How to Deal with a Romantic Break Up

by Contributor

If you have been heartbroken from your breakup, there are strategies to deal with the pain that can prove effective. This guide is a way of making the recovery more efficient and speedy. It takes courage, strength and determination.

A- Step One. : Acceptance. Accept that there are phases to the recovery. As you first learn about the split, this is the worst phase and all you can really do is bear the pain. The pain can be extremely excruciating and desperation may settle for months. Cry all you have to. Scream and cry more. Do not let that desperation take over your ability to reach out for loved ones and even professionals. Above all, do not contact your ex. Contacting your ex with the excuse of getting back together or not confronting the fact that the relationship is over is not going to change things. The sooner you accept the cruel truth, the better it is. Remember not to trick yourself into thinking that you could get back with your ex or that your ex wants to get back. You may try to convince yourself in your mind that he/she really wants to get back with you. For some reason, the relationship, did not work out. Either one of you or both of you were not happy. This is something that you really have to convince your self, which takes a lot of time and thinking. Therefore, be patient with yourself. Write it off. Speak it off on a voice recorder, read or run. Anything to get out your desperation, but DO NOT CONTACT HIM. Retire remembrances of him. The photos, clothes, letters, presents and anything that triggers a memory of him has to be removed from sight. The idea is to forget him and forgetting involves the creation of new memories and a new life ahead.

B- Step Two. Reach Out We talked about reaching to family and friends. This is a MUST. Yes. You do need time alone too. But family and friends are truly the best medicine. You need to take your mind off the break up and people, who you esteem sensible and loving, can drag you out of your misery through play, conversations, and activities such as cooking, excursions and debates. Watching a favourite TV series can engage you. Working is also an excellent pastime. You feel awful at work at first, but interacting with other people and getting your mind off the break up is guaranteed. Break ups, are (I read somewhere) like mini deaths. They are a death of a relationship and that relationship that you valued does no longer exist. However, you know that it is for the better. You must evaluate the pros and cons of that relationship and learn with time, that the break up was the better of the choices. You might in a near future become friends with the person and this may be even better than the relationship. However, this should only be if you really think you are over the person.

C-Step Three: Engage in Activities that interest you. Do all the things that you could not do in the relationship. If it is climbing a mountain, so be it. If it's going to a concert, so be it. Travelling. You have the World at your fingertips. Use it! Do not go out looking for a new partner. That will just make your life more complicated. Sure. Make friends. If you already have passed the stage of not wanting to hang out with a guy that makes you happy and there is nothing-serious going on, so be it. Get male attention from nice guys. Even if you are not interested, it works wonders on your self-esteem. When you love someone a lot, you tend to let yourself go. It is natural, that you do not focus as much on yourself. But as your time alone becomes more common, you realise that you feel comfortable with being able to make decisions on your own. No one is controlling you. Perhaps you miss the company of people that you had before, but you can make that for yourself. I have more friends now than I had with my ex. Yes. I did learn how to socialise better thanks to him. I am not afraid of people like I was before we dated, but he stole all my attention and I did not have my friends. I had his friends. Now I have a relationship with other people, that I can trust and that I am creating. I realised that I did not have friends when I was with him. Now, I can think of other people more. Before he took up everyone. I could not think clearly. I could not think what I wanted to give my mother for her birthday. He took me in all the time and that was tiring. Take up music classes or painting or a sport that you have longed to practice. If you already have a hobby, engage yourself even more.

-Step Four: Travel. Travelling is a glorious experience. Even if you face situations that you dislike, it can make you a better person, nearly always. Learning new cultures and people expands your soul. You cannot experience life through books, newspaper or television. I was invited to Canada and California as a press member. I was mesmerised by the whole experience. I ate well, I was at sea all day, and I met wonderful people and was so happy with myself!

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Tips

  • How to deal with the common thoughts:
  • When I first had a break up, I had recurrent thoughts. I thought that I would not go through this pattern of thinking, but when I had my second break up, I had them again. These are thoughts that I have found common to exist after a break up. This is how to deal with them.
  • Thoughts:
  • • " All these couples remind me of us".
  • Yes. This is the all too common thought. You start to observe the world around you more than you did when you were in a relationship and you start to see things that you did with your couple. You deal with this, by focusing on your relationship with the present and the people around you. You focus on what is your relation to that couple. If you can't take it, just go out for a walk.
  • • "They live the same lifestyle that we did. They have a cat, he has his same name, and she is American, like me".
  • When you start to recognise similarities in your relationship and life with that of other people, you start to feel awful about what you have lost. You can only bear it. Try to hang out with people that were very different to your life with your ex. You start to realise that there are alternatives. You realise that your life with him was not that great after all or at least not the only great thing in the world.
  • • "Each time I walked past a Home Decor shop, I break out to cry".
  • This was a common thing that happened to me every time I walked down the aisle of a Mall with lots of beds. We had not bought our bed yet and I had caught myself looking at the bed to see if it was something we would like. This happened to me the other day at an exhibition of Finnish interior decorators. Finally, I confronted the thought. I would start to look and appreciate the furniture. I like furniture and why should I deny myself that? So, I started to think of how I could decorate my office or my private practice. I deflected the importance of the relationship in my life. It had taken too much space in my life, to let other important aspects to develop. Therefore, I can now with the power of my mind, decide what I let or not my mind to think.
  • • "All these pregnant women, remind me of me".
  • I would cry at the sight of pregnant women or newly baby borns.
  • My ex and I were trying to have a baby. He asked for it very early on in the relationship. I had to stop his horses and postpone the decision till we lived together longer. He said fine. We started to try after dating for a year. I went for check ups and he did too. This made us closer and convinced us of our conviction. When the break up occurred, I was devastated. All my dreams of becoming a mother were shattered and I felt like my spirit had been crushed by a freight train. I did not have the strength to rise. I was beaten. I was trodden. I could not go to the fertility appointment, because I was sure to break down. I postponed the appointment for 3 months. In the end, you realise that you do want to have a baby and that if you do not find the right person to have it with, perhaps you think of in vitro or even adopting. You start to think for you.
  • There are also visual images that you can find intrusive. • "He is with such and such person in bed". I imagined my ex with other women for a very long time and that drove me up the wall. It was horrible. Soon, when I was diagnosed with an illness, all of that went away. I learnt, that he decided to relinquish his care for me and I learned to accept that I had the responsibility for myself and no one else. I learned that I was probably really sick and that he was no longer there for me. If he had made that decision and was actually with other women in bed, then he really did not love me as I thought he did and was not worth it anymore. At that point, my love for him was already dying. I cannot say that you will recover immediately. Time is probably after all, the best of medicines.

Warning

  • This is a recommendation and in no way should you follow all steps if you feel they are not right. Each person is different and you should use this as a guideline only. Good Luck!