There’s a famous Tennyson quote, “It’s better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all,” but in the time following a breakup, it almost never feels that way, does it? Whether your relationship was a brief romance or years of marriage, breaking up is never easy.
Allow time to grieve the Breakup
It takes time, and the longer the relationship, the more time you’ll need to grieve its demise. It’s ok to cry, and it’s ok to rage. Grief has specific steps and they aren’t sequential, nor do they have time limits. Be patient with your emotions and allow yourself to feel them all. Blocking your own feelings or compartmentalizing to try to avoid feeling mad or sad will only cause more suffering when those emotions do burst out, and they will eventually.
Balance time alone with good company
Nothing beats a good cry alone on your couch, but having a coffee chat with a dear friend or family member is really important too. Too much time by yourself can create over-focus on the breakup, so make sure you reach out to people who love and support you and let them know you’d like some company.
At the minimum, you’ll verbalize your feelings and have a professional to help you dissect them. Friends and family are often wonderful, but if you don’t have someone close to confide in, or they aren’t good at helping support you, check to see if counselling is covered by your work benefits. Even if it’s not, sometimes only a few sessions is all it takes to understand where the relationship went wrong and how to redirect yourself on the path to getting your groove back.
Don’t jump into a new relationship too soon
As tempting as it seems to fill up that loneliness that always charges in after a breakup, remember you need time to process all your residual emotions. Do yourself and a potential new partner a favour and clear away as much of that baggage as you can before you share it with someone new. A clear, healthy outlook on life and romance always creates a better foundation for a new partnership than rebounding.
Focus on yourself
Pamper yourself with a new haircut or colour, buy some new clothes, start a new exercise class to work off some steam, start a class in something that interests you or do just about anything that confirms to yourself that you have value. Breakups often leave you feeling insecure with low self-esteem, so do what it takes to build yourself back up into your usual awesomeness groove.
Write about your breakup
Whether you type it all out or write old-style cursive in a journal, keep recording all your feelings and thoughts about the relationship and the breakup. You don’t have to share it with anyone, and can even burn it all (carefully!) when you’re feeling like your old self again. It’s therapeutic and often helps you work through any blocks you’re having trouble getting past, so you can move on and get your groove back.