How do I move on from a broken relationship?

Some background, some drama

It’s time to pull up your socks and finally let go of all the hurt, pain and betrayal and move on. When a relationship is over, feelings of rejection can make you doubt your sense of self-worth and wreck your emotional balance. Your first impulse, fix the broken! But wake up and smell the coffee; your significant other has moved on and reconciliation is not possible. And yet you persist. Can you ever move on? Yes, you can…with some patience and control over your emotions.

Do’s and Don’ts

Still distressed by feelings of failure? Romanticising the one who dumped you? Hell bent on recovering the lost relationship? Then you’ve essentially granted this relationship the power to consume your life and prolong your misery. Stop feeling like a loser and get a grip. Move on…life is still beautiful. Every person deals with a break-up in his/her own way. Of course, there are no golden rules established. The “How Do I" series tries to list down a few Do’s and don’ts to guide you, help you and eventually move on and survive a break-up.

Do’s

  • Accept the fact that it’s normal or typical to have emotional reactions to the ending of a relationship.
  • Acknowledge that all relationships could end due to breakup. Just because your marriage is over, it doesn’t mean you’re inadequate, inferior or there’s something wrong with you. Give yourself a break.
  • Work on self-love. You are a first an individual who doesn’t have to let the end of your love relationship define your self-worth. No person can complete you.
  • Accept that feeling rejected is an expected part of a break-up and it takes time to heal.
  • Adopt a mind-set of getting to know yourself better. Stay open to new experiences, hobbies or interests that you couldn’t pursue with your partner.
  • Cultivate supportive relationships. Being with people who accept and support you can help ease feeling of rejection. Get energized by the possibilities ahead for you. Work on yourself and refocus your life.
  • If the break-up has been particularly nasty work out issues with a therapist.

Dont’s

  • Don’t play the victim. Be strong and positive. Stay away from pity and sympathy. It would just make you feel more vulnerable and succumb to depression.
  • Don’t romanticize the ex. One perspective that can keep you stuck is the notion that you’ll never find as good a partner as the one you’re losing. This all-or-nothing thinking is a trap that keeps you from healing and moving on.
  • Don’t resent the ex. While romanticizing what you had isn’t helpful, neither is villainizing your former partner. People change, feelings die. It’s important to accept the break-up.
  • Don’t cling on to your coupled identity. When you have been connected for a significant period of time, it can feel strange and disorienting to suddenly be single. You may feel awkward being an “unpaired" person when socializing with partnered friends. You may also dread the prospect of dating again. However, be open to new relationships.

Last words

Are you neglecting your health, interests, family or friends due to grieving the loss of your relationship? Ask yourself if it’s worth all this. Develop a mind-set that you don’t have to be defined by your failed relationship. Instead use it to help you heal and move forward with your life. Remember life is still beautiful. Just get out and explore!

Sources and citations