Kate is a relationship mentor and holds a B.S. degree from Sonoma State University. She currently resides in Sonoma, California.
Your relationship has ended. Now what? Endings are never easy, but life must go on. If you’re not sure how to move past your breakup, here are some suggestions to get you through this painful period and emerge a better you.
Develop a Healthy Philosophy
1. Moving Forward - The definition of fortitude is “strength and endurance in a difficult or painful situation”. You need to take things slowly. Moving forward is the goal following the end of a relationship, and it is important to realize that the process is gradual. It is best achieved by taking small steps and maintaining daily routines. Occasionally, you take one step forward and two steps back, but you always keep moving. Quitting is not an option.
2. Accept Your Feelings – Allow yourself to experience whatever feelings you are having, and don’t attempt to suppress those feelings, no matter how painful they may be. Being honest with yourself about what you are feeling is an important first step in the process of moving forward.
3. Grieve – You won’t recover from your grief overnight. Give yourself the time you need to grieve over the loss of your relationship. Understand that grief is a natural and necessary first step toward healing, and realize that it won’t last forever. Be aware that grief is different than depression – if you think you are depressed, you should seek professional help. Joining a support group is a good option.
4. Don’t Despair – Look forward to the next stage in your life with hope for a better future. Try to keep a sense of optimism that things are going to get better. Positive thoughts attract positive energy. Also remember that providing help and healing wherever it is needed helps you to heal yourself.
5. Figure Out What’s Next – Ask yourself what the next chapter of your life is going to be about, and start moving in that direction. Try new activities and discover a new passion that pulls you down a new path. Success in a new endeavor may improve your self-esteem and make the future look a little brighter.
6. Take Your Time – Patience is a virtue, and the best outcomes happen when things are allowed to move at their own pace. A relationship takes time to develop from beginning to end. It didn’t happen overnight. Neither will the healing or cleansing that needs to take place in order to move forward.
Putting It Into Practice
7. Share Your Feelings – Communicate openly with loved ones about how you are feeling. Get things off your chest and out into the open instead of bottling up negative emotions.
8. Maintain Current Relationships – Stay in contact with your family and friends rather than turning inward. Although there are times when you just want to be alone, don’t forget that there is comfort to be found in the company of people who care about you.
9. Begin a Journal – If you’re uncomfortable sharing your feelings with others, keeping a journal is a good way to express yourself. Emotions over a breakup come and go in their own time. Writing in a journal and recording your thoughts and feelings provides an outlet. Internalizing can have a negative effect on the mind, body, emotions and spirit. Better to get them out of your system and onto paper. Let the journal function as a tool to bear the burden of carrying the pain, so you don’t have to.
10. Join a Support Group – Joining a support group has its advantages. Friends and family often tell you what you want to hear. In a group, you may gain wisdom from a more objective perspective. In addition, being in a group of others who are dealing with the same issues reminds you that you are not alone in your grief, and in that there is comfort.escalate, leading to an additional problem.
11. Make New Friends – Get out and socialize, accept invitations, and give yourself the opportunity to meet new people and establish new relationships.
12. Find a Hobby – Discover new interests, take a class at the local college, or volunteer your time with a charitable organization like the ASPCA. New interests are like new relationships, in that they help you rediscover yourself, and grow as a person.
13. Travel Somewhere New - Traveling has been a way to get over grief as old as time itself. Traveling someplace new will help you to embrace change in your life and it also has a way of broadening your perspective not just on your life, but life in general. Travel someplace new either by yourself is a self-reflective mindset or with a partner if you think that will help you. Either way, make sure to keep your mind open to the new experiences you'll encounter along the way.
14. Stay Healthy – Working through any trauma requires a great deal of energy. If you live a healthy lifestyle that includes sufficient sleep and a healthy diet, it will help provide you with the stamina to cope with a breakup. Regular exercise will make you look better and feel stronger, which will increase your self-confidence. Exercise also releases endorphins that make you feel better.
15. Avoid Self-Medicating – It is never a good choice to self-medicate to avoid the pain of a breakup. To do so only treats the symptom of the problem, not the cause. If the pain is unbearable, refer to any of the suggestions provided above that offer support. Seek compassion from those who care about you and understand that your pain is real. Self-medicating provides only a temporary escape, and can
On Your Own Volition
16. Embrace the Chaos – Chaos makes you move. It allows you the courage to be afraid, yet take a chance anyway. Working through the pain of a breakup requires bravery. It would be easy to sweep it all under the rug. But in doing so, you wouldn’t get from where you are to where you’d like to be.
17. Let Go – There comes a point where you have to let go in order to move forward. Letting go is a personal choice to forgive yourself and your ex for mistakes and past transgressions, and regrets about the relationship. We humans are imperfect, but we have the ability to learn from our experiences and mistakes.
18. Enjoy Nature - The natural world can be healing, refreshing, and rejuvenating. There is nothing like a hike in the mountains, or quiet time sitting on the shores of a pristine lake. There is peace and comfort in the solitude of silence that allows you to step back, take a breath and reevaluate. The outdoors provides a perfect place for introspection.
19. Me Time – Spend some quality time with yourself. You’ve been identifying yourself as part of a couple, but now is the time is to get to know yourself as an individual again.
20. Meditation – Meditation and mindfulness to prevent suppression of feelings is an important part of cleansing the system. Meditation may be moving (Tai Chi and Chi Gong) or still (sitting in the Lotus position). All forms of meditation require slow, even breathing to achieve a peaceful and restful state. You may find that meditation brings you more clarity on your situation.
21. Self-Analysis – Now is the time for honest self–evaluation. What did you do well, and what mistakes did you make in this relationship? Learn from the experience, and apply new found wisdom to your future relationships.
22. Remember – Don’t dwell on the past, but take a step back to remember both the good and the bad objectively. Try to figure out what you’ve learned from the experience.
23. Avoid Romanticizing - Avoid romanticizing your relationship now that it is over. If you find yourself focusing only on the good that is lost and not the struggles you endured, consider making a list of all the struggles of the relationship. This way you will be sure not to easily forget that there were plenty of problems that caused you to break up in the first place.
24. Face Personal Fears – Change is uncomfortable. Disruptions of daily routines are disorienting. Fear of the unknown is always scary. Keep it simple and be willing to take a chance. Remember the cliché that when one door closes, another opens. Get excited for fresh starts and new beginnings.
25. Separation – Don’t call, text, or email your ex, and don’t accept calls from him or her. Continued contact can be confusing and painful. Make a clean break so that you are able to move forward.
Nothing lasts forever. In his eulogy to his wife, the late comedian, George Carlin said to mourn as much as you need. But at some point you have to realize that the only person who is with you your entire life, is you. When you come to that realization, it is possible to move forward. A breakup is never easy. But there is hope that you can survive to become stronger person.
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.
© 2018 Kate Daily
Kate Daily (author) from California on January 04, 2018:
That's a very complicated question and only you can decide what's best. Consider sitting him down for a serious talk to express your feelings as a starting point.
Also think about finding a counselor or therapist to talk to about these issues. Sometimes just having someone to listen to you and bounce ideas off of can be a huge help!
Hopefully in the end you will do whatever is best for your children.
Tan jennings on January 04, 2018:
My boyfriend does not treat my children good what should I do
Kate Daily (author) from California on January 04, 2018:
Very true! There really are "plenty of fish in the sea."
Also, with technology there are more ways to connect with these people than ever before!
Thank you for the comment!
dashingscorpio from Chicago on January 04, 2018:
In a world with over 7 Billion people rejection just means: NEXT!
Every ending is a new beginning!