It will be days before this post gets published, but I believe there’s no better time to write this when the situation is still fresh and I could actually make use of my own pieces of advice for my situation.
Break-ups aren’t the end of the world. No matter how painful and heartbreaking it is, trust me when I say that it’s only a matter of time that we’ll be strong enough to pick ourselves back up again. Don’t get me wrong — it doesn’t come easy at first and it will not happen overnight, but know that breakups shouldn’t define your identity and/or your life.
Break-ups differ by reasons and are dealt with on a case-to-case basis I’d say, but over time you will learn a thing or two from previous happenings that will help you cope with moving on should it happen once again.
Here’s a couple of my own take from past experiences that helped me move on:
Give yourself the space. The most important first step is to give yourself a breather — may it be from the situation or from the now-ex partner. I know it’s tempting to go back and try to piece together what went wrong and to fight to make things work but be fair to yourself and give it a couple of days or even weeks to fully digest what you feel and think about the situation. Allow yourself to be hurt or to cry if necessary; it’s only valid and human to feel upset about the loss of someone important in your life. It is not a sign of weakness to be attuned to our sensitive selves in this situation, it actually means you’re strong enough to be honest and acknowledge what we feel.
Keep yourself distracted. As an over-thinker, this has been proven effective because it keeps me away from pondering over a million different thoughts— anything from idealizing all our good memories to fantasizing about potentially meeting someday when the situation is different. It might seem like you’re compartmentalizing and not addressing what happened head on, but sometimes the heart needs to be forced to remove the rose-colored glasses so you won’t be clouded or influenced by emotions but rather logic and rationale. Keep yourself busy by purposefully spending your time more away from your digital screens and away from ways to reach out to them. Go for a walk, read a book, write in a journal, hit the gym — anything to keep your mind from over-thinking.
Take a break from relationships. Yes, I mean it. Under any circumstances, please do not jump into a new relationship right away. Regardless if the break-up was messy or not, it’s just not wise to be in someone else’s arms when you still have leftover baggage from the previous relationship. This is not about a “three month rule” or giving your ex-partner their grieving period, it’s more about giving yourself the time to soak in the realizations and lessons of the past. More so, you rid yourself of carrying over any issues you have to your next beau. There’s nothing more unfair than trying to find the same faults with your next partner or treating them as if they’ve already done the dirty when they’re a completely different person.
Reach out to your family or friends. As dark as it may sound, I don’t trust myself to be alone when my mind and my heart is not in the right place because I feel that there is a potential to hurt myself should it get overwhelming. I am beyond thankful that I always have a support system that I can lean on when I’m troubled or in need of comfort, and they never fail to deliver. Reaching out to friends who genuinely always have your best interest at heart and wouldn’t pass off judgement, just let you air out that you’re hurting are what you need at this time.
Appreciate the time and freedom for yourself. Getting out of a relationship means a bit more time to focus on yourself. You’re no longer obligated to be on your phone 24/7 waiting for the screen to flash a message from them. Now’s the time to incorporate more of the things that you actually wanted to do but wasn’t able to materialize. Invest your time in a new hobby, a lifestyle regimen, a new skill — something that you’d been dreaming to do your whole life. You have all the freedom in the world to put yourself first without the guilt, so take advantage of it.
Meet new people. After some time when your heart begins to mellow down, you will also realize that it’s time to meet new people. It doesn’t necessarily mean people to date or be in a relationship with; it could be as casual as someone to hang around with or be friends with. You have to keep expanding your world and your circle to keep your social skill healthy. This also ensures that you do not spend your days alone and be tempted to pick up the phone and dial your ex, because you’re assuming that they’re the only ones who you can entrust. It’s time to allow other people to be in your life.
Focus on your growth. I know it’s not really going to make me look good saying this, but one ugly trait which had stayed with me a while from relationship to relationship is stalking my exes and using them as a benchmark to how successful I view myself. This is regarded unhealthy in twofold ways – it’s an inaccurate measure of where I am in my own life and I am getting fixated with being better than my past partners for the wrong reasons. My heart will always be full of anguish and ill feelings about others if I keep comparing my success to where they are. Yes, it’s fun to joke about it time and again with my clique but eventually I realize that I shouldn’t waste my energy meddling about their business but my own.
Leave the “what ifs” in the past. It is so easy to fall into the rabbit hole of “what if I didn’t say/do this?” or “what if it didn’t happen?” when it comes to break-ups because we’re inherently wired to look for a reason why things happen. We want things to be justified and to have a root cause because we just cannot accept the fact that sometimes things are designed to happen as it is; there are things that are bound to happen no matter how much you prevent or avoid it from happening. Think of it this way – if something didn’t happen, would you think that nothing else will arise after the fact that could potentially ruin the relationship?
Learn to appreciate what you had in the past. Lastly, the lesson I would like to impart with you is to appreciate the good things of the past. Every face that comes to your life is part of your journey, and sometimes the faces come with an expiration date. I have a number of relationships in my life where I wished the good times lasted longer or that it would have worked out, but time has taught me to appreciate good things and their timings. Trust me when I say that experience will teach you that having too much is not necessarily good. Had it prolonged more than its due course, maybe it would no longer be as good as it was or maybe it would’ve gone downhill even.