Move on after a breakup: How To Move On: 10 Steps For Closure After You Break Up
The 7 things I did to get over a big breakup — and why research says they work
Tom and I broke up a few weeks before he was due to start medical school.
Our relationship had been a whirlwind. We had known each other since childhood but had been dating for just 10 days before he moved down from Connecticut to Pennsylvania and into my small one-bedroom apartment. A few months later, we were planning our wedding, deliberating what guest favors we would choose (DIY terrariums were under consideration), and stopping in at jewelers to try on engagement rings. I was elated, effervescent, convinced he was “the one.”
Then all of a sudden, we were on the rocks. Arguments interrupted even the briefest phone conversations. Weekend trips ended in tears and yelling.
One afternoon at the end of my workday, eight months after our relationship began, I found myself sitting in my parked car, dialing his number in a moment of panic and confusion. “I’m not getting what I need,” I told him.
In the nights that followed, I had the dramatic push-pull experience that everyone experiences immediately following a breakup: on top of the world and triumphant in my decision one moment, certain that my ex would come crawling back, confident that I had made the right call, and then suddenly heartbroken, afraid, and completely numb, somehow all simultaneously. I cried into his voicemail. I sat by my window and listened to “A Case of You” on repeat. I wallowed.
When I spoke to Brian Boutwell, an evolutionary psychologist at St. Louis University, he gave me some insight into the science behind my sadness. He said that being in love involves the same neural circuitry as a cocaine addiction.
“Falling in love presents very much like an addictive process,” he told me. “You have this drive to get that fix in the form of being around the person that you care about.”
So my breakup was a cocaine withdrawal? Boutwell says yes.
“We have this pervasive idea that, ‘oh, it’s just a breakup, it’s not that big of a deal,’” he said. “Whereas emotionally it can be quite a big deal, and [breakups] can be a risk factor for depression, which is no clinical condition to take lightly. There is a real analogy of the, quote, broken heart. There’s some physiological rationales behind that thinking. [Breakups] can jeopardize one’s health.”
This description rings true to me: After the breakup, I felt physically ill, exhausted, and devastated. One of these particularly low moments, I scared myself into anger — at my ex, at myself, at this entire stupid situation. How dare he not fight harder for this relationship? How dare something end that was so promising and beautiful? But most importantly, how dare I — an outspoken feminist, constantly touting women’s independence, glory, power, resilience — betray women by behaving like my life was over because of something as trivial as a breakup? What had really happened here? I had lost a man, a friend, a partner, but I hadn’t lost myself.
So I embarked on a quest to reclaim myself, to turn this breakup into an opportunity for renewal and self-discovery, rather than an excuse to feel sorry for myself. I tried all sorts of things, from reconnecting with old friends to blocking my ex on every single social media channel imaginable.
Here’s a list of everything I tried, along with an honest assessment of how each one worked for me. I also wanted to know how my experiences lined up with the scientific consensus on what helps people get over breakups, so I asked relationship researchers to weigh in on my list.
1) I said yes to every social invitation
For the first few weeks following the breakup, I vowed to accept every social invitation that came my way. This was the best decision I could have possibly made. I bought myself new bathing suits and went to the beach. I took selfies in the sun. I went to cast parties and had a snuggle pile on a damp lawn with other tipsy theater kids. I kissed my co-stars and crooned along to Sara Bareilles and played Never Have I Ever around a fire pit. I went clubbing for the first time since I started seeing my ex. I found my freedom.
The clubbing was especially liberating. After the breakup, I reveled and rebelled. I went out to gay bars and embraced my bisexuality, distancing myself from my previous relationship and reasserting my queer identity. I danced on the tops of bars and on club stages. I wore my shortest skirts, highest heels, and reddest lipstick. I dove into my Snapchat story with gusto. I got number after number, smiled as widely as I could, and left the clubs exhausted, sore, satisfied, and solo. I slept starfish on my bed and gave myself permission to take up all the space.
The experience of accepting these invitations not only allowed me to create new friendships but also reminded me that I could be single without being “alone.” I am the kind of person who gets lost in their partner — I plan my weekends and evenings around them, I try to reserve my free time to spend by their side, and, in doing so, I neglect my own friendships and relationships. I forget how to effectively self-care. I allow myself to become isolated and dependent.
After my breakup, I extended friendship feelers in all directions. I let myself be swept along to late-night karaoke and cozy taverns, polo matches, and long walks through Newport. I basked in new people, and found myself feeling more and more at home in my own skin.
Downsides: During the beginning of the breakup, accepting these invitations probably won’t feel genuine. You may feel guilty for going out, or you may go out only to obsessively check your phone for the night, convinced your ex will text you. You might feel dirty for dancing with new people. You might feel ashamed for having fun, while the sad parts of you try to suck you back into the dark hole of Netflix and order-in pizza. Go out anyway. That old adage — fake it ’til you make it — rings true.
Expert opinion: Grace Larson, a researcher at Northwestern University, told me that this desire to accept invitations was likely driven by my need to regain self-concept after the breakup. Going dancing was a reclamation of my independence.
According to Larson, “One of the things we found in our study was that when people were able to really agree with statements like, ‘I have reclaimed lost parts of myself that I could not express while with my partner’ … that predicts people being less depressed. That predicts people being less lonely. That predicts people not ruminating on the breakup anymore.”
2) I nourished by body with healthy food and exercise
The farmers market became a weekend staple. I went shopping with my aunt and bought myself lush greens, miniature summer squash, ripe orchard apples, frozen lemonade. I gave my body what it wanted. I planned recipes. I made mug after mug of green tea and French-press coffee. I absolutely spoiled myself. If I saw a bar of chocolate I wanted at the grocery store? It was mine. Those vegan marshmallows? Why not? The world was my oyster.
Going to the farmers market and creating a treat-myself food mentality was delightful. Coming home and realizing I would have to eat these bounties by myself? Not so much.
Fortunately, my attempts to be good to my body didn’t stop at food. I bought a beginner yoga pass at a local studio, and the entire experience was incredible. I breathed slowly, stretched, shook, and repeated the mantra: I am the only person on my mat. The practice of yoga became a way to ground myself in my own body and my own presence. It was about taking care of myself and healing after an emotional trauma. It allowed me to recognize the way I was hurting without indulging in it. It was glorious. I left the studio feeling powerful, calm, and whole. Even if the feeling only lasted for five minutes, those five minutes were beautiful.
In addition to the yoga practice, I joined a gym close to my home and started attending group workout classes. My ex was a personal trainer and a football player: strong, hard-bodied, and confident in the presence of other athletes. I was a curved, uncoordinated gym-phobe who preferred to work out in the safety and privacy of my living room. I had balked at each one of my ex’s gym invitations.
Now I went to spin classes, barre classes, and a gym boot camp. I met with a personal trainer and planned out a way to reach my fitness goals. I supplemented my gym classes with long walks and choreography rehearsals for the show. I started to see progress. On the days when my motivation to exercise just wasn’t there, I forgave myself. Breakups suck. Sometimes they require lazy nights in front of Netflix and some order-in Chinese food (extra duck sauce and the largest order of lo mein I can get, thanks). My progress wasn’t rapid-fire. I didn’t go vegan. But the trainers at the gym recognize me, and a few even know me by name. That’s something.
Downsides: If you choose to use food as a means to cope with a breakup, do so with a friend. Eating kale by yourself and trying to stay happy is just a bummer all around. Additionally, it is really tempting to grab excessive amounts of sweets and junk to treat yourself. DO NOT. I repeat — do not. You will feel sick and crampy, and you don’t want to make things harder on your body when it is already coping with a massive emotional blow.
As for the workout component of this, there will be days when you think about the gym and you Just Can’t. On those days, you might feel worthless or lazy or like nobody will find you attractive ever again. Forgive yourself, give yourself a rest, and treat your body in other ways. Take a bath with some essential oils. Spend the night giving yourself a pedicure, complete with freshly lotioned legs. Take a long walk through the park and practice mindful breathing. You do not have to sweat every day. You only need to be kind to yourself.
Expert opinion: Grace Larson told me that it’s important to create healthy physical rhythms after a breakup. Breakups, she said, throw our daily routines into disarray: “In order to counteract this chaos and disorganization, it’s even more important to eat regular meals. It’s more important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. It’s even more important to set a new, steady schedule for when you’re going to exercise.”
3) I reconnected with old friends
Effectiveness: 10/10 (MOST IMPORTANT)
My best girlfriends live in Maine and Massachusetts. Before Tom and I broke up, my relationship occupied most of my time. My lady loves fell to the wayside as I basked in the bliss of romance.
After the breakup, I was able to reconnect. I spent weekend after weekend taking long drives to binge Netflix and wine, snuggle, cry, and process my heartbreak out loud with people who loved me. I made the women in my life my priorities. I spent hours on the phone, catching up with the people I had lost touch with. Nothing feels like home quite like being barefoot on your best friend’s couch with a glass of red wine and a handy box of tissues.
These women reminded me that there were pieces of my past unburdened, or possibly even strengthened, by the breakup. Marie took me on long walks with her puppy, and the two of us sipped mimosas over brunch. She rooted me to my most loving self. She reminded me that I was still (and always had been) lovable. Olivia pulled me out of my comfort zone. She brought me rock climbing and to Walden Pond. She helped me celebrate my independence. She talked me through asking my ex for my things back. Marie and Olivia helped me rebuild a foundation of my strongest, happiest, and most present self. They reminded me that all was not lost.
Downsides: If you’re going through a breakup and live a long distance from your best friends, using these visits as a coping mechanism may be more challenging. If that happens: SKYPE! FaceTime. Plan phone calls. Make sure to hear their voices.
Also, when you’re in a heartbreak space, it can be challenging to remember that your friends have other commitments — partners, jobs, social lives — that they also need to tend to. When they are unavailable, remind yourself that it is not because they don’t want to help you feel better. It’s impossible to pour from an empty glass. Your biggest supporters still need to recharge between snuggle sessions. It’s not because they don’t care. It’s because they want to care most effectively for you AND themselves.
Expert opinion: Larson told me that breakups disrupt what psychologists call our “attachment systems.”
“In the same way that an infant child is reliant on their mother or their primary caregiver to soothe them … adults still have a strong need to connect deeply with one other person,” Larson said.
“And normally there is this process, when you go from being a little kid, your attachment bond is with your mom or your dad, grandparents, a close caregiver. When you transition into adolescence, that attachment bond becomes your closest, most intimate friends. And then when we become adults, our primary attachment is likely to be to a romantic partner.”
The question, as Larson put it, is this: What happens after a breakup, when you can no longer rely on your partner to be your primary attachment?
“What happens for a lot of people is they switch that attachment back to those people who in an earlier stage of life may have been the primary attachment. Your attachment might snap back to close friends, it might even snap back to your parents, or it might snap back to an ex-lover.”
4) I cut off all my hair
I went through the panicked must change everything impulsivity soon after the breakup. I made the decision to get a dramatic haircut, and chopped off about 10 inches. The new look upped my confidence and gave me back some of my sass. My ex had loved my long hair. Getting it cut off felt like reclaiming my body as my own, asserting my autonomy, and taking a risk. I left the salon feeling as glamorous as Rachel Green.
Downsides: The 30 seconds of panic after looking in the mirror for the first time post-haircut. But only those 30 seconds.
Expert opinion: Larson put this impulse in the context of both evolutionary biology and identity reassertion. She said, “Everybody knows you’re newly single. You’re going to try to be attractive — that makes perfect sense. In light of the research, it makes sense that you would try really broadcast this new, strong identity.”
5) I blocked my ex on every social media channel I could think of
I’m a Facebook stalker. I’m a rabid Instagram follower, a Snapchat checker, and a general social media addict. Immediately following a breakup, this quality was poison. I was thrilled to be able to show off my new life and my happiness, but a single update from my ex would leave me devastated and confused and missing everything about him.
The day he started posting pictures of himself with other women, I spent the afternoon feeling ill, angry, and betrayed. So rather than give up my social media accounts and the small comfort they brought me, I blocked him. On. Everything. I blocked his snaps and his Instagram feed. I blocked him on Facebook. I deleted his email address from my address book. I removed his number from my saved “favorites.”
The blocking was a very wise move. Not only did it stop me from seeing any potentially heart-wrenching posts, but it also kept me from posting unnecessary fluff, to make my life look exciting and rewarding on the off chance that my ex decided to look at my profiles. My life is exciting and rewarding, and not feeling the need to prove it helped me to actually participate in and enjoy it.
Downsides: Not being able to see what your ex is up to is actually really challenging. When you’re used to being a part of someone’s every day — when you care about their happiness, how successful they are, whether they are reaching their goals — the sudden disconnection of social media removal can feel overwhelming.
But I promise it helps in the long run. You can’t dwell on whether they are seeing other people. You can’t go through all of their recently added friends, or check to see who might be liking their photos. The pain of not knowing hurts much less than the pain of constantly obsessing — trust me.
