At the end of a relationship, it’s easy to become stuck in the past. You find yourself wondering what you could have said or done differently to avoid that last fight. You replay your favourite song over and over to relive the good times. You may even fantasize about how to win back your old partner.
While a certain amount of sadness is natural, the sooner you accept the situation the sooner you can reclaim your life. Consider these proven strategies for how to look ahead and move on.
Changing your Perspective
- Affirm your worth. Splitting up can leave you feeling guilty or rejected. Instead of thinking that you’ve failed, focus on what you’ve learned. Remember that you deserve happiness and fulfillment.
- Take responsibility. At the same time, acknowledge the role that you played in any conflicts. By examining your actions, you discover what you can do differently next time. That’s a lot more powerful than being a victim.
- Face reality. Chances are you’d still be together if you were really soul mates. When you stop idealizing your old flame, you’re more likely to notice other interesting singles.
- Talk it over. Connect with family and friends who want to support you at this difficult time. They may have similar experiences and fresh insights.
- Identify triggers. Everyday sights and sounds may bring back disturbing memories. Take your ex’s photos off your phone.
- Set goals. Empower yourself by taking on an ambitious project. Use your extra free time to reflect on your purpose and priorities. Maybe you want to devote more energy to your career or community activities.
- Care for your health. Does a broken heart make you lose your appetite or drive you to seek comfort in a pint of Rocky Road? Protect your emotional wellbeing by staying physically fit.
- Consider counseling. Whether you initiated the breakup or it came as a surprise, you may be feeling overwhelmed. A therapist who specializes in relationship issues can help you cope with your loss and replace your previous patterns with more rewarding behavior.
Trying Something New
- Redecorate your surroundings. If your apartment reminds you too much of your ex, restyle your space. If you can’t afford to replace the furniture, there are plenty of low budget solutions, like a fresh coat of paint or building a headboard out of an old door.
- Expand your interests. You may have been neglecting your hobbies if your last partner didn’t share your passion for opera or volley ball. Resume the activities you love, and discover some new outlets.
- Schedule a makeover. It’s easier to reinvent yourself when you’re comfortable with the way you look. Browse magazines for ideas or start small if you’re still figuring out what works for you. If a tattoo seems too radical, shape your eyebrows or get a pedicure.
- Travel the globe. Pick a destination you’re excited about seeing. Look forward to interacting with others who see you as an individual instead of half a former couple. Enjoy feeling capable on your own as you figure out foreign currencies and sample the local cuisine.
- Stay busy. There’s a difference between accepting your grief and wallowing in it. The more you do, the less time you’ll have to stare at the phone.
Bounce back after a breakup. Soothe your hurt feelings and shift your attention to the future. By using your old relationship as an opportunity to work on yourself, you’ll be preparing for a new and more lasting love.