Even for the less sensitive people, a breakup isn’t quite a moment to celebrate with champagne, biscuits or a flash karaoke performance at the bar in the corner. Especially when they have invested plans, feelings and the most honest intentions in the relationship that just ended.
Generally, the most frequent reactions to this kind of no turning back rupture are varied and frequently not at all beneficial for overcoming that difficult moment. Some of those left alone overnight, end up saddling in some sort of almost irreversible self-complacency that looks like a mental self-flagellation, others resort to unproductive methods of adapting to the new situation: they start to spy their ex-partner, drown their sorrow in ice-cream or alcohol, go through partners like popcorn...
Regardless of the fact that it happened as a result of the direct request of the other half, of his own will or by mutual consent, for the involved people a breakup has the same effects that are a lot to take in at any time of the day or of the night: disappointment, fear, confusion, frustration and resentment, the inability to imagine a new beginning on their own or next to “someone else”.
But however difficult it may be, there are chances of healing even for those cases which apparently seem hopeless because of the breakups dramatized by many accusations, screams or threats launched through tears and sights. It is not the diplomacy the two of them show when they say goodbye to each other that guarantees the solution to the crisis, but what happens afterwards.
And what is supposed to happen afterwards, so that things could go back, in balanced manner, to their natural and desirable way?
Expressing the feelings.
It is well known that verbalizing the thoughts and negative emotions contributes significantly to the improvement of the state of mind of the person who is feeling them deeply, and externalizing those feelings gives to that person the impression of having dropped, even in a small percentage, a too pressing burden.
Even if talking about the things you most fear is leaving you annoyed, unsatisfied or obsessed after a breakup and it won’t become miraculously the antidote for your suffering, this process will have a liberating effect, helping you bring back to normal parameters the way you approach the situation. And somehow detach yourself from the difficulty of the failure you are experiencing.
Even gentlemen, who are said not to easily let their feelings and vulnerability known, they can also find relief in sharing the disappointment with a close trustworthy person.
Anyone going through an extremely emotional episode can create their own methods to distance themselves from the inner pain, even by resorting to a sort of artistic way of expression, where to focus their entire anger, despair and accumulated negativism: writing a poem, composing a song, realizing a photo collage or a suggestive drawing.
And when this kind of manifestation seem impossible, talking to a good friend could be just enough, when he is aware that the cliché heads up won’t make any miracles in such contexts, but rather the willingness to listen and be there unconditionally.
Balanced dosage of self-pity.
Many times, the protagonists of a separation are wrapped in extreme pessimism, maintained by the limitation of the horizon to “here and now”. Which means that they become somewhat incapable of looking beyond the suffered rupture, absolutely convinced they are living an enormous drama, superior in intensity, importance and thrills, to the disaster of “Romeo and Juliet”. No wonder that this happens, considering that after all, it is their drama.
The end of life as a couple implies a certain period of “mourning” where the person who is suffering can do (almost) everything and anyway, from laying inert in front of the TV, surrounded by mountains of chips and tons of chocolate, to throwing eggs and tomatoes at the ex’s window.
However, extending this period and feeling sorry for himself full time does not bode well. If you, instead of including this particular experience in the personal history of life, accepting the fact that everything goes on even in these severe conditions, prefer to endlessly contemplate the pain and valorize the victim’s position, you’ll never be able to glimpse the sun of hope foe better things.
In order to control the feeling of helplessness about the necessary emotional rebalancing, it takes determination, effort and a lot of knee bumps from the repeated falls out of habit. Falls that, with the passage of time, will diminish significantly, until they will no longer exist.
The shock, the lost, the loneliness, the absence of guidelines, throws most of the recently separated into an abominable abyss, inside of which it is impossible to feel anything else but hunger, fear and contempt. In which case even an outstretched hand of the close ones or of the well-intentioned can fail to help them come out unharmed.
Reality is that not everyone reacts the same way to life’s difficult challenges. Some people wake up the next day as if nothing had happened and continue their existence with their smile on their lips and their undisturbed objective on the earth. But others have difficulty accessing those internal resources without which the black color dominating their vision cannot have its grim contours blurred.
For the latter ones, an alternative that could give them wings again and the desire to fly is specialized help, the therapeutic intervention aimed at rebuilding the disintegrated and confused self.
Even though in some contexts there’s a persistent unjustified mentality that only strange individuals with equally strange problems end up dissecting their traumas and childhood on the ingrained couch of a psychologist, things a far from being so.
