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Surviving a BreakUp

Romantic relationships that begin with joy and excitement, can also end with a painful break up. At some point in life, almost everyone will experience the sorrow of a relationship break up. When that happens, only time will heal your wounded heart. The best path through this time involves trying to minimize your anguish while still properly mourning the break up of the relationship.

It Is Okay To Be Sad After A Relationship Break Up
It is perfectly understandable to be emotionally down after a relationship break up. You’re moving into a new phase of life. You are moving forward in life without that person that you deeply cared for. If you are sad after a break up, it only means that you found something wonderful in another person and you really miss them. There is nothing wrong with that.

Figure Out Who Is in Your Support Network
One of the first things to do after a relationship break up is to figure out who is going to be in your support network. Think of the friends and family members who really care about you, will listen to you and be there for you when you are struggling. It is very important to have people to talk to. Try to avoid leaning too heavily on any one person, you don’t want to wear them out. You will probably be better off leaning a little on a number of people.

Remove Reminders Of The Relationship
A relationship break up can be emotionally very painful. Even early on, there will be wonderful moments of relief from the pain. Unfortunately, this is often shattered by a reminder of your former relationship. The reminder may be seeing a picture, a gift from your former sweetheart or a memento of your relationship. You are going to be in a better frame of mind if you remove these reminders from your sight.

Get a box and pack away anything that has a strong connection to your former sweetheart or your relationship. This includes pictures, love letters, gifts and mementos (both at home and your workplace). Seal the box up with tape and store it where it would be inconvenient to retrieve, such as in the attic, in the garage or in the back of a closet.

If you have pictures and e-mails related to your former relationship, they also should be set aside. You could move those items into a new folder with a benign name like “archive”. You could also transfer the files to a CD and store it in your box.

You should also consider removing your former sweetheart from your cell phonebook and your e-mail contacts. This is not about being vindictive, it is about removing reminders that may hurt you. Write the information down somewhere so you can retrieve it later, if necessary.

The point of all this is to keep a reminder of your former relationship from shattering a peaceful moment. It also allows you to sort through these items later when you are in a better frame of mind.

It Is Time To Be A Little Selfish
Your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend may not be taking the break up very well, but that should not be your first concern. It may sound harsh, but your first priority should be to deal with your own sorrow and disappointment. Do not sacrifice the needs of your heart in the hope of easing the hurt of your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. Your former sweetheart should find their own set of friends and relatives to lean on.

Minimize Contact
At least initially, you should try to minimize contact with your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. The ultimate goal is to move on with your life. Calling or e-mailing them unnecessarily will likely be unfulfilling and counterproductive. If you are tempted to call your former sweetheart, call one of your friends instead.

Socialize with single friends
If you spend time with your married friends or single friends that are in a relationship, it will tend to remind you that you are no longer in a loving romantic relationship. Try to arrange to spend more time with your unattached single friends. Plan activities with your single friends that will get you out in the world and hopefully having some fun.

Visit friends and relatives
You probably have a number of friends and relatives that you haven’t visited in a while. Now that you are unattached, it may be a good time to make the time to plan a visit. This helps you reconnect with the people you care about and the change of environment can help get your mind off your former relationship.

Don’t Date Immediately After A Break Up
After a relationship break up, don’t be in a rush to start dating again. Until you have properly mourned your past relationship and gotten past the sorrow, your head won’t be in a place to make good decisions. In case you missed it the first time, Don’t Date! Any relationship that begins before you have emotionally dealt with the failed relationship will likely be unwise, unfulfilling and ultimately unsuccessful.

Learn Something From The Relationship
As you start to develop some emotional distance, spend some time thoughtfully considering your failed relationship. What were your shortcomings? What were your failures? What could you have done better? Did you make some compromises that, in hindsight, were ill-advised? What have you learned from the relationship? What are you going to do in the future to give your next relationship a better chance for success? You made a big personal and emotional investment in a relationship that ultimately failed. I think it is really important to learn something from your experience.

Professional Counseling
A relationship break up can be a very difficult and painful experience. If you are having problems coping with your grief, please don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many employers and most health care plans provide professional counseling at little or no cost. I would encourage you to take advantage of any professional counseling benefit, particularly if you don’t feel comfortable talking with your friends or relatives.

A Final Note
There can be some really dark days after a relationship break up. There are people who really care about you. Reach out to them.

Getting over a break up takes time. Try to always remember, with time, there will be better days. (

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