Breaking up with the person you’re in a relationship with is never easy. It’s unpleasant, it’s hard. It’s uncomfortable. Most people don’t like hurting others, especially if the person you’re hurting is someone you’ve shared a connection with, but sometimes, people just grow apart. It’s awful, but it happens, and when it happens, you have a tough choice to make.
You can either continue living unhappily in your relationship, or you can end it. Both are certain to cause pain, but the former is bound to cause much more in the long term than the latter. As soon as you realize you’re unhappy then, the best thing you can do is end it.
The real question is, once you do, how do you move on?
How do you pick up the pieces?
That’s something that a lot of people struggle with, but the good news is, as bad as you feel right after a breakup, you will get past it. It happens at different speeds for different people, but there are specific things you can do to help the process along. Here are the most important ones.
Give Yourself Time
Exactly how much time depends on how long the relationship lasted before you ended it. Let’s face it, if you were with someone for ten years, and then got blindsided by a breakup, that’s not something you’re going to recover from overnight, so give yourself time, but certainly no more than a week, to feel bad.
Stay home. Eat tons of ice cream. Scream into your pillow in frustration. Do whatever it is that you normally do when you’re coping with sadness and loss. Feel it. Own it. Give yourself that time.
Avoid Social Media
During this time, it’s probably best if you avoid social media altogether. Feelings are still raw, and it’s all too easy to say something bad, cruel, or hateful about the person you’ve just broken up with.
That might make you feel better in the short run, but it is almost certain to cause problems down the line. Best then to avoid it. Keep things simple, especially when you’re hurting.
The process of plugging back into your old life will probably be a slow one. Start with your closest, “inner circle” of friends and begin planning short outings with them. No, you probably won’t really want to do much of anything, but this is an important first step in getting you back out into the world, and it’s one you need to take.
As days turn into weeks, expand your circle, reconnecting with friends you might have lost touch with over the course of your relationship. Each new connection you rekindle will make you feel better about yourself, and about the future.
Expand Your Horizons
Once you’ve plugged back into your old life as a newly single person, it’s time to start looking to new horizons. There were probably things you had planned to do before you got swept up in your old relationship that got put on hold. Dreams that may have been deferred. Now is the time to dust those dreams, goals and ambitions off and see if they’re still things of interest to you.
If they are, then there’s no time like the present to pursue them! If they’re not, well, you’re perfectly positioned to make new ones.
The bottom line is that as painful as breakups can be, and as hard as it can seem to move on in the initial aftermath, it is possible, and you owe it to yourself to dust yourself off and get back out into the world. You’re worth it!