The love affair is over, what the hell now...
How to cope after a break-up
So either you or your partner has decided to pull the plug on your relationship. As is natural, you are feeling pretty devastated. Here are the Top 30 coping strategies when a relationship ends.
Top 30 post-relationship coping strategies
- When you can’t stop thinking about an ex, try to change your thought patterns about them. Distract yourself with other things and thoughts. This isn’t easy, it takes a concerted effort, time and hard work. Eventually you will look back on your memories without feeling any pain. The bad memories will subside, and the good memories will remain.
- Often, when a relationship ends, one partner still has strong feelings of love for the other. Don’t concentrate on your feelings for your ex as you’ll start to obsess and will have problems moving on. You lived, laughed and loved before you met your ex. You will live, laugh and love again. As humans, we’re very resillient and time does heal as you adjust and learn to cope.
- Don’t tell your ex about your thoughts, pain, feelings and hurts. You might find it soothing at the time, but it makes your ex think you’re pathetic. If you’re doing it to try and make them feel guilty, don’t bother, because they won’t. Rather write down all your thoughts, feelings, etc and put it somewhere safe in a drawer. This helps as you’ve got it all off your chest. Don’t give in to the temptation to give your ex the letter. They are really not interested in what you have to say. They have moved on.
- The most important thing is to keep your mind occupied. Some people throw themselves into their job. Just think of all the extra money you can earn working overtime!
- Talk to friends and family when you’re feeling down, or throw a pity party for yourself. But, don’t go on and on, as they’ll soon tire of your misery and avoid you because they think you’re hard work.
- Go out and do something you’ve always wanted to do, but never had the time to do. Don’t have the money? Cut back on something else and splurge! Treat yourself; you deserve it.
- We can’t change things others do. No amount of stress or worrying about things will change the situation. So, accept what’s happened and move on. Dwelling on this and over-analysing everything will only hurt you more.
- When you become sad or miss your ex, remind yourself of how you felt whenever they intentionally did or said something to hurt you. You don’t really want this person in your life. You deserve much better.
- If all else fails, don’t feel too embarrassed to get professional help to help with the break-up.
- Remember, that often it’s not the actual person you miss, but the emotion that was created during the good times. You can recapture that same emotion again with someone else.
- Keep reminding yourself on how important it is, to take care of you. Don’t worry about the ex. How they cope with the break-up is not your problem, but their problem.
- Take up an activity that your ex wouldn’t have enjoyed, but you always wanted to do. This’ll give you the opportunity to meet other people with similar interests to yourself.
- Visit friends and family you haven’t seen for ages.
- Don’t be tempted to visit your ex for one last farewell sex session. Your ex will just be using you. Dynamite sex won’t change their mind and make them come running back to you, and you’ll just feel empty and depressed afterwards.
- Avoid a rebound relationship if you possibly can. You don’t want to set up another Victim for hurt and pain. You need to work through your issues first, spend time with yourself and let yourself heal.
- Write down goals for yourself. They can be small goals like, “Phone Mum once a week.” Put them on your fridge. It helps to keep you on task, stay focused and gives you something to look forward to, which is very important at this time.
- Take the opportunity to spring-clean your life and make changes. Look on the whole episode as a self-growing process.
- The best revenge is to be happy. Find something to make you smile about at least once a day.
- If the ex tells you they found someone better than you, don’t dwell on it. It just tells you what a sorry character they have. Also, remember that many hurtful words are said during a break-up, which are regretted later. Take them from where they’ve come.
- Go to a travel agent and look through travel brochures. Even if you don’t have the money to travel at this stage, it could be a goal to focus on – saving money to travel. What this does do, is show you that there is a big wide world out there and there are many other experiences waiting for you to experience, apart from your ex.
- Read all you can about divorce or ending relationships. It helps to know that there are others out there who have gone through what you’re going through now and survived. It’ll be very encouraging for you. Go away for a weekend, take a friend with you, and explore some nearby town or village you’ve never been to before.
- You will need all your reserves so pamper yourself as much as possible. Eat healthily; join a gym and work out to get rid of all the hurt and anger inside you.
- Start thinking about your ex as a bad habit you need to break.
- Don’t try to find reasons why your relationship ended, why your ex didn’t want you, lied to you, cheated on you or whatever. Because, the truth is, there is no one answer, no one reason. Dwelling on possible reasons, who’s to blame, who did what and who said what, will get you nowhere fast. The fact is, obsessing about the whys and hows could actually make you physically ill. The ex has gone. The relationship is over and nothing you do or say will change that.
- Don’t try to force or manipulate someone to love you or be with you. You lose your self-respect if you do that, and they won’t respect you if you try. Don’t call them and then hang-up or start stalking them. It makes you come across as pathetic and desperate.
- Easy to say I know, but accept what has happened to you. Find someone who makes you happier than your ex. The only person who can stop that from happening, is you.
- If you try everything and still can’t stop obsessing about your ex, then you might have been in an addictive relationship. Recognise that you are hooked and write down all the things that fed your addiction in the relationship. Now write down all the negative things and feelings you experienced in the relationship. For this to work you have to remove your rose-coloured glasses and be very honest. It’s like a Pros and Cons list. Read through what you’ve written. No doubt, if you’ve been honest with yourself, you’ll see what an unbalanced relationship you really had.
- It is natural to mourn a dead relationship. Try and restrict the length of the grieving period, by throwing yourself a pity party to get it all out of your system in one go. Pack up all your ex’s belongings and courier it back to them.
- Don’t apologise for their shitty behaviour and take all the blame for the demise of the relationship. It takes two to tango, two to make a good relationship but only one to end a bad relationship.
- Write down the things you might have done wrong, the part you might have played and focus on changing them in your next relationship.
My late grandmother used to tell me, life is like a tapestry. You can only see the whole picture when the tapestry is complete. The dark threads represent the trials and bad times in our lives. The brightly-coloured threads represent the good in our lives. The dark threads make the brightly-coloured threads stand out more, so the bad helps to highlight the good, and make us appreciate it so much more. Isn’t it better to have a rich life tapestry with lots of contrasting colours, than a bland dull one?
Extract from my book on how to stop the pattern of abusive relationships in your life, Fear, Phobias and Frozen Feet.