Expert opinion: When I spoke to Larson about this habit, she referenced the work of Leah LeFebvre, a professor at the University of Wyoming who studies dating and relationships. Larson told me, “When you post glamorous pictures as evidence of your exciting new life, LeFebvre and her colleagues would call this ‘impression management.’ In contrast, they consider blocking or unfriending an ex as part of the strategy of ‘withdrawing access.’”
According to Larson, “These researchers argue that they are both part of the process of dictating the storyline of the split (“I’m the one who is winning in this breakup!”). … These tactics serve to demonstrate — to yourself, your ex, and anyone else who’s watching — that you are self-reliant and flourishing in the wake the breakup.”
6) I downloaded Tinder and started dating again — casually
This was the scariest part of my post-breakup revolution. I vowed not to have a serious partner for at least a year after Tom and I broke up. However, he was the last person I had kissed. The last person I had shared a bed with. The last person who had played with my hair and warmed my (always, always) cold toes. When I thought of intimacy and flirtation, I immediately thought of him. It made the concept of dating an absolute nightmare, which is precisely why I (re)downloaded Tinder and started talking to new people.
At first, I felt cheap and guilty, as though I were betraying my ex or making false promises to these new matches. But after a few weeks, I met some wonderful people. I went for coffee and out to lunch, and got to know men and women who were brilliant, accomplished, ambitious, affectionate, warm, whose company reminded me that I myself was bright, charming, and desirable. These people treated me like I was exciting, and so I felt exciting.
Downsides: You will feel guilty. You will feel confused. You will feel unsure of yourself. You might feel dirty, or ashamed, or cheap. You might feel like you’re using other people. You might feel dishonest. Dating again after a breakup, especially soon after a breakup, is not for everyone. Having sex with someone new after a breakup, especially soon after a breakup, is not for everyone. Listen to your body and your instincts. If you feel gross or uncomfortable during a date, it is okay to cut that date short, go home, get in the bath, and listen to Josh Groban until you feel cozy again.
Expert opinion: St. Louis University’s Brian Boutwell says that dating after a breakup is a good idea because it’s almost guaranteed to result in one of two options: It will make you realize there are other fish in the sea, and therefore help you get over your ex; or it’ll inspire you see the good things about your old relationship, and therefore lead you to the decision to get back together.
“There is the potential for an evolutionary payoff in both respects,” he said. “You might either regain your old mate or you can move on, acquiring a new, maybe more promising mate. ”
7) I threw myself into my work and career
The breakup might have hurt my heart, but it helped solidify my career and my professional goals. Since the breakup, I’ve been offered two competitive jobs in public health and a fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I have been motivated to study for graduate and law school entrance exams. I have been able to dedicate myself to my work, with no distractions.
The freedom of not needing to consider another person’s aspirations has been a saving grace for my self-love, as I’ve enthusiastically fed my ambition. I accepted a new job with a better title, and transitioned back into a field of work that I am passionate about, gender-based violence prevention. At 22 years old, I gave my first lecture to university students, on sex trafficking and wartime sexual violence as human rights abuses.
I’ve submitted presentation proposals to three academic conferences, written several papers, and co-authored a book chapter on sexual violence prevention. I have joined the Toastmasters public speaking group, improved my rhetorical skills, and explored opportunities in political journalism. In short, I have achieved, in spite of — and because of — the heartbreak. I have learned never to underestimate the power of a woman in love, or the power of a woman recently out of it.
Downsides: There are no downsides here!
Expert opinion: “Breakups make you feel out of control,” Larson said. “They take agency away from you.”
As a result, she said, “Not only are you going to feel more attractive and more valuable if you’re really kicking ass in your career, it’s also an area where you can exert total control.”
These were the steps I chose in order to feel most empowered and soothed during my heartbreak. This is not to say that I am completely over it. When you truly love someone, I’m not certain there ever really is an “over it.” But I am confident and happy. My life feels gloriously like my own, and I’m grateful for this opportunity to have gotten to know myself even better.
Katie Bogen is a clinical research program coordinator at Rhode Island Hospital.
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Moving on After Breaking up with Someone You Thought Was “The One”
We met in university. Became friends. Eventually started dating and fell in love. We were each other’s best friend. He was my first text in the morning, and my last before bed. When we entered the working world, we got first dibs on each other’s vacation time. We took trips everywhere from New York City to Honolulu, sharing memories scattered around the world. It was six years of bliss.
Everything was great—until it wasn’t.
I’m not quite sure when the cracks started to appear. But they were there. And then one day—after nine years of friendship, six years as a couple—we broke up. I was 28 years old, thinking I’d be married soon, and now? I felt alone.
This was me a few months ago. And it sucked. In those immediate hours, days, weeks and even months post-breakup, I couldn’t quiet my inner voice that kept asking, “What if this doesn’t happen for me again?”
Girl. Listen to me: that voice? It’s a liar.
I know that everyone copes differently, and I’m not here to give you advice on how to get over your ex or whether or not you should download Tinder. That’s a whole other article. What I can do is tell you what helped me realign my focus in the weeks following my breakup, and if you’re going through the same thing (sorry, girl), then maybe this can help.
All those things you’ve been putting off? Do them now
I was already actively saving and very close to paying off my student loans while in my relationship, but let’s face it, being in a couple made me a bit lazy. When your life is mapped out and you think your future will look a certain way, there isn’t as much impetus to aggressively tackle you things, because you’re focused on us things. But all that goes out the window with a breakup. It’s just you right now.
In the first couple weeks after my breakup, I paid off the rest of my student loans and credit card debt, went to the bank and came up with an aggressive savings and investment plan that best suited me and my financial goals. Y’all, the relief, coupled with how proud I felt, was huge. I was euphoric.
If you’re in the midst of a breakup, you will have plenty of stressful, overwhelming days. If you can eliminate some things off your life’s to-do list, it can make those days that much easier.
Listen to your gut
One of the most difficult things to process after my breakup was feeling like I had to “start over.” When you’re on a path to a very specific life scenario for so long, a detour can feel devastating.
Look, it can be hard when it seems like everyone around you is paired up, and it feels like you’re left behind—but that’s the time to focus on creating the best life for you. One of the best pieces of advice I received after my breakup came from a good friend. I had just told her about how I had a pit in my stomach because of the anxiety of starting over. All she replied with was, “so don’t.”
There is no correct timeline for all of this. You will know when it’s time to get back out there. In the meantime, replace When is it going to be my turn? with What do I want my life to look like when it is my turn? If you haven’t truthfully dealt with how you’re feeling and worked hard to make improvements where possible, believe me, entering into a relationship, let alone marriage, is the last thing you should be doing. Your worry doesn’t need to be about when, it should be about making sure you’re the best version of you for that moment.
Pick your team
Not only are you dealing with the loss of your significant other, but you might also be dealing with the loss of your shared apartment if you lived together, family that you’ve become close with during your relationship, and even (let’s be real, sometimes especially) pets.
For me, one of the most difficult things to figure out was who got custody of our mutual friends. Knowing each other for almost 10 years, and being a couple for more than half that, we had acquired a lot of people between us. Was I now going to lose all these friendships, too? Were people going to take sides? I had to be a grown up, sit these friends down and have mildly awkward conversations about how I hoped that our friendships would remain intact. Some did, and others grew distant. It wasn’t ideal, but it was my reality. I took comfort knowing that I did what I could to ease the situation for myself.
Say “yes” to change
If you’re dealing with a breakup, I don’t need to tell you that your life is transforming. Everything is in flux right now; from your larger life plans all the way down to your daily routines. Like now I only have to buy one bag of kettle corn, instead of two, when I go to the grocery store. OK, maybe I still buy two, but now I don’t have to share (silver linings?). The goal is to stop feeling like you’re at the mercy of the changing landscape of your life, and to take charge of it.
You’re afraid that you have too much free time now? Sign up for a class that you’ve always wanted to take. You’ll learn new things and get to meet new people. I signed up for a fitness class at my old university with a friend, and the sheer fact that I was in a different environment at least two days a week felt like a boost to my system. Not to mention that exercise does wonders for your mental and physical health, but it’s a simple fact: taking care of yourself feels good. Want a change of scenery? Take a trip to that place you’ve always dreamed about. Three days after my breakup, I booked a group trip to Italy. It was completely spontaneous, totally out of my comfort zone, and most importantly, it gave me something to look forward to. Do you feel like a failure? Ask to take on more responsibility at work. The new challenge will keep your mind busy, and when (yes, when) you start excelling at it, your confidence in yourself will return.
Change begets change. If we let ourselves relax, and accept that it can be a good thing, we’ll see transformations that we never imagined possible.
Look, I don’t really know if I’m “over it” yet, and frankly, I don’t think that’s the point. Breakups suck. They force you to reevaluate everything you thought you knew. You’re sad, confused, angry, and have to continue living your life. It’s a lot. But if you’re gentle with yourself, and take your time, it will get better. Use this as a reminder that everything you’re feeling is valid and real—but it will pass. You will make it through to the other side, where more joy and love than you can imagine awaits. Promise.
Then maybe we can figure out if we should download Tinder or not.
This piece was originally published on Nov. 9, 2017.
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Finally Letting Go of the Pain and Moving On after a Breakup
“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” ~C. S. Lewis
Another year over and you’re still troubled by a relationship that ended last year or in years past. The whole thing is dragging on too long—why can’t you just get over it? But every time you think about it or bump into your ex, you feel ruined again
How about giving your feelings another shake?
Rattle them in any direction—a new one. If it turns out to be the wrong direction you can correct that later, but just move them, any which way, get them out of the rut they’re in. One way to do this is by talking it through, even more than you already have.
Why Talk it Out?
Perhaps something remains unsaid for you, even now. Perhaps that’s why your feelings remain so strong. Or perhaps they’re entangled with non-relationship issues—a sense of getting older, time passing, concern about not having children, or the life you hoped for.
Perhaps part of you holds out hope you could get back together again. Perhaps you need to admit that and let go of it.
Maybe you fear you won’t meet anyone else like your ex. You won’t, but you will meet someone. Just they will be different.
Explore all this.
How It Helped Me
I attended a few counseling sessions a year after the end of a relationship. It had been a long, happy relationship that had started in my early twenties, but it burned out as our lives took us in different mental and geographic directions.
For the year after the breakup I got on okay with life, but the shine had gone. A veil hung between me and true engagement with the world. I could smile but the smile never went to my eyes.
I honestly thought I had done all the talking I could at the time of the breakup—my ex and I had even attended couple-counseling together—but a year later, something still felt stuck in my chest.
So I sat myself down in front of a counselor. I didn’t want to or feel like it, but suddenly all this stuff came out of my mouth—stuff I found laughable or which fell away as I said it, stuff I didn’t know I’d been thinking. Apparently, it just wanted to get itself off my chest. And it had needed a year to mature sufficiently to do it.
I kept apologizing to the counselor for talking endlessly and not letting her get a word in. But it worked. I realized I was over the relationship, but not the process of its ending—the fatigue, the accusations, the indecisions, the reverberation among friends and family.
I was suffering a lingering childlike shock that such things could happen in life. Discovering this, and finally putting words to it, allowed those feelings to go.
Some other things I’ve learned along the way:
If You’re Feeling Overwhelmed By Emotion
You’ve just bumped into your ex and you’re feeling highly emotional. Half of you wants to cry, half of you would do anything to get rid of those feelings.
This is your mind panicking to get rid of emotions it cannot understand. The mind likes to understand things but can never understand the heart. Hearts have no logic.
So, abandon trying to comprehend what happened or why. After all, at this stage, is there anything your ex could say or do that would change how you feel?
Befriend the part of you that gets emotional. Don’t beat it up. It’s normal and healthy to feel how you feel. You’re alive!
Besides, emotion shows you have a heart and would not wish the same sorrow on others. This aspect of your personality is to be treasured. Wouldn’t you love it in anyone else?
So, instead of trying to quash emotion, ask “Is it possible for me to feel like this and still be okay?” Because your heart is stronger than you know; it is designed to handle being broken.
Loving Someone Does Not Mean You Should Be With Them
It also doesn’t mean that they’re good for you. Face this reality squarely. You can have a happy life, even with great sorrow in your heart, even while carrying loss.
Physically, your body is probably keeping going just fine and it’s only your mind that has the problem. Its idea that “things should have been different” conflicts with what actually happened, so it wedges your mental wounds open.
That causes the turmoil. Give in.
Admit: “This is exactly how it should have been. This is exactly how it is.” Shrug while saying it. Facing the truth is difficult. As a result, life may feel more painful, yet perhaps also more peaceful, because conflict with it is reduced.
Our Sorrowful Life And Happy Life Can Exist In Parallel
Author A. S.Byatt has occasionally spoken about the longevity of bereavement. She lost her son forty years ago. He was eleven.
