What fixes a broken heart

How to Heal a Broken Heart: 10 Tips

Dana Bottari, LCSW, a psychotherapist based in Florida, says that at the start of a relationship, our thoughts tend to be happy and uplifting. “We may have felt good about ourselves — thoughts about the time our ex commented that we were beautiful or handsome or how much they loved us,” she says.

However, when the relationship ends, your thoughts may be mixed. “We have the positive messages that were given by our ex, combined with perhaps our own judgmental thoughts that we are not good enough or thoughts that things never work out for us,” explains Bottari.

Thoughts affect feelings, and feelings affect actions, she says. When you’re feeling down, you may engage in behaviors you typically don’t. For example, you may skip showering or avoid getting together with friends and family. “We may now feel more alone than ever,” Bottari says.

Gina Moffa, LCSW, a psychotherapist based in New York City, adds that the details and circumstances of a breakup determine how you feel.

“If you feel you’re leaving someone in a painful place after you end it, you may be ridden with guilt and sadness. If you’re the one who’s been broken up with, you may be in a state of shock and go through different phases of grief, including anger, bargaining, depression, and anxiety,” explains Moffa.

As you cope with the loss of a relationship, these tips may help you on your journey to healing.


Take time to grieve

If possible, try to think of the loss of the relationship as a grieving process.

“Give yourself time. Do not try to find someone new right away,” says Bottari. “The best thing we can do is to try to honor our emotions and not judge our emotions.”

To validate your emotions, it may help you to reframe your thoughts. Instead of thinking, “I shouldn’t feel so sad,” Bottari recommends thinking, “I am experiencing feelings of sadness, and that’s OK.”

While some people take time to be alone, look inward, or see a therapist to work through the complicated emotions of a breakup, others may suppress painful feelings and jump into another relationship. “I don’t recommend that. We need time to heal what’s been shattered,” says Moffa.

“We need time to look within and take inventory of what patterns we may have taken into the relationship with us that no longer work. We need to tend to our wounded hearts and take the time to allow the healing to happen with time, care, gentleness, and deeper self-understanding,” she says.


Find a new source of joy

When you make time for self-inquiry and self-reconnection, Moffa says that this can lead to connection with what may have once brought you peace, joy, or inspiration but was put on hold during your relationship.

“We may be more open to saying ‘yes’ to new things, people, and experiences as a way to explore a newfound sense of freedom, even if it hurts,” she says.

Bottari suggests pushing yourself to do things, even when you don’t feel like it. “Chances are, even after meeting a friend for lunch, you arrive home feeling better than had you stayed home,” she says.


Make a list of what you like about yourself

When you are feeling low about yourself, consider making a list of all the good things you did for your past partner or all the qualities they liked about you — and the qualities you like about yourself.

For example, you might write a self-love list like this:

  • I made him coffee in the morning.
  • I picked her up from the train station when it rained.
  • I put on her favorite song when she was sad.
  • I reminded him about his dad’s birthday.

You may also find it helpful to write out a list of positive things you’ll do in future relationships.

If you’d rather not think about relationships, Bottari suggests searching the internet for self-affirmations that resonate with you, such as:

  • I am not my mistakes.
  • I am enough.
  • There is no wrong decision.

“Recite these when you are having negative or self-defeating thoughts,” Bottari says.


Acknowledge thoughts about your former partner

When thoughts of your ex arise, try not to stop or block them. Instead, Bottari says, practice being a “witness” to these thoughts. When the thoughts come up, take a step back and acknowledge them.

“You know you are experiencing them; they are passing through your mind. You observe them. You practice observing and letting them go,” she explains.

“The minute you pay attention to one and label it as something ‘important,’ you are no longer witnessing them. You are now judging them. Judging brings more negative emotions since your expectations were not met.”


Express your needs to others

If you’re not feeling up to meeting friends out or are having a hard time following through on commitments, try to share your feelings with others.

“Try to reconsider your needs at this time and let others know what you are dealing with,” says Bottari. “Many people have felt the same way and will understand that you might need some time to return to your normal state.


Turn your attention toward others

When the pain of a breakup is too hard to bear, you may find that focusing on the needs of others can help bring feelings of wellbeing and distract you from focusing on yourself, explains Bottari.

Consider volunteering at a local soup kitchen or animal shelter, helping a friend in need with meals or cleaning, or cutting a neighbor’s grass.


