No matter the reasons behind the end of a romantic relationship, heartbreak is painful.
Regardless of whether walking away from the relationship was undoubtedly right or it was a choice you begged your partner not to make, losing the person who was your most intimate confidant and closest support system is not an easy change to process.
This was someone who you spent most of your time with. When good news or bad news happened, this was your listening ear. Not speaking with them any longer can feel like coping with a death.
The pain can be so overwhelming that you feel desperate to get over it as quickly as possible, which can lead to seeking quick relief by grabbing onto anything or anyone only to find yourself right back where you started once the short-term effects of rebounds or drink refills wear off.
To truly overcome heartbreak, the pain must be fully experienced. While it may seem impossible, keeping these reminders on hand will help you to cope with it as healthily, and effectively, as possible.
Understand moving on is a process
Be patient with yourself. Grief isn’t always linear. Progress isn’t always linear.
You might have a great week, followed by a couple of bad days. That’s okay, and that doesn’t negate the progress and success you’ve made over the past week.
Focusing on the result of moving on while you’re still in the early stages of heartbreak will be overwhelming. Don’t rush the process and skip steps that will never bring a successful end result. Focus on accepting where you currently are.
Fully feel your emotions
All emotions are natural and equally worthy of being fully expressed and felt.
There is a damaging misconception and societal stigma that has labeled certain emotions as “positive” (happiness, excitement, pride, joy) and some as “negative” (sorrow, anger, anxiety, fear).
Sorrow, anger, anxiety, and fear are your body’s normal responses to a breakup.
If they are ignored or repressed, you will hold onto them. This will result in those emotions being coped with in unhealthy ways and putting more stress on your mind and body.
You know the physical sensation of holding back tears? Your face might feel hot, your throat tightens, your jaw clenches. Once the tears are released and the crying is over, those sensations fade away and are replaced with a feeling of relief or even calmness.
Experiencing them fully and freely, without judgment, will allow them to flow through you and out of you.
So cry on the floor, scream into your pillow, and rip your ex’s love letters to pieces.
Allowing yourself to fall apart is part of the process of piecing yourself back together.
Reframe your perspective
It can be easy to fixate on the negatives of the breakup.
To obsess over what went wrong, the mistakes you made, the things they said, and the promises that weren’t kept.
Thinking of the relationship as a failure or mistake will cause you to ruminate or punish yourself.
You have control over how you think about the relationship. Instead of thinking about the fights that escalated, ask yourself what you learned about how you communicate.
Instead of asking yourself why you ever dated that person, ask yourself what clarity you now have about your relationship needs.
A relationship that comes to an end is not a failure; it’s a learning experience.