Feel sick after breakup

You Asked: Can a Break Up Make You Sick?

Love hurts, but a breakup can be agony—even beyond the emotional pain. If you’ve gone through a highly emotional split, researchers say your immune system can take a significant hit.

“Breaking up with a partner leaves people feeling blue and lonely, even when it’s something they wanted,” says Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, a professor of psychiatry and director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State University. “Time heals wounds, and people recover, but the time course for recovery is related to how much a person continues to be preoccupied with thoughts of their former partner.”

In her research, Kiecolt-Glaser has found this preoccupation with a lost love can take the form of pining or rage, but in either case, those thoughts are linked with feelings of loneliness, depression and—believe it or not—poorer immune function.

Stress hormones are a likely culprit.

Your immune system’s cells contain receptors that react to many different hormones, including some related to stress, depression and other breakup-induced emotional responses, she explains. If the fallout from a breakup keeps your stress hormones elevated for weeks or even months, that can lead to inflammation—as well as shifts in your gut microbiome—that could in turn lower your body’s defenses against illness-causing pathogens. Those shifts may also exacerbate feelings of pain associated with existing conditions like arthritis.

“The key issue is psychological stress,” says David Sbarra, a professor of psychology at the University of Arizona. The greater your anguish after a split and the longer that feeling persists, the bigger the hit your immune system is likely to take, he says.

His research indicates that, after months or years of coupledom, you and your partner can become deeply, even biologically linked. Your brain and body become so accustomed to having your partner around that once that person is absent, your sleep, appetite and even temperature regulation can be thrown out of whack. Like a planet unmoored from its star, your post-breakup self can feel out-of-orbit and adrift in space.

On the other hand, for those who feel relieved or happy after ending a relationship, there’s unlikely to be a negative effect on immune function, Sbarra adds.

To protect yourself from all of these breakup-inflicted wounds, try getting out of your own head and into social situations that connect you with close friends or family. Sbarra says people who spend more time with others, socialize more and who have more substantive conversations with loved ones are less likely to suffer an immune-system hit.

MORE: This Is The Meanest Reasons To Break Up With Someone

“Having good interpersonal support in other relationships is particularly important following a breakup or divorce,” says Kiecolt-Glazer. “Social support is important for health and immune function at any time, but it assumes even greater importance when one’s partner is gone.”

Eating a healthy diet, exercising and avoiding alcohol are also likely to boost your immune system and may help you stay well after a split.

Rediscovering your sense of self—that is, getting back to the stuff that defined you before your relationship—also seems to help, says Grace Larson, a researcher and graduate student in psychology at Northwestern University who, along with Sbarra, authored a 2015 study on breakups and emotional recovery.

That rediscovery starts with something as simple as changing the way you think and talk about yourself and your ex. Larson says that using terms like “we” and “us”—rather than singular pronouns like “he” and “I” or “her” and “me”—is associated with longer-lasting pain.

She also recommends taking up the activities that thrilled you before you got together with your former mate. If you used to sing karaoke, cook seafood or complete triathlons before you met your ex, get back into those activities. “In our study, people who strongly agreed with statements like, ‘I have become re-acquainted with the person I was before the relationship,’ tended to also feel less lonely and to have fewer upsetting thoughts about their breakup,” she says.

Ending a close relationship is rough, and it’s normal to need time to grieve and reflect. But the sooner you can get back on your feet, back out with your friends and back in touch with the person you were before your ex, the sooner your immune system will return to full power.

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6 women share how they became sick after a breakup, plus experts advice on this phenomenon

Sick woman. (Photo: Getty/Gallo images)

When she and her husband separated recently after four years of married life, she suddenly began waking up at night with a pounding heart, fighting for breath.

Her chest and lower back were constantly sore, Louise (27) of Witbank says. “I’m now so tense anything gives me a fright.”

Many of us know the feeling. You’ve broken up with someone recently and it feels as if your world’s falling apart.

First it’s only the heartache, but the pain soon spreads. Your chest grows tight, your head aches. Can you really become ill from a broken heart, or is it all psychosomatic?

A few YOU readers tell how their health suffered after a love disappointment.

Tracy* (61), Bellville: “We broke up six months ago. I was very tense, my hair fell out in clumps, I lost a lot of weight, developed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), became depressed and generally very ill. I had to be treated by a doctor and a counsellor. I’m struggling to become human again.”

Tasneem* (53), Johannesburg: “Last month I broke up with my boyfriend of a year. I experienced panic attacks and insomnia and began eating a ridiculous amount.”

Bonang* (38), Vanderbijlpark: “I had terrible stomach ache, hair loss, weight loss and loss of appetite. I lay awake at night and was nauseous when I tried to eat.”