Twenty years later she told an interviewer, “You don’t get over it and you suffer greatly from people supposing you will. You suffer from people not understanding the pain of grief.”
Another twenty years on, Byatt shared with another interviewer a metaphor she developed with her friend Gill Cadell, a widow. It involves parallel train tracks:
“One is appalling and one you just go along,” explained Byatt. “Gill said to me, ‘Is it alright to be pleased to see the flowers in the morning?’ And I said, ‘Oh yes, because the other track is always there.’”
The interviewer asked, “You mean the appalling track?”
“And it’s still there?”
“Oh yes, it hasn’t changed.”’
You see, winter trickles into the beginnings of spring. It’s okay to try loving a new person while still loving your ex. The heart can simultaneously run along multiple tracks.
Making The Decision
My friend, who dabbles in NLP, had a client who was still heartbroken eighteen months after breaking up with her boyfriend. The woman was explaining to my friend, in detail, how she felt—a curdle of sadness, anger, hurt—and how she was convinced she would never be able to move on.
My friend stopped her, saying, “And now tell me, how you will feel when you are over him?”
The woman described how free she would feel, how relieved that it was behind her, how keen she would be to get on with life, how confident and unafraid she would be if she happened to meet her ex.
My friend suggested, “So why don’t you just feel that now?”
The woman’s life transformed instantly.
For her, it was about making a decision to move on. If it has been a while since your relationship ended, perhaps this choice is also available to you. Play with the idea.
Five More Minutes And We’re Going On A Bike Ride
I remember a story about Kylie Minogue that went something like this. She had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and her boyfriend sometimes found her crying on the bathroom floor.
He would firmly tell her, “Okay, honey, you can cry for just five minutes, then I’m taking you on the bike for a ride.”
She’d think, “Hmm. Actually a bike ride sounds pretty good.”
This is the attitude to take. It doesn’t matter if sorrow comes again and again, just each time draw a line in the sand. And beyond that line make something else happen.
It Has Been Long Enough Now
People may tell you it’s time you got over your relationship. Like with bereavement, you don’t ever have to “get over” it, but you may need to more forcibly move yourself on, and if you’re stuck, to take a new approach to doing so.
Hurtful experiences, ones that emotionally and logistically reset our lives, leave us with two choices: open up more or close down.
The braver choice—the one that will allow new things to enter your life—is to open up.
So how about setting aside a few weeks to unfold this a little more? If you can’t climb out, dig out. Book yourself a few sessions with a counselor whether or not you feel like it or think it will help.
Go in, sit down, see what happens. Give your heart the chance to say everything it wants regarding the relationship and whatever is entwined with it. What emerges may surprise you.
Give yourself a new and different opportunity to leave it behind.
About Josephine Hughes
JR Hughes (Josephine) is an Irish writer who has recently moved to Ibiza, Spain for the warmth. She is working on three novels and hopes to secure a publishing deal soon. You can follow her progress and some of her random thoughts and photos at http://www.facebook.com/JRHughesWriter.
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After the Break-Up: When Moving On Seems Impossible
When a relationship is over, feelings of rejection can numb your sense of self and wreck your balance. For many jilted lovers, the first impulse is to try to fix what’s broken or recover what was lost. But often, the beloved has moved on and reconciliation is not possible. And still, you persist. How can you ever move on?
One of my most popular posts is “Coping with Distress and Agony after a Break-Up.” It lists strategies and affirmations that can soothe feelings of rejection, decrease obsessions, and reduce the desire to maintain contact with the former lover.
But as a recent reader pointed out, how can you believe an affirmation of worth when you are convinced of your unworthiness? And why would you use strategies for moving on when you’re still trying to find a solution that will win back your beloved? These are excellent points. So let’s examine “coping with a break-up” from this very different perspective.
If you are still distressed by feelings of failure, idealizing the one who rejected you, and intent on recovering the lost relationship, you’ve essentially granted this relationship the power to consume your life and create your misery.
Powerless, you’ve become invisible, even to yourself, and certainly to this desired person, or any other person who might be a potential mate. You may harbor a sense of being stuck, or feeling suspended from truly living. In fact, it’s quite difficult to win anyone’s affection while you’re feeling like a loser.
Here is a set of strategies for reclaiming your power and recovering yourself, including your emotional equilibrium, your vitality, and your self-worth.
Forget about moving on. Moving on and away from your beloved before you’re ready only increases your distress. Where you are right now is precisely where you belong.
Instead, envision moving forward. Moving forward means not staying stuck in the same place that’s getting you nowhere fast. If a life strategy isn’t working after many months, this type of thinking doesn’t help: “Must do this harder, longer, faster, stronger.” Instead: “Must find a new life strategy.” And if you’re destined to be with your beloved, moving forward simply brings you into a better place to make that happen.
See your reactions as normal. Our brains and bodies are wired to have powerfully painful reactions to rejection. The break-up of a relationship can trigger a cascade of chemicals that make you feel lonely, depressed, and worthless—especially if you see the rejecter as “the one for you.” You are not crazy, you’re in a natural state of distress.
Face your grief. It can be tempting to avoid grief. You may be fearful that it will be too painful, especially because you’ve lost someone and something precious. But repressing your grief can result in depression, anxiety, obsession, suppressed immune system, and chronic despair. Avoiding grief keeps you feeling stuck and powerless.
See grief as a necessary reaction to loss. Grief includes feelings of disbelief, anger, fear, and sadness, as well as physical symptoms of fatigue, tension, emptiness, distractibility, and changes in appetite and sleep. It is painful, to be sure, but it is also a byproduct of your ability to invest in meaningful relationships.
See grieving as a process of healing. Grieving is how you gradually let go of what might have been and adjust to what is. And over time, your outlook will naturally shift: From “I must demonstrate I am a worthy mate for her/him” to “I can reclaim my own sense of worth.” Grieving is what sets you free from the pit of despair.
To move through the grieving process, get out of your head and get in touch with your body. Believe it or not, it’s hard to move through an emotional experience by staying in your head. While you’re rationalizing your sense of worthlessness and wracking your brain for solutions, you’ve probably put your emotions on hold and cut off the awareness in your body.
Your body sensations tell you the truth about what’s going on for you. Whenever you feel an emotion welling up or feel a contraction somewhere in your body, simply observe the sensations as they move through you. Particularly if meditation and mindfulness don’t work because intrusive thoughts keep derailing your efforts, you may benefit from this body-centered, somatic approach, with support and coaching on attending to the physical sensations in your body. By training your attention on your body, your mind stays out of the way rather than escalating your pain with inflammatory thoughts.
For example, when you’re thinking negative thought—s/he is who I want and I must demonstrate that I am a worthy mate or s/he’s just not that into me or her/his rejection means I’m a failure—switch your focus to the sensations in your body, whatever they might be. I feel tightness in my jaw. I have a lump in my throat. I have butterflies in my tummy.
Anger (including frustration, irritation, guilt) tends to be expressed as tension in the jaw, head, neck, shoulders, and hands. Sadness (including sorrow, disappointment, despair) is often felt as pain or constriction in the throat, chest, and arms. Fear (including anxiety, worry, dread) might be felt as discomfort or uneasiness in the belly or legs. You may have your own unique responses.
Let feelings flow. When an emotion is triggered, notice how your physiology ramps up at first. Attend to your body’s sensations as you ride the wave, so you can disregard any painful thoughts. Stay on task by scanning your entire body and describing your physical sensations to yourself. You’ll reach the crest, and as your physiology calms down, you’ll slide down into calmer waters. Observe how the wave has passed through you, within a minute or two. That’s what emotion is, energy in motion. Your physiology ramps up and then quickly calms down, as long as you don’t sustain it with painful thoughts. It’s just a wave and not a flood unless you make it so.
Source: Deborah L. Davis
That’s why focusing only on your physical sensations is a powerful tool—it renders you incapable of thinking painful thoughts (including repressive ones such as, I can’t feel this grief; it’s too painful; it will destroy me) that needlessly increase your pain. By focusing on your body, you’ve put a halt to that endless loop of mental anguish and existential suffering, and allowed your feelings of grief to flow through and out of you.
Practice this technique every time a wave of emotion comes up, and you’ll never have to experience that particular wave again. Letting your feelings flow through you frees you from their grip and eases your emotional burden, enabling you to naturally move forward.
Granted, letting it flow can be totally scary, especially when your feelings promise to be painful or overwhelming. But by riding the waves, you get to go with the flow and find healing.
Practice deep, slow breathing. Physiologically, the only difference between excitement and fear is whether you’re breathing or not. Fear is excitement without breath. Focusing on your breathing, even for a few minutes a day, can put your brain into a more soothing state. Calm breath also makes it easier for you to practice being a nonjudgmental observer and letting your painful feelings flow when you are triggered. Getting out into nature (ecotherapy) has a similar calming effect. Breathe.
Take one day at a time. There are no deadlines. Trust the process and understand that your adjustment can be as gradual as you need it to be. It’ll happen as you become ready for it.
See hope as an important part of coping. For now, you may be holding onto the hope that you’ll figure out how to win back your beloved. But as you grieve and adjust, your hope can change direction—perhaps to hoping that you can create a happy life for yourself—with or without this person.
Recommended reading on letting feelings flow through your body:
The Relationship Ride by Julia Colwell, PhD
My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD
7 Ways It May Be Physically Hard To Move On After A Breakup, According To Experts
If you’ve ever felt like moving on after a breakup seems impossible, you’re not wrong. According to experts, there is a science to it. Despite your efforts to move forward with your life, your body can actually have a way of preventing you from getting over a breakup.
“Relationships are soothing, while breakups are just the opposite,” Julie Melillo, life and dating coach, tells Bustle. “Your attachment system forms a bond when you fall in love. This person literally becomes a part of you because this attachment system exists in the brain.”
To understand why breakups are so hard, it’s important to know the science behind falling in love. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that falling in love can be addictive, due to the chemicals released from the brain. When you fall in love, your brain lights up and “euphoria-inducing chemicals” like dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline, and vasopressin, get released. These chemicals are responsible for making you feel attached to your partner.
“To your brain, a relationship feels like someone feeding you delicious chocolate throughout the the day,” Melillo says. “But during a breakup, the attachment system in your brain is ripped apart and basically goes haywire.” It’s why a breakup usually feels like a shock to the system, and why getting over one isn’t easy. Here’s how your body can prevent you from moving on, according to experts.
Your Brain Reacts To A Breakup The Same Way It Does To Physical Pain
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
“Breakups are hard on both the brain and the body,” Dr. Catherine Jackson, licensed clinical psychologist and board certified neurotherapist, tells Bustle. “As with physical pain, the brain prioritizes the pain of a breakup, which is why your mind ruminates on it.” The same brain regions that are activated when your body is in physical pain get activated when you’re going through emotional pain like a breakup. “Your brain is literally in pain, which is why the breakup feels so hard,” Dr. Jackson says.
Your Brain May Still Be Craving Your Partner
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
Being in love floods the brain with feel-good hormones, while sex floods the brain with bonding hormones. As Christine Scott-Hudson, licensed psychotherapist and owner of Create Your Life Studio, tells Bustle, these hormones reward the “pleasure centers” in the brain in the same way some drugs do. “Feelings of euphoria are evident when you are actually with your lover, which translates to similar withdrawal symptoms [as with substance use disorder]” Scott-Hudson says. “It makes sense that breakups feel as awful as they do when you look at the hormones involved.”
People Are Wired For Social Connection
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
“Wired for social connection, we seek a partner,” therapist Brittany Bouffard, LCSW, tells Bustle. “Then, often based on our adult attachment style (secure, anxious, avoidant, or disorganized), we might push them away in the end or cling tightly.” Both “strategies” of coping after a breakup, which can come as a result of our attachment style, can make a situation even harder. Some people will cut their former partner completely out of their lives, while others “cling so tightly they get rope burn, want to call over and over again, and can’t stop the thoughts or tears,” she says.
Your Emotional Memories Keep You Hanging On
“Just as your muscles create muscle memory when you work out, your body also creates emotional memories when you’re with someone in a relationship for an extended period of time,” Belinda Ginter, certified emotional kinesiologist, tells Bustle. Special moments like your first date, important places to you like your favorite bar to go to together, or even songs and movies, all create emotional memories. It’s why hanging out at your favorite bar post-breakup can make you feel really emotional. “When a break up happens, it feels like you’ve been torn away from not one thing you loved, but all things you loved,” Ginter says. “Your emotional memories want to take you back there because the memories created there were meaningful and pleasant. However, this can also create a hopeless feeling post-breakup if it lasts too long.”
People Have Evolved To Fear Rejection
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
“We are designed for survival, and survival means not being kicked out of the village,” Bouffard says. “Even in our modern age, a breakup where we’re rejected elicits the same feelings of shame and fears of being kicked out, unwanted, and left to fend for ourselves.” Our bodies aren’t made to deal with rejection very well. In fact, a 2010 University of Amsterdam study found links between social rejection and a response in the parasympathetic nervous system. Participants who felt rejected by their peers literally felt it in their hearts. Some felt their heart rates slow down for a bit.
