Someone yanked the carpet out from under you. You’re flabbergasted, broken-hearted, and wondering if you’ll ever love again. You thought this was the one. It’s hard to imagine life without him. You were already thinking about next steps – marriage and children. What will you tell your friends and family? What will they think of you? Where did you go wrong?
Your mind races as the tears flow. It hurts. Yet, as much as you wanted it to work, it wasn’t a perfect relationship anyway. In fact, there’s no perfect relationship. But, what now?
- Allow yourself to cry. The loss of a relationship – even if YOU did the breaking up – is a loss. It can feel like a mini grief cycle. Your feelings will fluctuate between disbelief, anger, bargaining, sadness, and acceptance. Ride the wave. It will pass.
- Get rid of his belongings. Return them. Burn them. Sell them. Hide them from yourself. If you want to move on, you need to limit the reminders.
- Let go of your ego. There might be some embarrassment lurking in the shadows of your grief. It’s normal to consider the perception of others but, when it keeps you stuck in negative feelings or non-action, it only hurts you more. You were brave enough to love. You are strong enough to rise above the judgements.
- 4. Consider what you learned. Every relationship is an opportunity to be your best self and notice when you’re not. When you reflect on the break up, fill in this blank statement, “This experience is good because _______.”.
- Reach out to friends and family. We are social creatures. Studies show that stress hormones are reduced and calming hormones are stimulated when we touch one another. Ask for a hug. Allow those who love you to support you.
- Make YOURSELF a priority. Self care restores wellness, resilience, and inner strength. Talk to your therapist, get a massage, go for a hike, pet an animal, do lunch with a friend, eat healthy, paint your nails, listen to music, write in your gratitude journal.
- Quiet your inner critic. When your inner monologue is ripping you to shreds, deliberately change those self abusive thoughts to self encouraging ones. Focus on what you want to believe. Say them to yourself in the third person. Breathe. Trust them.
Sit. Write. Talk. Draw. Listen. Walk. Read. Paint. Cry. Work through the feelings. It will make you stronger, wiser, and more confident. When you face the pain and acknowledge your grief, the dark shadows fade away and new possibilities emerge. Your wholehearted self will again be open, authentic, vulnerable and loved.