Allow emotions to flow

You may find it helpful to talk to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist about emotions related to your breakup or ex-partner.

If you’re not comfortable sharing all of your feelings, consider writing them down or meditating on them. You can also engage in another project, such as painting, that may help you release what’s on your mind.


Find relief in exercise and movement

Research shows that exercise can reduce stress. “Use exercise as a healthy outlet to manage feelings of anxiety, sadness, lethargy, and stress,” Bottari says.

A daily walk, bike ride, or online workout video are ways to work exercise into your daily routine when you’re feeling sad or stressed about the breakup.


Avoid activities that remind you of your ex

If you continue to feel overwhelmed by unwanted thoughts and emotions, consider staying away from places, music, and people who remind you of your ex for a little while.

“Try to go places that make you feel safe. Surround yourself with people that care about you. Go places that you have never been. Take a day trip and explore,” suggests Bottari.


Make meaning of the breakup

If possible, try to make meaning of the relationship ending, or accept that there’s no meaning to why it ended.

“Over time, you may come to realize that the end of your relationship was ultimately in your best interest. However, it is possible that you might not be able to find any positive in the relationship ending. Both are valid conclusions. Try to have faith and keep moving forward,” says Bottari.

A breakup can leave you feeling sad and alone, no matter who made the decision to split up. Cycling through a variety of feelings after a breakup is normal, especially if it was unexpected.

“We forget that we are meant to grow and change and learn. That doesn’t always happen at the same time or in the same way in a relationship,” says Moffa.

“Sometimes, one person changes and the other doesn’t. So, be gentle with yourself. You’re changing and growing and healing. We can’t do that all by force.”

Remember, it’s OK to not feel OK for a while. Give yourself time to process the loss of the relationship and practice self-compassion.

32 Tips for Moving Forward

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Heartbreak is a universal experience that comes with intense emotional anguish and distress.

While many people associate a broken heart with the end of a romantic relationship, therapist Jenna Palumbo, LCPC, emphasizes that “grief is complicated.” The death of a loved one, job loss, changing careers, losing a close friend — all of these can leave you brokenhearted and feeling like your world will never be the same.

There’s no way around it: healing a broken heart takes time. But there are things you can do to support yourself through the healing process and protect your emotional wellbeing.

It’s essential to look after your own needs after heartbreak, even if you don’t always feel like it.

Give yourself permission to grieve

Grief is not the same for everyone, says Palumbo, and the best thing you can do for yourself is to give yourself permission to feel all of your sadness, anger, loneliness, or guilt.

“Sometimes by doing that, you unconsciously give those around you permission to feel their own grief, too, and you won’t feel like you’re alone in it anymore. ” You just might find that a friend’s gone through similar pain and has some pointers for you.

Take care of yourself

When you’re in the midst of heartbreak, it’s easy to forget to take care of your personal needs. But grieving isn’t just an emotional experience, it also depletes you physically. Indeed, research has shown that physical and emotional pain travel along the same pathways in the brain.

Deep breathing, meditation, and exercise can be great ways to preserve your energy. But don’t beat yourself up over it, either. Simply making an effort to eat and stay hydrated can go a long way. Take it slow, one day at a time.

Lead the way in letting people know what you need

Everyone copes with loss in their own way, says Kristen Carpenter, PhD, a psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

She advises being clear about whether you prefer to grieve privately, with the support of close friends or with a wide circle of people accessible through social networks.

Getting your needs out there will save you from trying to think of something in the moment, says Carpenter, and will allow someone who wants to be supportive to help you and make your life easier by checking something off your list.

Write down what you need (aka the ‘notecard method’)

How it works:

  • Sit down and make a list of what you need, including needs for tangible and emotional support. This could involve mowing the grass, grocery shopping, or simply talking on the phone.
  • Get a stack of notecards and write down one item on each card.
  • When people ask how they can help, hand them a note card or have them choose something they feel they can do. This relieves the pressure to articulate your needs on the spot when someone asks.

Go outdoors

Research has found that spending just 2 hours a week outdoors can improve your mental and physical health. If you can get out to some beautiful scenery, great. But even regular walks around the neighborhood can help.

Read self-help books and listen to podcasts

Knowing that others have gone through similar experiences and come out on the other side can may help you feel less alone.

Reading a book (we’ve got some recommendations later in this article) or listening to a podcast about your particular loss can also provide you with validation and be a supportive way for you to process your emotions.