Women Are Wired To Invest More Of Themselves Into Relationships, So It’s Harder To Move On
A 2015 study published in the journal Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences found that women may experience more emotional and physical pain after a breakup than men. According to researchers, this may happen because women have evolved to invest more into their relationship than men. Due to biology, women tend to be a little more selective when it comes to choosing a partner. So when a relationship with a “high-quality” partner ends, it can hit really hard.
Your Body Just Needs Time
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
Healing and moving on from a breakup is a process. Sometimes, that process takes time. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that most people can recover from a breakup within 11 weeks. According to researchers, it takes about three months for people to regain their sense of self, experience growth on their own, and put themselves back into a more positive place. These types of major shifts don’t just happen overnight.
Breakups are tough, and unfortunately your body doesn’t really make it any easier for you. The good news is, you won’t be in a miserable state forever. With time, you can heal and move on.
How to find yourself after a breakup: 16 no bullsh*t tips
Here’s something you never get taught in school:
How to find yourself after a breakup.
Yet the pain of a breakup is one of the most difficult things to deal with in life.
The thing that makes it so painful is that it’s so easy to lose your sense of self.
You lose connection with your personal power.
You’re a shell of the person you used to be.
If you feel like you’re struggling to find yourself after a breakup, then look no further. Here are 16 no b*llshit steps to take to deal with the heartache so you can find yourself again.
1. Take your time
How long does it take to get over someone?
According to science, it takes about three months for someone to get over a breakup.
A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology suggests it takes approximately 11 weeks for people to develop “strong coping strategies” after a difficult breakup.
However, that may only apply to short-term relationships. A separate study suggests it may take two years for people to get over a marriage or long-term relationship.
Here’s the deal though:
It’s no contest. There’s no timeline. It takes whatever amount of time it takes.
Hurrying the process won’t help. Just let yourself grieve.
One day, you’ll just wake up and realize you’re over it. But for now, take your time.
2. Their social media is off-limits
Unfriend. Unfollow. Block. Do what you have to do, but by all means necessary stop looking at their social media.
I’ve been there. The impulse to know how they’re doing is too hard to ignore.
You want to check what they’re doing, whether they’ve deleted your photos and whether they’ve changed their relationship status.
But doing this can do you more harm than good. Even science agrees.
One study suggests the harm of stalking your ex on social media.
“Keeping tabs on an ex-partner through Facebook is associated with poorer emotional recovery and personal growth following a breakup.
“Therefore, avoiding exposure to an ex-partner, both offline and online, may be the best remedy for healing a broken heart.”
A separate study suggests that the more time you spend on social media, the more distress you feel over a breakup.
Out of sight, out of mind is the key.
Trust me, it’s just easier when you don’t constantly see what they’re up to, who they’re spending time with, and how they are living their life without you.
3. Don’t try to suppress your feelings
Don’t pretend that everything is okay when it’s not.
It’s clearly not okay.
I know what it’s like to have nothing left but your ego. You don’t want to look like the injured party.
It’s difficult for anyone to admit that they’re vulnerable. Our society has programmed us to be ashamed of our “negative emotions”—pain, anger, heartbreak.
But right now, it’s best to let all your emotions out. It’s okay to feel sad.
In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, scientists found that it’s essential to face your feelings head-on.
The study’s lead author, Sandra Langeslag, director of the Neurocognition of Emotion and Motivation Lab at the University of Missouri St. Louis, says: “Distraction is a form of avoidance, which has been shown to reduce the recovery from a breakup.”
You don’t have to show the world how hurt you are but don’t try to hide it through a bunch of bad decisions you may regret later.
4. Cut off contact
It’s easier said than done, but it’s crucial to cut off contact with your ex. And not just on social media.
But the best bit of cutting off contact with your ex is this:
In the event that you do actually want to get back with your ex one day, cutting off contact is actually an extremely effective method to help you achieve this goal.
However, you have to cut off contact in a very specific way.
One mistake people make is to simply cut off all communication. No texts. No phone calls. No coffees. No contact whatsoever.
Although you definitely need to give them (and yourself) some space, cutting off all communication like this is actually the wrong move. Instead, you want to make it appear like you really and truly don’t want to talk to them right now.
The perfect way to do this is to send this “No Communication” text.
— “You’re right. It’s best that we don’t talk right now, but I would like to be friends eventually.” —
Just a word of warning that this text needs to be sent to your ex at the right time after the break up for it to be most effective.
However, the brilliant part of this text is that you’re communicating with your ex that you don’t really want to talk to them now. You’re essentially saying that you don’t need them to play a role in your life anymore.
Why is this so good?
Because you induce a “fear of loss” in your ex which will trigger their attraction for you all over again.
I learned about this text from Brad Browning, who I mentioned above. He has helped thousands of men and women get their exes back for good.
Check out his free video here where he reveals several other tips and techniques you can employ right now to reverse your break up
If you really want your ex back, then Brad’s advice will be invaluable for you.
5. Write it down
Did you know that keeping a journal has a bunch of mental, emotional and physical health benefits?
Writing down your thoughts has a therapeutic way of validating your emotions as well as putting things into perspective.
In fact, a 2010 study proves the positive effects of writing on your “mood, cognitive processing, social adjustment and health” after a breakup.
In my experience, writing helped me express myself without any judgment. It was a safe space for me to practice letting go.
It may sound silly or simple at first, but you’ll be amazed at how less lonely and more productive you feel after writing your thoughts down.
6. Pick yourself up
Nothing can ruin your self-esteem like a bad breakup.
In fact, losing your confidence and self-worth can be the single-most disruptive aspect of life after a relationship ends.
You end up questioning everything—especially your worth as a person.
But don’t let this self-doubt ruin your life.
Work yourself from the inside out.
Try to remember who you were before the relationship. You were a whole person with your own desires, dreams, and goals. You felt good even without somebody.
And you can feel good again now.
According to licensed psychologist Brandy Engler: “It’s better to tell yourself that you are on a path to learning how to love better and keep your eyes on that goal of improving your ability to connect and love so that the next relationship will be better.”
So be open to new opportunities for self-development. Go back to your favorite hobby. Work out. Eat well.
Take care of yourself.
(Interested in finding out about the stages of a breakup and how to work through it? Check out our comprehensive guide.)
7. Save the “let’s try to be friends” for later
In fact, save it for a whole while later.
Don’t make the mistake of immediately trying to be friends with your ex right after breaking up.
Why? You need some space apart to heal.
Trying to be friends is also a way of trying to pretend that everything is okay. In fact, you will only make things harder for both of you.
How you feel for this person is not friendly. You either have some unresolved issues that left you resenting them, or you still want to be with them romantically.
Either way, you both need to establish some boundaries.
According to Husson University psychology professor Dr. Christine Selby, you can only be friends if: “You must both be willing to admit that you don’t work together as a couple. Maintaining a healthy relationship post-breakup requires both people “to recognize what worked about the relationship and what did not.”
8. It’s over. Start accepting it
Are you still holding out hope that you are getting back together? Let those expectations go.
It’s over. And you should start believing it.
It’s hard to accept defeat. We treat relationships like an investment. We put effort, time, and a lot of sacrifices into ultimately, something we cannot control.
The toughest lesson I’ve ever learned with love is that you can’t make someone love you. You can’t force them to stay. You can’t beg them to do what you want.
So don’t bargain. Stop rehashing ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys.’
Practice saying to yourself:
“This is what is happening. I have to accept that things are different now.”
9. Don’t let it affect other aspects of your life
Pain is a distracting thing. It has the power to incapacitate you. But don’t succumb to it.
Wallowing with the heartbreak may affect your work or your social life. Try not to let it. It’s not the end of the world.
You might not feel like it, but you still need to live your life. This means you still need to go to work, or to your classes, or any other occupation you have. In fact, keeping busy can help you feel better. And it lets your focus go to other, more important things.
According to Dr. Guy Winch, psychologist and author of Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts:
“Avoiding such activities deprives you of important distractions and squelches important aspects of who you are as a person. On the other hand, engaging in activities you used to enjoy, even if you can’t fully enjoy them yet, will help reconnect you to your core self and the person you were before the breakup.”
Don’t stop seeing your friends, too. Let them make you feel better. More often than not, it’s your friends that can give you comfort in this time of need.
10. There’s no such thing as “closure.” Stop finding it
“Getting closure” is perhaps one of the most overrated advice you can get. The truth is, there’s no such thing as getting some closure.
Some people are more prone to seeking closure, while some avoid it entirely. And that’s where the trouble is—we crave answers from other people.
But the thing is, we can’t control what they say or whether or not what they say will give us the answers we need.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ ‘Five Stages of Grief’, implies that grieving is a finite process, with a complete one-step guide.
Truthfully, I don’t believe that closure is crucial in moving on. If we live our lives always seeking answers and clarity from someone else, we will never be satisfied and content.
Here’s all the answer you need:
People break up because relationships are no longer working. For whatever reason, you no longer make each other happy, or you’re going your separate ways in life.
It’s not a math equation you need to be solved. Life just happens. People break up.
The closest thing you get to closure is accepting the fact that the relationship is over and there is nothing more you can do about it.
11. Don’t jump to the next relationship
Some people change relationships like they change clothes.
These are the type of people who are terrified of being alone.
The worst mistake you can make is to enter a new relationship without fully mending from the last one.
You’ll bring in the same issues into the new relationship. You’ll make the same mistakes, unload the same baggage—it’s a nasty cycle. Worse, you start depending too much on relationships and not yourself.
If you want to be a happy individual despite having or not having someone else, you need to be okay with being alone.
Relationship and marriage psychologist Dr. Danielle Forshee advises:
“You have to force yourself to gain new experiences that are really uncomfortable. What I’m essentially asking people to do is take the brain path that is covered in leaves and boulders and climb over them, sift through them, get caught in the thorns, and on your way, you’ll finally experience that you can pave a new path.
“You can find happiness and pleasure in the end, and it will become easier over time.”
12. Get to know yourself
As cliche as it may sound, you really need to rediscover yourself.
Breakups have a way of making you feel broken as if you’re suddenly incomplete.
Being in a relationship involves being with another person—having a teammate, considering someone else’s wants and needs.
You live your life with someone else. And now you’re suddenly alone.
This is why it’s important to practice self-reflection.
Reconnect with the parts of yourself that weren’t attached to your ex.
What I mean is, rediscover the things you loved doing or what you’ve always wanted to do, even if you have to do them alone.
Have you always wanted to go mountain climbing? Do it. Have you ever tried “dating yourself?”
Right now, the only thing that can help ease the feeling of uncertainty is to find the things that ground you. Finding yourself is never an overrated task.
13. When you’re ready, be open to new possibilities
Breakups can be traumatic. And once you’ve moved on, you might feel like you don’t want to deal with relationships again.
But heartbreak is a part of life. And sure, it hurts like hell. But try to remember how it feels to be in love. There is nothing quite like being loved by someone who chooses to love you.
So as much as it scares you, try to be open to new possibilities. Give love another chance.
Besides, science says that the key to happiness is having new experiences.
According to a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, people who invest in new experiences are more appreciative of the world, ultimately becoming more happier with their life.
Don’t stop yourself from gaining new experiences in love just because of the past.
You’ve learned valuable lessons from your past relationships that will help you navigate your future ones better. Don’t close your heart off to the possibility of love again.
14. And don’t forget to be kind to yourself
Here’s the thing hardly anyone ever tells you. After a breakup, you will do stupid things, crazy things, embarrassing things.
In the heat of the moment, when the pain is still fresh, you might end up saying or doing things you will later regret. And you will feel bad for it. You will beat yourself up.
I know I did. I felt ashamed of my feelings and the things I said and did because of them.
But berating yourself will only make it worse. Now is actually the time to respect yourself more.
Being kind to yourself has mental and physical benefits that will make moving on a whole lot easier.
According to a study conducted by the University of Exeter, self-compassion is tantamount to healing.
Lead researcher Dr. Hans Kirschner says:
“These findings suggest that being kind to oneself switches off the threat response and puts the body in a state of safety and relaxation that is important for regeneration and healing.”
“Our study is helping us understand the mechanism of how being kind to yourself when things go wrong could be beneficial in psychological treatments. By switching off our threat response, we boost our immune systems and give ourselves the best chance of healing.”
Remember to be easy on yourself. Love and pain make us do stupid things.
But we still learn from it. Don’t blame yourself too much. Don’t over-analyze every little thing you do.
And most importantly, don’t apologize for how you choose to move on. Everyone has a different process of dealing with pain and loss. What might work for other people might not work for you.
Respect your process. Give yourself a break. This journey will not be easy. And if you don’t believe that you are strong enough, who will?
(To learn more about the process of moving on, check out our no-nonsense guide to becoming a more resilient person here).
