Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How To REALLY Get Over A Break-Up

We are all experienced in this area whether we initiate a break-up or not.  For some the pain after a relationship ends can be mild and brief, while others experience tremendous heartache that seems to go on forever.  Several factors affect our level of functioning after a relationship ends: the length of the relationship, our emotional connection to the person, mutual vs. individual decisions to part, etc.  Regardless of what may have caused the break-up, the most important thing is the process we take to move on.

Whether you bounce back easily or need more time to heal after a break-up, taking specific steps can help in the journey from heartache to healing.

Step 1: Make a clean break
The initial goal is to position yourself in a place where you can move on.  Those dealing with many emotions need a "spring cleaning" in order to facilitate healing.  Limit opportunities to relive the hurt: erase phone numbers, Facebook pages, text messages, chat IDs; block email addresses; request that friends and family do not encourage you to contact the person (if possible).  This may be more difficult if children are involved or there are financial ties.  In those cases, have others intervene for you (have your ex pick up kids from a friend/family/neighbors house, etc.) until you are ready.

Step 2: Focus on you
Turn you efforts on yourself and discover new things about you.  Spend more time with friends and family that are supportive.  Or make new friends that are fun and share your interests.  Devote more energy to success at your job, explore an old or new hobby, volunteer in your community.  Also, take this time to get a mental health check-up.  Visit a therapist, counselor, or spiritual/religious leader to aid in your restoration.

Step 3: Re-invent yourself
Keep on working on yourself, focusing what YOU need in life and in love.  Do not dwell on mistakes from the past, but push toward success in the future.  What are things you can do to improve yourself?  Going back to school, trying a new hair color, taking a vacation with friends, joining a book club, learning to play golf...what a great time to do things you might not have previously!  This step is not to correct what is wrong or attract a new mate, but to discover things about yourself you didn't know.

Step 4: Continue to heal, heal, heal (*most difficult)
Resist the urge to jump into another relationship (or back into the same one) until you know that emotions from your previous experience will not interfere.  Move on when you will not judge others based on your ex, and when you will not view new mistakes as repeats from the past.  How do you know if you are able to do this?  If you have to ask, then you are not ready.  In that case, go back to step 3 and enjoy getting to know yourself.

I welcome your stories and comments on this post.