Coping With a Break Up
You Can Survive Your Break Up!
Nearly everyone has gone through a bad break up or two in their lifetime.
Those soul-crushing experiences where we don't even feel like rolling out of bed in the morning can be quite deblitating.
We spend a lot of time wondering "if this is it", is this a final and permanent break? We may spend a lot of time wondering if somehow the object of our affections will return to us.
We have little else on our minds during these discouraging times besides the deep pain we feel, but we have to learn to manage this pain and move forward effectively. Life does not stop just because he or she does not love us anymore.
Your primary concern right now should be taking care of yourself.
You are likely to feel a lack of energy, a general disinterest in your normal day to day activities, you may be experiencing disruptions to your sleep patterns, either having problems with insomnia or sleeping much more than normal. You may also be experiencing a sharp increase or decrease in appetite. You may be finding it difficult to socialize.
In the event that you are experiencing any of these symptoms to a point where your life is being disrupted, that is missing work, rapid weight loss or weight gain, an inability to take care of your responsibilities, please go to your regular doctor for a complete physical at your earliest opportunity. It is possible that your break up is triggering a clinical depression and only a licensed physician can diagnose and treat this properly.
Once you have taken care of your physical self, you need to begin taking care of your emotional and psychological self as well.
This is an opportune time for you to thoroughly examine your relationship history and perform what I like to refer to as a "Relationship Autopsy".
What was the "cause of death" here?
Did your relationship die of neglect or was it a death that occurred due to suffocation?
Were you compatible and well matched or were you both at odds from the beginning?
Did one of you simply outgrow the other?
Did you or your partner take the relationship for granted?
Be honest in your assessment of the situation so that you are able to apply what you learn to your next relationship in order to keep it healthier and happier.
A good exercise during the "Relationship Autopsy" stage is to fold a paper in two and create two columns, one labeled "Positive" and the other labeled "Negative". Here you will honestly list all of the positive and negative characteristics of the dearly departed relationship. You may be surprised to find at the end of this exercise which side of the paper contains more items.
If it is the negative side, why on earth are you so sad? Feel happy that you have been released from what must have been a difficult situation and that you are now free to move forward and make a fresh start!
If it is the positive side, first, review your list and be sure that you are being truly honest. If so, then yes, you are in a lot of pain and the only way out of pain is to work through it. You cannot escape it. You must experience it so that you can begin to heal. You will need to take an inventory at your relationship autopsy.
If the relationship was, indeed, so positive, you must now decipher how it came to pass away in the manner that it did.
Make another list.
One column is your contribution to the death toll, the other is your ex-partners.
Again, be honest and review which side is longer. What do you learn by analyzing your lists? What mistakes have you made that you see a pattern with at this, and other relationship autopsies?
Now that you have ascertained the cause of death, it is time to allow the relationship to rest in peace. Perform your personal memorial service. Put away all of the little reminders and mementos that keep evoking your sadness. Put them away in a box, somewhere out of the way, like in the attic or a deep, dark closet, or, if you are really strong, throw them out!
The next step is where a lot of people, women more so than men, begin to faulter, this is the step where you begin to move on.
How soon after a breakup should you start to date?
As soon as you can possibly bear it!
Everyone has a different "relationship clock" and you may feel hesitant to date others because you are so hoping that your broken relationship will mend. You are afraid that if you go out and date others that your ex will give up any notion of returning to you.
This is absolutely not the case! In fact, the exact opposite is usually true if there is any chance of repairing a broken relationship.
When your lost love senses or finds out that you have begun investigating other opportunities, they will (if they have any inclination to do so in the first place), begin their journey back into your life even more quickly than if you put your life on hold waiting to see what happens.
Is there a risk that if you move on your ex will not return?
But that risk exists even if you are sitting at home by the phone waiting for them to call, watching their msypace or facebook page, or checking to see if they are logged in to match.com!
Would you rather spend your time apart sitting around using all of your energy building anxiety within yourself trying to determine what your ex is currently up to, or would you rather invest that time being out and about socializing and meeting new people? Forcing yourself to be social, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel at first, will take your focus off your pain, at least temporarily, and allow you to potentially meet some great new people in the process.
The reason woman have a more difficult time than men in moving into the "moving on" stage seems to be that women in general, do not have a realisitc perspective on what "Dating" actually is.
The majority of women today view "Dating" solely as a prelude to a "relationship", when, in fact, there is such a thing as "Casual Dating".
Casual dating is just that. Casual. You may not think of your Friday night first date as "relationship material", but he is a nice enough guy, within your scale of acceptability for socialization, and it beats spending the weekend all alone.
Women must understand that they are keeping company for the evening and not project beyond that point. A woman may realize that this is not someone they wish to fall in love with or build a relationship with, but his company is pleasant enough to pass an evening, or perhaps even a few evenings with.
There is no pressure as you know you are not "into him". You can just relax and enjoy the dinner or the movie or the show you are attending.
Casual dating also helps you to keep your social skills polished.
When you are not emotionally invested in a male, it allows you to learn how to converse and interact without feeling any anxiety over the impressions you are making upon him. The risk of losing their interest does not come to bear pressure on as as we are already aware that we are not seeing this particular person in the hopes of building a future with them, we are just "casually dating" for purposes of socialization.
Every person we date does NOT have to be a black or white, yes or no, Mr./Ms. Right or Mr./Ms. Wrong, they can actually be somewhere in the middle, someone to spend time with until either the love of our life appears or reappears.
When casually dating it is wise for women especially to refrain from sexual intimacy, as women are known to bond through the sex act, and you don't want to bond to someone that you do not perceive as future relationship material, thus setting the stage for a future relationship failure.
This also allows us to feel comfortable in learning to date more than one person at a time, which is the definition of "casual", no commitments to being exclusive.
Keep dating casually until one of two things occurs.
1) Our original love returns and commits on the level we require.
2) We meet someone through the casual dating process that we do feel we can have a relationship with and they ASK us to become exclusive to them.
Completion of either Items One or Two above means that:
YOU HAVE SURVIVED YOUR BREAKUP!
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