Breakups are often a painful ordeal, but the pain is all the more excruciating when you don’t see it coming. You thought things were going great, and then seemingly out of nowhere your partner breaks it off, leaving you alone with an aching heart.
Finding closure after an unexpected breakup can be incredibly challenging, but here are 10 tips to help you move on after getting dumped.
1. Allow Yourself to Feel
Studies have shown that the brain copes with rejection similarly to the way it processes physical pain. Some may be tempted to numb the pain with drugs and alcohol or jump immediately into another relationship to avoid their feelings. Rather than taking this approach, allow yourself to feel the emotions in their entirety, whatever they may be.
It is natural to grieve after any loss. Even if you avoid the pain initially, eventually you have to face it to heal. By giving yourself time to grieve, you’ll find it easier to obtain the closure you seek and move on with your life.
2. Understand the Grieving ProcessJesse Johnson, MA, LPC suggests, “After a relationship ends, it’s important to honor the grieving process, not only in the loss of the relationship, but in the loss of any future vision for the relationship. Some people need to grieve an entire life’s vision in this way. It’s a big deal and honoring the end will help greatly with closure.”
3. Practice Forgiveness
Holding on to any grudges or resentment for your former partner will only prevent you from moving on with your life. Offer yourself a pardon by being willing to let go of the past and forgive your ex for any ways you feel you were wronged.
Likewise, forgive yourself for any mistakes you may have made in the relationship. Hold yourself in a state of compassion, and be willing to learn from the past so you can make better choices in the future.
4. Channel the Energy Elsewhere
Rather than sit around and let your anger, sadness, or frustration eat away at you, choose to channel that energy into something productive. Exercise is an excellent way to move energy out of your body and it releases endorphins, which will help improve your mood. You may also consider getting involved in your community or taking up a new hobby.
5. Maintain Your Self-Worth
There’s no denying that being rejected by someone you love hurts, but refuse to let it impact your self-esteem. Know your value as a person, and honor your self-worth.
Choose to maintain your dignity by not trying to force someone to be in your life who doesn’t want to be. Eventually, the right person will come along and you won’t have to prove your worth because he or she will recognize it.
6. Throw Out the Mementos
It’s tough to get rid of old love letters, photos, and other mementos, but choosing to keep them only encourages you to hang on to the past.
There is nothing wrong with keeping your memories, but choose to do so in a way that isn’t destructive. Consider taking down the old photos and keeping the mementos out of sight in a keepsake box or other non-visible location.
7. Create Your Own Closure
Ironically, seeking closure can be one of the greatest hindrances to moving on from a breakup. It can be tempting toSometimes when a relationship ends, it was meant to end. There may be someone else out there for you who is a far better match than your former partner. try to organize a big conversation with an ex to get real answers for why the relationship ended. In many cases, you won’t be able to have that conversation and the odds are that even if you did, it probably wouldn’t help much anyway.
While closure tends to work well in the business world, it doesn’t really fit in when it comes to matters of the heart. We may want a neat little ending to our pain, but it’s rarely that simple.
In reality, the best way to get closer to that feeling of closure you desire may be to simply cut off all contact. Let go of the idea of mending the relationship and create your own form of closure. Allow yourself to start building a new life outside of the former relationship and do what you need to do to move on.
9. Embrace the Impermanence of Life
Change is the only constant in our lives. As much as we try to hang on to anything in life, there is no forever. Everything is constantly in flux. By refusing to accept this, you resist life itself.
Help yourself move on by embracing the natural impermanence of our ephemeral lives on this planet. Understand that people come and go in our lives, and sometimes we have no choice but to let go of the old and embrace the new.
9. Keep the Faith
It is far too easy to become cynical after being dumped. Rather than being bitter, remain open to the possibilities of love. Therapist Deb Hirschhorn, PhD offers this piece of advice for the brokenhearted: “Don’t think of it as getting dumped; think of it as being set free.”
Sometimes when a relationship ends, it was meant to end. There may be someone else out there for you who is a far better match than your former partner. Allow yourself to grieve and then, when you’re ready, consider the possibility of entering a new relationship.
10. Seek Support
You don’t have to go through a breakup or any relationship problem alone. Seek support from your friends and family. Allow them to hold a safe container for you to share your feelings. If the container of family and friends is not enough, consider finding a therapist you trust to help you work through and process your feelings in a safe space.
- Saul, Heather. (2013, October 16). Brain treats rejection like physical pain say scientists. The Independent. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/brain-treats-rejection-like-physical-pain-say-scientists-8884507.html
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