Do you really want to end things?
After you’ve gone through the steps above, you’ll start to find yourself after a breakup.
These are essential steps to take. Once you have a more solid relationship with yourself, you are able to properly assess the relationship you had.
If you’re thinking of getting back with your ex, we recommend these two key steps.
There comes a time after a break up where you have to reflect on the relationship. What went right and what went wrong?
Because the most important thing is not to make the same mistakes in your next relationship. You don’t want to deal with heartbreak yet again.
In my experience, the missing link leading to most break ups is never a lack of communication or trouble in the bedroom. It’s understanding what the other person is thinking.
Let’s face it: men and women see the word differently and we want different things from a relationship.
In particular many women simply don’t understand what drives men in relationships (it’s probably not what you think).
The hero instinct is a new term in relationship psychology that’s generating a lot of buzz at the moment. It claims that men have an instinctive need to step up to the plate for the woman in this life. This is deeply rooted in male biology.
In other words, he needs to feel like your hero. Because when a man loves you he wants to provide for you, protect you, and be the one person you can count on.
The kicker is that if he doesn’t get this feeling from you then he is much less likely to be in a committed, long lasting relationship.
I know it might all seem kind of silly. In this day and age, women don’t need someone to rescue them. They don’t need a ‘hero’ in their lives.
But this misses the point about what the hero instinct is all about.
Although you may not need a hero, a man is compelled to be one. And if you want him to fall in love with you, then you have to let him.
The interesting thing is that the hero instinct is something women can actively trigger in their man. There are things you can say, messages you can send, requests you can use to trigger this natural biological instinct.
To learn what these are, check out this excellent video by James Bauer. He’s the relationship expert who discovered the hero instinct.
I don’t often recommend videos about new concepts in psychology. But I think this is a fascinating take on what drives me romantically.
Here’s a link to the video again.
2. Do you want to get back with your ex?
One way to move on with your life after a break up is to do so without your ex. In other words, accepting the break up is permanent and simply moving on.
However, here’s a piece of counter-intuitive advice that you don’t often hear after a break up.
If you still love you ex, why not try to win them back?
Most relationship ‘experts’ and probably friends of yours generally say “don’t get back with your ex”. Yet this advice makes no sense.
True love is extremely hard to find and if you’re still in love with them (or think you guys will fall in love down the track) then your best option may be get back together.
Usually getting back with your ex is only a good idea when:
- You’re still compatible
- You didn’t break up because of violence, toxic behavior or incompatible values.
If you fit this bill, then you should at least consider getting back with your ex.
But how do you go about it?
The first thing you need is an actual plan to get back with them.
So, whenever someone asks me for advice on getting back with their ex, I always tell them to check out relationship coach Brad Browning.
He runs a popular YouTube channel with around half a million subscribers, where he dispenses practical advice on reversing break ups. He’s also recently published a best-selling book which provides the most practical ‘blueprint’ for doing this that I’ve come across.
Although there are a lot of self proclaimed “gurus” who claim to specialize in this area, Brad is the most authentic I’ve come across. He genuinely wants to help you get back with your ex.
I first learned about Brad Browning after watching one of his videos. And I’ve since read his book from cover to cover.
If you want to get your ex back, check out his free online video here. Brad gives away some free tips you can use immediately to win them over.
A few months ago I read an eye-opening claim from a relationship psychologist: that over 90% of all relationships can be salvaged. While you may think that number is unreasonably high, I tend to think it’s on the money.
Over the past few years, I’ve been in contact with countless Ideapod readers who are happily back with their ex. And getting back together was the best thing they did.
These couples broke up for relatively trivial reasons or because of circumstances out of their control. None of their relationships were toxic ones.
So if your relationship fits that description, then you need to get to work to repair your relationship. And I believe Brad’s advice will be invaluable to you.
Here’s a link to Brad’s free video again. If you want an actual plan to get back with your ex, then Brad Browning will give you one.
If You’re Ready To Move On After A Breakup, Here’s How You’ll Know
If there’s one thing we know about moving on after a breakup, it’s that there is no norm for how, when, or why it happens. You cannot will it to happen by dating a new cutie or drinking enough champagne. You cannot expect it on a certain timeline. So, how do you know if you’re ready to move on after a breakup? The healing process happens differently for everyone, depending on the person’s personality, circumstances, and the nature of their relationship as well as the way it ended. Still, there are ways to tell when the wounds have started to close, and you’re prepared to dive into this exciting new chapter of your life.
It’s only natural to experience some denial when you’re fresh off a breakup. Part of you doesn’t want to believe it’s actually happening — and you may even be scheming up ways to get back together with your ex in order to quell the heartache. According to Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent dating and relationship therapist in Los Angeles, if you’ve accepted that it’s over, that’s one clear indicator that you’re getting ready to move on. Once you’ve come to grips with this reality, you can stop obsessing over what you could have said or done differently or fantasizing about reuniting with your ex, and start to focus on other things.
Speaking of which — if your thoughts have shifted away from your relationship, that’s another positive sign. Immediately after the breakup, it’s totally normal to feel like you’re fixated on thoughts about your ex and your previous relationship. Over time, those thoughts will likely become less and less frequent. Eventually, you’ll hopefully reach a place where they are fleeting.
“You are beginning to think more about your life without your ex than your life with your ex,” explains Dr. Brown. “You are feeling hopeful that there is indeed life after your ex.”
So, if you find yourself excitedly planning a trip to Europe with your girlfriends, mulling over some career moves, or spending your free time exploring a new hobby, that could indicate that you’re ready to move on.
Additionally, if you feel as if you’ve gained some perspective on your breakup, that could mean you’ve gotten over it.
“You understand why things didn’t work out and you’re ready to get back into the social scene,” Dr. Brown tells Elite Daily.
That may not mean you’re eagerly re-downloading Tinder or giving out your number at the bar. Contrary to popular belief, dating again doesn’t prove you’re over a breakup. When you choose to start seeing people is up to you, and has nothing to do with your ability to move on. However, if you feel like you’ve had enough time and space from the breakup to understand why the relationship ended, that’s a good sign. It can be difficult to have clarity immediately after a split happens — intense emotions can cloud our judgment and ability to think rationally. When you’re ready to move on, you’ll likely have a more balanced view of what went wrong in your relationship, which will be super helpful as you potentially explore new relationships going forward.
If you feel like you’re ready to move on, there are some things you can do for yourself to facilitate that process. For one, Dr. Brown advises unfollowing your ex on all social media accounts. You may think that seeing their posts won’t affect you, but the risk is far greater than the reward. Catching a glimpse of a photo of them with someone new (or even just seeing their face) may be more painful than you expect it to be, and could be harmful to all the progress you’re making in healing from the breakup. So it’s better to be safe than sorry in this regard.
You’ll likely have a lot more free time now that you’re single, and Dr. Brown recommends spending some of that time around family and friends who are supportive. Keep in mind that while it’s definitely healthy to distract yourself and talk about other things besides your breakup, talking about it can also prove helpful, too.
He also suggests planning some things that you can look forward to, whether that means booking a weekend yoga retreat, snagging tickets to a music festival with your besties, or organizing a wine tasting party at your apartment. These are the kind of things that will remind you how fulfilling life can be despite the fact that you and your ex are no longer together.
Dr. Brown notes that writing in a journal can be a useful way to help you gain some closure.
“Focus not only just what wasn’t working but also what you would like in a future relationship where things are working more ideally,” he says. “Having a positive vision for your future can help to make that happen.”
Lastly, Dr. Brown emphasizes the importance of practicing self-love. Make time for things that you know bring your pleasure, whether that includes riding your bike around the city, taking a cooking class, indulging in a little pampering, or bonding with your BFF over brunch.
If you’re still struggling to get over your ex and move on after a breakup after an extended period of time, Dr. Brown advises talking to a therapist who can help you navigate through your grief.
As much as you may be longing to move on from your breakup, remember: It is not something that can be forced. Making time for some self-care, spending time with supportive friends and family, journaling about your feelings, and planning things to look forward to can certainly all help to speed it along. But rather than focus on the endpoint, try to enjoy the journey. Healing is a complicated process, and it happens in different ways for different people. The bottom line? When you’re ready to move on, you’ll know. Rather than focusing on your past, your attention will have shifted to your present and future.
how to stop suffering after parting
Nobody needs to learn to be in love – everyone knows how to enjoy butterflies in the stomach and sincere happiness, but learning to live after parting with a loved one is a real test. Let’s try to deal with it with the help of a 5-day instruction.
Most of us at least once in our lives had to experience parting with a loved one, who only yesterday seemed to be the center of the universe. The reasons may be different, but it always hurts a lot.At the moment of the breakup, it seems that all the good things in life are over forever.
We asked Maria Samarina, an expert on working with the subconscious, the founder of the online school of mindfulness, to help oneself heal a mental wound, quickly recover and not lose the mood for the best.
According to Maria, if you act according to the plan, emotional problems can be dealt with in less than a week. For example, like this.
Day 1: accept the fact that it’s over
If you decide to leave – no matter on whose initiative – it means that this page of your book of life has been read.There will definitely be others after it, but in order to see them, you will have to turn this completed one.
Even if you can “step into the same river twice” with the same partner, your relationship must go to a new level for this, otherwise everything will end in the same way. In any case, now you need to realize what happened, and take the rest of the decisions later, when emotions subside.
If you do not have something in common – children, business, material issues – that will force you to communicate later, you can immediately delete his phone number and block it in social networks so that there is no temptation to write or call, succumbing to emotions.Do not do that! The most important thing has already been said. Finally, remember the old adage: if the horse is dead, get off.
Mindfulness: why this trend has conquered the whole world Read
Day 2: dive into sadness
If the second day does not feel better for you, dedicate it to sorrow and regret. Just say so: “Today, from 9 to 19 o’clock, I feel sorry for myself. I will cry and be sad without respite and without distraction.If I want to do something else, it means that I am tired of melancholy, and I will cope with negative emotions faster than I think. ” And set the alarm for the agreed 19 o’clock.
I wonder if you can even hold out until lunchtime? Because as soon as you want to go outside, have a delicious coffee or turn on the TV, it will mean that the healing process has already begun. Be sure to pay attention to this!
As soon as you catch yourself on a distraction, praise yourself for being ahead of your recovery schedule.And immediately do what you want to do. Just do not turn on sentimental movies or romantic music, so as not to provoke yourself into tears.
If you’ve spent all the time you’ve set aside for yourself, let the sound of your alarm remind you that it’s over. Your brain will receive a signal to switch, and you will only have to note for yourself that everything is going according to plan.
Day 3: rest and relaxation
Do something very nice for yourself.The most banal thing that can be arranged even in self-isolation is a bubble bath to your favorite music. Masks, scrubs, creams – use whatever pleases you. Enjoy textures and aromas, relax, wash away all the troubles.
Are beauty salons already open in your city? A change of hairstyle will work great – a new haircut and / or a new hair color. Or grab a thermos of tea and head to the park or the river. Just rest, immerse yourself in the joy of the moment.Enjoy nature and take your time.
Remember that life is only here and now, everything else exists only in our imagination. There is no point in getting stuck in the past, we no longer have power over it. And we shape our future by what we do and think today.
For tomorrow to be a better day, you need to find joy in the present moment, right now. The world always mirrors our emotions, so the brighter your thoughts are, the more wonderful your future will be.
Day 4: forgive and let go
You will have to seriously talk to yourself. Not with a partner, but with yourself, because you can only influence your own life and build it yourself. Answer yourself: what really bothers you about parting? After all, the main reason for all the suffering in parting is our low self-esteem.
Self-love: the main rules of healthy selfishness Read
Write on a piece of paper what you are worried about.Do you think that it is you who are to blame for the breakup: were you not good enough – smart, beautiful, young? Is your ex-partner the only person in the world with whom you can be happy, and are you afraid that no one else will love you? You’ve been looking for him for so long, and now you have to start all over again? Are you afraid of how people around you will react to the breakup? Are you afraid that you will not be able to support yourself? Did you just enjoy being in a relationship and on your own it’s like “losing value”? Be honest with yourself, write the truth.
Then re-read everything you have written and burn this sheet. Let your fears turn to ash. Rinse it off with water or blow it in the wind. Then close your eyes and imagine the future that you would like to see. Feel happy, free, beautiful. Consider the house of your dreams, mentally touch the hand of your new companion. Maybe you will be better off alone? Provide details of your ideal future day.
At this moment, your subconscious mind will receive a command to create just such a life for you.Your task now is not to lose this focus. Remember this picture later
Day 5: return to yourself
Any person in love, to one degree or another, dissolves in a partner. We adjust to the one we love, wanting to please him. We cook his favorite food, watch his favorite movies with him, dress to please him. Have you forgotten what you like?
It’s time to remember your own desires and hobbies, chat with old friends, return your own habits.Do things that you didn’t have time for while you were busy with relationship problems. Have you dreamed of trying something new for a long time? Now is the perfect time for that.
