Breaking up after a long-term relationship is tough. The emotions and memories can be intense, and it takes time and determination to move on.
So, what do you do after a breakup? How do you get over someone? Here are our tips to help you move on after a long-term relationship.
Understand and process your emotions
Give yourself permission to cry and be sad
Crying and being sad after a relationship ends are completely normal reactions. They can even help you process your feelings about the breakup.
Don’t be afraid to cry. You don’t need to feel embarrassed, guilty or ashamed. Crying can help you release your pain and move through it rather than keeping it all in. Give yourself permission to experience these moments of sadness.
Talk to your friends
Everyone copes with emotion differently. Some prefer to process their pain alone, while others need support from loved ones.
Some would like support from their friends, but are reluctant to ask for it out of fear or shame. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your loved ones. They will most likely be more supportive than you think, and they can be a great resource when it comes to helping you get over someone. They can give you a more objective view of the situation and good advice to help you move on.
Stop blaming yourself
After a breakup, we often blame ourselves for what happened. While some may be more directly responsible for the breakup than others, relationships are a two-way street, and everyone has their part to play. Things getting too routine in a long-term relationship
can often cause breakups, and no one person is to blame.
Even if you feel responsible for the breakup and regret it, wallowing in self-pity won’t help you deal with your emotions and move on. Take a step back, put things in perspective and tell yourself that the breakup was not entirely your fault, even if your ex is trying to make you believe it.
Stop idealizing your ex
In addition to blaming themselves for the breakup, some people tend to idealize their ex. This is normal too—you undoubtedly still have strong feelings for them.
Try not to view the past with rose-coloured glasses, exonerate your ex entirely or place the blame for the breakup squarely on your own shoulders. Putting your ex on a pedestal will just make it harder for you to move on.
A great strategy for dealing with your emotions and moving on is keeping busy. Try to get out to give yourself a change of scenery and do activities you like to get your mind off things. It’s easier to avoid dwelling on the breakup if you keep yourself occupied.
During these activities, turn off your phone and avoid scrolling through pictures of you and your ex together. There are times to let yourself feel nostalgic, but the purpose of keeping busy is to give your mind a break from grief, which will help you move on.
Take time for yourself
Focus on self-care
We often let ourselves go a bit after a breakup. While this is normal, it’s important not to let it go on for too long. At a certain point, you need to start taking care of yourself and taking your mind off things.
So, get a fierce new haircut, do some retail therapy, go for a massage
—whatever self-care means to you! This is an important part of moving on and looking to the future.
Looking to the future
Many of us get stuck in our grief after a breakup and have a hard time picturing the future, but it’s important to do so. By imagining a new future for yourself, you’ll be able to let go of the future you thought you would have with your ex.
Think about your future and what you’re planning to do this year, and be optimistic! Soon, you’ll be ready to get out there and meet new people to build a life with.
For those who are love-shy
, picturing the future can be more difficult, because meeting new people is a challenge in and of itself. Don’t get discouraged—you can build a good future for yourself too.
Reflect and learn from your mistakes
Taking time for yourself doesn’t always mean extravagant outings and spending money. Self-care can also be done at a spiritual and personal level. Meditation and reflection can help you lessen your pain, put it into perspective, and look forward to the future with serenity.
You can also take a more objective look at your relationship and the reasons for the breakup, which could help you learn from the experience and any mistakes you made. By taking the time to identify the issues, you may be able to prevent them from recurring.
Learn to manage your relationship with your ex
Whether or not you stay friends with your ex is up to you. Some prefer a clean break and stop seeing their ex entirely, while others decide to maintain an amicable relationship.
There’s no one perfect approach to this—everyone must act as they see fit. The only advice we can give is to avoid creating a toxic atmosphere. If your relationship with your ex is toxic and full of resentment, let it go. A relationship like that will only stress you out and waste your time.
Don’t be afraid of seeing your ex
If you decide to pursue a friendship with your ex, it’s normal to feel awkward the first few times you see each other. Seeing the person you loved as a friend rather than a romantic partner takes getting used to. You’ll probably experience feelings and memories that can make the transition challenging.
Leave the past behind, and do your best to break the ice. It’s easier said than done, but it’s essential if you want an amicable, unambiguous friendship with your ex.
Remember the good times and think positive
Our last piece of advice is to focus on the positive. When you think back to your relationship with your ex or see objects or places that remind you of them, let yourself enjoy the happy memories even though the relationship is over.
As Dr. Seuss said, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”