I'm sure we all know by now that breakups are an inevitable part of life. We've all been through them, and most likely more than one. From going through short-lived and long-term relationship breakups, I have learned that not matter how bad it is, life goes on. Whether things start to fade and you begin to grow apart or something unforgivable happens, life does go on.
I've always held the belief that "everything happens for a reason". I also strive to learn something new from each relationship in hopes to better myself in some way. Learning from heartache is best if we reflect and grow from our relationship mishaps. And below are a few things I've learned throughout the years.
1. Don't look back. I know, easier said than done (in some cases) right? I've seen lots of friends go through breakups, then get back together soon after. More often than not, a second, and more difficult breakup follows rather quickly. I mean depending on the situation-- there are always exceptions to the rule, but on rare occasion. When something is broken, no matter how much time you put into mending it back together, it's never quite the same. And don't forget, holding true to your word shows integrity and will no doubt make you a stronger individual.
2. Avoid his facebook. Again, this depends on the situation, but if it stings to look at it, don't. Think back to when you were a little kid, if you accidently touch the stove and it stings like hell, you learn to stay away from that stove by all means. You need to use this same principle; if it causes you pain to look through an ex's social networks, avoid it.
3. If he wants to be left alone, give him that. Forcing things tend to make you look more pathetic than necessary, and ends up in causing the other person to be annoyed. Look at situations from the others point of view (also, this goes both ways) you'd be frustrated too if you wanted space and someone violated that, so respect others wishes. On the other hand, if you're the one whose fine with the breakup, don't be completely insensitive. Be gentle, but make your decision clear. i.e. if you don't want them back, be straight forward so they can more easily move on. And don't forget, even though you may be hurt, don't flaunt others short-comings or put people down just to make yourself feel better, it's childish and you'll regret it.
4. Don't place the blame on others. I remember in a past relationship, not too long after we broke up did he start seeing someone new. I hadn't known the extent of things, or had it been clarified that anything was going on, so for a while I was in the dark. When I finally found out that they were somewhat of an item my stomach dropped. I felt terrible, and whenever I talked to a friend about it, they would instantly talk bad about the new girl, and how I should just hate her. I feel like this happens a lot, I just didn't understand how it would've been fair of me to think poorly of her. She was just a girl who was [most likely] trying to comfort him. He was single, he was fair game, and for some reason people tend to place the blame on the opposite person. It really isn't fair to hate someone you don't even know, so try to look at the bigger picture instead of pinning the fault on others.
5. Don't become "the other woman." I don't think I have to expand much on this one. In short, you'll just end up feeling worse.
6. Give yourself time to heal. One of the best, and most healthy lessons you can follow through with after a breakup, especially a long-term one, is to give yourself adequate time to heal. On the first day of my philosophy class a few weeks ago, this was one of our topics of discussion that the professor brought up. He noted that he's also a therapist who specializes in marriage and couples therapy, and that this lesson is one of the most important, but disregarded lessons. It's understandable for one to seek comfort after heartache, but in order to be in a healthy relationship it's important that you're first able to stand alone and reflect on not only the others faults, but more importantly, your own. It's quite common for people to rationalize and find excuses to make themselves feel better about their situation, but until you give yourself enough time to learn and explore your own faults, it will be much more difficult to grow. Think of it as an earthquake. The bigger and messier the earthquake, the longer it will take to get things back to normal; on the other hand if the earthquake was so small that you could barely feel anything, it typically won't take long to recover.
It seems like summer is breakup season, so if you've recently gone through one remember that after you go through the bad stuff, good stuff will be sure to come. I know it can be difficult, but strive to be appreciative for everything else you have going for you; focusing on the positive can immensely change your sour disposition. Anyway, fall is always the perfect time for fresh starts and new beginnings.
If you're having a bit of a hard time getting over a breakup, hand-pick a few of these, they may be just the remedy you're looking for:
+Revisit the 8 habits to make life simpler post of mine.
+Read Miss Amy's 12-step happiness program, it'll brighten up your day.
+Helpful insights & laughs: Singledom: It's Normal, So Relax & Why Being In A Relationship Sucks.
+This adorable picture will make you smile.
+A quote that just might change the way you feel.
+Grab one of these next time you're in line at the grocery store.
And soon to follow this post will be a list of seasonal date ideas :)
(photo sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4)