Best way to handle a breakup
How to Get Over a Breakup: 20 Expert-Approved Tips to Try If You're Struggling to Move On
As much as we’d all like one, there is no rulebook on how to get over a breakup. After a relationship ends, people (unsurprisingly) often report feeling loneliness, a loss of a sense of self, distress, and depression1. In fact, many experts have equated having a broken heart to a form of grief. In other words: If you’re struggling to move on from a breakup, you are far from alone.
“A breakup is a classic example of what we call an ambiguous loss, which is where the grief of the loss of a relationship is often complicated by a lack of closure,” Michaela Decker, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Mesa, Arizona, tells SELF. This, she says, can prolong the healing process and leave us feeling unresolved. And after a breakup, we are often mourning not just the loss of a romantic partner, but also the dreams and expectations we had for our futures. It’s a layered heartbreak that is tricky to navigate. And though there is no quick fix for how to get over someone, there are things you can do to help you through your own healing process. Here, experts and people who have been there before give their 20 best tips on how to deal with heartbreak.
1. Think about your breakup as a physical injury.
Andrea Liner, Psy.D., suggests trying to give yourself the same grace when healing from having your heart broken that you would if you were experiencing a medical issue. “You may not be operating at 100%, and that’s okay,” Dr. Liner tells SELF, noting that you wouldn’t beat yourself up for not going to the gym after, say, breaking your leg. “Extend yourself the same kindness for going through an emotional injury,” she says.
2. Give yourself permission to feel your feelings.
Susan Birne-Stone, Ph.D., a licensed clinical social worker in Brooklyn, suggests setting a timer and giving yourself 10-20 minutes to feel whatever you are feeling without judgment. Write out any thoughts about the breakup in a letter that you will never give your ex (or just speak your thoughts out loud). When that timer goes off, ask yourself: “What do I need now? Do I need to speak with someone that loves me? Do I need to do something physical? Do I need to take a shower, eat, self-pleasure, watch a movie? What will be nurturing in this very moment that will also feel good after?” You can repeat this as needed!
3. Reconnect with things that make you happy.
Dr. Liner suggests dusting off old hobbies you may have stopped doing while busy in your relationship. “We naturally shift away from various activities while dating, and it can be empowering to get back to them,” she explains.
4. Surround yourself with good support—and lots of it.
Naturally, your inclination may be to lean on your friends for support during and after a breakup. Try not to let embarrassment or anxiety hold you back from doing just that. “One of the things I hear most from clients going through breakups is that they’re worried about burdening or annoying their networks,” says Dr. Liner. “So it can be helpful to rotate who you’re talking to. ”
Depending on the specifics of your situation—like if the breakup was expected and if you’ve been keeping up with your friends a normal amount during your relationship—they may not be surprised to hear the news. Hopefully, they’ll spring into action and help you feel better in the specific ways that only people who really know you can.
5. And apologize to your support system if you need to.
But if you’re itching to reach out to people you’ve lost touch with for some reason, whether it’s getting caught up in your relationship or the madness of the pandemic, you can reach back out—and own your mistake if you need to, Dr. Liner says. For instance, if you basically fell out of orbit because you were that in love, she offers a few scripts to try: “I know I stopped prioritizing our friendship while I was in my relationship, and I really regret that. I’d love a chance to reconnect with you if you’re open to it.” Or, “I got really caught up in having a significant other and now see that it wasn’t cool of me to disappear on you like that. ”
6. Consider finding a therapist if you don’t already have one.
“Having an unbiased, neutral, third-party observer is instrumental in gaining a deeper understanding in what happened, what your role was, and how you can learn and grow from it as you pursue future relationships,” says Dr. Liner. This is extra important if your mental health has been heavily impacted by your breakup. “I place extra emphasis on this advice for anyone who is experiencing a significant decline in functioning: not eating or sleeping, missing or struggling at work, major changes in mood or personality, or having intrusive or suicidal thoughts," Dr. Liner says.
Not sure how to go about finding mental health help? Here's where to start.
7. Do your best to be patient (even though it’s hard).
How long does it take to get over a breakup? There’s no one answer, so try to be patient. Yes, it’s so much easier said than done. But Dr. Liner stresses that the pain won’t go away overnight and recovery is a process. “There will be days you feel better and days you feel worse,” she says. “Your thoughts and emotions may jump around in the stages of grief for a while,” adds Alli Spotts-De Lazzer, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Studio City, California. Some days you may feel better than others, and it’s okay to honor wherever you are in your journey.