Try a feel-good activity

Set aside time every day for doing something that feels positive, whether that’s journaling, meeting up with a close friend, or watching a show that makes you laugh.

Scheduling in moments that bring you joy is vital for healing a broken heart.

Seek professional help

It’s important to talk about your feelings with others and not numb yourself out. This is easier said than done, and it’s totally normal to need some extra help.

If you find that your grief is too much to bear on your own, a mental health professional can help you work through painful emotions. Even just two or three sessions can help you develop some new coping tools.

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After giving yourself some space to grieve and tending to your needs, start looking toward creating new routines and habits that can help you continue to process your loss.

Don’t try to suppress the pain

“Don’t waste energy on feeling ashamed or guilty about your feelings,” says Carpenter. Instead, “invest that energy in making concrete efforts to feel better and to heal.”

Consider giving yourself 10 to 15 minutes each day to acknowledge and feel your sadness. By giving it some dedicated attention, you may find it popping up less and less throughout your day.

Practice self-compassion

Self-compassion involves treating yourself with love and respect while not judging yourself.

Think of how you would treat a close friend or family member going through a hard time. What would you say to them? What would you offer them? How would you show them you care? Take your answers and apply them to yourself.

Create space in your schedule

When you are going through a difficult time, it can be easy to distract yourself with activities. While this can be helpful, make sure you’re still leaving yourself some space to process your feelings and have some down time.

Foster new traditions

If you’ve ended a relationship or lost a loved one, you may feel like you’ve lost a lifetime of traditions and rituals. Holidays can be particularly hard.

Allow friends and family to help you create new traditions and memories. Don’t hesitate to reach out for some extra support during major holidays.

Write it down

Once you’ve had some time to sit with your feelings, journaling can help you better organize them and give you a chance to unload any emotions that might be hard to share with others.

Here’s a guide to get you started.

Find a support system

Regularly attending or engaging in in-person or online support groups can provide a safe environment to help you cope. It’s also healing to share your feelings and challenges with those in similar situations.

Connect with yourself

Going through a big loss or change can leave you feeling a little unsure of yourself and who you are. You can do this by connecting to your body through exercise, spending time in nature, or connecting with your spiritual and philosophical beliefs.

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As you navigate the process of healing a broken heart, it’s helpful to have realistic expectations about the process. From pop songs to rom-coms, society can give a warped view of what heartbreak actually entails.

Here are a few things to keep in the back of your mind.

Your experience is valid

The death of a loved one is the more overt form of grief, Palumbo explains, but covert grief can look like the loss of a friendship or relationship. Or maybe you’re starting a new phase of your life by changing careers or becoming an empty nester.

Whatever it is, it’s important to validate your grief. This simply means recognizing the impact it’s had on your life.

It’s not a competition

It’s natural to compare your situation to that of others, but heartbreak and grieving aren’t a competition.

Just because it’s the loss of a friendship and not the death of a friend doesn’t mean the process isn’t the same, says Palumbo. “You’re relearning how to live in a world without an important relationship you once had.”

There’s no expiration date

Grief is not the same for everyone and it has no timetable. Avoid statements like “I should be moving on by now,” and give yourself all of the time you need to heal.

You can’t avoid it

As hard as it might feel, you have to move through it. The more you put off dealing with painful emotions, the longer it will take for you to start feeling better.

Expect the unexpected

As your grief evolves, so will the intensity and frequency of heartbreak. At times it will feel like soft waves that come and go. But some days, it might feel like an uncontrollable jolt of emotion. Try not to judge how your emotions manifest.

You’ll have periods of happiness

Remember that it’s okay to fully experience moments of joy as you grieve. Spend part of each day focusing on the present moment, and allow yourself to embrace the good things in life.

If you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, this might bring up some feelings of guilt. But experiencing joy and happiness is crucial to moving forward. And forcing yourself to stay in a negative state of mind won’t change the situation.

It’s okay to not be okay

A profound loss, like the death of a loved one, is going to look vastly different from a job rejection, notes therapist Victoria Fisher, LMSW. “In both cases, it’s imperative to allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling and remember that it’s okay not to be okay.”

Even if you’re doing everything you can to work through your heartbreak, you’ll probably still have off days. Take them as they come and try again tomorrow.

Seek self-acceptance

Don’t expect your suffering to go away sooner than when it’s ready. Try to accept your new reality and understand that your grief will take some time to heal.

