How to Break an Emotional Attachment

When you break up, emotionally letting go can be extremely tough.When you break up, emotionally letting go can be extremely tough.

When a relationship has run its course, getting over it may be harder than it seems. You are often left with many residual feelings, unanswered questions and lingering thoughts about what might have been, or why things went wrong. Moving on will require letting go of the emotional attachments that may be binding you to someone. It's only by breaking the connection that you can keep yourself free for the right person.

Set Time to Reflect on What Happened

It may seem ideal to bury everything you're feeling, or dismiss it and put on a tough exterior. On the contrary, when trying to let go, give yourself some time to process and understand your feelings. "As we move forward, it is still important to acknowledge our pain and other emotions we may feel as the result of a significant breakup. Set a time each day that you will allow yourself to reflect, feel, and process your relationship loss," suggests psychotherapist Nathan Feiles. Embrace what you're feeling head on so that you can move forward.

Lean on Trusted Loved Ones

There's nothing like having a shoulder to lean on when things are especially rough. That's when seeking comfort among friends and close family can help. According to professor of psychology Robert Muller, those with secure attachment styles -- those who tend to hold a more positive view of themselves and others -- are more likely to turn to close friends and family for support, ratehr than choosing other, more destructive methods. "[These individuals] are more open to authentically grieving the loss, and are better able to understand, or empathize with their partner’s reasons for the break-up, which allows them to respond in a less hostile manner. And — this is important in regard to future relationships — they are less likely to blame themselves for the relationship ending."

Keep Yourself Active

When you're feeling emotionally bonded to someone, it's quite likely you may want to bury yourself in those emotions. This can be both physically draining and affect your mood. Activities, especially physical ones, are helpful. HuffPost Women discusses this in an interview with marriage therapist Sheri Meyers. "After a breakup, we tend to want to sit and cuddle and huddle and cry, and talk to our girlfriends and feel bad about ourselves," says Meyers. "So getting out and moving is really essential, because it's almost the opposite of what we feel like doing, which is shutting down and feeling sorry for ourselves."

Don't Overdo It

Above all, learning how to let go of an emotional attachment takes time, so don't rush it. Allow yourself to understand what you're feeling, taking time to slow down and treat yourself well, so you don't create an imbalance. "Work as you would normally work, and reserve those other hours in the day for self-care, hobbies and social plans that you’ll hopefully be continuing or increasing into your week," says Feiles.

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About the Author

Grace Calderon, a writer and communications professional, holds a master's degree in sociology. She currently focuses on relationships and celebrities and has conducted TV and radio interviews on these topics. Her work has also appeared in outlets such as YourTango and Starpulse.

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