What to Do After a Breakup: 21 Do's and Don'ts
Breakups and the emotions they bring up are complicated. Relief, confusion, heartbreak, grief — all of these are perfectly normal reactions to the end of a relationship. Even if things end in healthy and productive way, you’ll probably still be left with some uncomfortable feelings.
These tips can help you begin the process of picking up the pieces and moving forward. Just remember, you will get through it, regardless of how hard things feel right now.
It’s sometimes easy to avoid crossing paths with an ex-partner after a breakup. But if you live in a small town or know a lot of the same people, you might have a harder time completely separating your lives.
Setting clear boundaries for future contact can help make the breakup easier for you both.
Take some time apart
Even if you both know you want to maintain a friendship, a little space for some time won’t hurt. Taking a break from texting and hanging out can help you both start healing.
Licensed marriage and family therapist Katherine Parker suggests waiting between 1 and 3 months before getting back in touch with your ex if that’s something you’re interested in.
This gives you time to focus on yourself, she says. It can also help you avoid falling into a harmful pattern of offering emotional support to your ex-partner and prolonging the breakup.
Respect each other’s needs
If you want to stay friends but your ex doesn’t want any contact, you need to respect that. Don’t call, text, or ask their friends to talk to them for you.
You might miss them dearly, but not respecting their boundaries will likely hurt any future chance of friendship.
Alternately, if your ex contacts you, especially before you’re ready to talk, don’t feel obligated to respond. This can be difficult, especially if they seem vulnerable or express feelings similar to your own. Remind yourself that you both need time and space to deal with those difficult emotions and wait until the no-contact period has passed.
Maintain some physical and emotional distance
If you want to try the friendship thing after some time apart, keep an eye out for old patters and behaviors. Maybe you lean your head on their shoulder while watching a movie or they come to you for help during a crisis.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with these behaviors, but they can lead to a lot of confusion and further heartbreak. If you and your ex want to maintain a friendship, you have to act like friends.
‘Just friends’ guidelines
Keeping some distance means not doing anything you wouldn’t typically do with a friend, such as:
- cuddling or other close contact
- spending the night together in the same bed
- treating each other to expensive meals
- providing consistent emotional or financial support
Halting any behavior that makes you think, “It seems like we never broke up,” is probably for the best.
Discuss how you’ll handle encounters
Sometimes, there’s just no avoiding an ex. Maybe you work together, attend the same college classes, or have all of the same friends. In these cases, it’s good to have a conversation about what you’ll do when you inevitable see each other.
Aim to keep things polite, even if you had a nasty breakup. Just remember that you can’t control someone else’s behavior. If they can’t abide by the agreement and act up, try to take the high road by not engaging them.
If you work together, do everything you can to maintain a professional relationship. Keep conversation civil and try to avoid talking to coworkers about what happened. Gossip spreads easily, and even a few basic facts can change wildly from person to person.
Not sure what to say? Try something like, “We decided to stop seeing each other, but we’re committed to maintaining a good working relationship.”
Once you’ve got your boundaries in order, it’s time to turn your attention to your relationship with yourself.
Parker recommends creating a daily self-care routine.
Each day, do something that:
- brings you joy (see friends, have a new experience, spend time on your favorite hobby)
- nurtures you (exercise, meditate, cook a satisfying but healthful meal)
- helps you process your feelings (make art or music, journal, talk to a therapist or other support person)
Try to get enough sleep, but avoid sleeping too much. This can interfere with your responsibilities and make you feel groggy and unwell.
And then, of course, there’s comfort food, Netflix binges, and a bottle of wine. It’s fine to indulge occasionally while you recover, but keep an eye on things so they don’t become regular habits that are hard to break down the road. Consider saving these things for special times with friends or giving yourself one night a week to cut loose.
Do things you enjoy
After a breakup, you might find yourself with more free time than you’re used to. Try to use this time in positive ways.
Maybe during the relationship you spent less time reading and have a stack of unread books waiting by your bed. Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to try gardening or knitting. You could even begin learning a new language or make plans for a solo trip.
Finding things to do (and doing them) can help distract you from post-breakup grief.
Express your feelings…
It’s common to experience a lot of emotions after a breakup, including:
It can help to acknowledge these feelings. Write them down, illustrate them, or talk to your loved ones. Movies, music, and books involving people going through similar situations can reflect your experience, so these might offer some comfort.
…but avoid wallowing in them
Try not to get stuck in a cycle of negative emotions, since it generally doesn’t help to ruminate on feelings of grief and loss. If you can’t stop thinking about your ex, try a “reset” by getting out of the house, visiting a friend, or putting on music and doing some deep cleaning.
