Breakups are brutal, but you WILL make it through!
Breakups. Separation. Divorce.
These experiences feel so bitter and sad they can pretty much be summed up with one word: Grief.
When love ends our world collapses — along with our dreams, hope and heart — and we can lose perspective on how to survive. Because that’s what we do. We survive … and sometimes just barely.
We go into fight or flight mode and learn to exist through a kind of pain we forgot was even possible.
I came across this quote the other day:
“One of the hardest things you'll ever have to do, my dear, is to grieve someone who is still alive."
It reminded me that anyone who wants to fall in love has to risk the chance of heartache.
If you are still in love with the person or haven’t gotten closure, it feels like you are caught in the dark hole of limbo. And it’s in those dark moments that we risk behaving in ways that are irrational and desperate, doing things that are detrimental to our healing. We can't focus on how to get over a breakup when we remain stuck focusing on the relationship that no longer exists.
Our mind can completely take over any normal sort of thought and start to believe that drinking ourselves into a stupor or sleeping with every man we can get our hands on is going to heal our poor little heart. However, even during the season of heartache we must remember that our actions have consequences. There are certain things we simply shouldn’t do, no matter how tempting the seconds of bliss they offer may be.
Here are five breakup mistakes you MUST avoid in order to make it through the pain without making it even worse.
1. Dating other people within the first 3 months after your break up.
While some people may not be able to entertain the thought of ever dating again, others head straight into the deep end.
It’s not unusual to think that attention from someone new will distract us from heartbreak. We assume that being wanted by strangers will help us feel less rejected by the person we are still in love with.
The downside of dating someone straight after you breakup, is that:
A) You haven’t healed yet and will likely choose the wrong person for the wrong reasons, and ...
B) Refer to back to point A repeatedly!
Make it a rule of thumb that you won’t actively date or even engage in the thought for a full 3 months. This will help you gain perspective, closure and healing so that when you are ready you will choose the right one for the right reasons.
2. Eating and drinking until you feel like you'll pass out.
It’s important to continue to look after your physical health during a breakup. Your body will already be under a whole lot of stress and doing all sorts of crazy things, so there’s no need to add fuel to the fire.
Personally, when I'm going through a breakup, I make sure that I steer clear of consuming too much alcohol. We all know that emotions are heightened when we drink and can lead us to make stupid decisions. Stay away from people or situations that will encourage you to drink if you know that you won’t be able to stop.
Try to also keep your diet on track. Binge eating only means you have to work even harder to burn all those extra kilos off. Plus, a crap diet usually plays havoc with our energy levels and emotions.
Keep it clean and lean and drink plenty of tea.
3. Isolating yourself.
While staying in a cocoon of sadness and blankets might seem more your speed than socializing, it’s certainly not going to snap you out of your depression.
When we put ourselves around other people we are not only kept accountable for our actions, but we're also reminded that life goes on.
It’s easy to become self-focused in our pain, and while it’s imperative to take time alone to heal, we can’t forget the importance of the other people in our world. By staying socially active we can distract ourselves from our pain, learn to enjoy life again and allow ourselves to be open to new opportunities and support.
4. Forgetting your worth and purpose.
In those moments of total darkness and pain, we can forget that we were all created to love, to be loved and to live a life of joy. Separation isn’t just a matter of the heart, it’s also a time to learn to control where the mind wants to take you.
The key is to keep living, keep putting one foot in front of the other and take each day as it comes. You have to look beyond the moment and remember that you have a future and purpose outside of this pain.
Set small goals that you can achieve daily or weekly. This will give you a sense of progress and accomplishment. It will also help to keep you accountable and focused.
This may be a season that holds slows you down a little, but it does not mean that all is lost. Remember who you are, what you want and where you are heading.
5. Posting every emotion you feel whenever you feel it on social media.
Social media has given us a license to post our every thought and emotion for the world to see. But the more people who know your business, the more confused it can make you as you sift through the comments, trying to sort out which opinions offer sound wisdom and which are just plain crap.
Whether your style is trying to act like everything is OK, over-sharing your every thought or posting emotional outbursts, try to break the habit. None of these actions will ever bring you peace.
It’s vital that you have support and someone to talk with but be selective to be sure you confide in people with your best interests in mind.
And stalking your ex’s profile or comparing yourself to every happy couple you see will only keep your wounds raw. Put the phone down and turn off the computer, then get outside or pick up a book so that you can nurture your mind as well as your heart.
Renee Slansky is a relationship and dating coach, as well as the Founder of The Dating Directory — an online community for women doing love, life, and relationships.