Surviving a breakup
It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve done it already, they still suck. And even though we have already experienced that feeling before and survived it, losing someone is never easy. It just hurts.
There’s this feeling of being in a parallel world where everything has stopped. But let’s be honest with ourselves, nothing has stopped, and life goes on. Days keep passing by, and everything but your relationship status is the same.
So I wonder, why is it that we have so many things going on, all of our future in front of us, and we think that now without that person our future is over?
Don’t stress out, your future isn’t over. It’s gonna be “the same” but without your ex who you thought was gonna be there to share those moments with you. Make your ex part of your past instead of worrying about your non-future with him or her. Try to think of that person as another memory. Because that’s what they have become, just another memory, they are not even part of your present anymore.
I started practicing mindfulness before breaking up with my boyfriend, and it was very helpful for when the breakup was actually happening. Mindfulness helped me have a mature conversation with him, and understand his feelings as well as mine. I tried not to let these feelings get the best out of me, but to be grateful for what I had with him and the memories we had created together.
I’ve been lucky because most of my relationships have ended pretty well. I’m friends with all of my exes (except for the one that cheated on me of course). But the thing is, that every time I had broken up with someone was because of long-distance. A factor that was out of my reach and my control, so it was easier to accept the situation and to move on. This time, it was by choice. Although we are living in the same place, it was better to be apart.
As an ex-pat who’s lived in different cities my whole life, I am used to dealing with goodbyes and enjoying the moment without getting too attached. I had never had to deal with something more serious where the projections for the future were clear. But still, since it had worked out for me before, I decided to have the same approach as I had with my previous relationships. I decided to take it easy, be grateful for what it was. Accept that it was not under my control and that these feelings even if they hurt, must be understood and accepted instead of controlling me and not letting me say goodbye the way I wanted (in good terms and without resentment). These, plus my new knowledge in mindfulness were very helpful the moment I was saying goodbye to my ex.
I know you may be thinking, ok nice, you broke up in good terms, easy to say. But trust me, out of experience, it’s way harder saying goodbye to someone who has done nothing wrong, hasn’t hurt you, and most importantly you still love, than having to say goodbye to someone who you are angry too and you don’t want to see anymore.
Even if you broke up with someone because they cheated on you or you cheated on them. Moving on is traumatic, but somewhat easier. You are better off without them. Even though your ability to trust someone gets fucked up, it’s better to be alone than with someone who doesn’t care about your feelings and has taken advantage of your trust. The other way around as well is better to be alone than to be with someone you don’t care about, keep on hurting, and lying to all the time. Don’t let the feeling of hatred get the best out of you. If someone cheated on you is their fault, not yours. It’s out of your hands. If you can’t see yourself forgiving that person, then there’s no reason to stay with them anymore. Don’t waste your energies in these people, try to be mindful about it, instead of resenting them. In the end, you are only hurting yourself.
If it didn’t work out, is probably for the best. I don’t mean to sound cliche, but everything happens for a reason, and it’s always a window for something better. Maybe spending some time with yourself is what you need. If it wasn’t working out for you, the other person, or the both of you, then it’s best to be apart than to hurt each other by being together. It’s better to be separated than in a relationship that gradually becomes a toxic thing that only brings you stress rather than something positive in your life. Which is the main, if not the only reason to be in a relationship. To have someone that brings positive vibes and positive factors to your life.
It’s the attitude with which you decide to face a not-so-serious problem among much worse problems in life.
Create a new routine
Normally in a relationship, there’s a shared routine. Since now you can adjust your time according to what’s best for you, and not both of you, try to build a completely new personal routine.
Creating a routine will give a new structure and logical sequence to your life reflecting your true personality and what makes you happy. This is the most rewarding part of the process of a breakup. The world does not revolve around that person and you will continue to move on with your life.
Work on yourself
For me a breakup is looking forward to catching up on my readings, having more time in my hands to work on my research for my personal projects, having more time to exercise, having more time to practice my instruments, watching the movies want to. Try to make a list of everything you look towards doing, instead of everything you have lost.
Instead of being sorry for yourself, enjoy your singlehood. Now you have more time in your hands to do whatever you feel like doing, and see whoever you feel like seeing. A lot of people naturally start doing things to get their ex’s attention. I’ve seen this happen to my friends, and how afterward they regret doing it. Try to refrain from doing this. Do things that truly make you happy. You do not need to see what they are up to and they do not need to see what you are up to. Honestly, then what’s the point of breaking up? Doing that is even more toxic than staying together. Do things solely for yourself. This is the only way we can process these difficult emotions and move on.
