After heartbreak, it can seem impossible to move on. Expert Marni Battista tells you how.
In recent months, there have been a couple of sudden, celebrity deaths that have no doubt left family, friends, and significant others reeling. Both Glee star Cory Monteith’s fatal drug overdose and former Bachelor contestant Gia Allemand’s tragic suicide opened up much speculation about how their partners, Lea Michele and Ryan Anderson respectively, have been coping.
These tragedies got me thinking: All of us will experience heartbreak in our lives — whether in the form of a difficult breakup or the death of a significant other — and will surely find ourselves desperate for ways to move on with as much grace, ease, and dignity as possible. Here at Dating with Dignity, I’ve developed five simple practices that certainly won’t eradicate the pain of your loss but will give you the tools to begin healing.
1. Allow Moments of Grief
The most important thing when untangling yourself from a broken heart is to express whatever you’re feeling and do so in a healthy way. Allow yourself to cry, write, listen to or make music, or talk with a close friend or family member. As you become further removed from the incident, be cognizant of when it’s time to distill this period of grief into brief, private moments, and then eventually your loss will become less acute. Grieving is healthy, but if you continue to dwell on it for more than one year and it feels like it’s turning into chronic depression, make sure you seek help from a healthcare professional.
Related Link: Gia Allemand’s Boyfriend: ‘I Don’t Love You Anymore’
2. Don’t Cast Blame
It was widely reported that Allemand’s suicide occurred immediately after a blowout fight with her boyfriend, NBA player Anderson, that culminated in him saying, “I don’t love you anymore.” In this situation, it would be easy for Anderson to process his loss by blaming himself and wondering if he could have saved his girlfriend by choosing his words more carefully.
But it’s important to remember that there are endless numbers of factors that contribute to something so serious, and whatever you feel you did wrong is only the tipping point (if even a factor at all). There’s no way to truly know, and blaming yourself or others will only alienate you as work through your grief — so train yourself to focus your energy on moving past it.
We’re ultimately not responsible for the actions of others. Of course, we want to make sure we’re always compassionate and empathetic; however, each of us must take personal responsibility for how we react to what we hear from others each day.
3. Adopt a Mantra: “The Only Way to Get Through It Is to Get Through It”
Whether recovering from a breakup or the death of a loved one, you’ve been placed in an undesirable situation beyond your control. As much as it may feel like the world has stopped turning and nothing will ever be the same, there’s nothing you can do but focus on the better times ahead.
Each relationship can help to form who we are as well as who we’ll become. There are no such things as mistakes. If you soldier through these dark days and keep yourself focused on the gifts you experienced as a result of your lost love, you’ll gradually start to feel better…and one day, you’ll reflect on that dark time from a much lighter point of view.
4. Re-Install Routine
Depending on the gravity of your loss, it’s possible that whatever incident you’re recovering from has completely wiped out your usually bustling schedule. Even though holing up at home may seem like the most appealing option, one of the best ways to begin to move on is to re-introduce routine into your daily life.
It may feel forced at first, but a schedule will allow a sense of normalcy to return and provide a welcome distraction. If there’s something in your routine you used to partake in with your absent partner, create a new ritual with a close friend or family member in its place.
Related Link: Lea Michele Is Grieving With Cory Monteith’s Family
5. Lean On Friends and Family
After the death of Monteith, mourning fans across the country cast much of their concern toward his longtime girlfriend and Glee costar Michele. People began speculating about when and how she would make her first public appearance in the wake of her tragedy. After a couple weeks of silence, the brunette was spotted going to a baby shower and has since been seen surrounded by at least one or two close friends. Loved ones provide a welcome distraction, but they’ll also help force you back into your routine and listen when you need to talk about how you’re feeling.
Heartbreak is a part of life, and when it happens, all you can do is work towards moving on. If you diligently hold yourself to these five practices in the wake of a tragedy, I’m certain you’ll gradually start to feel lighter.
Marni Battista, founder of Dating with Dignity, is an expert dating and life coach with a 10-step system to manifesting love for your self and others. You can contact Marni at firstname.lastname@example.org.