There is no magic bullet, but these ideas will definitely help.
Imagine the person you love the most — and now imagine ending your relationship with them forever. Doesn’t that feel like someone is ripping off your right arm, or squeezing your heart out?
Breakups can be really dramatic and traumatic. They stop individuals from functioning normally and impact their daily existence.Whether the relationship ends on good terms or with a fight, or whether it was a one-sided breakup or one you both mutually agreed upon, it still doesn't hurt any less. The crisis, the stress, the emotional roller coaster — it's all challenging.
You find your self-worth and ego confronted, especially when you believed you had true love and passion in your life — and now it's gone forever.
It takes a good amount of time to wrap your head around the reality that you're single now, and even more time for the hurt to fade away. Every day you struggle to fight back the happy memories and face the reasons things ended. No matter how depressed or lonely you feel, you never forget the cause of the breakup.
There will be times you won't be able to understand or emotionally accept the reasons for the split. Some days will be harder than others. A certain song plays on the radio, the smell of a specific food wafts by, a particular location comes to mind — all of these occurrences send you spiraling down “memory lane” and into flashbacks. Love can be like an addiction, and many people going through a breakup face emotional withdrawal symptoms.
Here are 6 tips to ease your pain and fill the void you experience so you can move on from your breakup toward creating a more fulfilling life.
1. Don't take it personally.
It sounds like an oxymoron. How can a breakup not being personal? Yes, it is very much personal, but the truth is that it also is not. Every individual has different needs and wants from a partner.
We're all rejected at some time. That doesn't mean that we aren’t good enough. Our time will come and we will find our match. We cannot give to others what we don’t have, and similarly, we cannot get from others what they don't have. Yes, our ego gets hurt and our ego makes it personal, but the fact is that there are many reasons for any breakup. It could be that the timing was wrong, you weren't compatible, one of you wasn't ready, the chemistry was off, etc.
It's important to not blame yourself or your ex for the breakup and focus on the new possibilities this breakup provides.
2. Be with your loved ones.
Everyone can benefit from the way social and emotional support provide an alternate perspective on the breakup. A strong support system speeds up the healing process by providing motivation to move forward and rediscover self-worth. Surround yourself with an environment that is conducive to your well-being by accepting support and empathy from friends and family.
When your romantic relationship is over you may not feel motivated to be proactive and engaged. Push yourself and look around with your eyes wide open because people are there to care for you and offer you their shoulder to cry on. At times, your family might get extremely overprotective of you, so be wise in selecting the environment that is best for you.
3. Keep yourself busy.
Instead of shutting the world out, look for activities that will help you recover more quickly. This can include working out in the gym, joining a book club, building new friendships, etc. When your pain takes the shape of anger, physical activity is the best way to let go of that edge. You will also feel less depressed when you keep moving.
Another way you can gain peace is through volunteer work. When you heal others, something inside of you also starts to heal. When you meet people who are less fortunate than yourself, you start to see your pain as less significant and become better able to come out on the other side feeling empowered.
4. Search for your passion and purpose in life.
After a loss or a breakup, it is natural to feel lost, especially if that individual was a big part of your life. People tend to lose their sense of passion and purpose in life when they feel hopeless and pessimistic. In such situations, having the optimism and courage to push yourself is especially important.
To transform the negative energy taking root in you into something positive and useful, try new things, explore them and find out more about the activities or yourself. In this way, you regain control over your life, rather than being passive and feeling bad about yourself.
As Marilyn Monroe said, “Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together.”
5. Resist running away from the pain.
There is no healing without grieving. You cannot expect the pain to go away if you never acknowledge it. Let yourself feel the loss and the pain, and express those feelings. Write it on a paper. Cry it out. Talk to a therapist or a friend. Pray. Anything that involves getting it off your chest is worth it.
People tend to put up walls and turn to unhealthy ways to deal with all these overwhelming emotions. These include meaningless one night stands, rebound relationships, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and self-inflicted harm. They transform their pain into anger, misery and express it in destructive ways. You need to believe you are strong and can face the pain with courage and a positive attitude.
6. Give yourself a break.
Let the healing come naturally. This is the only way to accept and let go of these feelings.
A breakup is similar to death.
It may not be a death of a person, but it is a death of a relationship.
It's not up to you to decide how long you will grief. Grief decides for itself. Stop trying to take control and let the recovery take place naturally.
Applying these tips will pave the way for your happiness to return sooner rather than later.
To watch Moshe Ratson explain more on this topic, visit the video and accompanying article: 5 Reasons Why It Can Be SO Painfully Hard To Get Over A Breakup.
Moshe Ratson is a Couples Therapist in Midtown Manhattan in NYC. He assists couples with managing their negative experiences, learning relationship skills, rebuilding trust and intimacy — guiding them to emerge stronger and happier. If you need guidance avoiding or overcoming breakup and divorce in New York City, contact Moshe Ratson Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT) and Relationship Expert Moshe Ratson.