Something I’ve also noticed (in some cases) is that people lose themselves, and their personalities in a relationship. This can happen for two reasons. First, because you are blindly in love and don’t realize that you stopped caring about your goals. Or second, because you’ve been manipulated by a person who is too clingy, demanding, and jealous, and to spare a fight you stop doing what you like. Sometimes is both. Don’t change who you are or stop doing what you like to save yourself a fight. Don’t let your partner manipulate you. If he or she doesn’t trust you or does not appreciate who you are and what you like, then trust me you are better off without them. This is a time for you to find yourself again, and figure out what you actually want. Work on that.
It’s important for you to look back and examine your relationship. Look at the pros and cons. What have you learned? What do you want and don’t want for your next relationship?
Also, we need to ask ourselves, do I like the person I was throughout the relationship? If you do, then find those traits that you like and embrace them. From the other person as well, what do you like about them that you wish to mirror and learn from their character? If you don’t like who you were, be humble, and try to work on those traits you didn’t like about yourself during the relationship. This is the best way to grow and to improve your personality. It will not only help you in your next romantic relationship but also in your current and future relationships with your friends and family.
Just because you feel lonely, don’t go running back to that person. You have most likely broken up for a good reason. Do not lose your self-worth trying to prove your value in their life. If, after having spent a good amount of time alone, you really feel that you want to continue with this person. Then analyze what you should work on so that you don’t continue to repeat the same mistakes as before. Also, talk with that person to see if they want the same thing as you want. But this should only be if you really feel that you’ve worked everything you needed to work on yourself. Only then, if you still think you can be happier with your ex, meditate and take the decision you feel is best for you. Sometimes that space was all you needed and was the best thing that could have happened to your relationship.
I know this is hard, but you need to create distance from that person. Otherwise moving on is almost impossible. Just resist the temptation to get in contact with them, reacting to their stories, answering their texts, and seeing their posts over and over on social media. Staying in contact with your past is another way to prolong the frustration and hurt. Trust me is easier once you let go. Try to think about the other person as well. They must be having a bad time too. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, then don’t be selfish and do it for them.
Channel your focus
Instead of feeding negative thoughts, try to channel those feelings that you are experiencing in your work.
Important, don’t ignore your feelings. Ignoring them is as bad as letting them influence you. Acknowledge your feelings, and try to understand why you are feeling this way. Don’t let them stay, look at your feelings as clouds passing by and use work to not let them rain over you, but just to see them pass by.
Talk to your friends
If you are not a big talker like me, opening up can be hard. If you are, then great! I’ve always envied people who can open up to their friends, I really admire how well they can express their feelings. It’s like having free therapy, you get to let off some steam and get great advice from someone who knows you and cares about you. Even if you are that type of person who does not open up as easily as others, friends are still the best therapy. You don’t have to talk about your feelings with them, but it can help you to keep distracted from your own thoughts, have a good time, and know that there are still people who care about you besides your ex partner.
Stay single as long as you can
Go out on dates, have fun. Just don’t get into a relationship so fast. Evaluate your options. If you like someone get to know them first. There’s no rush for you to be together right away. If you really like each other, then you’ll get there. But for now, just enjoy and see if they are a good fit for you. This way you don’t end up with someone you don’t want to just because you rushed into something without giving yourself the time to get to know them really well. Save yourself regrets.
Don’t regret your relationship.
You were once happy, and you created amazing memories with that special someone. Focus on that. You didn’t waste time. You invested your time in your own happiness. Now that the relationship isn’t working anymore, it’s good you got out so you keep on being happy.
It’s like clothes, you bought this amazing shirt, every time you wore it, it made you feel amazing and confident. But now, it’s out of style, you don’t feel as confident in it as you used to before, and prefer not to wear it anymore. Try to see your relationship as a piece of clothing. Besides you always get to keep your favorite piece you don’t throw it away… who knows, maybe you’ll need it in the future. Not for now, but who knows later.
See? All relationships are like pieces of clothes. Sometimes there is this hideous thing that never ever worked out on you, sooner or later you are gonna have to throw it away and stop wearing it. Others, no matter how old and dusty they get you still keep them. So much comfort, and too many memories. Just please, classify your clothes. Closet cleaning is necessary once in a while. It’s tedious, but you know you are gonna feel better afterward.