Take a break from sad or romantic dramas and love songs. Instead, try comedic or uplifting shows, upbeat music, and lighthearted novels without romance. These can help distract you from negative emotions.
Other quick ways to help improve a gloomy mood:
- Open your curtains for natural light.
- Get some sun.
- Luxuriate in a shower or bath with your favorite products.
- Burn a candle with a fresh or citrus scent.
Tell your story
Parker suggests writing out a short narrative about your breakup. Just a sentence or two is fine. For example, “I need time and space to reconnect with myself and my needs before I can be in a relationship with someone.” Another option might be, “Breaking up is a process, and nothing is clear right away.”
Keep this somewhere visible, like your bathroom mirror or fridge, and focus on that when you feel like you miss your ex and want to reach out, she says.
Another unexpected aspect of breaking up: social media. It’s not always easy to know how to set boundaries around digital involvement, but here are some general post-breakup dos and don’ts.
Do avoid using social media as much as possible
“Social media creates an environment for stalking and unhealthy fixation, along with opportunities for passive-aggressive bullying,” Parker says.
Taking some time away from social media can be helpful after a breakup. This ensures you don’t end up souring your mood by coming across photos of your ex or photos of seemingly picture-perfect couples.
If you do use social media after your breakup, Parker recommends using it only to connect with and gain support from friends and family. For example, you might consider temporarily deleting the Facebook app from your phone and using Messenger to chat.
Don’t post about the breakup
You don’t need to publicly share that your relationship has ended, because chances are, the people who need to know already do know. “Social media isn’t the place to air your feelings or frustrations toward an ex-partner,” Parker says.
You might want to share the truth if your ex lied to you, cheated, or otherwise wronged you, but save your frustration for private messages with people you trust.
Don’t change your relationship status right away
If you and your ex-partner used the “In a Relationship” status on Facebook, it might seem logical (and honest) to change your status to “Single” once the relationship is over.
A better option is to hide the status from your profile (or set it so only you can see it). If you take a break from social media, for example, you can hide it until you return. People may be less likely to notice the change after time has passed.
If they do notice, your breakup will be old news, so it won’t matter as much. Waiting to change your status will also reduce the chances your ex-partner will feel hurt by the change.
Do unfollow your ex
You don’t need necessarily need to unfriend an ex if:
- the relationship ended on good terms
- you want to stay friends
- you have other social connections
But most social media apps now let you mute or hide people without having to unfollow them. This keeps you from seeing content they share. If you don’t want to see your ex-partner in other people’s posts, it can also help to unfollow people they’re closely connected to, including close friends and family members.
On Facebook, you can use privacy settings to put people on a restricted list, which prevents them from seeing anything that isn’t publicly shared. This may help, but if the relationship was abusive, it’s best to block them entirely so they can’t view any of your information or updates.
Don’t check out your ex’s page
You may feel tempted, especially if you’ve seen them around town with someone new. Maybe you want to know if they feel as awful as you do, or maybe you’re looking for that vague status update you just know they wanted you to see.
But ask yourself, “What will looking at their page accomplish?” Probably nothing healthy, so it’s best to resist the urge.
Breaking up with a live-in partner bring about a separate set of challenges.Revamp your space
After your partner moves out, your house or apartment may feel totally different. Your space might feel lonely. It might not feel like “home” anymore. You might want to pack up and move to a place without so many painful memories.
If you shared a place and your ex moved out, your home might feel lonely or full of painful memories. Of course, moving into a new place can help, but that’s not always financially feasible. Instead, focus on refreshing your surroundings.
Do a ‘mini remodel’
- move furniture around
- get new mugs or dishes
- invest in some new bedding
- try to get rid of one piece of furniture that you can easily replace
- get rid of the blanket you always cuddled under and replace it with throws in different textures and colors
- try a different color scheme in your living room or bedroom.
- paint your table and chairs.
- change rugs, throw pillows, cushions, and blankets
It can help to pack up significant reminders of the relationship, including gifts, photographs, or things you bought together. You don’t have to throw these things away. Just set the box aside where you won’t see it all the time. Down the road, you can take another look and decide what you want to keep.
Gather their belongings
If your partner left things behind, a respectful option is to box them up until any no-contact period has passed. Then, send a polite message letting them know you still have their belongings. Donate anything they intentionally left or said they didn’t want.
Mutual friends will probably want to know what happened after a breakup. It’s generally best to avoid getting into the details. They might get two very different stories, and gossip can become a problem in some situations.
If friends have heard an untrue version of what happened, you might want to share the truth. Try to avoid an emotionally charged response and offer the facts calmly, without saying anything negative about your ex-partner.