If travel, the gym and dancing have to be postponed for now, then books, learning foreign languages or online courses on learning anything will come in handy. Paid tuition gives you even more incentive to study. Maybe it’s worth spending some money? Perhaps after a while you will be grateful to parting for the opportunities and talents that you will open in yourself.
In any case, even the biggest troubles, losses and partings are the experience of our life. And it is in our power not to plunge into the negative, but to take lessons and awareness from the situation in order to become stronger and move on.
90,000 13 Psychologist’s Tips on How to Cope with a Breakup – Here and Now
The author of the article: Naumenko Alexandra Igorevna Family psychologist, child psychologist.
Practical work experience: 8 years.
We want to love and be loved, we strive to create a happy and strong family, to live in abundance and prosperity.But before finding the ideal life partner, many of us are destined to go through a series of partings. Someone perceives this as the beginning of a new stage in life and finds the strength to move forward, while for someone a break with a loved one is comparable to a serious loss.
Everything will pass …
Of course, time heals even the deepest wounds. But in the present moment it seems that it is simply impossible to continue living on, since the brain is absorbed in memories of the past, and feelings towards the former partner are still strong.As a result, we withdraw into ourselves, refuse to communicate with loved ones, surrender to the power of negative thoughts and anxious expectations, and we get bogged down in a depressed emotional state.
Even though now you do not understand how to live on after parting, but sooner or later the mental pain will pass. The main thing is not to give up and do everything possible so that this condition does not lead to prolonged depression and does not leave an imprint on the subsequent relationship. Life is not over, there are many interesting things ahead of you, and new, no less happy relationships, including.
If you are unable to cope with the pain of loss on your own, we strongly recommend that you enlist the support of a psychologist. When parting, this is the most correct decision. Or at least take advantage of his advice.
If the breakup occurred suddenly and at the initiative of a loved one, and the relationship itself was characterized by painful dependence and the need to take care of and control another, then the experiences can drag on for more than a year.
How long does it take to get over the breakup?
Many people are interested not only in how to survive the breakup of a long relationship, but also how long it will take.Everyone is individual and experiences this difficult period in their own way. In turn, the intensity and duration of the experiences directly depend on the combination of the following factors:
- type of the nervous system;
- circumstances accompanying the separation;
- desire and effort that you make to start life from scratch.
It is believed that full recovery from a rupture takes several months to a year.However, if the breakup occurred suddenly and at the initiative of a loved one, and the relationship itself was characterized by painful dependence and the need to take care of and control another, then the experiences can drag on for a longer period.
It is much easier to survive parting with a loved one if both partners found the courage to admit that the relationship had exhausted itself, and at parting expressed gratitude to each other for all the good that happened. Of course, this does not mean at all that people who are able to easily provide another person with the desired freedom and part peacefully are robots deprived of human feelings.They just know how to find within themselves the resources that support them in difficult periods of life and after parting experience rather bright sadness than unbearable pain and unwillingness to live on.
Psychologist’s advice: how to cope with parting with a loved one?
We have prepared for you some simple recommendations that will help you quickly leave all regrets in the past and feel the joy of life again.
- Give yourself time to grieve , arrange a kind of mourning for lost relationships and broken hopes for a common future.Try to come to terms with irreversible changes in your life, learn to live on a wave of new energy, without the love and support of your partner, which you are used to counting on for the time spent together.
- Out of sight – out of mind. Often, after parting, people try to maintain friendly relations, believing that this is not a reason to completely remove a person from their lives. But don’t be fooled! In most cases, former partners agree to friendship, because they cannot come to terms with the idea that a loved one will leave their life forever.Love under the guise of friendship does not bring happiness, and such friendship will not be real and sincere. No wonder there is a proverb “out of sight – out of mind.” It is much easier to forget a person if does not maintain any ties with him . In any case, both partners need time to be apart and tune in to an exceptionally friendly relationship.
- Make sure nothing reminds you of your ex. It is useful to unsubscribe from him on social networks, delete the history of correspondence and reduce communication with mutual friends.Someone, after the breakup, gets rid of joint photographs and gifts. If you don’t have the strength to part with things, put them in a box and hide them away. Also ask mutual acquaintances, if possible, not to mention the ex in your presence.
- Remove any music from the player that reminds you of an ended relationship. Replace them with uplifting, uplifting tracks.
- Clear the space. Renew your apartment: do a general cleaning, rearrange furniture, apply new wallpaper.Cleansing the outer space is a kind of mental cleansing, after which it will become easier to accept the changes.
- Stabilize your emotional state and find the strength to continue caring for yourself. Regular healthy food, manicure, walks in the fresh air, physical activity will help keep yourself in good shape – both physically and emotionally.
- Change your image. Experiment with hair color and length, go shopping and treat yourself to beautiful new clothes and shoes, get rid of the things you no longer like.The outside influences the inside – this is a fact, and very soon you will feel better.
- Environment support. After the breakup, close people will try to distract you from painful reflections, get you out of the house, and do something interesting. Do not refuse their help, because having fun with loving people is a great way to feel better.
- Find an internal resource. Move away from the victim and expectation that someone should make you happy.Stop looking for love somewhere else, because the main person in your life is yourself. Become a generator of positive emotions for yourself. Find what you enjoy doing and what will develop you, make you more confident and happier.
- Don’t fill your inner void with a string of new partners. You need to give yourself time to get over the separation from a loved one and to meet with your inner emptiness. In fear of pain and loneliness, many skip this important stage.Unfortunately, walking into the arms of a stranger has the opposite effect and the feeling of emptiness only intensifies. Stay in conscious solitude for as long as you need, and devote yourself to restoring vitality, self-development.
- Analyze the quality of your relationship. Think about what was holding you back in the relationship. If these are children, fear of financial insolvency or loneliness, then, first of all, it is necessary to work on issues of personal maturity, and not on the return of a partner, and it is advisable to do this under the guidance of a psychologist.
- Do not try to dull the yearning with food, stimulants, or alcohol. Not only will this not bring the desired relief, but it will also cause serious damage in the form of the release of stress hormones, physiological dependence and excess weight. Instead, tune in to the conscious inner work of ending the relationship emotionally and accepting your current state.
- If you sincerely need not only love and affection, but the very personality (!) Of a loved one, then openly tell him about it, without threats and manipulation. Offer to work through the problems and grievances that have accumulated during your relationship together. Seek advice from a family psychologist. That way you can at least admit to yourself that you did the best you could. If your partner is categorical in his decision to leave, then you just have to accept his choice and start living your new, separate life.
Psychologist’s view: how they are going through parting with a loved one
The experience of breaking up in a love relationship often consists of the same stages as the reaction to the loss of a loved one.
- Negation. At such a moment, our consciousness cannot accept the fact of what happened. We make plans, cherish hope and comfort ourselves that the gap is not final, the other half will definitely take a step towards reconciliation, and everything will be as before.
- Anger. We experience latent resentment or express it openly. An endless stream of accusations or insults pours against the former partner. This often helps to separate from the partner, to increase the distance. If we do not allow ourselves to feel anger towards our ex, we often turn the entire stream of negative emotions onto ourselves: we blame the breakup and convince ourselves that we do not deserve another good relationship.
- Bargaining. We begin to bargain with ourselves or with a former partner in an attempt to start the relationship over. Living the gap, we set ourselves a certain period during which we can return our beloved. This is how our psyche tries to cope with the breakup and get used to the new situation.
- Depression. At some point, the realization comes that it’s time to stop making senseless attempts to deny the breakup. And then we are covered with a wave of despair, sadness and apathy.
- Acceptance. If you give yourself enough time to survive this “mental flu”, the painful symptoms gradually subside, after which comes the acceptance of the new situation. After that, we find the strength to move on, and past relationships remain in the past – like a completed chapter in the book of life, after which new interesting chapters follow.
The center “Here and Now” is often approached because of separation from a girl or a man. Our psychologists are ready to help and do everything possible to restore peace of mind and balance to their patients.
Materials that may be of interest:
90,000 7 things that people learn only after parting
There is hardly a person in the world who at one time did not go through the thorny path of breaking up relations. The head of the marriage agency Tamsin Fedal is no exception. Behind her is a painful divorce and a search for a new meaning in life. In her book “Alone and Happy. How to find ground under your feet after parting or divorce,” she told about all the discoveries that await on this road.
We at Bright Side decided to share with you Temsin’s observations, because there are many important things that a person understands after parting. With their help, in the future, you can build long-term and harmonious relationships. We will also tell you what is better not to do.
1. The world has not collapsed and is not going to do it
At first, you will feel sorry for yourself, suffer, remember the glorious old days, pour out your soul to your girlfriends and friends. And you will have sleepless nights, and the piece will not go down your throat.But the moment will surely come when you say to yourself: “Enough!” – and you will move on.
Tamsin considers the first 90 days after a breakup to be the most difficult and calls them “survival mode”. She advises not to rush, but to look around, get rid of those things that depress, and also pay attention to your appearance and health.
2. You knew little about yourself
In a relationship, you could dissolve so much in your partner that you abandoned yourself and your “I”.Remember how you spent your time, what did you do on weekends, where did you go on vacation – did you always want this, or did you sometimes compromise and give in, not wanting to upset your partner?
It’s time to find out what you personally like. It may turn out that you are not at all enthusiastic about the design of your apartment, you hate cooking a three-course dinner, and every year, while skiing in the Alps, you secretly dreamed of the sea.
3. Eat, Pray, Switch Off
Not everyone has the opportunity to travel like Julia Roberts’ heroine from Eat Pray Love.However, you can also try new cuisine or meditate in your hometown. Tamsin also advises to “switch off” – remove all gadgets from yourself at least for an hour and just sit in silence. This will give you the opportunity to catch your breath and look around, as well as understand what you are ready and what you are not ready to accept from the future.
Perhaps you shouldn’t act so radically as the heroine Anne Hathaway from the movie “The Devil Wears Prada” and throw the phone into the fountain, but the fact that it helped her feel free is an undeniable fact.
4. Better to be alone than alone in a couple
One of the main reasons forcing us to hold on to a relationship is the fear of being alone. The prospect of going to the cinema alone, having dinner in a cafe and spending the weekend is embarrassing, depressing and terrifying. In fact, we are afraid not so much of the physical absence of a partner, as of being alone with our thoughts and feelings.
Being alone is not at all the same as being lonely, and it is not a disease from which you need to be treated, but an opportunity to get to know yourself better and simply do whatever you want, here and now.Remember Keira Knightley’s character from Last Night in New York? In a hurry to tie the knot, she never became happy, secretly dreaming of something else. Who knows what fate awaits such a relationship?
5. The only way to “and they lived happily ever after” is “be happy with yourself.” It is important to know who you can trust, but it is equally important to trust yourself.Talking out your feelings out loud will decrease activity in the areas of the brain responsible for the perception of pain.
It will not be possible to find “your man” if you are “not yourself”. Before looking for a new partner, you need to understand yourself, realize your desires and needs. In the movie “Always Say Yes” “the hero of Jim Carrey found his happiness only when he understood himself and his life.
6. To find “the one”, you must first let go of the “wrong”
The path is passed when the goal is reached.This also applies to relationships. Two people meet and learn something together, they learn from each other, while being teachers. And when the lesson ends, the relationship runs out. And although this moment is almost always associated with sadness, such is the price of admission to the next level of spiritual development.
Put an end to your previous relationship before rushing into another love adventure with your head. Otherwise, the new partner simply will not find a place for himself in your life. Sometimes you need to burn all the bridges and completely change the scenery, like the heroine Cameron Diaz in the movie “Exchange Vacation”, in order to be ready to open your heart again.
7. All roads are open before you
As Michael Jackson sang, “if you want to change the world for the better, look at yourself and start changing.” Perhaps, before meeting with your loved one, you made some plans, dreamed of something, but living together made you reconsider your priorities. Now nothing limits you, you can safely make your dreams come true.
Bonus: 5 main mistakes that we make after breaking up
Many of us did strange things not at all because of the remnants of feelings for a former partner, but simply because we wanted to do at least something, just not to stand on the spot and not stew in the juice of your own bitter memories.Here are the most common mistakes:
- Turn a period into an ellipsis: another SMS, the most recent conversation, the final argument. No no and one more time no!
- Go to bed to the first comer, proving that there is still gunpowder in the flasks.
- To pity yourself in public, bursting into bitter tears and lamentations in the spirit of “All men are the same” and “There will be no one to serve a glass of water to.”
- Follow your ex on social media, and even worse, in everyday life.
- To take revenge on your partner in all possible ways and intimidate his new passion, like the heroine of Uma Thurman in the movie “My Super Ex”.
In any case, it is worth remembering that parting is not a sentence, but an opportunity to draw conclusions, thank you for your happy days and move on. Have you ever had a relationship that ended in a breakup that you didn’t want? What advice would you give to those people who are now experiencing this particular moment?
