Breakups are some of the hardest trials in life; they test our ability to cope with loss and stress. They are emotionally difficult. Trying not to sound too objective, I understand from experience what it is like to go through a breakup. It is hard to see any bright side at the time of the loss of a relationship, but this bad experience will lead to better experiences in the future. Until then try these ideas to cope with a breakup:
- Fake letters. Keep a journal or write out letters to your ex. Write as many letters as it takes or type up fake emails. These can release every emotion you have and express exactly what you feel without hurting anyone directly. It also keeps the person from responding because if broke up with the person, it is likely that the person was not responding to your needs in a constructive way. You don’t need a response to get the emotional release.
- Body pillow. If you are used to cuddling or sleeping next to someone, the actual object can have a significant impact on your emotional well-being. Tricking your brain with the physical can help with the emotional. Snuggle up to a pillow or two and give your brain those feel good chemicals it is used to.
- Avoid alcohol and mind-altering substances. Having a clear mind is important in getting over difficult emotional struggles. A clear mind can lessen the duration of pain. This is a good time for you to get a clear head and make clear choices.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Your friends and family are great people to reach out to. Familiar and positive people can help you push through a difficult time. Don’t isolate and reach out to your loved ones often.
- Stay occupied. Keep yourself busy. You will have time later to work through all the emotions; sitting and ruminating about a bad situation will not help you start the healing process.
- Mini-Vacation. Take a short trip and go with a friend. Clear your head and break away from the situation before coming back to begin the coping process.
This is not a blog to encourage you to break up with your significant other. Relationships, marriages, and partnerships take work; they give back to you as much as you are willing to invest in them. Time and time again people break up early on because they are not communicating as they once did. They pass the honeymoon stage and they are unable to sustain a real relationship that comes with its, well simply put, reality.
Our new societal ideas of relationships and media can partially be to blame. Via the bachelorette, of course out of 20 great looking, successful men you will find one to fall in love with on the beach in FIJI. It’s like the real world: You leave a number of human beings in a house living together, add hormones and alcohol and someone is scientifically likely to hook up with someone. Society has set up a way for us to glorify that relationships look like lavish vacations and fairy tale romances. Unfortunately real life relationships look less and less like what is displayed socially and in media as time goes on. This leaves people to have high expectations with no one to deliver those expectations. This also shows how quickly we are to get into relationships that may not be right for us.
The How To:
This is not a sure-fire way to let someone go, but when it comes to breaking up with someone I have seen time and time again people struggling to do it without hurting any feelings or feeling guilty themselves. Breaking up with someone is always going to cause a negative flux of emotions and unfortunately, there is no way to completely avoid the hurt of one or both of the partners. If you have children involved in this relationship, seek therapy to limit or avoid the impact that the break up will have on the children.
1. Do not just push away. A lot of times, one partner will push away and begin to ignore someone who they once adored. They lack the emotional intelligence to deal with the reactions of the other partner that has just been broken up with. You took the time to secure the relationship, and you need to be adult about conducting a break up.
2. Do not blame the other person. A break-up is easier with the phrase “It’s not you, it’s me.” Gently tell the other person that you have obligations, work or school and that you are unable to take care of their needs and yours. This keeps them off the defense and may help them to realize that you can not give them what they actually want.
3. Location, Location, Location. A break up is better done in private. If you are close to a friend or family member of theirs maybe you can make a quick call or text to make sure they will have someone to be with on that day. You don’t have to tell their friend everything. Do it at their house, this way you can gracefully leave after and let them grieve in a safe and familiar environment.
4. Grass is always greener. After you break up with someone, you will possibly have feelings of regret. This is normal and it is unfair for you to return to someone whom you do not want to be with. You need to stick to your guns so more emotions aren’t arising after the break up. You will need time to heal also as you may feel hurt and confused. If you think you made the wrong decision, it is likely that you made the right one. In time you will come to this realization.
Most of us will view this article as a preview for a break up. You hear someone say “I need some space” when they want to take some time apart. I am not addressing that sort of time apart. However, consistent time apart can help prevent taking time apart or a break in a relationship.
I am encouraging time apart consistently in a relationship to feel like a complete person in yourself while also being a dependent partner. Life is about balance. Too much of anything can be a bad thing. We have heard the saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and this is true.
If you live together time apart still takes place at work, while in the company of friends, or while participating in your own hobbies. Having your own autonomy suppresses too much dependency in a relationship.
Wanting to take time apart or feeling like we need time apart happens by not practicing a healthy balance of time together and time apart. An article in Psychology Today expresses making a habit of this balance and how it can help a relationship be successful.
As we develop a long term relationship it is difficult to distinguish who I am vs. who we are. Is it important to keep your individual identity as you develop the couple’s identity. Your individual identity plays a vital role in the success of your relationship.