Whenever you have to end a relationship, be it the shortest fling or a decades-long marriage, the main question that you will find yourself asking is – how to get over the breakup?
First of all, there are so many nuances to every relationship and breakups that there isn’t a cookie-cutter answer to this question.
However, as breaking up with someone is psychologically pretty similar to grieving a loss of a loved one, we know a lot about the struggles that ensure an ending of a relationship. And there are things that will help almost anyone to not only get over a breakup but also thrive as an individual.
Understanding the grieving process
Although when you break up a relationship the other person is still there, the moment you realize that you can’t call them anymore, you can’t do the things you used to, and you are on your own, you get into mourning.
It is a sort of a bereavement similar to that one experiences when their loved one passes. To get over the breakup, you need to understand the phases of grieving and buckle up, as it’s going to be a rough ride.
The first thing you experience when you are going through a breakup is numbness and panic.
This happens in the first hours or days after the event. You might be in shock, even if you were the one that initiated the breakup. And you could very well begin to experience panic when you realize that this is really happening. Nonetheless, these states of mind are soon replaced by obsession and protest.
After you’ve wrapped your head around the idea that the breakup is really happening, you will begin to obsess over the past, the presence, and the imagined future with your now ex. You will be angry and yearn that things go back to the old ways.
When you get to understand that it’s not going to happen you will get into the phase of disorganization and despair.
However, once the depression and sadness are behind you, you can then begin to truly grow. In psychology, this phase is called integration.
It means that you begin to form the new you that incorporates all the lessons you’ve learned from the experience, and you build a new and enriched self. This is when you need to truly get involved in your own development.
What it is that we grieve over in a breakup
When we end a relationship, we mourn the loss of more than one thing.
First of all, regardless of how fed up, we might have been with our ex or the disagreements, our ex-partner was a major part of our life for a reason. It’s only natural that we miss them. You can also expect to miss your habits, rituals, and the good days of the relationship.
What we also have to come to peace with is the fact that we’ve also lost our future as we imagined it to be. Although it isn’t something tangible, it is arguably one of the major loses when we end a relationship, especially if we’re getting a divorce.
From holidays, over the house you’ve desired and planned to buy together, to the vision of your last days – all of that is gone when your ex walks out the door. And this is a huge loss to get over.
Last but definitely not least is a more profound sense of loss of our identity.
Breaking up a relationship is one of life’s traumatic events that have transformative potential.
This is a great thing, as from pain we grow. But, every transformation is followed by a sense of grieving over our old selves.
Tips to help you get through to the other side
Now that you understand that the emotions and doubts that you’re going through are perfectly normal and expected, you can begin to reshape the way in which you see the breakup and all that ensued. You can and you will grow from it.
But first, start to practice mindfulness with your thoughts and feelings, as it was shown to alleviate suffering and bereavement even among terminally ill patients.
To help you with the process you can also get inspired by some motivating and empowering music. It is a great medium for even the most delicate and intricate feeling one goes through after an end of a relationship. Or, another great place to start and learn from are inspiring quotes about breakups that can transfer other people’s experience and collective wisdom right into your soul and help you thrive.