Why it is useful to start a new relationship quickly after a breakup
- William Park
- BBC Future
Photo author, Getty Images
Which is better – to give heart wounds time to heal or to start new ones as soon as possible relationship immediately after the breakup? And is it good if your new partner reminds you of the previous one?
Breaking up can be very painful.Unsurprisingly, psychological well-being is deteriorating. And your friends with the best intentions (hoping to protect you from another breakup) advise you not to rush into new relationships – especially if your new acquaintance (acquaintance) resembles your ex.
For some reason, society is suspicious of the fact that after a breakup or divorce, a person quickly finds a new partner. But this option may be the best for you, and there is evidence for this.
Why is prejudice so tenacious? How do we behave in a new relationship? And is there any risk that our new partner reminds us of our old love?
“People who quickly enter new relationships feel more comfortable in their personal lives,” says Claudia Brambo, a psychologist at the City University of New York who studies adult attachments.She talks about a study that assessed the psychological state of people who recently experienced a breakup with a partner.
“[If they quickly found a new partner] they felt more confident, felt more desirable and loved. Perhaps because they proved to themselves that they could be. They felt more personal growth and independence,” says Claudia Brambo – They were better able to overcome dependence on their ex (ex), they felt more relaxed.And there has never been a single example of a person left alone feeling better. ”
According to Brambo, people believe that they have to wait an average of five months without entering a new relationship, and that relationships in which
However, such opinions are not supported by the facts.
Photo author, Getty Images
increased self-esteem and better psychological well-being, they felt less anxious.
The transition from one partner to another proceeded smoothly enough and did not disrupt the usual way of life.
However, those who quickly found a new heartfelt friend had their own problems in their previous relationships – they felt their insecurity, felt themselves insecure.
At first glance, it seems strange that those who were in an unreliable relationship now have high self-esteem. But this may be the result of the fact that feelings of insecurity existed in old, already ended relationships, and the growth of self-esteem occurred after meeting with a new partner.
Conclusions after the breakup
People who advise to wait before entering into a new relationship give, for example, the following reason: we need time to heal mental wounds and draw conclusions from the experience gained.
Photo author, Getty Images
Personal development in the interval between relationships can be an illusion.
There is a certain logic in this. After the breakup, people talk about about five aspects in which they have grown in their eyes – for example, “I feel more confident” or “I am more independent.”
But such experiments rely on what the participants themselves say, on their self-esteem, which may mean that things are not really that simple. I can say that I feel more confident now, but is that so?
Studies that have examined what those who have experienced traumatic events tell about their personal growth often show that no internal change is actually happening.
We tell ourselves that the new experience has taught us a lot.But often the reason for this is a perceptual distortion phenomenon known as “positive illusions.”
“People sometimes tend to exaggerate their ratings in order to fuel their self-esteem,” notes Tai Tashiro, psychologist and writer.
“The gap can negatively affect your self-esteem. But telling yourself that you are now more independent, it balances the situation. And although you are not really more independent, it is easier for you to come to terms with the fact that you are abandoned.”
Photo author, Getty Images
Those who quickly find a new partner report increased self-esteem and better psychological state
Tashiro’s research, which he undertook while working at the University of Maryland (USA), shows that the speed with which you find a new partner and the time since the breakup do not affect your personal growth in any way.
So you can wait as long as you want without entering a new relationship, but it won’t make you better or more experienced. And even if you think so, it is self-deception.
But what affects your personal growth is who or what you blame for the breakup. Do you blame yourself? Or a partner? Or circumstances?
Those who blame the circumstances (being busy at work or relationships with their partner’s relatives), as a rule, are more likely to report later on personal growth.For those who blame themselves, the opposite is true.
Much also depends on the lessons we learn for ourselves.
Photo author, Getty Images
The ability to ask for forgiveness will help in future relationships
Who is entering a new relationship noticeably wiser? Tashiro says that most of all he remembered the man who said: “I learned to say ‘forgive me.’
“ I really liked that because the answer is specific, ”says Tashiro.- The answer sounded very reliable. I can very well imagine what led to this. Knowing how to ask forgiveness will help this guy in all his future relationships. “
Feelings of affection
Each of us has a different style of attachment to loved ones. In general, how much we need emotional support is determined by feelings of security, anxiety or
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Your personal growth also depends on who you blame for the breakup
Those who feel securely attached in a relationship with a partner are more likely to were brought up in a family where the parents were consistent in their relationship with the child.They tend to trust others and, when they need to, seek emotional support from close friends and family members.
Things get a lot more complicated when we explore relationships in which people are unsure. Those who have experienced attachment in such relationships in the past tend to enter new relationships faster than those in more normal relationships. But the reason for the haste is different.
Anxiety associated with past attachment exists due to the inability to let go of the situation and the desire to somehow take revenge on your ex.
These people experience more stress – both emotionally and physically – and may go to extremes in an attempt to regain their old relationship.
The same people who avoid attachment rely on themselves more and may not remember their former partners at all, moving through life.
“Anxious people are always anxious and jealous, cling to the past, seek attention, but give nothing in return, – says Brambo. – People who avoid attachment are not inclined to open their souls, distrustful and prefer to drown out feelings with work.They do not like being too close, and yet they have partners. “
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Finding a new partner who is similar to the old one, you gain consistency
Your behavior as an adult age can be influenced by how you were raised, what kind of relationship you had in your family, but this changes over time, and if your family did not have a particularly warm atmosphere, you will not necessarily shy away from such an atmosphere all your life.
An understanding partner can change your attitude towards attachment. However, there is scientific evidence that adherence to a particular style of relationship is inherited, so that the degree of influence of a partner here has its limits.
If you see your ex in a new partner
Usually people move from one relationship to another, carrying their attachment style with them, but they do this much more when the new partner resembles the ex.And then they transfer their ideas about the old partner into the new relationship.
“People love consistency,” says Brambo. “Finding a new partner who is similar to the old gives you consistency. Those who enter new relationships faster after a breakup find more similarities between the former and the current partner. We cannot say. for sure, whether this similarity actually exists, because people themselves tell us about it. But this is how they see it. ”
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People transfer the style of their affection from one partner to another
People living together look at the world in many ways, their views overlap.Thus, they see themselves as parts of each other. They share each other’s habits and hobbies, relationships with friends.
And after a breakup occurs, such people can feel very vulnerable. Suddenly they lose some of their individuality, someone with whom they share interests. Therefore, it becomes much easier for them when they find someone who helps to fill the voids that have formed.
There are pluses and minuses in the fact that people see traits similar to the former in a new partner.”If my ex is Sam, and then I meet Bob, and something about Bob reminds me of Sam, I start to see more similarities in Bob than I should,” explains Brambo.
“For example, if Sam was a good cook and was very romantic, I start to think the same about Bob. And these erroneous assumptions can create problems. I want Bob to be as romantic as Sam, and every time it turns out that he is not quite like that, it destroys my expectations, upsets me – despite the fact that Bob can also be quite a romantic person, just not to the same extent as Sam. “
It is clear that getting into new relationships quickly is not an ideal cure for heart wounds. But there is nothing wrong with him, no matter what friends and relatives tell you. Some of its psychological benefits are obvious.
A breakup is often very painful, and how can you condemn someone who is in a hurry to return at least a little love to his life?
To read the original of this article in English, visit BBC Future .
Despair drive.Why is it so difficult for us to let go and forgive our exes
- Shermain Lee
- BBC Future
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Breaking up with your loved one is very difficult, but why some then Are they trying so hard to return their old love, while others, on the contrary, bypass their exes on the tenth road? The temptation to rekindle the fire of old love is deeply rooted in human psychology, experts explain.
Tears rolled down the cheeks of 28-year-old Hong Kong resident Yans as she told George that their relationship was over. Then she wandered home alone along the embankment, and her heart was broken. And at the same time, a sigh of relief escaped her chest.
Over the past two months, this was the third parting of Yans and George, and this time the girl was sure that there was no turning back.
“I missed him a lot, I was returning to our best days in my memory,” Jans says about how she experienced previous disagreements.
Nostalgia for the best moments of their relationship eventually led to her returning to her former partner again and again. “But our outlook on life was very different, and in the end, nothing changed every time. I deleted all reminders about him from social networks and I know only one thing: we will not be together again.”
It seems that the desire to reconnect with old love is quite common and can haunt us throughout our lives.
This can continue after marriage.More than a third of couples living together and one-fifth of married couples have experienced a breakup and subsequent renewal of their relationship.
This phenomenon has spawned countless lyric songs, novels, plays, films and reality shows. No wonder – the breaks and subsequent search for reconciliation are deeply rooted in human psychology.
But why are we so tempted to stir up the past after the relationship has not worked out?
Immediately after the breakup, people enter a phase, which Helen Fisher, a neuroscientist from the Kinsey Institute (Kinsey Institute for the Study of Sex, Gender and Reproduction, USA), calls the phase of protest, during which the rejected side becomes literally obsessed with the desire to win the heart of the one who became the initiator of the break.
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Young people may be more inclined to rekindle their relationship after a breakup. And to a new rift
Fischer and a group of other scientists examined the brains of 15 people recently rejected by a romantic partner using MRI scans.
When volunteers were asked to look at a picture of their former lover / sweetheart, those areas of their brain that are usually responsible for reaction to loss and gain, craving and regulation of emotions became active – along with the regions responsible for romantic love and attachment.
“Once you’ve been rejected, you don’t stop loving a person automatically. In fact, you may even love him more. The main area of the brain associated with addiction is still active,” says Fischer.
At such moments, rejected lovers experience increased levels of dopamine and the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which, according to Fisher, is explained by increased stress levels and a desire to call for help. She calls it the “despair drive.”
It is believed that this is why, at the moment of emotional stress, some rejected people resort to dramatic gestures and actions – only to return the object of their desire.
The so-called nucleus accumbens, the main part of the brain associated with addiction, is active in the brains of outcasts (both men and women). Participants in Fisher’s study were unable to shake off obsessive thoughts about their ex and were eager to reestablish an emotional connection with him.
“The anxiety after a breakup can be compared to the behavior of a puppy who was taken from his mother and locked in the kitchen alone: he runs in circles, barks and whines,” adds Fischer.
“Couples whose breakups alternate with reconciliation are still addicted to each other like a drug, they simply cannot part without problems until this addiction goes away.”
In addition to chemical reactions in the brain, there are other reasons why people are so persistent in trying to bring a doomed relationship back to life. They lie in the behavioral realm.
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Bad behavior during a breakup is a phenomenon that has been known for a long time, but not so long ago it received special terminology
If a former partner after a breakup has already started dating someone, it helps faster get rid of old feelings for him and reduces the likelihood of a renewal of the relationship.
But some people experience quite synchronous feelings after a breakup, which increases the likelihood of forgiveness.
Feeling unresolved in a relationship can make it tempting to renew a relationship, to try to “try again,” to “start over,” says Rene Daly, a professor at the University of Texas who studies this type of relationship.
“A couple can go through a lot of conflict situations during a breakup, but still feel affection or love for each other,” she explains.
“So it can all boil down to the inability to cope with the conflict, to resolve it. If the gap is not unambiguous, people may think that they have changed something for the better and try again.”
According to Daly, attachment theory, popular in some areas of psychology and which often tries to explain the compatibility of people using online dating applications, does not explain the phenomenon of reconciliation after breakup.
According to this theory, the behavior of caregivers in relation to children forms the style of attachment of the latter in later adulthood – they can belong to different types of attachment.
The safe type assumes a healthy emotional connection, the anxious type (ambivalent connection) doubts its value for a partner and can go all out to only restore intimacy. The third group is the avoidant of attachment, self-sufficient, rejecting intimacy.
According to this theory, partners of the last two types are attracted to each other, and in the event of a disagreement, it is difficult for them to completely break with each other. However, scientific research does not seem to support this assumption.
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Those who are afraid of being alone are more likely to return to their previous relationship with their ex.
“We found very little difference between those who regularly converge and scatter, and those who is not subject to such hesitation. Although attachment theory looks like a good explanation, we have not found confirmation of it, “says Daly.
As with Jans, nostalgia and loneliness play a significant role in the quest to earn forgiveness.
“This is usually associated with a sense of the loss of all the good that was in the previous relationship, with the feelings of loneliness, loss and grief that arise when breaking up,” – emphasizes Kristen Mark, professor at the University of Kentucky.
According to her, nostalgia for old relationships often first occurs when something does not work out in the current relationship.
Those who are afraid of being alone are more likely to return to their old relationship with an old partner, studies show.
This can also explain Jans’ behavior in the current pandemic situation. According to her, she felt very lonely during the outbreak of the coronavirus, and because of this, she wanted to return to her old love, to mend relationships again.
The loneliness experienced by people in quarantine could also be intensified by the opportunities that social networks now offer, because with their help it is easy to observe your “ex”.