Elana (22), Cape Town: “My boyfriend and I broke up after two-and-a-half years together. I felt physically ill, trembled constantly and cried for days on end. I became nauseous as soon as I tried to eat.” Magenta (19), Theunissen: “When my fiancé left me for another woman, I lost the twins I was expecting. I didn’t know I was pregnant, but now every baby reminds me of my ex. I can’t sleep and have had stomach ulcers more than four times.”

Carina (27), Roodepoort: “My ex left me in December for another woman five weeks before our wedding. I was nauseous every morning and had terrible heartburn. I had no appetite, but the worst was I had diarrhoea for almost two weeks. I also got pimples in the weirdest places.”

Experts say these complaints are anything but imagined. The stress hormones secreted by the body during a traumatic experience, such as the ending of a relationship, can have a highly detrimental effect on your body.

What the experts say:

Physical symptoms can occur as the end of a relationship is a traumatic experience and can cause extreme stress, explains Dr Ingrid Artus, a counselling psychologist of Roodepoort.She says research findings show in the wake of trauma such as the end of a relationship negative emotions are often stored in your bodily or somatic memory before they lodge in your verbal memory. Only once you’ve processed the trauma are you able to shake off the negative emotions and physical symptoms.

It follows, Dr Artus says, that the best treatment for people who become ill after a break-up is approaching the problem from a medical and psychological perspective.

Pretoria counsellor Therese du Plooy confirms your thinking and the things you brood about for a long time will later affect your body. “The more we think about a particular event or person, especially where there are strong emotions involved, the more we reinforce those memories. Our thoughts trigger a direct physical reaction in the body, with various hormones being released.”

In her experience as a social worker, “people who suppress emotions instead of processing them are more inclined to develop physical symptoms”.

Possible symptoms

Sleep High cortisol levels after a break-up can keep you awake at night, and lack of sleep can in turn increase your stress levels. The thoughts that go through your mind, and the fact you have to adjust to no longer sleeping beside a partner, can also keep you awake.

Stress, anxiety and depression When you break up with a partner your body registers similar trauma to when someone close to you dies.

You experience shock, denial, grief, anger, guilt feelings, hopelessness and fear. The general symptoms of anxiety include muscle spasms, headaches, nausea, sweating and impaired judgment.

If you had a pre-existing anxiety problem, a break-up could make it worse. Research conducted by the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, America, also shows the break-up of a romantic relationship is more likely to result in full-scale depression than the death of a loved one.

Weight loss and gain, loss of appetite and emotional bingeing Many people struggle to eat normally again after a break-up. Stress triggers the release of a lot of adrenaline and cortisol, which suppresses the appetite and causes people to lose weight initially. In the long term, increased stress levels can lead to weight gain, especially around your middle.

Of course stress can also cause people to binge because it increases their craving for junk food which contains a lot of fat, sugar and salt. Weight gain further increases your cortisol and blood-sugar levels and can lead to loss of muscle mass, high blood pressure and loss of calcium in your bones.

Identity crisis We don’t refer to our partner as our “other half” for nothing. Recent studies at Northwestern University in Illinois, US, found when a relationship ends the former partners both struggle to understand their place in the world again. Because so much free time and energy are invested in a relationship, and partners often share friends and interests, your image of yourself is to an extent formed by your partner and your identity is dependent on them.

Weakened immunity When the body experiences stress, cortisol levels – which cause the fight-or-flight reflex to kick in – rise. Research has shown if cortisol remains in the blood for long periods it can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to disease.

Stomach complaints Acute stress can badly upset your stomach and if it persists can lead to problems such as heartburn, poor digestion and irritable bowel syndrome. Stress diverts blood flow from the digestive system, which can lead to stomach pain, diarrhoea or constipation. 

How to move on

Here’s practical advice from Cape Town motivational speaker and life coach Godfrey Madanhire:

  • Remove or block your ex’s number on your cellphone, otherwise you’ll constantly be tempted to contact them.
  • Remove all conversations with and photos of them from your cellphone to avoid being constantly reminded of the good times you had together.
  • Avoid contact with your ex’s friends.
  • Avoid places that were special to you or which you visited regularly, such as your favourite restaurant.
  • Don’t constantly look them up on social media – even if you use a false profile. S Don’t talk about your broken heart on social media. Avoid the topic altogether.
  • Don’t listen to their favourite songs or artists or watch their favourite TV programmes or movies.
  • Don’t listen to emotional music such as Adele’s Someone Like You, Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me a River or Sam Smith’s Stay With Me. It will only upset you more.
  • Focus all your energy on other positive things such as your career.
  • Go to the gym. Exercise, get fit, keep healthy, shed any excess weight and appreciate yourself more. Doing so will boost your self-confidence and self-esteem and that will convince you that you deserve better.
  • Don’t replace your ex too quickly. It will only lead to more frustration and you’ll never really process the pain.
  • Read inspiring material and avoid romantic books like the plague. It’s definitely not the time to give Fifty Shades Of Grey a whirl.

