Independence day - We’ve Broken Up - What Next?

We’ve Broken Up PhotoBreaking up with someone that we have loved is difficult. OK, it sucks! But the reality is that we make it harder for ourselves than it needs to be.  Hopefully you are reading this before you have broken up with your partner.  Otherwise, if you are in the midst of a breakup, I recognize that your reaction to this will be “Yeah, right!” If that’s the case, I just want to say to you “Be easy on yourself”

Here are a few things to store in the back of your mind should you be faced with a break up.

Let It All Come Out

Whatever you believe about “being strong” and “it was for the best”, a breakup is the most painful kind of loss, next to death.  Forget all of that and just let it out. Let the tears flow, find a friend to sit with you while you cry, scream and shout.

Here is the key. Tell yourself that you will let the emotions pour out from you for 1 hour (or however long you sense you need it), and then you will move on with your life. If you try to hold it all in, the emotions will find a way to seep out of you, maybe over days, weeks or months. If you respect the need to let those emotions out, your physiology will accept that and work with you.

It’s Now All About You

In the relationship, you had to think about what was good for you and your partner. After a breakup, you only need to be concerned about you.  Start by doing little things for yourself. Eat something you’ve been craving but didn’t have while in the relationship. Take yourself to a movie your partner wouldn’t have liked. Feed your own preferences for awhile.  Indulge yourself. This is still a time of healing so treat yourself well.

Be Around People

Right after a breakup is a fragile time.  You need time to heal and get your full energy back. Don’t isolate yourself. Find people to be with. Yes, that may be a challenge if the only friends you have are couples with which you and your partner associated. 

Go sit in coffee shops or the mall food court. Walk through the local farmer’s market.  Be out around the energy of other people.  Believe it or not, the majority of people you see have been through one or more major breakups.  Even though they are strangers to you, you all have something in common.  They are all survivors, and you are, too.

Take Your Time

Don’t rush anything after a breakup. You might feel some urgency to get right into a number of things that you have held off. Trips, projects, purchases, all may be stacked up on your “list of things to do someday”. Your system may decide that now is the time and that by doing those things you’ll feel better.

Only after you have spent your entire savings on a new car, cruise tickets and a year pre-paid of exotic spa treatments will you realize, oops, that wasn’t such a good idea! Did you ever hear the axiom that you shouldn’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach?  A similar thing is happening here. Your system is in need of something, but doesn’t know precisely what, yet. So it will reach out to anything, and everything, to try to fill the void.

You Are Not Here to Suffer - You Are Here to Learn

Whatever your belief system is, you were not put here to suffer. Suffering is optional, but not required. What is required is that you learn. That is how every human being survives and moves forward in life. Give your emotions a few days to get out of your body. Then look at the relationship and ask yourself “What did I learn from that?”

Here are some questions that you can ask to learn the most from your relationship:

What did I learn about myself in this relationship? What surprised me about myself in this relationship? What did I learn about other people in this relationship? What did I bring to this relationship? What do I need from a relationship? What worked in this relationship? What did not work?

In every relationship breakup there are opportunities to learn things that will make the next relationship an even richer experience. Allow yourself to grieve a bit. Let yourself heal. Treat yourself. Be patient.

Above all, please, be easy on yourself!

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