It’s gotten messy, and you are undoubtedly shaken and saddened. Your relationship with your significant other is over. Whether you were married, engaged, or otherwise committed, breaking up and moving on is a difficult transition.
There’s no way around it — breaking up straight-up blows. Even if the relationship wasn’t the best, splitting up with a partner dramatically alters your day-to-day life and has emotional repercussions that can send you into a tailspin. For some of us, that means hunkering down with a box of tissues and a bottle of wine, praying to feel normal again ASAP.
- Accept the empty feeling
That moment when you realize you’ve been dumped by the love of your life feels like death. And as actor and comedian Jim Dailakis points out, it should. The key is to allow yourself to embrace the grief if you ever want to move past it. Dailakis tells SheKnows, “Breaking up is very similar to a death because it is in fact the death of a relationship. For at least a couple of days, remember the good times and allow yourself to cry like mad. An exorcism if you will.”
- Cut off all contact for real
In this case, absence does not make the heart grow fonder. Absence is exactly what you need to cool off, process your feelings and change your perspective at the end of a relationship. Laura Yates, a UK-based relationship and dating coach who specializes in heartbreak, explains, “Something I recommend is a period of no contact. No texts, emails or social media messages because you need time and distance to get emotional clarity. When you just break up with someone, your emotions are all over the place — you will likely miss them desperately and overlook all the reasons why the breakup happened in the first place just to have them there with you again.”
3. Feel your feelings
I’m a big believer in feeling your feelings until you are done feeling them. But sometimes raw feelings, especially after a breakup, can get overwhelming, and that’s where cognitive behavioral therapy fits in. According to Dr. Simon Rego, Director of Psychology Training at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is your best bet to manage intense and possibly destructive feelings after a relationship ends.
He explains, “Often when people are going through a breakup, they experience certain feelings (sad, anxious, angry, hurt, betrayed, etc.) that influence the way they think (e.g., It’s all my fault! I’ll never find someone else! I can trust people anymore! etc.) — and vice versa. So, in order to move past a breakup, CBT would have people allow themselves to experience their feelings fully. Don’t try to avoid or suppress feeling what you feel — emotions have a function and are there for a reason, even if unpleasant!”
4. Challenge your negative thoughts
5. Be brutally honest with yourself
6. Do you
7. Get back out there