How To Get Over Someone
BY ANITA MARTIN
Heartbreak. Losing a love relationship is a horrifying experience regardless of who initiated the end. Breaking up leaves us feeling rejected, hopeless, desperate, and alone. What if we never fall in love again? I mean, I thought he or she was the one. How could I have been SO wrong?
We may believe all the terrible things he or she said to us. We question ourselves and get stuck in the quick sand of reasons to stay or leave. For the first couple of weeks, we feel entitled to our sadness, our tears, and spending days in our pajamas. Social outings are replaced by regular dates with Netflix and Ben & Jerry. We distract ourselves with busyness, wine, and casual dates. We make countless trips to the mall hoping to feel attractive in the perfect outfit. We focus on getting in shape just so he’ll be sorry when he sees us. For some, it’s relatively easy to get over someone. For others, we feel lost for weeks or months. Our moods swing from anger to longing. We idealize the relationship, our partner, the past, and what could have been. “If only” becomes a way to reassure ourselves the love was real and should have worked. We torture ourselves with self-blame or wondering how this could happen. And, we honestly don’t know how to escape the mind-numbing aftermath of a break up.
The reality is we share ourselves in relationship. A break up results in lost connection and is never easy regardless of how long you were a couple. Sometimes, it’s not the break up that is difficult rather it’s the way he or she told you. For example, have you been a victim of ghosting? When a relationship ends, it’s normal to question the reason or expect closure. Closure helps us process what may or may not have gone wrong and understand our contribution to the break up. When your date ghosts you, it’s not only disrespectful of you, but also the time and energy you have given to it, even in short term connections. The ghosting partner is saying he or she doesn’t want to hurt you while refusing to acknowledge your place in the relationship. Your instinct shouts at you, “This is wrong” and yet we are somehow convinced we deserve this kind of treatment. What you truly deserve, though, is respect and the dignity of conversation. So, what are five ways to get beyond a break up?
Listen To Your Feelings
Paying attention to your emotions is different from giving in to temporary feelings of despair and hopelessness. Emotions may provide a type of road map through difficult break ups. The intensity of our emotional responses can direct us toward our needs and values. They can help us understand the parts of the relationship that were important and which were hurtful. Of course, we would not want to let our emotions drive personal choices. However, they are an important part of the bigger picture. What are your feelings saying to you? Do you need a supportive friend or time alone? Would writing about your experience be helpful?
Be Kind To Yourself
Breaking up with someone hurts and is not the time to be hard on yourself with questions like, “Why didn’t I see it?” or demands like “I should’ve known better.” If you have a tendency to turn intense emotions toward yourself, pay close attention to your self-talk. Relationships begin and end as people move in and out of our lives. Blaming yourself will only make you feel worse and prevent you from healing and getting on with life.
Ending communication with your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend is difficult. However, if you are experiencing problems letting go of the relationship, you may need to consider it. If you continue to follow him or her on Facebook and see status updates, it will keep you upset. Staying in close contact may remind you of the good and bad parts of your relationship and keep you tethered to the past. If the relationship is over, it’s important to live in the present moment rather than pining for a memory.
Find Supportive Relationships
When you’ve spent several weekends in your pajamas bingeing on movies and ice cream, consider getting out with a supportive friend. Spending time with someone who is not going to judge you or your feelings is important. We all have moments when a friend’s encouragement may be exactly what helps us break out of our isolation and get back to living.
Give Yourself Time
Time heals everything or so they say. While this is not entirely true, time does bring perspective and balance. The passage of time allows space for intense emotions to fade and for you to refocus on future choices. Time helps us look at the relationship with honesty and understanding. We may be able to notice that it had been unhealthy for a long time or that the relationship was more friendly rather than romantic.
Getting over a partner is tough. A period of sadness and grief is a normal part of lost connections. Allow yourself time for the process, and when you are feeling better, keep building the life and relationships you deserve.