Life is full of relationships. These enrich our lives and give meaning to our existence. As young adults it is normal for us to develop romantic feelings for another person; however this also makes us vulnerable to feeling devastated when the relationship ends. In this day and age, we see many relationships break up and whatever the reasons for the breakup it can turn one’s whole world upside down and cause anguish and regret.
Why do breakups cause so much hurt? The reasons are many. Romantic relationships begin on a high heady note of intense psychological and physical need and hope for a shared future; many times the harsh realities of life leave a trail of bitterness, anger, suspicion and sadness at what could have been an amazing thing. You would have invested a lot of your time, energy and thoughts revolving around the other person and the sudden loss may leave you in confusion and doubt. Everything is disrupted – routine, career, health, other relationships and self identity. You can begin by treating the breakup as a beginning as well as an end. If taken in the right spirit, it could actually help you evolve over time into more meaningful and mature relationships.
Coping with a failed relationship:
- Recognize that it’s OK to have intense feelings. Its normal to feel sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated and confused. You also may feel anxious about the future. Accept that reactions like these will lessen over time
- Be kind to yourself. Give yourself permission to feel and to function at less than optimal level for the present. You may not be able to be quite as productive on the job or care for others in exactly the way you are accustomed to for a little while. No one is superman or superwoman; it takes time to heal, recoup and re-energize
- Don’t go through this alone. Sharing your feelings with friends and family can help you get through this period. Isolating yourself can raise your stress levels and get in the way of your overall recovery
- Remember that moving on is the end goal - do not dwell on the negative feelings or to over analyse the situation. Getting stuck in hurtful feelings like blame, anger and resentment will prevent you from healing and moving forward
- Remind yourself that you still have a future - when you commit to another person, you create many shared visions and it is hard let these dreams go. As you grieve the loss of a future you envisioned, be encouraged by the fact that new hopes and dreams will eventually replace your old ones
- Make time each day to nurture yourself. Help yourself heal by scheduling daily time for activities you find calming and soothing. Go for a walk in nature, listen to music, enjoy a hot bath, get a massage, read a favorite book or savor a warm cup of tea
- Pay attention to what you need in any given moment and speak up to express your needs. Honor what you believe to be right and best for you
- Stick to a routine. A relationship breakup can disrupt almost every area of your life, amplifying feelings of stress, uncertainty and chaos. Getting back to a regular routine can provide a comforting sense of structure and normalcy
- Avoid using inappropriate methods to cope. When you are in the middle of a breakup, you may be tempted to do anything to relieve your feelings of pain and loneliness. Using alcohol, drugs or food as an escape is unhealthy and destructive in the long run. It’s essential to find healthier ways of coping with painful feelings. Don’t be afraid to get professional help from a psychologist if you need it
- Explore new interests. Take the opportunity to explore new interests and activities. Pursuing fun, new activities gives you a chance to enjoy life in the here- and - now, rather than dwelling on the past
Wish you all the best in your new journey ahead!