By Lauren Laws
So you’re going through a breakup. It’s the worst, there’s no way to sugarcoat it. Hopefully you’ve got a pint (or more) of ice cream on hand and you are properly wallowing in your misery and destroying any photos of your ex. Meanwhile, here are some things to remember as you go through this difficult time.
- It Will Get Better
You probably won’t believe it right now, but there will come a time when you won’t feel as much hurt and anger as you do now.
It may feel like the future is dark and that there’s nothing to look forward to, but take things one day at a time, or one hour at a time if that’s all you can manage.
You will feel better with time, but it will take time, so don’t fret if you can’t just “get over it” right away.
- Feel Your Feelings
Whether you ended things or you were the person who got dumped, breakups elicit a variety of complicated emotions. There are five stages of grief that people usually go through after a loss in their life. Denial, where you may not accept that it’s really over. Anger which can be directed at the other person or yourself, or both. The bargaining stage might cause you to want to try and win the other person back. Don’t do this. The relationship ended for a reason, so take some good time to reflect before you impulsively reach out to the person again. Depression and sadness are a big part of grief but eventually you will get to acceptance.
The five stages of grief, or the different range of emotions, don’t necessarily happen one at a time or in order. You may feel better for awhile just to feel sad or angry again. It can be frustrating to feel like you’ve made progress just to slip up again, but know that it’s normal to to cycle through emotions. There is no shortcut when it comes to overcoming heartache.
Don’t be afraid to let the tears fall. Grief and mourning are an important part of a breakup. You may feel like you should be able to get over it without getting emotional, but embrace everything you’re feeling. If you are feeling a depression that is too strong for you to handle by yourself, seek out professional help.
A wave of emotion can hit when you least suspect it. As a precaution, have tissues on you at all times. Where there are tears, there is often mucus, so make sure you have tissues in your purse, pocket, or car so you are prepared for when the sniffles come because the only thing worse than being sad is being sad and covered in snot.
Don’t make any quick or drastic decisions while you’re in the grieving process, just let the emotions pass through you. It can be helpful to listen to sad songs, but be careful as they can also keep you in a sad place longer than necessary.
Among all the complicated emotions be sure and let the good emotions in too. You can be grateful for all the good things the relationship gave you as you let go of the bad.
- You Are Not Broken
Your heart may be broken, but you are not. When a relationship falls apart it can be tempting to make a catalogue of all of your shortcomings and mistakes you feel you made in the relationship.
One of the casualties of being human is that we make mistakes, but when you find the right relationship you’ll be able to work through your weaknesses together. Do not feel like you have to be perfect to be loved (no one is).
If you were dumped all that means is that you weren’t compatible with one person. It’s only one person’s opinion. Your self worth doesn’t come from one person’s opinion.
Of course, every relationship teaches us new things about ourselves and this may be a good time to pick something you can improve on in relationships, but only as it pertains to going forward. Don’t dwell on past mistakes, focus on moving forward.
- Be Grateful for all the Free Time You Have Now
You’re probably feeling a hole in your life because you’re used to spending so much time with your significant other. Instead of being upset about all the things you aren’t doing, think of all you can do.
Relationships are great but they take up so much time. Now that you’re single again you can reconnect with friends. You have more time for hobbies you enjoy or to take up a new hobby. Make a list of things to do or people to call when you’re feeling lonely and use that list when you need a distraction.
A post-breakup period is a great opportunity to spend quality time with yourself. Is there anything that you haven’t had time to do because you’ve been too busy? Maybe instead of staying up late talking with your boyfriend or girlfriend you can get more sleep at night. Maybe you finally have time to clean your room, go on a walk, read the scriptures, or do that face mask you’ve been wanting to try. Do something that makes you feel good.
Whatever you do, do not spend your free time thinking about your ex. Do not stalk them on social media. You probably think you’re strong enough to handle it, but that photo of your ex is going to show up when you least suspect it and wreck your mood. You won’t be able to distance yourself from the pain if you’re over-analyzing everything they post or comment on. Just unfollow.
- You Can and Will Find Something Better
You’re probably tired of hearing, “there are plenty of fish in the sea” but it’s a cliche for a reason. You may feel like you’ve lost your one chance at love or happiness but it’s not true, because if it was true it wouldn’t have ended. Know that even with all the things you might have loved about the relationship there is something better out there for you. Specifically, there is someone who will want to be with you and who you want to be with.
While it may seem harsh, it is helpful to make a list of all the things that you didn’t like about the relationship or the other person. Whenever you miss the relationship, refer to the list. It can be helpful if you write it on your phone, so it’s readily available.
Do not become obsessed with trying to figure out what went wrong. No “reason” for the breakup will make you feel better so don’t spend all your time looking for closure. Accept that it ended and that is reason enough and you can move on.
You broke up because they didn’t want to be with you anymore or you didn’t want to be with them anymore or both. A good relationship involves two people who want to be together and someday you’re going to find that.
When you feel ready, re-download Mutual and get swiping! You never know, your next match might just be the one. 💍