We’ve all been there – the tears, the anger, the hollow empty feeling in the pit of your stomach and the overwhelming feeling that you will never fall in love again.
No matter how irrational it may sound – you can’t help thinking that this relationship was your one true love, the big thing, the “one” & you are absolutely sure that no-one that you meet from now on could possibly touch your heart in the same way your ex did. They were the love of your life & your last chance for true love and these feelings can be further compounded if you were married – after all, they promised you they’d be around forever, didn’t they?
But although it’s natural to feel a whole range of negative emotions after a break-up, don’t wallow in bitterness forever; that should be a phase to be worked through, not a lifestyle choice. If you hold every person you meet accountable for what one person in the past did to make you unhappy, you will miss out on many enjoyable relationships. Not only that, but every person is different, so try not to superimpose your exes reactions/habits/behaviour over a new partner.This can definitely be the case if you try to get back into dating too soon i.e. on the rebound. The new people you meet can then just be the recipient of all your anger & bitterness about your ex, but they’ve done nothing to you, so why take it out on them?!
So, how to pick up the pieces of your broken heart, start putting them back together & enjoy the benefits of being a single person again?
The first thing you need to do is to try and ascertain where abouts you are in the healing process.
1. Feelings of shock, confusion, betrayal and self doubt
You don’t understand how everything went so wrong. Everytuhing seemed to be going ok & it all just fell apart. I thought we were happy, where did it go wrong? What did I do wrong? Why didn’t he/she feel the same as me? Why couldn’t he/she see what they were doing was hurting me so much? You’re bound to feel an overwhelming range of different emotions at this time, even if you were the one doing the breaking up. Either way, you just lost someone who you thought was going to be around for a lot longer than they were – it’s natural to panic and get upset.
2. Blame yourself and be miserable
This usually happens a day or two after the break up. You can’t even get yourself off the sofa, let alone think about doing anything constructive or thinking rationally. Instead, you start wringing your hands and wishing that you could have said or done something differently. You start doubting why you ended it & thinking that maybe it wasn’t so bad after all. You drown yourself in wine, chocolate, crying etc. It’s ok to grieve for your relationship, just don’t let it spiral out of control; accept that it just wasn’t meant to be. (Easier said than done, I know) After a few days of indulging in your misery, it’s time to move on to stage three.
3. Clear out your life
Pack up any photos and objects that remind you of your ex. Box them up and chuck them in the loft, or at the back of the cupboard – it’s possible at a later point in your life that you’ll be able to look back at them with fondness – but not now; all they will do is keep your head & heart in the past & extend stage 2 for longer than necessary. Make a list of things you’ve been meaning to do – it might be a hobby that you really enjoyed, but haven’t had a chance to do lately because your partner didn’t like it. Think of all that spare time you have to enjoy, now that you aren’t putting all your energy into trying to save a failing relationship!
4. Get your act together!
Smarten yourself up a bit. Make an effort. All the misery and slobbing around at home is starting to make you unattractive! Get some exercise, a haircut and some new clothes. Present the best version of yourself possible, even looking at yourself in the mirror & telling yourself you look good will boost your self esteem no end. Give your friends a call and get back out on the town – they’ll be more than happy to see a bit more of you!
5. Get yourself out there!
You may not feel like getting seriously involved with anyone else at the moment, but why do relationships have to be that way? You don’t have to dive headlong into a full on relationship, just becasue that’s what you remember! Surely new liasions don’t always have to lead to everlasting love to be worthwhile having? Date around a bit – go out with your single friends more and cast your net a little further by giving online dating a try – you’ll get outside of your normal circle, meet people you could never have hoped to meet in life – and best of all, they’re unlikely to know your ex!!!
Dating people is one of the plusses of being single – you can go out and have fun with a different person every night without feeling guilty. There really is no need to fall into the ‘single and lonely’ category these days! If you have been in a relationship for so long that you’ve forgotten how to date – don’t worry – one of the benefits of dating online is that you can progress the relationship in your own time and really get to know about the person before you meet them.
So once you’ve broke up, been miserable, glamed up and got back in the dating game, you’ll soon find that the old adage is true – there are plenty of fish in the sea after all.