Keep in mind some friends may take sides. You can’t avoid this or force anyone to maintain the friendship. But you can avoid playing into gossip and drama by resisting the urge to say negative things about your ex.
Finally, it’s generally best to avoid asking friends for news of your ex-partner.
When working through a poly breakup, it’s important to consider how breaking up with one partner can affect your other relationships.
Be open about your emotions
Following a breakup with one partner, you might find yourself drawing closer, both physically and emotionally, to your other partners.
On the other hand, you might feel:
- hesitant about physical intimacy
- less interested in your usual activities
Your feelings and emotions are all valid, and compassionate partners will understand you’re dealing with a difficult situation. They’ll most likely want to offer support however they can. Just keep in mind that they might experience some emotional fallout from your breakup, too.
Keep them in the loop about what you’re feeling and try to communicate what you each need from each other during this transition.
Talk about next steps
As you adjust to having one less partner, you might want to talk with your current partners about:
- ways your relationship might temporarily change (for example, you might have less interest in physical intimacy at the moment)
- any new boundaries you (or they) want to set for your relationship
- how to handle situations where you might see your ex-partner
Take the high road
Again, avoid talking badly about your ex. This is especially important if one of your partners still has a relationship with your ex.
The exception? If your ex was abusive or put you in danger, it might be wise to let other partners know.
Breakups are often rough. Friends and family can offer support and help you feel less alone, but sometimes it’s just not enough.
Consider reaching out to a therapist, who can help you:
- identify unhealthy coping methods and replace them with more positive ones
- address and challenge persistent negative emotions
- deal with the effects of manipulation or abuse
- work on a plan for the future
If you’re wondering whether a breakup is a valid reason to get help, it definitely is. In fact, many therapists specialize in helping people work through breakup grief.
It’s especially important to reach out for help if you:
- feel depressed
- have thoughts of hurting yourself or others
- keep trying to contact your ex or think about contacting them often
Recovering from a breakup takes time — probably more than you’d like. But try to remember that things will get easier as time goes on. In the meantime, be gentle with yourself and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need support.
How to survive a breakup - Lifehacker
Why you feel bad from a scientific point of view
At the very beginning of a relationship, oxytocin and dopamine are produced in the brain. When a partner is nearby and everything is fine, the reward system turns on and a whole cocktail of hormones is released into the blood. And we think we are happy.
After parting, the reward system ceases to work, the body begins to break down. The stress hormones produced affect the immune, digestive, and cardiovascular systems. nine0005
The systems that are responsible for the perception of pain are also activated. That is why it seems to the brain that we are physically hurt, although in fact everything is in order with the body.
How to survive a breakup
Allow yourself to suffer
Yes, that's right. There is no need to artificially invigorate. I want to cry - cry. If you want to scream - scream (just don't forget about the neighbors who can hear you). Sing sad songs in the shower. Watch TV serials.
You will be told that everyone is breaking up and there is no need to make a tragedy out of it. Don't listen or try to hide the pain. No one knows what's in your heart but you. If it hurts, let it hurt. Cry until the tears run out, until you feel better, or at least until the devastation sets in. nine0005
Your strength will return, but it will take time. Each person has their own time.
Don't blame yourself
The decision to break up doesn't come overnight. And not even for a month. Most often, it is accompanied by a long process of reflection.
The reasons can be very different. But that doesn't mean you missed something somewhere. This means that both of you have long begun to lose contact.
Responsibility always lies with both, although not always equally. It is not necessary to calculate who is more to blame. Look to the future and don't repeat your mistakes. nine0005
Don't blame yourself. Yes, you could get irritated less often or demand less. But the partner could talk to you about it.
Do not try to return your partner
If it seems to you that there is nothing left in life and you need to return everything, stop. Fear speaks to you.
It's scary to be alone after a long relationship. And this is a completely normal reaction.
Do not give in to fear. Don't try to get your ex back with humiliated requests. Even if he returns, nothing good will come of such a relationship. nine0005
Get down to business
When the first sharp pain is over, go where you couldn't or didn't have time to go together. Watch movies that you liked but your ex didn't. Think about a hobby abandoned during a relationship.
Do things you would never do together. This will allow you to feel a freedom that was not there before.
In many cities dance, drawing, clay modeling, knitting or metal burning studios are now open. Trial lessons are often free. Why not try? In the worst case, you will lose an hour. At best, you will find a job that you love with all your heart. nine0005
Immediately after a breakup, many people lose weight because they can starve for days on end. But when the resources of the body are completely depleted, the appetite wakes up and the weight begins to grow.