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When you’re dealing with heartbreak, books can be both a distraction and a healing tool. They don’t have to be big self-help books, either. Personal accounts of how others have lived through grief can be just as powerful.

Here are some titles to get you started.

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Cheryl Strayed, author of the bestselling book “Wild,” compiled questions and answers from her formerly anonymous advice column. Each in-depth response offers insightful and compassionate advice for anyone who’s experienced a wide range of losses including infidelity, a loveless marriage, or death in the family.

Purchase online.

Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace

Acclaimed author Anne Lamott delivers profound, honest, and unexpected stories that teach us how to turn toward love even in the most hopeless situations. Just be aware that there are some religious undertones in her work.

Purchase online.

Love You Like the Sky: Surviving the Suicide of a Beloved

Psychologist and survivor of suicide Dr. Sarah Neustadter provides a roadmap navigating the complicated emotions of grief and turning despair into beauty.

Purchase online.

The Wisdom of a Broken Heart: How to Turn the Pain of a Breakup Into Healing, Insight, and New Love

Through her gentle, encouraging wisdom, Susan Piver offers recommendations for recovering from the trauma of a broken heart. Think of it as a prescription for dealing with the anguish and disappointment of a breakup.

Purchase online.

On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real, and Listening Hard

Despite being nearly deaf and experiencing the debilitating loss of her father as a child, author Jennifer Pastiloff learned how to rebuild her life by listening fiercely and caring for others.

Purchase online.

The Year of Magical Thinking

For anyone who’s experienced the sudden death of a spouse, Joan Didion offers a raw and honest portrayal of a marriage and life that explores illness, trauma, and death.

Purchase online.

No Mud, No Lotus

With compassion and simplicity, Buddhist monk and Vietnam refugee Thich Nhat Hanh provides practices for embracing pain and finding true joy.

Purchase online.

How to Heal a Broken Heart in 30 Days: A Day-by-Day Guide to Saying Good-bye and Getting On With Your Life

Howard Bronson and Mike Riley lead you through recovering from the end of a romantic relationship with insights and exercises meant to help you heal and build resilience.

Purchase online.

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Through her heartfelt, honest storytelling, Brené Brown, PhD, explores how we can strengthen our connection to the world and cultivate feelings of self-acceptance and love.

Purchase online.

The hard truth of going through loss is that it can change your life forever. There will be moments when you feel overcome with heartache. But there will be others when you see a glimmer of light.

For some grief, as Fisher notes, “it’s a matter of surviving for a while until you gradually build a new, different life with an open space for the grief when it arises.”

Cindy Lamothe is a freelance journalist based in Guatemala. She writes often about the intersections between health, wellness, and the science of human behavior. She’s written for The Atlantic, New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, Quartz, The Washington Post, and many more. Find her at cindylamothe.com.

Broken Heart Syndrome: a disease "out of the head" from which you can die

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Your heart can suffer after some unfortunate event, and your brain is most likely responsible for your "heartbreak", experts say.

Swiss scientists are conducting a study on the so-called "broken heart syndrome".

Psychological stress can cause acute transient left ventricular dysfunction. The syndrome is manifested by the sudden development of heart failure or chest pain, combined with ECG changes characteristic of myocardial infarction of the anterior wall of the left ventricle.

  • Scientists have found out how stress causes heart disease

Most often, this syndrome develops against the background of stressful situations that cause strong, often sharply negative, emotions. Such events can be the death of a loved one or separation.

Scientists do not yet have complete clarity on how this happens. In the publication of scientists in the medical journal European Heart Journal, it is suggested that the syndrome is provoked by the brain's response to stress.

The "broken heart syndrome" was first described by the Japanese scientist Hikaru Sato in 1990 and was named "takotsubo cardiomyopathy" (from the Japanese "takotsubo" - a ceramic pot with a round base and a narrow neck).

Image copyright Getty Images

This is different from a "normal" heart attack, when blood flow to the heart muscle is blocked. Blockage of blood flow to the heart occurs when there is a blood clot in the coronary arteries.

However, the symptoms of broken heart syndrome and heart attack are similar in many ways, most notably difficulty breathing and chest pain.

  • Scientists: the brain of boys and girls reacts differently to severe stress
  • Scientists: early baldness can be a sign of heart disease

Often some sad event is a kind of trigger that provokes the onset of the syndrome. However, joyful events that cause strong emotions can also lead to the development of broken heart syndrome. For example, getting married or getting a new job.

