Keeping it Real

It’s Over: How to Move On

Your heart may be broken now, but it will heal. Time is the key.

When relationships break down, those involved often feel not only heartbroken but humiliated and rejected as well. And yet this pain can be withstood, no matter how bad it may seem. Approached in the right spirit, you will emerge stronger and wiser.

1) You must grieve

The emotions triggered by a relationship breakdown often resemble those of grief. As with the death of a loved one, you will need time to adjust to their absence. Don’t repress the emotion; cry, scream, and yell. Do whatever you must to release the pain.

2) Learn to be alone

For some, the end of a relationship brings opportunities for self-exploration and self-growth. Those least able to cope often find it difficult not because they miss their lover but because they cannot face being alone. That is not healthy. Inevitably, such individuals throw themselves into new relationships, often with unsuitable people, simply to avoid loneliness. Instead, try to see this as a chance to grow. Embrace your new life. Get to know yourself before you meet someone new. If possible, get away somewhere different for a week or two; perhaps you could call up old friends, take up a new hobby, or explore a spiritual practice.

3) Learn to like yourself

When a relationship falters, people immediately ask themselves “was it me?” or “what did I do wrong?” or “did they see some flaw in me?” Of course, sometimes people do need to work on their faults. Maybe you are too selfish or lazy! But once you have identified your faults, stop there. Do not allow yourself to be defined by your partner; he or she was just one of 7 billion.

4) Remember his faults

When a relationship ends, people tend to remember only the good things about their ex. Take a moment to write down all their faults instead. Were they lazy? Arrogant? Boring? Selfish? During a relationship, people often blot out the things they dislike. Now is your chance to get them off your chest. Once you start, you should find the process wonderfully cathartic.

5) Remember the bad times

After you have written down their faults, try listing the worst moments in your relationship. Think hard, and you may find all sorts of long-forgotten incidents come bubbling to the surface. Maybe he was grossly insensitive when your grandmother died. Or perhaps you took a vacation together during which he did nothing but moan. Try to recall exactly how you felt.

6) You have a future

If you do not believe this, depression is probably clouding your vision. You can choose what to think. Never forget that. If you allow your mind to run riot, to imagine a barren future of lonely desperation, your mood will plummet. You may believe there is no one else for you, no one else like him, but you also know, deep down, that that is nonsense. Have faith. One day you will laugh again. One day you will have the thrill of meeting someone new, of the first date, the first kiss, and that first shared bottle of wine.

Recovering from a failed relationship is never easy. Above all, do not torture yourself. Relationships can be complicated, and it takes compromise, understanding, and communication from both parties to succeed. If you gave it you all, that’s all you can do.

Just know that with effort, patience, and time, you will heal. -Allnatt