At the same time, you want not just to eat, but to seize a bad mood with high-carbohydrate foods: pizza, ice cream, chocolate. If at the same time you move a little, the weight will grow even faster.
Therefore, you need to move, even if only minimally.
Make a list of good things
Do you think the world has faded and nothing good is left? This is not true. Your brain simply reacts to stress, and one day the black bar will end.
In the meantime, make a list of the good things you have. Work, friends, books, a collection of stamps or favorite cups, the taste of hot coffee in the morning, the smell of freshly cut grass, shopping - whatever brings you joy.
Add items to the list regularly, and when it gets really bad, re-read.
Change of scenery
If everything around reminds you of a former partner, you should think about changing the situation. Can't leave? Rearrange, buy new curtains or dishes. Changing the color scheme will help you tune in a different way. Experiment.
Read also 🏡
- 13 apps and services for interior design
- 11 ways to add color to the interior and not overdo it
- How to create a luxurious interior on a small budget
Chat with friends
You can talk to them, they will support you in difficult times. But do not forget about their feelings, ask before talking about the breakup. Perhaps at this very moment your friend is not ready to listen to you or ready, but not able to give advice. nine0005
You don't need to communicate with those people who will aggravate your emotional state with phrases like "I told you, it's my own fault." As soon as you find something that can bring you relief, and those people who will support you, immediately start using this resource.
And don't forget to listen and support your friends in return.
Do 5 Exercises
The exercises recommended by psychologist Daphne Rose Kingma in her book How to Get Over a Breakup will help you understand why things happened the way they did. The main thing is to take them only when the first pain subsides. Otherwise, they can make things worse. nine0005
You can print on the computer or take a separate notebook. The second option has an advantage: the paper can be symbolically torn or burned after the exercises are completed.
Do not do exercises in succession. Take on the next one when the emotions subside. Do not try to unsubscribe: this is not an essay that needs to be completed and handed in as soon as possible. No one but you will see what you write.
1. Return to the roots
Briefly tell us about your acquaintance, first date, the beginning of a stormy romance, the time when you just got together. Describe exactly what hopes you had for your ex-partner. nine0005
Now focus on the "evidence" - something that even then foreshadowed problems. It could be some physical or psychological trait.
2. Describe how your relationship developed
First of all, tell us about what happened in your life outside of the relationship. Describe your status at that time. Have you ever been single or have you dreamed of falling in love? Or maybe you were in a relationship with another person? What did you want to achieve? What to experience? nine0005
Describe what you could offer your partner and what he or she could offer you.
Now describe how and when the "evidence" appeared. What did you feel?
Imagine that a movie is being made about your relationship. What name would you give it? You can describe the poster and come up with a synopsis of the story.
Tell us the real reason for your breakup. Is this reason related to the task of developing you or your partner?
Daphne Rose Kingma
A few examples: “I outgrew my need for a mommy”, “I finally understood my strengths”, “We raised children”, “We were connected only by sex, it was not enough”.
3. Analyze the gap
Mentally return to the turning point. When did you realize that something inside clicked and hurt? If you were not the initiator of the gap, then this happened later. Describe your feelings at that moment.
Make a list of reasons why your relationship would still fail. nine0005
Write a poison letter to your ex. Freely express your repressed emotions in it, whether it be pain, rage or anger.
Now describe your feelings of guilt. You can self-flagellate as much as you like - the paper will endure everything.
Remember that there are two manifestations of guilt. The first has to do with self-flagellation. The second is a real confession of guilt for some actions. Remember the times when you manipulated, said nasty things, tried to make your ex-partner angry. nine0005
This is unpleasant, but it will help you recognize your shortcomings and get rid of them.
Now write a confession letter to your former partner. You do not need to show him or her what you have written - this is done only for you. Admitting mistakes frees you from guilt.
Finally, write a letter of forgiveness to yourself. You have done a great job and deserve forgiveness from the most important person in your life - yourself.
4. Describe all the good things that this relationship gave you
Try writing a thank you note to an ex or ex.
5. Reassess reality
Invent a new role for your ex.
Describe the task you are currently facing. What do you want from the future? How do you see your new partner?
Daphne Rose Kingma
Regardless of how people feel about their breakup, whether they understand that they are still in anguish and confusion, whether they are convinced that they will never be able to come to terms with a breakup, they all left after classes with the feeling that they managed to rise to a more conscious level of perception. nine0005
See a psychologist or psychotherapist
Pain after a breakup is normal. But if it doesn't go away, you may be depressed. If you do not eat all day or, on the contrary, overeat, if you are depressed and everything falls out of your hands, if you think slowly and do not move at all, it's time to think about a visit to a psychotherapist.
