How to Deal With Being Alone After A Breakup
Ways To Work Through The Process and Emerge Whole
After you've been in a long term relationship, the loss of your significant other can be a devastating blow, especially if it was sudden. The days and weeks afterward may be the most difficult ones you've faced in your life, and many feel weak and powerless during this time. Although it may be human nature to either curl up and escape from the world, or immediately seek out a replacement relationship, there are better options when faced with this issue.
Its important to understand your situation. You were previously part of a couple, and now you are alone. You've perhaps lost your best friend, confidante or lover, and now feel the immense hole this leaves in your life. This is perfectly natural, and you have every right to feel angry, outraged, betrayed, sad, depressed or bewildered.
First, you need to contact your support group - family, friends or coworkers that will understand your situation, and help you through this time. If ever there was a time you should be reaching out to others, it is now. Forget your pride - you need someone to talk to, someone to vent on, someone to understand your pain. You must find a way to let the pain that is inside come out. Talking, yelling, crying - whatever you need to do to release the pent up emotion - let it out. But do it in the presence of someone you trust, for they have a very important role to play. That role is to help you make good choices, or prevent you from making bad ones.
At this time, your decision making process is going to be compromised - you must accept this. There no right and wrong when it comes to emotions - don't try to filter or edit them - let them out. You will be strongly motivated to make decisions based purely on emotion, whether its to throw your planter through a window, or call your ex and make death threats. You need the strength and clarity of thought that someone else can give you. They will let you vent, but make sure you don't cross a line - and you need to listen to them. This phase is one of heat, of passion.
Also realize this step in the process takes time. Some can vent for a few hours and start to feel better. Some take days, or even weeks. Take whatever time you need to get the initial negative emotions out. This part of the process is very important to work through, as it allows you to move to the next step.
Once you have the bulk of the venting done, its time to start dealing with what to do with yourself. This will be one of the more difficult phases to move through, as it can be time consuming, slow moving and very confusing. This phase is one of cold, of loneliness. The days will be hard, and the nights even harder. Many of us lead busy lives during the day, but find ourselves at home alone at night, with only the sound of your thoughts to listen to, and this can be a terribly painful time. So what can you do to help yourself get through this period?
Before we answer that, you must realize that you have now started the healing process. It will be a long and difficult process, but it has begun. We all know when we are physically injured, that time is the best healer - keep the injury protected, and let time do its work. The same applies to emotional injuries - protect yourself, and realize that time will need to pass in order for things to improve. It may be hard for you to do, as many of us feel they should be doing something to work towards healing, when all that is needed is time.
Of course, you need something to do with that time, and this is where you really can start doing something important for yourself. Reflect on your time in your relationship, and think about what parts of it weren't ideal. Did you have problems communicating? Did you lack things in common? Did you let yourself get out of shape? Did you get lazy and take things for granted? Did you overlook or misunderstand things your partner was saying? None of us are perfect, and this in no way implies that the loss of the relationship was your fault. But, as with almost any situation in life, we can take lessons from it, and try to improve ourselves. Reflection will allow you to identify some weaknesses in yourself, and hopefully you will take this opportunity to work on self improvement.
At this point, you have a fair amount of time on your hands, time that may be difficult to pass quickly. You should take up something that will help pass the gaps of time you find yourself alone, but dread the endless mind spinning that happens. Identify something positive you can do to improve upon yourself, such as:
1. Take up learning a new language so you can travel more
2. Learn a musical instrument
3. Take up keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings
4. Learn to dance
5. Work on home improvement or renovations
Make it something you can do alone, at any time, on demand, for that is when you will need it most. By focusing on a project that has an end goal, you help occupy your mind during quiet times, gain a new skill and find a release as you work through the healing time. Also, don't feel you need to do just one. If you are up to the challenge, try new and different things - push your boundaries. By working towards these new goals, you help build your self confidence, which is a very important part of the overall process.
Also, don't forget to keep in contact with the people closest to you. It's very common to have relapses during this time, where you feel yourself slipping backwards. When this happens, get in contact with someone right away - let them ground you again, and remind you of how far you've come, and what you are working towards. Sometimes, a good conversation just helps pass the time, which is itself helpful.
Eventually, you will find the low times becoming less and less, and some of your normal personality resurfacing. When this starts happening, take note of it, and feel proud of what you've accomplished thus far. You probably come a far way since the initial breakup, and the healing is well on its way. Now is not the time to take risks yet. You are still sensitive, and since you've achieved so much already, you definitely don't want to risk too much and find yourself backtracking. Go ahead and meet new people, but don't be too quick trying to find that next relationship. You probably aren't ready for it, and you may end up hurting someone else because of your emotional condition.
Finally, months later, you will feel strength returning. Life is becoming pleasant again, and you're finding yourself enjoying your time alone. You've probably achieved something you are proud of during your healing time, which can become a permanent part of your life from this point forward. You are now probably ready to put yourself back out there and resume dating. Your friends and family have probably been a big support for you thus far, and will love to see you reach this stage. Don't forget about them when you rejoin the dating scene. Keep in contact with them, and make sure you thank them for all they've done to help.
Most importantly, be there for anyone else that goes through this process. You've felt the pain and the loneliness, and the process that needs to happen to get through it. Walk them through it, gently, and be there in their times of weakness.