I thought I had found the right person for me. ‘I could spend forever with this guy,’ I told myself. In my mind, I already had us married! But after 2 years of dating, he texted me one night asking to meet at our favorite restaurant. Then he did it. He broke up with me. He had reunited with his ex-girlfriend. I couldn’t believe that what started so great could end in one night” — Pelumi
“We’d been dating for six months and had been friends for five years. When he wanted to end the relationship, he couldn’t even face me. He just stopped talking to me. I felt helpless. The disappointment was overwhelming. I kept asking myself, ‘What did I do wrong?’” —Rachel.
Are you currently going through a heartbreak? Or have you been in a situation similar to that of Pelumi and Rachel. No doubt, you might have asked yourself ‘Will I ever be able to move on? The truth is your distress is understandable and no one should undermine how you feel. Breaking up may be one of the most traumatic experiences you’ve ever had to endure. In fact, some have compared a breakup to a minideath.
You may even find yourself going through these and perhaps other typical stages of grief:
Denial. ‘It can’t be over. He’ll change his mind in a day or two.’
Anger. ‘How could he do this to me? I can’t stand him!’
Depression. ‘I’m unlovable. No one will ever love me.’
Acceptance. ‘I’m going to be all right. The breakup hurt, but I’m getting better.’
Guess what? You can reach the acceptance stage. The time it is going to take to get there is not certain as it depends on quite a number of things like how long your relationship lasted and how far you have both come in the relationship, the intimacy you shared among others. But how do you cope before getting to the acceptance stage? Here are some tips to guide you through this time. It might be hard but I trust you’re going to pull through. You’ve got this honey.
Acknowledge the pain of the breakup
A study revealed that the bond of romance can be strong. So strong that it has been compared to the parent-child bond. True, it may take a long time for romantic love to grow that strong, still, the emotions may be deeply felt from the outset. And if you are in prime of life, the awakening of sexual desire can be almost overpowering. That makes the loss of a boyfriend or a girlfriend especially hard to deal with.
Thus, understand that it is going to hurt and accept the pain. Feel it and let yourself grief. Sometimes the best way out of pain is living through it, not finding a way around it. Acknowledging the reality of your own feelings can be the first step in healing and moving forward.
Know that you are hurting and that you are not okay. Do not tell yourself otherwise or try bottling up your feelings. This won’t help you move on faster. If you must cry, cry, don’t be too ashamed or embarrassed to let your feelings show. Realize that you are human and you have every right to feel the way you feel right now.
Surround yourself with people who care about you
We tend to sideline our friends and families when we are in a relationship. Your partner becomes the centre of your world. He becomes your friend and family but now that he’s gone, it feels like you are all alone. Wrong! You are not alone.
Spend significant time with more people who you have neglected over the years. Rekindle your relationships and talk to them about how you feel. Talk to your parents, friends, co-workers, basically anyone who cares and is willing to listen. When the people who love you know you’re hurting, they really do want to be around you. Reach out to more people and you will discover that you have everyone that you need in your life and that your life doesn’t depend on your ex.
Learn from the breakup
The pain of a heartbreak may blur you from seeing the lessons you can pick up from the experience. You can ask yourself: ‘Has this experience revealed any areas in which I need to grow? What, if anything, would I do differently in my next relationship?’ At this time, you may have to look at situations logically than emotionally. There’s always a lesson in every experience. Thus, do not be afraid to admit your mistakes and look at how you can become better.
Time heals the wound of a breakup
You may have heard the saying, Time heals all wounds. When you first break up, those words might mean nothing. That’s because time is only part of the solution. To illustrate: A cut on your skin will heal in time, but it hurts now. You need to stop the bleeding and soothe the pain. You also need to keep it from becoming infected. The same is true with an emotional wound. Right now, it hurts but it gets better. Time will do its part, but you must make sure you keep yourself clean. Do not be tempted to indulge in any shady activities like abusing substances to feel better.
Truth is, they may make you feel better but it’s only temporary.
Whatever you are going through right now may be hard to describe or put into words and it may seem like you may never feel better but I want to assure you that this is part of the healing process and you need to hang in there for just a little while, you can do this!
Yes, a breakup is a bitter and traumatic experience. But you can turn it into a learning experience. You may now see the need to work on certain aspects of yourself. Your vision of what you want in a marriage mate becomes clearer than ever. And having loved and lost, you may decide to handle courtship a bit more cautiously should a desirable person come along again—which he will!