The desire to get rid of loneliness at any cost can return a person to an old partner.
“We tend to see past relationships in a rosy light than they actually were, and we forget that people can change over time,” says Gail Saltz, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Weil Cornell School of Medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital. “Social networks make it difficult to break up, do not allow you to move on in life. Tracking the posts of a former partner is a very unhealthy thing.”
Since social media can greatly delay breakups, it’s no surprise that millennials and so-called Generation Z (born after 1996) may be even more prone to negative breakup behaviors, says University of Miami professor Berit Brogaard.
“Ugly breakups have been known to us as long as romantic love,” emphasizes Brogaard. etc”.
In addition, millennials and Gen Z may be much more vulnerable to depression and more dependent on public approval (primarily on social media), so they may well be prone to frequent breakups and reconciliations with the same partner, adds Brogaard.
If millennials and representatives of “generation Z” were born, as they say, with a laptop in their hands, then it is quite understandable that they will seek solace on dating sites and the Internet in general.
SOME TYPES MANIPULATIVE RELATIONSHIPS
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- Benching (from the English bench, in this case – “bench”) – when a potential partner shows no interest in you develop, as if you are being kept in reserve, just in case.
- Bradcrambing (from the English bread crumbs – “bread crumbs”) – a type of benchmarking in which the partner occasionally provides active signs of attention, as if feeding, throwing bread crumbs.
- Hosting (from the English ghosting; ghost – “ghost”) – abrupt termination of relations, complete disappearance without warning and explanation.
- Bridging (from the English most – “the most”) is a tougher type of ghosting, when a partner, before suddenly disappearing, manages to inspire the object of his attention that he feels mad love for him.
- Zombing (from the English zombie – “zombie”) – when a partner who has disappeared without a trace unexpectedly returns, as if rising from the dead, and begins to remind of himself in social networks, while ignoring your reply messages.
- Orbiting (from the English orbit – to rotate in orbit) – when the “former” or “future” becomes a virtual satellite, constantly looming in the orbit of social networks, but not approaching.
As a result, the personal growth coaching business is booming: in the United States alone, the industry was valued at over $ 1 billion in 2018.The niche market for heartbreak services is starting to turn into a serious player.
Coaches who specialize in painful breakups are now promising their clients to help them get their former partner back or get on with their life without him.
Many offer tips and strategies on their blogs, YouTube videos, and podcasts. They are read, watched and listened to by millions.
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It is useful to keep away from your ex after breaking up with him in any case, even if you want to win his / her heart again
Among the most popular tips is the “no contact” rule (recommended period from 30 to 60 days, and some even advise forever).This time should be devoted to self-development.
Many also advise you to write to your “ex” in the messenger, reminding you of how good you once were, and showing how you have changed over the past time.
Neurologist and anthropologist Helen Fisher agrees that the no-contact rule can be useful in some ways. According to her, it has been proven that a 90-day period can be an effective remedy for drug addiction. However, will it help in human relationships?
“The way to heal a broken heart is somewhat similar to addiction treatment: you hide all the things associated with your ex, stop following him on social networks and avoid meeting him,” says Fischer.
Brogaard also points out that the above rule has some scientific basis. The intensity of strong emotions, including anger, feelings of betrayal, and so on, diminishes over time.
Another Hong Kong resident, Lillian, in her 30s, was one of those internet users looking for an online way to reconcile with their ex-partner just a couple of days after breaking up. She stumbled upon a video on social media by one of the dating coaches.
According to Lillian, this coach offered various tips and tricks to help create distance between her and her ex, and then get his attention back to him.
“That calmed me down, but then I got even more worried. The breakup coach suggested that I wait 30 days before contacting my ex-boyfriend again, and then dress better to show him that I had changed for the better … But I couldn’t wait that long, “Lillian confesses.
The point is that while such coaches can quickly calm breakup sufferers, their advice may not have any scientific basis.
As Brogaard says, these coaches often lack adequate training, including academic, in areas such as neurology, psychology, cognitive science, philosophy or social work.
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One piece of advice coaches give about difficult relationships is this: Try to look your best by the time you meet your ex / ex again
As the psychologist adds, some of them even try to appropriate the methods of those who have relevant training, but have little understanding of how to use this information wisely.
“Their services can be more expensive than a good therapist, but there is no evidence that their advice will help you. You may just waste time and money,” she says. in practice they are mostly useless. ”
Experts, in addition, point to the absence of standards and any kind of regulation in this area. As Daly points out, many of the coaches are not qualified to advise.
“Almost everyone can claim to be a coach, so I would be very careful here,” Salz emphasizes. “What is this person’s training level? Weekend courses? They won’t make you a psychotherapist. Who trains these coaches? And what is the preparation? ”
Rather than spending money on coaches, Brogaard advises those with heartbreak to read the literature on rupture and interpersonal relationships from trusted sources – including research reviews on Google Scholar.
But she warns: don’t spend too much time and energy trying to get someone back: “If you have to go out of your way to get your ex back, is it worth it?”
Experts say that there are no magic ways to make up, except for an honest conversation about what went wrong and the wrong way in your relationship.
For those who cannot accept that it’s over, a glimmer of hope is that after a phase of protest, their brains will move into a phase of despair and admission of defeat, and then acceptance, indifference and growth, Fischer emphasizes.
“You experience tremendous pain and anxiety, but in the end comes recovery,” she concludes.
To read the original of this article in English, visit BBC Future .
How to start a new life after breaking up | Health and Beauty
Surviving a painful breakup with a loved one sometimes seems like an impossible task.So much has been experienced together, and now, happy days and joint plans are replaced by loneliness and prolonged depression. However, psychologists are sure: there is no negative experience. The period of loneliness is not a test, but invaluable time that must be spent for the benefit of yourself and your future.
6 questions to help you understand yourself and understand in which direction to move on:
What do I want?
Perhaps breaking up with your partner changed your ideas about family and life in general.Take some time to think about how you would like to see yourself in the future. What would you like to do? Where to live? What kind of people should you be around? It is likely that, having decided on your desires, you will understand: you and your ex were simply not on the way. Visualizing a new future will help you build specific goals and motivate you to begin your journey towards achieving them.
How did I affect the breakup?
Under the influence of emotions, we often begin to look for the reasons for parting in ourselves, or, conversely, to blame our partner for everything.Psychologists say: you need to try to soberly assess your role in relationships and in what happened. Ask your friends for opinion, analyze the information. Chances are, both you and your partner made mistakes that led to the breakup. Realizing these mistakes will help you build stronger relationships in the future.
What did the relationship teach me?
During the end of a relationship, even the most vivid and warm memories are projected in memory in dark colors, and this is normal.But if you want to quickly get through the bitterness of parting, try to find positive moments in what happened. Have you honed your culinary skills during your life together? Did your boyfriend teach you how to drive? Did you manage to travel half the world together? Do not discount the experience that you got in the relationship, because it was he who complemented you as a person.
What good was between you and your partner?
For example, you easily forgave each other offenses and could heartily laugh at your failures.Don’t be afraid to admit to yourself that in some ways your relationship was perfect. The main thing is not to dwell on the past and do not forget that it is possible to achieve a state of happiness and harmony with another person.
Am I projecting previous relationships onto new ones?
Difficult breakups often prevent us from starting a new life – we compare a new partner with an ex, repeat old mistakes, or superimpose the negative of a previous relationship on the current one. At this moment, it is necessary to stop in time and abstract from the past.If this fails, it is worth contacting a psychologist. A professional can help you overcome your emotional dependence on your ex and find happiness in your new relationship.
What is important in my life?
Feelings of devastation after parting often give rise to thoughts that there is no point in living anymore. It is important to stop these reflections, because loneliness is a temporary period. Dedicate it to family, friends, career, charity, favorite hobby that you don’t have time for dating.Do not rush to fill the emptiness in your heart immediately after breaking up – wait until negative emotions fade and you sincerely want to enter into a relationship again.
How to start a new life after parting was last modified: January 18th, 2019 by 7sisters
How love affects the brain and why separation is so painful
A quarrel with a friend, divorce, death of relatives – all of these types of loss of important ties cause pain to a person of varying degrees of tolerance.Today, it is impossible to experience the loss of a loved one and not feel a sense of bitterness and depression. Let’s figure out how the human brain behaves at the moment of separation and learn how to cope with emotions.
Effect of love on brain cells
To find out some facts about the work of the brain during the period of separation, it is necessary to recall those processes at the physiological level that occur during falling in love in humans and animals. Scientists do not know why people and our smaller brothers choose only 1 partner.However, it is the person who knows perfectly well what is happening in his body.
- Passion. At the physiological level, attraction is stimulated by hormones, the main one being testosterone.
- Falling in love. Dopamine, in turn, motivates a person to seek a partner. Cortisol puts the body under stress and creates additional energy of passion. Adrenaline actively produces the hormone adrenaline. As a result, the person develops increased sweating, increased heart rate and joyful mood.
- Affection. If feelings turn out to be reciprocal, the lovers’ cortisol decreases and the “good mood hormone” serotonin rises. A person associates a love union with a state of security, peace and cohesion. Scientists associate these sensations with the hormone oxytocin, which is produced during touch and sexual intimacy.
- Why complicate things so much. Perhaps nature created such an intricate biochemical process precisely in order to motivate people to form couples for the birth and raising of children.
How does the human body behave during separation
When people leave, their body experiences a serious shock. For some time, the dopamine hormone remains at the same high level. At first, after separation, a person has inexplicable anxiety and dissatisfaction, then depression and apathy sets in. Many at this time begin to abuse alcoholic beverages and psychoactive substances, indiscriminately have sex (all these attempts to improve their well-being lead to an aggravation of the situation).
- Alarm. Lovers have a less active part of the brain responsible for experiencing strong emotions, especially negative ones. Studies have shown that when girls are around their beloved husbands, they are more resistant to stress.
- True pain. A breakup in a relationship triggers the same reaction in the brain as does physical pain.
- Pain in the heart. Very often, as a result of parting in men and women, there are malfunctions in the functioning of the heart muscle under the influence of a strong emotional shock.
- Disturbing thoughts. The human brain, oddly enough, always focuses its attention on danger. If a situation causes stress and pain, then it is already considered a threat.
How to evaluate the behavior of the body when parting?
Being depressed, discouraged, and anxious after a breakup are normal and natural feelings that everyone experiences. If we compare love with a chemical process, then it is more like intoxication with drugs.Parting in this case is a painful condition that occurs in the absence of a dose of a biological substance, due to which the dopamine hormone increases. The human brain can cope with both drug addiction and breakup. He only needs time.
Do not undermine the already unbalanced nervous system with alcoholic and narcotic substances. Come to the rescue of dopamine. It is best produced as a result of movement, gaining new knowledge and achieving goals.This is why many people, after breaking up, achieve extraordinary success in sports and education.
The mixture of hormones that rages in us during and after parting, affects not only our physical condition. It controls the emotional state, influences our feelings and experiences. And this is impossible to avoid.
On the other hand, you can try to negatively relate to these emotions and give them a completely different color.
Loss of your identity
In most cases, psychological deception after a breakup is associated with the fact that, being in a relationship, we include a partner in our identity, adopt his views on life and behavior. The destruction of individual elements leads to a violation of a single image of “I” and to the impossibility of controlling one’s life. More often than not, we yearn not for our former partner, but for the picture of our “I”, which he allowed us to build.
Loss of adequacy in assessing oneself and one’s own capabilities
Parting is often accompanied by a decrease in self-esteem.This is especially true of those who were left behind. It seems to a person that something is wrong with him and that is why his partner left him. Thinking along these lines only exacerbates the problem.
Try to look at the world more realistic – almost everyone in the process of life was or will be in a situation of separation at least once. And this does not mean that all people are somehow different.
As a result of self-esteem problems, a person usually begins to either devalue the former partner, or idealize his past life.Both paths lead to emotional instability.
Keeping a diary
Psychologists advise to start a diary during the period of any emotional upheaval. Any thoughts and feelings can be expressed in it, thus the mind calms down. At the same time, you need to try to clearly formulate why the previous relationship was broken: you had different values and desires, you felt pressure from your partner. Writing down your feelings in relation to the current situation, you need to try to comprehend this life stage and gain experience.
Previous research has shown that people who understand and accept the reasons for separation recover faster and feel more comfortable in their next relationship.
Social picture of the divide
Each time you tell your friends about the reason for breaking up with a partner, you may feel embarrassed and even ashamed of it. After all, the future that you planned together will never happen.
Fear of separation and uncertainty are stress factors that, in principle, have no direct relationship to love.The same sensations arise in a person when he finishes his studies at school, quits his job or moves to live in another city.
Another delusion, which many people firmly believe, is directly related to the demonstration of love in famous movies and fairy tales. We think that love should start suddenly, passionately, necessarily flow into a wedding and go on forever. This is a solid fairy tale and this is rarely found in life.
The human brain adapts to any circumstance.