Broken heart syndrome can be temporary, in which case the heart muscle will recover in a few days, weeks or months, and in some cases the syndrome can be fatal.

In Britain, about 2500 patients are diagnosed with broken heart syndrome each year.

Image copyright Christian Templin, University Hospital Zurich

Image caption

X-ray of the heart of a person diagnosed with takotsubo syndrome

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The exact cause of broken heart syndrome is unknown to scientists. However, it is suggested that this syndrome may be associated with an increase in the level of stress hormones - for example, adrenaline.

Elena Gadri from the University Hospital Zurich, together with her colleagues, studied the brain activity of 15 patients diagnosed with broken heart syndrome.

Imaging data showed significant differences in the brain activity of these patients from that observed in 39 participants in the control group, who were healthy.

Much less communication has been noted between the areas of the brain responsible for controlling emotions and the body's unconscious (automatic) responses (such as the heartbeat).

"Emotions are formed in the brain, so it is quite possible that the disease is formed in the brain. And then the brain sends the appropriate signals to the heart," says Gadry.

Further research is needed to understand the mechanism of the syndrome.

The Swiss scientists who conducted the study had no CT scans of the patients before they were diagnosed with broken heart syndrome. Therefore, researchers cannot claim that the reduction in connections between different parts of the brain was a consequence of the development of the syndrome, or that the syndrome developed due to the reduction in connections.

"This is a very important part of the study, it will help us better understand the nature of this syndrome, which is often overlooked, and it continues to be a mystery to us," says Joel Rose, head of the British organization Cardiomyopathy.

"These studies will help us understand what role the brain plays in the syndrome and why some people are affected and others are not," says Joel Rose.

"These observations confirm our long-standing assumption about the special role of the connection between the brain and heart in the formation of takotsubo cardiomyopathy," says researcher Dana Dawson from the British Heart Foundation.

How to heal a broken heart? - Psychological center "Transfiguration"

The pain of a breakup is a pain that many people experience, perhaps more than once in a lifetime. Movies and books make it easy to bounce back from a broken heart: a happy ending either means the couple gets back together, or someone moves on to an even better relationship. How to heal a broken heart?

In real life, relationship problems usually don't get resolved in two hours, like on a silver screen, and stories don't always end well.

If you are trying to come to terms with the end of a relationship, often repeated platitudes, recommendations and clichés are unlikely to help. While people may have good intentions when they say, “It’s better to love and lose than never love at all,” such statements don’t give you practical advice on how to deal with your emotions.

Healing grief is not the same process for everyone. It can even change in the same person throughout his life, changing from one relationship to another.

No one can tell you with any degree of certainty how long it will take you to recover. But there are several ways to turn the process of recovering from a broken heart into an opportunity to learn more about your wants and needs.

Ultimately, you can use these ideas to develop and strengthen your healthy coping skills. The growth you see will help you navigate your future relationships with others as well as your relationship with yourself.

Ways to heal a broken heart

Immediately after a breakup, know that it's okay to give yourself time to get over the loss. You don't have to jump into problem-solving mode right away—in fact, not allowing yourself to fully express your feelings can make the process longer and more difficult.

In the early days, try to suppress the desire to isolate. Sadness, guilt, confusion, and other strong feelings can be overwhelming. Reach out to people who care about you. You will need the support of family and friends to come to terms with the changes in your life.

When you're ready for the next step, here are some do's and don'ts.

Don't let your emotions control you

Try not to see the end of a relationship as a failure. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to learn and grow. It doesn't matter if this was your first relationship or if you already had others. Everyone, whether they are 15 or 50, can get to know themselves better and work on improving their relationship skills.

You may be very angry at relationships, including how they ended. You may even be tempted to "get back at" your ex or fantasize about interfering or ruining his life, including new relationships.

Remember that hurting another person will not lessen your pain. In fact, it is more likely to make you feel worse and slow down your own recovery process.

Take care of yourself

Self-care can be emotional, physical and spiritual. You have your own unique needs in each area, but there are some general self-care steps. Which are beneficial for almost everyone, such as diet, regular exercise, social support systems, and stress management strategies.

Try to be patient, gentle, kind and generous towards yourself. You may find it helpful to know that the pain of a breakup is not only emotional; studies have shown that people can also feel physical pain.