* Not their real names

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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.

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 this. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Get moving

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.

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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.

Sophia Enikeeva

psychologist, coach

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.

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.

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?

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

psychologist, writer

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.

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.

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

psychologist, writer

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

Sofia Enikeeva

psychologist, coach

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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  • How to deal with the pain of a breakup: 9 tips
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  • How to survive after a divorce: advice for women

How to improve life after parting with a loved one.

Anna Sokolova

broke up and is happy

Author profile

The end of a relationship always causes unpleasant feelings.

Disappointment, guilt, loneliness, fear of repeating the same scenario with a new person - these feelings cannot be avoided. But you can reduce their intensity, make the separation less painful and, perhaps, come to terms with it a little faster. We tell you how to do it.

What breakups lead to

Couples break up quite often. For 924 thousand marriages in 2021 in Russia, there were 644 thousand divorces. There are no statistics on the breakdown of officially unregistered romantic relationships, but American researchers tried to calculate how often adult unmarried people break up. It turned out that 36.5% of group members aged 18 to 35 experienced one or more breakups within 20 months.

As a rule, the breakup of a romantic relationship causes the strongest emotions. Some researchers even compare it in terms of the level of emotions with grieving over the death of a loved one: in both cases, we lose someone who was an important part of our life. Even if the relationship was not cloudless, we can still feel guilty towards a partner and anxiety about our future without him.

“Romantic Breakups, Heartbreak, and Bereavement,” PsychologyPDF, 122KB

The stress of a breakup, in turn, often leads to health problems. It is not uncommon for newly separated people to experience sleep problems, emotional instability, temporary eating disorders, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems. In some cases, separation can lead to depression.

Against the backdrop of severe experiences, the rather rare disease "broken heart syndrome" can also occur, which accounts for approximately 2% of hospitalizations for heart attacks. The main symptoms are the same as those of a heart attack: severe chest pain, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing. The only difference is that with a heart attack, a blood clot blocks the blood flow, and with a broken heart syndrome, the heart muscle itself stops contracting normally. A person in this condition needs medical attention. If it is provided on time, the patient's condition usually improves within a few days. Death from broken heart syndrome is extremely rare.

Broken Heart Syndrome - Mayo Clinic

It takes an average of three months to recover emotionally and physically after a romantic breakup. This period was set in 2007 by scientists from the American University of Monmouth, who interviewed 166 students who had experienced at least one breakup over the past six months. It takes about a year and a half to survive a divorce, according to another study. Here are some tips to help you recover faster.

Advice #1

Take a break

Constantly thinking about broken relationships doesn't help you get over a breakup. In one experiment, scientists asked people going through a breakup to think negatively about their ex, lovingly, or distracted by something else. Negative thoughts reduced the degree of infatuation, but also made the participants feel worse. Romantic thoughts did not affect the degree of falling in love and also worsened the mood. At the same time, switching attention to another object that was not related to relationships improved the emotional state without changing the attitude towards the former partner.

Things to keep you distracted include reading, exercising, watching your favorite movie or TV series, and cooking delicious food. It’s good to sign up for a massage, buy something new, says University of Alberta psychologist Kim Merz. And also communicate with friends and participate in various events, go to master classes, go hiking, try new things. Social immersion improves quality of life and emotional state: according to research, people who rarely meet with friends are more likely to be dissatisfied with life.

10 Ways to Feel Better Quickly

Don't go bar-hopping or getting caught up in business. It is better to give yourself a little break from work or study.

Tip #2

You can be friends with your ex. But only if you feel like it

Psychologist Ashera Deroza advises after a breakup to at least briefly end relations with a former partner and spend some time apart from each other: “Attempt to immediately become friends can be painful - friendship between former partners is possible, but only after both have gotten over the breakup and are ready to move on.” This friendship should be built solely on the principles of equality, and it is worth agreeing to it only if there is no doubt that such friendship will not harm your psychological state.

If you notice that your ex-partner begins to manipulate you, constantly asks you to do something for him or help in some way, while not paying attention to your needs and interests, end the relationship with him as soon as possible. The fact is that often former partners offer to remain friends for selfish reasons. So, Rebecca Griffith, a professor of psychology at the University of Kansas, using a survey, found out that most often people tend to maintain friendship with former people for the following reasons:

  1. For a sense of security. Example of internal argumentation: "I don't want to lose your support."
  2. Out of courtesy. "I want to make amends for the pain."
  3. For practical reasons. "We work together, we can do without drama."
  4. Due to unfulfilled sexual desires. "I want to date others, but keep you around just in case."

How to be a good friend: 8 simple methods

Griffith believes that friendship for the sake of safety leads to the least damage to the partner to whom it is imposed. And to the most unpleasant consequences - friendship due to unfulfilled desires. It negatively affects the emotional state. Often it does not allow both partners to build full-fledged relationships with others.

