Let’s face it. Break-ups hurt. And for many of us – a lot!
Often, it’s the rejection that makes us ache and the realisation that the person we pinned our hopes on to spend the rest of our lives with just isn’t going to be that trustworthy partner we thought they would be. Our dreams are dashed.
Getting over a relationship means moving on from broken dreams, hopes for the future, fun times together – whether with intimate partners, family members or friends. When things are not working, hard as it is, it’s best to move on.
The painful break-up. One of life’s greatest difficulties and something we all go through. The loss of a loved one with whom we share so many great and fun moments, the person who we built great memories with and took so many photographs of.
For some of us, they were the person we thought we’d spend the rest of our lives with and on whom we pinned all our hopes and dreams. Then……. suddenly (or maybe it’s taken a long time) it’s over. And whilst some of us may feel relief, mostly we feel disappointed, distressed and let down.
Dumper or dumpee?
Either we’re dumped, or we do the dumping. Both come with different emotions – the dumper feels guilt and the dumpee feels anger and rejection. Either way, it’s never a great, fun experience. At the time, we often don’t think we’ll recover. Sometimes the pain we feel is palpable, like our hearts will break and we obsess about them, what could have been, if only things had been different………
The truth is that relationships don’t work for many reasons, including incompatibility, a mismatch, infidelity, falling out of love, one person not wanting to be in a relationship. The list goes on. And still it hurts.
It’s part of life
For most of us, the inevitable relationship break-up is something we all experience. Think back to your first love or your greatest hurtful break-up. Painful. Horrible. Some manage to continue being friends with formers partners, although this is not most of us. Generally, once it’s over it’s over. I even know ex-partners who still spend time to enjoy Christmas celebrations with each other (and their new partners) and even travel together with their new partners. How does that work?
Part of letting go of the past means moving on from broken relationships whether with intimate partners, family members or friends. Moving on means looking forward to a life without that person/people and not carrying painful and heavy baggage with you.
Baggage is like a huge suitcase that you lug around you, filled with remorse, regret and disappointment and whilst many of us feel that after a relationship break-up, if we take the baggage with us, our past starts to affect our future. And there’s no sense in that.
Strategies to heal
In a recent research by the Journal of Experimental Psychology, the researchers gathered a group of 24 heartbroken people, ages 20-37, who had been in a long-term relationship for an average of 2.5 years.
Some had been dumped, while others had ended their relationship, but all were upset about it—and most still loved their exes. In a series of prompts, they were coached using three cognitive strategies intended to help them move on.
- Negatively appraise your ex. Look at the unfavourable aspects of your former partner lover and highlight the pros and cons of this relationship. If you are perfectly honest with yourself, the cracks were there for a long time.
- Love Appraisal – feel the sadness you feel and know it’s normal. Don’t fight it even if it’s uncomfortable.
- Distraction – be involved with positive people around you unrelated to the ex in any way. Go out, have fun, do things you have never done before or not for a long time
I also believe that time is a key factor in moving on. Emotions dull and things get back to normal over time, even though the process is a difficult one. Hopefully moving forward, you will make better partner choices in the future, although it’s not always that easy.
Remember you are wonderful and special and deserve the very best that life must offer.
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