Two breakups shook me to my core. I’ve always thought of myself as a strong woman. I move on quickly and don’t let a bad relationship hold me down. However, these two relationships made me question everything I knew about myself. I felt so broken, I didn’t know how I was ever going to heal and move on.
Breakups are a nasty business, why lie. No matter how strong and independent you think you are, they always leave you shaken, sometimes more than others. It’s perfectly normal to want to shut down, spend endless days in bed, order in from your favourite restaurant, rant and rave about your ex and moan the demise of your relationship.
What you need to be careful about is staying stuck in this phase or resorting to unhealthy ways of dealing with the breakup. These include going on drinking or eating binges, stalking your ex and even begging them to reconsider, falling into self-blame and simply shutting down completely.
I’m here to tell you that no matter how hard the breakup is, you will get through it. And even if you don’t understand it right now, it’s probably for the good.
Below are simple tips that will help you move on after a breakup.
1. Allow yourself to grieve
One time, after a particularly bad day post-breakup, someone said to me, “How can you cry because of a man?” You can imagine my angst at such a comment. Yes, I was devastated by the breakup. Yes, I felt bad that the man I loved wasn’t going to be in my life anymore. And yes, I wanted to be allowed to moan my relationship in peace.
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Acknowledging your feelings is the first step in healing. When you feel sad, acknowledge it. If you want to cry, cry. I’ve found that crying helps these feelings pass faster.
Allow yourself to feel but don’t let these feelings linger for too long. Give yourself a few days of grieving and then it’s time to move on.
2. Get rid of anything that reminds you of your ex
Out of sight, out of mind. If you truly want to move on after the breakup, you need to remove all evidence of your ex. This means packing up all their stuff and giving it back to them. If seeing them again is too painful, donate them to someone in need.
Unfriend, unfollow and block them from social media. You can even delete their phone number. This will reduce the chances of you contacting them on one of your down days or after a night out. It will also prevent you from stalking them to find out how they’re doing post-breakup or if they have someone new in their life.
3. Get closure
If you’re lucky enough to get a sit down with your ex and discuss the end of your relationships, well and good. However, most of us don’t have this opportunity or if we did, it would end badly.
One way I have found that I can get closure without meeting up with an ex is to write them a letter. Here, I pour out my feelings and tell them what I think of them and our situation. I allow myself to get as emotional as I want. But if you choose to write to your ex as a form of closure, please don’t send it to them. Fold it and keep it far, far away or leave it in your draft emails.
4. Accept the end of your relationship
It’s tempting to hold onto the hope that you and your ex will get back together or that they will see the error of their ways apologize and you will reconcile. While this is a possibility, it’s best not to entertain these thoughts. They will only leave you stuck and you will be unable to move on.
Once you’ve moaned the relationship, accept that it is over. Avoid replaying moments from the breakup, overanalyzing things or blaming yourself for what happened. You might have wronged your ex but that doesn’t mean you should constantly think about what you could have done differently. This only makes moving on harder.
Learn from the relationship and work on healing.
5. Be more intentional about self-care
Practising self-care is a great way to boost your confidence and remind yourself that you are worthy. It will also help you to feel better. So make sure you take a shower, dress up, do your hair and makeup. Journal. Meditate. Exercise. Get enough sleep. I’ve found that this always helps increase my self-esteem.
This is also the perfect time to pursue your hobbies. Travel, read more, start that blog/novel you’ve been thinking about, etc. Work on your career, putting more effort into getting to the next level. Spending time with loved ones will also remind you that there are people who love and cherish you.