You may also need to work on regaining the big picture perspective. When you're in a romantic relationship, they can be a central part of your life, but romantic love isn't the only kind that can be. Continue to develop relationships with friends, family.

If you feel guilty or ashamed about your role in a relationship that ended. It may be difficult for you to be a good friend to yourself while you are dealing with these feelings. Remember that practicing self-compassion makes you more likely to attract that kind of energy from others.

If, over time, you find that you cannot leave the relationship or feel that you cannot cope with the loss (even with the support of friends and family), you can seek the advice of a psychotherapist.

Working with a trusted, knowledgeable, skilled, and compassionate therapist is good self-care during any period of major change in your life. But it can be especially helpful when you're coping with the loss of something important to you.

Don't dwell on the past

We all have a tendency to look back at our lives or certain relationships through rose-colored glasses. The effect of "rosy hindsight" is that you may refuse to see the problems and focus only on the good things.

Sometimes it can feel like both good and bad memories are stuck in your mind. These intrusive thoughts can slow down the healing process and cause serious harm.

Although it may be difficult, try not to lose perspective. There are no bad relationships, but ideal ones too. If you're celebrating a relationship or finding yourself continuing to put your ex on a pedestal, it could be a sign that you need to give yourself emotional and possibly physical distance.

For example, in the digital age, you may struggle to refrain from "checking" your ex through social media. If you can't resist the temptation, it might be time to unfriend him or block his profile.

You cannot continue your own healing if you are constantly involved in their lives and thinking about what once was and what will never be.

If your ex is starting a new relationship - seeing him post on social media (even if it's not always an accurate representation of reality) can trigger old feelings in you. It can also fuel preoccupation with any unresolved aspects of your relationship with them.

Appreciate the good memories

Even if your relationship ended on a sad note, it probably wasn't all that bad. It's okay, looking back at what was good about it.

At the same time, you may feel overwhelmed by the empty space that is left when a relationship ends. Or feel resentment about what happened that led to their breakup.

Getting rid of these shifts in emotions is part of the healing process. When a happy memory pops up, allow yourself to be grateful for it—and then move on.

Don't deny your needs

Being honest with yourself about your needs (especially those that are not being met) can be painful. You might think it would be easier and less painful to just ignore them.

While it may be easier for you to "numb" in pain in the short term, it will only make it harder for you to heal in the long term. The idea that you have no needs deprives you of the opportunity to grow both in relationships with others and in relationships with yourself.

Reassess your needs

After a breakup, it's a good time to think about your wants and needs in a romantic relationship. You may find it helpful to keep a diary or make lists.

Ask yourself questions such as: "Have I chosen partners who are incapable of loving and mature relationships?" and "I was hoping that this person would change or that I could change him?"

It can be painful to admit that your previous relationships didn't meet your needs. Taking the time to reflect honestly can be hard work. But once you do, you will be able to clarify the qualities to look for in a future partner.

Don't jump straight into a new relationship

You may feel the need to find a new romantic partner urgently, but so-called "recovery" relationships keep you from working on your previous one.

If you don't have time to think about recently ended relationships, you may end up repeating patterns or making the same mistakes in new ones.

It can be difficult to let go of old ways of thinking and behaving, even when you know it is useless. But recognition is the first step to making change.

Try again when you're ready

Sometimes it's hard for people to deal with being alone when they're used to being part of a couple. This can be especially true after a long-term relationship has ended.

If you are struggling with your individuality, try to remember that your worth comes from who you are, not who you are with.

Being alone gives you the opportunity to focus on yourself - although this can be difficult. If you are used to taking care of others and usually find it easier than thinking about your own needs.

Sometimes people who are not as confident in communicating on their own feel more comfortable in social situations when they are part of a couple. Others may enjoy communication whether they are in a relationship or not. But they may resist leaving home after a breakup.

The tendency to avoid social contact is often a mixture of anxiety about meeting a former partner or someone you know who might ask about the relationship. And also in combination with the desire to avoid places, activities and people that remind you of your ex.

Try not to isolate yourself. You certainly don't have to go out on a Friday night if you prefer to stay at home with a book. But if you really want to spend time with other people and just don't want to go out on your own, invite your friends over

Although you don't have to rush, over time you can start to open up to the possibility of new relationships.

It can be scary to think about falling in love again - especially after you've been hurt. But try to remember that how deep the pain of a broken heart is, it means that you have experienced love just as deeply.

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