Dealing with Painful Breakups
  • | October 4, 2016
When you experience a breakup, it can feel like your world is falling apart. Your emotions run haywire, and you become overwhelmed with pain, anger, worry, and in some cases, a bit of relief that things ended. Some people may even experience physical symptoms such as stomachaches, loss of appetite, or bouts of insomnia, but all of these feelings are natural reactions as your system tries to cope with such a dramatic and potentially traumatic event. Regardless of the reason you broke up, you're bound to feel some of these negative feelings, at least to a certain degree, and the only way to start the healing process is to address that negativity and move through it in a positive way.

Here are some ways to ease your hurt and move on with a healthy, positive mind:

  1. Don't rush the healing process. Many times, people make the mistake of trying desperately to heal too quickly without taking the necessary time to truly overcome their feelings. Your friends and family have good intentions when you tell you, “you need to get over it" or "you deserve better.” But emotional or mental injuries take just as long to heal (if not longer) as a broken wrist or a sprained ankle. As such, it takes a while to fully recover from a difficult breakup. For some people, it takes a few days or weeks, and for others, it may take a few months or even years. Don’t beat yourself up if time has passed and you don't feel like your old self yet. Accept that healing from these experiences is a slow process and rushing it will ultimately make you feel worse. Your primary concern should be to take care of your mind and body as well as you can, and surround yourself with positive things and people until the pain starts to fade.

  2. Honestly examine the reasons why you broke up. It may sound cliché, but most things happen for a reason. Even if you don't realize it right away, a true understanding of what went wrong in your relationship will become clear later on. Take your time to think through the breakup, and try to figure out why your relationship ended. Maybe you did things you're not proud of or acted in a way that wasn't helpful or beneficial to the relationship. If that's the case, take this breakup as a learning experience to grow from so you can become a better companion for a future partner. Maybe your ex bears more of the weight of your breakup. If that's the case, consider what traits she had or behaviors she demonstrated that brought you to the point of ending your time together; by doing so, you'll learn what you don't want in a relationship and what you should avoid in the future. However, it's likely that the breakup isn't any one person's fault – there's almost always problems on both ends that force a couple apart. Examine the breakup, isolate the problem areas, and make decisions about what you need or need to do to be happy in future relationships.

  3. Get back into the dating game. Rushing back into the dating game won’t make you heal faster, but eventually the time will come when you need to get back out there. After a painful breakup, you're going to have your ups and downs as you wade back into the dating pool, but you'll never move on if you don't keep at it. Remember: dating should be fun. Don't let bad past relationships sour you on the idea of finding someone new. See it as an experience that will help you rediscover yourself and explore what you want in a relationship. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the initial process of dating again, but once you let your heart and mind relax into the situation, you'll begin meeting new and interesting people and start moving on for real.

Any major life change takes time to adjust to, and you deserve to give yourself that time to heal from new wounds of a painful breakup. You'll probably feel sore for quite some time, depending on how long your relationship lasted and the context of the split. But after taking the time to ease your heart and applying some critical thinking skills to the situation, you'll soon find yourself back on the path to happiness.

Good luck!