Breakups are painful. The unexpected breakup is excruciatingly painful. In the dating marketplace, there is nothing more destabilizing than an unexpected breakup. The hurt, pain and self-doubt can be overwhelming. Hours spent reflecting upon your former relationship can feel endless. "What did I do wrong?" becomes an enticing, all-consuming question. The temptation to wallow in grief can overpower your drive to move forward.
As torturous as breakups can be, there is an upside… I can tell you (with absolute confidence) that these feelings will dissipate over time, and you will find love again.
Relationships can end for several reasons. Regardless what the circumstances were, everyone needs support and reassurance during this time of uncertainty. Here are eight ways to survive a breakup:
1. Set A Time Limit. Give yourself a specific amount of time to grieve over your breakup. Whether your relationship lasted three months or three years, set grief boundaries. In the event you find yourself unable to overcome your grief, seek out professional assistance. A therapist will expedite the healing process.
2. Purge Your Feelings. Cry, scream, sob, smash plates, torch photos, hit a punching bag—do whatever it takes to purge the pain. Acknowledge every emotion, and let it ALL out.
3. Let Go Of Your Emotions. Once you've purged your feelings, let go of the pain. Release the negative feelings you have about your former partner (and relationship). Harboring toxic emotions is debilitating to your psyche and to your next relationship.
4. Write A List. Writing a list can be an effective way to analyze and decipher your feelings. When you're ready, write out these five post-breakup lists: 1.) List the negative aspects of your former relationship. 2.) List your partner's negative characteristics. 3.) List the things you learned about yourself as a result of your last relationship. 4.) List the ways your last relationship changed you as a person. 5.) List the changes you'll make as a partner in your next relationship.
5. Use Visualization Techniques. Maintain a positive attitude; use visualization techniques to elevate your level of happiness. Clichés aside, laughter truly is the best medicine! Visualize yourself laughing. Be vivid; visualize yourself doing things you enjoy. Visualize yourself in a new, satisfying relationship.
6. Access A Support Network. You do not have to go through a breakup alone. Friends, family, colleagues, spiritual leaders, coaches and therapists are available to help you overcome the pain of a breakup. By accessing your support network, you will be able to understand your former relationship from a different perspective. Your network's fresh insight will help give you closure.
7. Get Involved. Remain active post-breakup. Get involved with groups and organizations that fit your interests. Take a class, volunteer or pick up a new hobby. By staying active, your urge to revisit the past will wane. Moreover, you will increase your social network by participating in new groups and activities!
8. Don't Look Back. Incompatible (and unstable) relationships end for a reason. In time, you should be able to accept the fact that your relationship has ended. At this point, do not revisit the past. Also, don't allow yourself to fall victim to a "Tennis Relationship." A Tennis Relationship is a relationship where there is a repeated back-and-forth of breakups and reconciliations. This type of relationship is detrimental to your emotional health and personal growth. Stay strong, close the door and don't look back.