A special case is couples with children who decide to separate. They may need to maintain good relations with each other, at least in order to reduce stress in children. But it is not necessary to remain friends in this case, psychologists say. It is enough if both partners communicate respectfully and kindly with each other, refrain from mutual accusations, not make scandals in front of children, and constructively solve problems that occur in the process of their upbringing. If there are difficulties with this, it makes sense to contact a family psychologist for advice.

Advice No. 3

Analyze ended relationships

Before starting a new stage of life, it is useful to analyze and rework past experiences. You can think about how a recently ended romantic relationship affected you, how it began and how it ended, what they suited you for, and what you would not like to return to in the future. In this way, you can better understand yourself, understand how you would like to interact with your next romantic partner, and what you expect from him.

Renew Breakup Bootcamp founder Amy Chan asks clients to write a breakup story the way they would tell a friend to help clients get over a breakup. Then they evaluate this story together and highlight cognitive distortions. For example, black and white thinking is the desire to perceive everything that happens in life in an extremely negative or extremely positive light, not distinguishing halftones. Or overgeneralization - the habit of making global conclusions based on single random facts.


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You can also look for your cognitive distortions on your own:

To do this, take a sheet of paper and describe your relationship with all its ups and downs in as much detail as possible. Take your time and move at a pace that is comfortable for you: it's okay if this work takes you several days or weeks.

When you are ready, reread what you have written, dwelling on difficult moments and conflict situations. Try to find the reasons for your behavior in them by asking yourself questions: why did I do this or that? What made me think so and why I am sure that I am right. And then analyze whether it was possible to do otherwise and what was needed for this.

An important rule: in the process, try to remain objective and not fall into self-abasement. You can admit that in a relationship you tried to control the other or, due to your own internal problems, misunderstood him. But don't just call yourself a loser, a monster, or an uncorrectable egoist.

After that, try to rewrite the history of the relationship again, taking into account what you understood in the process of analyzing your behavior. Amy Chan is sure that this will help to figure out what went wrong and how it can be avoided in the future.

Advice #4

Say goodbye

“Like a beautiful funeral that can soothe sadness, a well-thought-out farewell to your partner helps you get over the breakup and move on with your life,” writes psychotherapist Ilse Sand in her book Missing You. about breakups.

10 cognitive distortions that interfere with life

Sand advises to say goodbye and forgive like this:

  1. Find a reason to be grateful and say "thank you" to your partner. He, too, can thank you in return for something good.
  2. When there is no energy to meet, you can write a farewell letter or come up with your own ritual that will allow you to draw a line under the relationship.
  3. Try to forgive your partner, even if you still feel angry. “Without forgiveness, memories of a partner can make you feel uncomfortable, even if you don’t see each other at all,” writes Sand.
  4. Don't try to squeeze out an apology if the person isn't ready to give it to you. Some people do not know how to admit guilt and ask for forgiveness - it is worth accepting this fact.
  5. If you yourself are asking for forgiveness, find out if there is anything you can do to make things right and if you can help your partner remember something good from your relationship.
  6. To find the strength in yourself to forgive, you can also imagine your partner as a child and show sympathy for him. But Sand warns that this method is only appropriate in relatively normal relationships. If a partner has shown violence and behaved inappropriately, it is important to protect yourself and stop any communication.

Advice No. 5

Don't start a new relationship right away

Psychologists call a new relationship created just to forget the old one a rebound relationship. Often they do not last too long and serve only as a way to avoid unpleasant experiences.

According to American psychologists, such relationships are more often entered into by men and people who have experienced adultery, regardless of gender: with the help of new romantic partners, they try to increase their self-esteem. This usually does not lead to anything good, and, as a rule, restorative relationships end quickly.

The best tactic is to have a "date with yourself" from time to time: spend the evening in a beautiful place, go to a concert, cook a delicious dinner. This will allow you to return the soil under your feet and feel that romantic relationships are not necessary for happiness. “The paradox of loneliness and an independent, independent life is that you start meeting the same self-sufficient people. You have more resources, you get to know each other, you travel somewhere, and you have a lot of fun,” writes psychologist Susan Elliott in her book The Gap. Only after establishing a relationship with yourself, you can move on to dating new people.


Why is the "Tinder swindler" not ashamed? Discussing a movie with a psychologist

Things to think about before getting Tinder back on:

  1. Can you live alone and be happy? Self-sufficiency will allow you not to pounce on the first match as the last chance.
  2. Which partners attract you? Maybe by inertia you are drawn to people of the type with whom nothing worked out for you.
  3. Are you ready to enjoy communicating with a person without thinking whether you can build a relationship with him or not? Many perceive dating as a boring routine or exam, and here it is important to be relaxed and interested in conversation.

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