How to Cope After a Long-Term Relationship Has Ended

Whether you were married, engaged or dating for months or years, a breakup with a long-term partner can cause excruciating emotional pain.
The end of a long-term relationship can wreak havoc on your heart.The end of a long-term relationship can wreak havoc on your heart.
You may feel that your emotions run the gamut: you're sobbing one minute, moping the next and perhaps feeling guilty about your role in the relationship ending in another. Lean on your loved ones for distraction and cheer; if you don't have friends or family close, you can still help yourself heal.

Step 1

Feel your emotions.
Let yourself cry as much as you need to. Set a limit, however. Tell yourself you get exactly one week (or one month, if you need it) to vent as much as you need to. When the time is up, it's time to start rebuilding your life. It's still okay to cry or throw pillows on occasion, of course.

Step 2

Lean on friends and family.
Chances are, your loved ones have also been through a breakup at some point and will be empathetic to your plight. If you feel the urge to isolate yourself with a pint of ice cream and a playlist of sad songs, call a trusted friend instead. Better yet, leave your house and drop by for a visit.

Step 3

Rediscover your interests.
Perhaps you wanted to learn to cook but your partner was a fan of eating out. Maybe you've always wanted to take up a sport but never had time when you were together. Building new skills can boost your confidence and remind you that you can build an interesting life without being part of a couple.

Step 4

Distract yourself with music or movies.
Go to a concert and dance to a band you love. Go see a film by yourself. Even better? Listen to music or see movies your ex didn't like.

Step 5

Get a makeover.
A new hairstyle, new wardrobe and new workout regimen will make you feel attractive again. Don't forget to make over your home while you're at it -- get new bedding, rearrange the furniture and throw out anything that reminds you of your ex.

Step 6

Seek professional help if your depression becomes chronic.
A therapist can provide an impartial ear and, hopefully, the perspective you need. If you feel the urge to self-harm, go to your nearest emergency room right away. No relationship is worth your health or your life.

Tips

  • Now is a time to find yourself and to learn to be strong on your own. Spending time alone and thinking through what you expect the next time around can help you find who you are.
  • When you first start dating after a long while, you should bring a friend a long and double date. This will help you ease back into the game until you're comfortable.
  • The best way to move on is to not dwell on the past so much. Instead, keep looking straight a head and be strong.
  • Some might wonder why this article reminds you to find yourself a lot. The reason is because when people are in a relationship, they are a different person from when they are single. Because of that, you change and are no longer the same person after the relationship has ended. You grow, learn, and become stronger. With these new experiences, you have to find who you are, in the end. Do you like this new you or what will you be willing to sacrifice the next time you are in another relationship again.

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Warnings

  • Jumping into another relationship so fast sometimes does not give you enough time to get over the first relationship and can lead to ruin in the new one.
  • Some people become addicted to the atmosphere of a night club. Unless it's what you really want, you shouldn't try to hide your pain with booze and a wild night life. Some people, especially those just coming out of a really long relationship where a lot of experiences were missed, tend to go a little crazy with the night life. Either way, just take it slow and try to find yourself during this time, not trouble. Of course, going out and having fun once in a while is great for you, just be cautious.
  • You should do what feels right and makes you happy. But be cautious of your loved ones who may worry about you. In the process of moving on, try to think about others and how your behavior may affect them, too.

About the Author

Ann Jones has been writing since 1998. Her short stories have been published in several anthologies. Her journalistic work can be found in major magazines and newspapers. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.