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How to Mend a Broken Heart After a Relationship Ends

Kieron graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2000 with a Bachelors degree in Psychology.


Ending a serious relationship is one of the worst decisions a person ever has to make. There are so many questions and emotions that a person is forced to confront. Then, when it is all done, the person has to struggle with how to live alone.

Depending on the person's past and their personality, single life can be heaven or hell. Sometimes the best part of being in a relationship is not having to worry about being in the dating game or going to bed lonely again. To have these things come crashing back to reality can be a hard blow for some people to take.

Fortunately, there are ways for people to cope with being single after a relationship ends. There is a light at the end of the break-up tunnel. It may take time and effort, but it is possible to embrace being single and work toward building new positive relationships with other people.

Take a Moment to Mourn

Getting over a serious relationship is not easy, so do not be ashamed if your emotions are all over the place immediately after you break up. For a while, you are going to have to embrace what you are feeling and why you are feeling that way. It is perfectly acceptable to be sad right after you break up. The thing you want to avoid is falling into a deeper depression.

In order to try avoiding that deeper, darker mood, try to limit how long you allow yourself to dwell on the past relationship. Sure, there are going to be moments that make you think of your past mate, but do not purposefully put yourself in a situation that makes you think of them. For example, try not to come home and cook their old favorite meal and sit there listening to the old mix-tape they gave you last Valentine's Day. To do that is just inviting sadness into your life, and it will be hard to recover from that.

So, ultimately, it is fine to be sad about the break-up, but try to make the mourning period as short as possible without making it harder than it already is.


Lean on Friends and Family

Sometimes the best thing you can do when you are newly single is to just talk it out with the people that are closest to your heart. There is going to be a side of you that feels like you lost your best friend when you broke up, but there are plenty of other people who still have your back and want you to be well. Take a moment to vent your feelings to them, and listen to what they have to say back to you.

The conversations will not always be easy. Your friends may be brutally honest with you about what happened, but try to listen for the lesson in it all. It could save you from having to endure a similar break-up in the future.

Talking to others is also helpful because it saves you from endlessly running "what if" scenarios through your head. If you try to sort it all out by yourself, you could torture yourself wondering if there was anything you could have done differently, or what else may have been going on that you were not aware of in the first place.

Limit Your Idle Time

The worst times after breaking up with someone special are usually the moments when you are by yourself. These are the times that all the memories creep in your head and start to make you sad. Once that happens, it is hard to do much of anything but sit on the couch and feel sorry for the situation you are in. It can become overwhelming and leave you feeling helpless.

In order to avoid these situations, the best thing you can do is try to stay busy. Whether it be cooking or cleaning your apartment or taking up a new volunteer position at an animal shelter, try to find something to put your spare time into. Investing your time into a new hobby or volunteer activity can also help you meet new people that may help you get over your break-up. It can be a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Write Out Your Feelings

Naturally, there are going to be moments when you are idle and alone. Instead of going off into a sad state, take a moment to start writing about how you feel. Not only will it help you to purge your feelings, but it will also give you a record of how you fought back from your break-up. If you use your writing constructively, you can also make goals for yourself and take note of things that helped or hurt your situation.

Months later, you can come back and read your journal and see just how far you have come in your single life. It will help you appreciate the journey while also giving you some direction on where you want to go in the future.

Remember the Things You Used to Enjoy

At some point before your serious relationship, you were single. When you were single, there were things that you used to enjoy doing as a single person. Take a moment and try to remember what all those things were that you used to like doing. Write them down on a piece of paper if you have to, but make sure that you think about what used to bring you joy. Scratch out the things that you have outgrown and the things that were dependent on your former partner, and then start to explore what you have left on your list.

It is important to see that you were special before this person came into and then left your life. You are a unique individual and you are not defined by the person you were in a relationship with in the past. Once you start to see that you had a life before, you can freely start to sample some of those activities again to see if they still hold meaning for you.

Stop Blaming Yourself

Break-ups happen to the best of us. Sometimes they are definitely due to the faults of one person, and sometimes they are just the outcome that was meant to happen. Whether or not you were the reason for the break-up, you are going to have to eventually forgive yourself for it in order to move on. Holding blame against yourself is only going to keep yourself from growing as a person, and that will ultimately keep you from being able to form any meaningful relationships in the future.

Somehow, you have to find a way to let it all go and move on. Sometimes this happens once you see your ex with someone else. Sometimes it happens once you meet someone else. Sometimes it just happens over the passage of time. In any case, you have to accept that the relationship is done and move on towards bigger and better things.

Just Live

The final way to deal with being single after a break-up is to just keep living life to the fullest. Too many people get trapped in the thought that they cannot go on after losing the person they love. Sure it may literally feel like the end of the world when it happens, but there are so many other people out there that can bring happiness back into your life. If you are not in a happy spot yourself, then your chances of finding these people is drastically reduced.

Look yourself in the mirror. Promise to do all you can to grow from the experience. Get right back out in the world and be the best person you can be.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: How do you let people know that your engagement is over without the situation becoming awkward?

Answer: The best thing you can do in this situation is to take command of the conversation. People are going to be looking to you for cues on how to act. If you come off as sad and heartbroken, they are going to treat you that way in return. If you explain the situation honestly and with confidence, they'll think you've come to terms with the broken engagement.

Don't ever feel that you owe people every detail of what happened. If you're comfortable telling the story to people, then let them know. If there are things you'd rather keep to yourself, that's fine as well.

Question: Will it always be this hard to get over a relationship? In my case, my boyfriend is overseas and he just moved on. He told me in a day and expects everything to be OK.

Answer: Some relationships are extremely hard to get over, and there is no concrete timetable for how long it takes to feel happy again. It's not unusual for one person in a relationship to move on faster than the other person in the relationship. It doesn't necessarily mean that the relationship wasn't as special to them. They may just have a different way of moving on and coping with it.