Asking for external support when fears are overwhelming you, must not be a reprehensible action nor punishable by heavy stigma. Taking this step can, on the contrary, be a sign of courage and the desire to start over.
Giving up resentment and admitting one’s own mistakes.
When your dreams are shattered, the future which not long ago seemed sure is changing into an unsure one, and the long term relationship that everybody imagined living heroically happily ever after disappears suddenly into nothingness (because of infidelity, boredom or differences of opinion), the tendency of many of them is to accuse the ex for the upsetting end of the couple. And monopolizing all the possible conversations to talk passionately and with impulse about the bad character of their existence.
In such close calls, the important thing is always remembering that denigrating or expressing hate does not help you acquire the relief you need, but only delaying in a “masochistic” way the healing process of the wounds, becoming a victim of your own torture applied as the “Chinese drop” every time you are accusing your ex-lover, hoping to get the disapproval of all those willing to listen to you.
The mechanisms that make relationships work are way too complex to be considered directly dependent on a sole person’s will or fault. And even if it wasn’t you, but the other to have initiated the separation process, the responsibility (not necessarily the fault!) of the current state of things belongs, equally, to both of you.
Moreover, denying partial responsibility puts you in danger of repeating, in case of a new relationship, those same mistakes that today you would like to ignore and immaturely sweep them under the rug of your own pride.
Getting involved in various activities.
Having too much spare time can sometimes, instead of being a blessing, be an insidious curse. Especially when, because of lack of anything to do, your thoughts flow rebelliously to the past and automatically to the ex-lover, every trivial detail reminds you of the good old times where everything was divided in two... even the insipid painting in the hall you once received as a gift, makes you look at it insistently every morning, as in a commemorative ritual, that no other man knows.
Without some varied interests where to focus your forces and energy, you become much more vulnerable to melancholy. And this terrible and ruthless knife going deeper and deeper with an unbearable pain to your soul brings with it a trip down memory lane, the lack of evolution, unhappiness. And it makes it harder to complete with the right details the actual perspective, still marked by discouragement, limits and regression.
Many of these aspects can be easily avoided if you chose to engage in all sorts of creative and interesting activities: take trips or hiking instead of dedicating yourself body and soul to a cinematic marathon of romantic movies; play tennis, basketball, football or anything else with your friends instead of sighing on the barman’s shoulder, already supersaturated of the same story that repeats itself by every twilight; re-decorate the house or visit your relatives from aboard instead of hunting your ex-half in all the public places where you know he or she usually spends his/her time after work.
Do not isolate yourself at home, only tolerating the memories’ company that keep you immobile as in a moment of panic where stillness induces security. Be active, get out among people and live anchored in the present. Anything is better than doing nothing.
Keeping distance from your “ex”.
Although your mom, friends, neighbors and even your horoscope are trying every day to convince you that the relationship you just finished has no chance of resuscitation, you continue to aspire to impossible, premeditating all sorts of “coincidences” where to run into your ex-partner by absolute “chance”: at the market, at the favorite bar or even at the gym he/she is attending regularly on certain days. And that you decided to visit at the same exact time, only for reasons that have to do with caloric excess and cholesterol, of course.
By the same chance and completely disinterested you also decided to insistently ask your friends to submit to you the complete report of the daily schedule of the “other”, including any changes in his/her love life.
The stubbornness with which you seek to rebuild something that cannot be rebuilt, clinging ostentatiously to the past or staying stuck in a transition space, refusing to take emotional and physical distance from the person who already said “goodbye” forever to you, will only bring you disappointment, dissatisfaction and regret. And it will be a huge waste of time.
If you feel that you cannot resist the temptation of getting in touch, one way or another, with your ex, the best thing to do is to delete his/her number from your phonebook, his/her Facebook profile from your friends list, the pictures from your computer etc.! And, when necessary, reduce the number of going outs with those people from the list of common friends, where is possible that in your moments of extreme weakness you beg for “secret” information. Because sometimes is better not to know if and with whom he/she has hooked up, how many dates he/she has had since you broke up or how happy he/she is without you.
Instead, accept the current situation and use your loneliness to get to know you better and plan your future. A brighter, better and more significant one.
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Even if it seems really difficult, there is life after breakups too. And the secret of success is not focusing on those needs and aspirations silenced forever when the relationship ended, but focusing instead on the newly gained freedom, revaluating the options and rearranging the future priorities. Because when an important life chapter ends, there is definitely another one following, as attractive or interesting as the previous one. Or even more...