Read also 🙎♀️🙎♂️
- Why you should not be embarrassed to go to a psychotherapist
- How to choose a good psychotherapist and not be broke
- How to know when it's time to see a psychotherapist
Do's and Don'ts to get over a breakup
Don't look for casual sex
It probably won't help, and you'll feel even worse than before. The desire to have sex is generated by withdrawal. The brain lacks oxytocin, and so we look for someone to comfort us.
Not convinced? Then at least don't get drunk before a date. Alcohol is a depressant. So instead of an enchanting orgasm, you will only get resentment towards the former and a feeling of guilt, and the next morning you will also have a hangover. nine0005
And remember about contraception.
Do not bully or blackmail
Emotional blackmail is often used by the person who has been dumped. The goal is to make the former partner feel guilty and uncomfortable. If the former partner really feels guilty, then he will not answer and besiege you when necessary.
Why can't you do that? Because it's low.
Do not start a relationship immediately after a breakup
Some people try to forget their former partner in this way. Sometimes it works. Sometimes new relationships are strong. But more often than not, they only make things worse. The patch won't help when you need stitches. nine0005
Don't force mutual friends to take sides
Don't give ultimatums in the first place. People don't like it.
If your former partner was abusive, mistreated or violent, and your friends still associate with him and take his side, consider whether you need such friends.
Read also 👀
- 12 mistakes after a breakup that will turn your life into a nightmare
How to forget your ex-partner
Remove him from all social networks
After a breakup, some people begin to intensively monitor the social networks of their former passions. Someone - in the hope of seeing signs of an imminent return: "In the last photo, she is sad because she misses me." Someone - out of gloating: "How he got burned on vacation, now, I suppose, the skin is peeling off."
Your former partner has a different life now. And if you see posts about her in your feed, it can be hard for you. So clean up the tape. It will also be useful to delete all correspondence. nine0005
And don't give secret (as you think) signals about yourself. Do not post photos, statuses, quotes like "I'm hard to find and easy to lose" and so on. Realize that the more time and energy you spend on an ending relationship, the more you get stuck in it.
Return all things and gifts to him
Just so that nothing reminds him of the past. This is difficult if you have lived together for a long time and bought a lot together. But without reminders, you can get over the breakup faster. nine0005
If he or she doesn't want to take his things, give them to someone or throw them away. You can even break. There is a chance that it will become a little easier.
How to stay friends
You don't have to keep a good relationship if you don't want to. Even if you have several common children or apartments. Only you can decide how to proceed with your ex. Listen to yourself, not to others.
If you still decide to remain friends, that's fine. Let it be hard. nine0005
Respect each other
This is the most important thing. If you feel like saying something not very nice, try holding back.
Take a deep breath, or several if necessary. Think about why emotions have become so strong and why they are so difficult to contain. When you find the reason, it becomes easier.
When you're both ready, it's time to talk about the relationship and why it ended.
Keep your distance
As hard as it is, you are no longer together. We need to learn to find new boundaries in relationships with each other, and this takes time. nine0005
If a former partner feels guilty, he may try to help you as before. Do not encourage this and sit on his neck.
Remember that life does not end with relationships. And even if it seems that there is no gap, if you are tormented by guilt, do not despair. Once you lived without your partner, which means you can again.
Parting is the beginning of a new life. It gives you the opportunity to grow above yourself, become more conscious and happier.
Read also 🧐
- 16 tips for anyone in a relationship
- How to deal with the pain of a breakup: 9 tips
- 2 rules that will change your love life forever
- How to survive after a divorce: advice for women
How to survive a breakup - advice from a psychologist
- Two types of relationships
- Causes of neurotic love
- The Five Consequences of Breaking Up
- How to help yourself nine0075 How to get over a breakup
- Psychologist's advice
Healthy and neurotic relationships
Breaking up a relationship is always stressful and difficult to deal with. Moreover, a gap can occur both in healthy relationships and in neurotic ones. Breaking up a healthy relationship is easier. In such cases, the couple is usually in dialogue, this decision does not become a bolt from the blue. Most often, the decision to leave is made together, the partners are prepared for changes in life, everyone is confident in their abilities, expects the best from the future and is adapted to a new life. Of course, even if the decision was balanced, it takes time to emotionally, physically and from the everyday point of view to separate from the partner, to adjust to a new rhythm. And yet, in this case, all this is experienced as something that can be overcome and lived on. nine0005
Advertising on RBC www.adv.rbc.ru
The rupture of neurotic relationships is more difficult. In this case, within the union there was no practice of confidential communication, an open dialogue, where partners frankly express their will and desires. Often partners do not even really know each other, do not seek to understand the motives and feelings of a partner. If the breakup and separation come as a surprise, it is highly likely that it was a neurotic relationship.
