after a breakup, it can be healthy to try to make some new friends – as long as it doesn’t go beyond friendship. While it is important to be around your long-time friends and family, as mentioned above, those people will likely be on your side no matter what. Finding new friends, on the other hand, can really boost your self-esteem.
7. Look at the positive side of the situation. They say that every cloud has a silver lining, and this will be no different. The fact that the relationship ended indicates that it was not an ideal situation for one or both of you. You’ll both be better off without the kind of relationship that’s doomed to fail. And you’re now free to move forward and eventually meet the true love of your life.
8. Appreciate the lessons learned. Take some time to reflect, as objectively as possible, on the relationship and why it failed. Be completely honest with yourself. Did you make some bad choices? Were you too tolerant? Were you not tolerant enough? Did you ignore some now-obvious warning signs? Then decide how you will apply these lessons to your next relationship. Not only will this help you come to terms with the failed relationship, but the insights will make you a better mate the next time around.
9. Reward yourself. No, not with too many fattening foods, which might be craved at a time like this. But you are going through a difficult ordeal, and a little bit of pampering can be a great mood elevator. If possible, take a little vacation and catch a change of scenery. If you can’t get away, then at least treat yourself to an extra-long bubble bath. Buy yourself something nice. And remind yourself that you’re worth it.
10. Forgive. The longer you hold on to hard feelings, the longer it will take to get over the heartache and move on with your life. It doesn’t matter whether you were the dumpee or the dumper. Either way, you need to forgive the other person for his or her part in the failed relationship; and then, perhaps even more importantly, forgive yourself for your own role in it. Once you can truly and honestly forgive, you’ll have that much more energy to put towards building a positive future. And you’ll have much less baggage to carry with you along the way. – By Mary Shaw