There is no denying the fact that breaking up with someone you’ve been in a relationship with for a long time can be tough. You have devoted your time, energy, love and support into this one person, and now…you’re back at ground zero. Break-ups are never easy on anyone. Whether you were dumped, you did the dumping or it was an amicable split, there is a part of you that feels a certain “void” that takes time to fill.
There are those that will try to pretend their last relationship had no impact on their lives, but if we’re really honest with ourselves, it did. Take me, for example. I was once with a guy for three years. He was a great guy (or so I thought). We spent time doing everything we could together, and we were well on our way to marriage. That is, until I found out that the entire time we were together, he was not faithful to me. Turns out, he had two children under the age of 2 with two different women! When I found out, I immediately kicked him to the curb. While some would agree that I did myself a favor by not holding onto the relationship and dealing with his infidelities, it still hurt.
I felt ashamed, embarrassed and broken. The guy I had fallen madly in love with was nothing more than a womanizer and a dead-beat dad. And I went into a deep depression of sorts. After a few months of “grieving” my lost relationship, I realized I had to get back to caring about myself. I could not allow my life to fall apart because some guy didn’t understand how to stay committed to a girl like me. The only problem was, after doing things as a couple for three years, I didn’t know how to be single.
Maybe you’ve found yourself in the same boat, or maybe you just want to pick up the pieces of your heart and move on. Whatever the circumstances may be, here are some suggestions on how to get your life back together after a difficult break-up…
1. Allow Yourself Time to Grieve: As I explained above, no matter how the relationship ended or what it ended for, if you were truly committed to it, losing it is going to bring out emotions. Therefore, the best thing you can do for yourself is grieve the loss. I don’t care how you do it. Cry, rip up old pictures, write letters (but don’t mail them), or see a counselor if it is having long-term effects on you emotionally.
2. Evaluate Your Part in Things: With every break-up, there is a lesson to be learned. Find out what your lesson was so that you can grow from it. Whether your issue was that you held on despite the signs of infidelity, or you were the one who cheated, sit back and really think about the part you played in it so you can fix those areas of your life.
3. Lean on Support: Friends and family members can really be that extra boost of support you need when you’re feeling down and out. Reach out to them, tell them how you’re feeling and ask for help. Having an outlet for your emotions is very important to your healing process.
4. Take Up a New Hobby: After a while, sitting around on your own only makes you more depressed. To really move on with your life, you have to get back into doing things that you enjoy. So why not take up a new hobby? For instance, if you’ve always wanted to play the piano, but never had the time because you were so devoted to the relationship, now is the time to take up piano lessons. The Internet makes it fairly easy to find piano teachers in the area so you can get started. With all the time you’ll be spending on your new hobby, you won’t have that idle time to think about your ex.
5. Get Back on the Social Scene: Once you’ve really assessed your emotions and found the emotional support you need to get through your break-up, now is the time to mix and mingle. No, I don’t recommend jumping into another dating situation so soon, but there’s nothing wrong with hitting a local bar and having some drinks with friends.
6. Pace Yourself: Last, but certainly not least, I recommend pacing yourself. Everyone deals with emotions and break-ups differently and therefore everyone will have their own time-frame from which they can truly move on. Do not rush yourself back into dating or into feeling better about the break-up. It will happen in due time.
The more you focus on yourself and take care of your own emotional and physical well being, the less time you’ll have to feel down and out about your break-up. So deal with your emotions, gather reliable support, pick up a new hobby, build your social life, and most importantly take it one day at a time. In no time at all, you’ll be back to your old self ready to find the guy (or girl) of your dreams.
–Sara Stringer is a freelance writer who most enjoys blogging about lifestyle, relationships and life as a woman. In her spare time, she enjoys soaking up the sunshine with her husband and two kids. Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this article.
[Photo via We Heart It]