In this situation, the one who did not make the decision to leave is going through a difficult and traumatic experience. This can exacerbate chronic psychological trauma, which will “finish off” a person already exhausted by a break. Fortunately, this experience can become a turning point in understanding yourself and your needs, pathological attitudes and broken schemes in the field of love (and not only) relationships.
Causes of neurotic relationships
Neurotic love, like toxic relationships, originates in childhood and reflects relationships with parents. For example, if a child suffered from the coldness of his parents, it is likely that in adulthood he will look for the same partner. His ideas about love and relationships are associated with detachment, so the colder the better. nine0005
Another example: it is not uncommon for depressed parents (or one of them) to instill guilt in the child. This happens automatically and sometimes without the parents realizing that the child is constantly suffering from the fact that he cannot make mom or dad happy. Such a child will look for a partner who is difficult to please.
Neurotic relationships differ from healthy ones in that, firstly, the partner “loves” through suffering, because, unfortunately, he has no experience of relationships in which everyone is satisfied and happy. He loves those who do not value him, repels and brings pain. Such relationships are based on the fact that a person revisits the cinema of the past over and over again: despite the fact that his partner is cold, nevertheless they are together, which means that it is similar to what happened to him in childhood - in his understanding, this and there is love that he associates with any kind of suffering, just not to be abandoned. nine0005
Therefore, when such a person is abandoned by a partner in adult life, the picture of his childhood, in which he was not noticed, did not share warmth with him and did not pay due attention, comes to life. The biggest fear of his childhood came true - he was abandoned after all. The suffering that arises in response is chronic trauma. They are so painful that they do not allow you to look at this situation differently and benefit from it, for example, recognize the previous relationship as destructive, draw conclusions and still find that person who will honestly love in return. nine0005
Defense reactions of the psyche
If the separation has led to the revival of old sores, the psychological defense mechanisms will be the first thing to stabilize the mental state.
“No, this will pass and we will be together again!” A person who uses denial will selflessly look for signs that he is right. For example, a woman can persuade herself that even though her partner left her, he did not leave for another, which means that he does not love anyone and will soon return back. nine0076
An abandoned partner can tell himself: “Nothing terrible happened, it will hurt and be forgotten. ” However, this pain can drag on for several years and become chronic. Those who manage to repress unpleasant experiences may not pay attention to internal discomfort and unhappiness, as they have become accustomed to this as their usual state.
This psychological defense mechanism can induce a person to tantrums - a primitive form of removing responsibility for what is happening. Or, on the contrary, regressing, a person can literally freeze: emotions, as well as will, appetite, desire to live, disappear. A depressive period may begin. nine0076
Well known to those who tend to overlook unpleasant experiences. By sublimating, a person can completely go into work or any other activity that helps to forget and not think about the traumatic event.
- Acute reactions, aggression towards others and self-aggression
If the tension in the psyche is great, it will look for a way out, for example, in the form of sharp reactions: aggressive attacks, a tough style of communication (for example, at work or driving), angry posts on social networks, frequent sexual contacts that carry a feeling of disappointment, leaving in alcohol and drugs. nine0076
All these mechanisms work unconsciously, that is, they manifest themselves not by the will and desire of a person, but automatically. The mind may say that drinking is bad, but the suffering can be so unbearable that any method that allows you to slightly raise the pain threshold becomes suitable.
There is another defense that is at the level of consciousness, which can be controlled and used at the right time. This is the so-called psychological compensation , which is expressed in adaptive behavior. For example, in order not to meet with the former, they block him in the phone book, social networks, and avoid meeting. There is also a reverse situation: in order to better navigate what is happening and get the most complete picture, a recent partner is placed in the field of view. Behind this, there may be a desire to clarify everything to the smallest detail and once again make sure that "this is really happening."
Whatever type of defense works, you need to remember that this is a natural reaction to severe stress and any psychological defense performs an important function - to protect the psyche from destruction. It is important that after the defense stage, the mourning phase begins, when the fact that everything is over and you can mourn your pain is recognized - this is a natural process when working through the loss of a relationship with a loved one. nine0005
© Ben Blennerhassett/Unsplash
Breaking up a relationship is a big mental burden. We don’t just say “heart breaks” or “soul hurts” - the body is actually going through a serious psycho-physiological stress. The cardiovascular system, digestion, hormones, sleep and ability to rest, the natural rhythm of day and night, all come under attack.
