A break-up of a relationship can be one of the most traumatic experiences in life. Because only you are experiencing the loss, it can be difficult to feel others are relating to your hurt even though they are sympathetic to your pain. Your grief may feel minimized because so many have experienced similar loss. This should not take away from the healing process you need to work through in order to prepare for the future.
Take time to reflect You likely will be analyzing what went wrong or what you could have done differently. This is okay to an extent, but healthy boundaries must be set. You may never get the answer you desire from your ex-partner so it is not helpful to seek it from them. What you can do is look at your part in the relationship, both good and bad. What did you offer when things were going well? What did it look like when it seemed to fall apart? Is there a way you can put yourself in the shoes of your partner to look at your own behavior? Once you have journaled and processed some of this use it as a tool to learn. Then set it aside and forgive yourself.
Work on your self-care This can come in many forms and vary based on your individual needs. You may listen to music to heal your sadness, work-out your anger, or talk to friends or family about your pain. It is a time to look within on how you can take care of yourself. This may be going back to basics such as drinking 8 glasses of water a day, modifying your diet, or establishing a cleaning routine. Anything for self-improvement is self-care. It is a way to distract and heal in a healthy way.
Educate yourself on breakups There is a wealth of knowledge available to us for surviving post break up. Seek out books, articles, and relationship experts for guidance. These tools can help guide us to look at patterns, both current and in the past. It may help us to discover long familial patterns that are contributing to how our relationships unfold. By doing the work, there is hope for discovery and change.
Set firm boundaries If the relationship is over, on again and off again behavior can lead to worse heart ache. As much as possible, set boundaries with your ex. Limit exposure on social media, erase the phone number if it's tempting to call, do what you can to distract so you do not reach out. It is painful and difficult to endure but the alternative can be quite self-destructive. Especially if you see your ex engaged in a new relationship while you are still grieving. In no way will that help you to heal. It will also limit your potential for a successful relationship in the future.
Be okay with being alone When you are single and alone you get to remind yourself that you are valuable. You do not need a partner or someone else’s approval to make you complete. You can reflect on the standards you want in a future partner. Then you get to decide if those you cross paths with meet those expectations. You are choosing not to settle with someone who is not the right fit. You will learn to trust yourself to solve problems. You will become more confident and successful for it.
The most important thing to remember is you will survive. Each day may be painful, but with each passing day it will also become easier. You will become closer to the person you want to be and to manifesting the right relationship for you.
Co-founder of the Love Discovery Institute, Dr. Carolina Pataky is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Sexologist and Certified Sex Therapist. Recognized as one of South Florida’s leading authorities on intimacy, relationships and self-discovery. Her focus is to give individuals and couples of any sexual preference the tools to learn how to love themselves unconditionally, receive love, and create fulfilling and joyful relationships that will last a lifetime. Through private sessions, couples’ intensives and luxury retreats, she provides individual and couples coaching sessions, sex therapy, and psychotherapy practices that support clients through the journey of finding the right path to healthy love. Visit her website www.lovediscovery.org or follow @carolinapataky
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