What To Do When You Know You Should Break Up But Don't Want To

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sad dog and cat
Breakup Rx: How to feel your feelings, learn from your past relationships and get on with your life.

There is no doubt about it, break ups are painful for all parties involved. Whether you plan to rip it off like a band-aid or plant the seed and treat it like a process, ending a relationship is no easy task. Often, the challenges facing the person initiating a break up are grossly underestimated. Friends and family are likely to be more supportive when their loved ones get "dumped," showing less empathy and concern when they cut the ties. If you've experienced this, you probably feel more alone than you did in your past relationship lying in bed next to the ex who only acknowledged your existence during commercials. Surely, you want someone to appreciate your pain.

Breaking up with someone is especially difficult when you truly don't want to let the person go. Take Jersey Shore's Sammi & Ronnie, for instance.  Perhaps, your mind tells you it is that it is best for your mental and emotional well-being, but your heart wants to stay- believing in the potential of what could have been. Maybe you feel that you must break up with this person because he or she has actually already rejected you. Did tolerating such bad behavior or crying so many tears finally lead to the realization that moving on is the only healthy option? Yes, your friends and family certainly saw that, but why does it seem like they expect you to have an instant happiness makeover the minute after you kicked your former flame to the curb?

If you want some advice for mourning the loss, first, forgive your social network for being human and flawed in nature. Then, consider the following tips to deal with the break up: 

Allow yourself to feel your feelings: It is crucial that you embrace your reality, by feeling all of the emotions that you may have pushed aside to make your past relationship work for as long as it did. It is going to hurt. Even if you knew your relationship was going nowhere since the day of your first fight, you didn't really have to confront the truth that it needed to end until you ended it. Now is the time to live the cliche. Listen to angry Alanis Morissette songs and eat chocolate-chip mint ice-cream out of the carton.

Learn from your past relationship: Every relationship provides a multitude of lessons and opportunities for self growth. Even if you conclude that all you ultimately did was discover what you don't want in a partner, you are that much closer to finding out what you do want in an ideal relationship. Before you shop for an upgrade, seriously reflect on what you'd like to take with you from this past relationship and what you'd like to leave behind. Stop Blaming Others: The Power Of Owning Our Imperfections

Get on with it: Keep in mind holding on to pain for long periods of time will require taking off from work for more mental health days. It is not good for your body, mind, or soul. You have a life to live, so go out and live it! Meet new people, ponder whether or not a "rebound" relationship could work for you- ideally after some time spent working on your self- improvement-, and cultivate the interests and hobbies that will make you really feel alive.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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