During difficult changes in life, it is very important to remember that you are in an unusual state for yourself, and, if possible, help yourself: eat fully, get enough sleep, do exercises to relieve stress, eat those foods that give strength and do not burden the body . nine0005
How to tell a healthy relationship from a toxic one: 5 red flags
It's fair to say that not all stages of stress can be done at all. Sometimes lying flat and staring at the wall is the best thing you can do to help yourself. Take care of yourself whenever possible - take time off from work and order take-out instead of cooking. Try to prepare for yourself the space and time where you can fully surrender to your experiences.
In order for the process of loss to proceed without complications and to end, it is very important to honestly go through all its stages. After the first wave of shock subsides, the stage of aggression begins, interspersed with rationalization - the desire to talk to the partner again and again and thus improve the state of affairs (the so-called bargaining stage). These steps can take varying amounts of time and, unfortunately, it is not possible to predict their duration.
One of the last stages is depression - not so acute, but a stable condition. It is easy to recognize it by a breakdown, dulled feelings and reactions, inability to enjoy, sleep and appetite disorders. Despite the difficult course, this is a very important period that prepares us for the final resolution of the situation - the stage of acceptance and the end of mourning. nine0005
Unfortunately, there are no recipes for shortening the most painful stage, but to ease the condition, allow yourself to do whatever you want. If you want to leave - try to do it, if you want to lock yourself in the apartment - try to take sick leave. Do not neglect the help of others, but set the limits of what is permitted: tell your family and friends how they can be useful to you and how closely you are ready to communicate now. Ask not to discuss certain topics with you, not to arrange surprises for you to “stir up” and so on. Openly tell them what you need: from domestic to emotional needs. Your sincerity will help set up communication with friends and relatives, who, unfortunately, do not always know how to behave correctly in such situations. nine0005
© Jorge Flores/Unsplash
How to survive a breakup with a loved one
Disrupted communication is one of the main reasons that partners move away from each other and cease to adequately assess the state of affairs. To prevent this, pay attention to whether there is a reticence between you and your partner, silence of any feelings or facts, or maybe someone in your couple expects his thoughts to be read, and thus avoids responsibility ? Silence, ignorance, as well as references to social standards and generalizations ("You're a man!" or "A wife should...") destroy trust and intimacy. Features of your unique relationship can be replaced by “life principles” and public opinion about how everything “should be”, which prevents you from following a special scenario that is suitable for your couple. nine0005
How and why to repair broken relationships
Properly built communication depends not only on the degree of closeness and honesty to each other (and to oneself), but also the style of conflict resolution. Family therapy is based on this idea: starting it, partners learn safe ways to express their desires, suffering, fears, learn to enter into conflict and resolve it. The therapist, as a referee, observes the dialogue, leads both partners to ensure that they get the result and satisfaction from the interaction. nine0005
If you feel that you no longer have the strength to explain what is happening between you, take a few sessions of couples therapy . It will quickly become clear whether you need to continue working on the relationship or whether to stop it. It is important to remember that the therapist does not choose sides and will not support the game of one of the partners to the detriment of the other. The therapist acts as an interpreter between two people who, for some reason, began to speak different languages. nine0005
How to avoid a destructive scenario in the future - advice from a psychologist needed.
Neurotic or toxic relationships are different in that they are used to reduce the degree of personal neuroses and work off personal problems. If both partners coincided in neuroses, the union can be stable and strong. For example, someone for whom it is important to exercise control in relation to the closest person meets someone who gladly accepts this control due to their own childhood traumas. nine0005
Another case is when one of the partners does not need to work out the pathological scenario and still meets a less stable person and serves as a constant source of relaxation and recharging for him. Then a person who becomes a testing ground for working off a neurosis will most likely want to give up relationships that drain him.
Other roles we play in relationships can be learned from transactional analysis . The main idea of this method is that each of us in different life situations takes the position of a child, parent or adult. Knowing your patterns of behavior, you can adjust the attitudes and inadequate expectations from the relationship. This is important, since a full-fledged and multifaceted strong union is possible when two "adults" meet who know their needs, boundaries and their weaknesses. Knowing these weaknesses allows you not to provoke situations where they can manifest themselves to the detriment of the couple. nine0005
All this may seem rather complicated, but in reality, in order to have a healthy and strong relationship, it is not at all necessary to store a store of knowledge in theoretical psychology.