Is there a one-size-fits-all method for getting over a heartbreak? Sadly, not everyone’s situation is the same, and what works for others may not work for you. But there’s no harm in trying, right? Putting an end to a romantic relationship, especially when it seems to be going well, isn’t what most people want. When a relationship ends, the intense feelings may make you feel lost, as though you’re back to square one in that aspect of your life.
Did you know that experts have compared heartache due to breakups to the grief experienced at the loss of a loved one? If you’ve gotten your heart broken lately because of divorce or separation from a partner, know that you’re not alone. This ultimate guide to moving on and getting over a heartbreak will help you out, so keep reading.
The Ultimate Guide to Moving On: Ways to Heal a Broken Heart
Healing from a broken heart doesn’t involve the same process for everyone. Some may take the heartbreak as freedom and a journey to self-love, while some may not know how to start all over again. Who likes getting heartbroken? No one! After all, most individuals commit themselves to a relationship with the hopes of having a happily ever after. But sometimes, it just doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to.
You may try the tips in this ultimate guide to moving on one after the other. There’s no definite time frame for achieving each step since you have to heal on your own time and your own way. There’s no such thing as healing overnight, but after going through the process, you’ll come out stronger and better than ever.
Here’s the step-by-step process in getting over a heartbreak:
1. Accept What Has Happened
As you enter this new phase of your life, acceptance is an absolute must. What will you accept? That the relationship has ended. Accept that the two of you aren’t getting back together. As brutal as this may sound, you should accept the reality that things will never be the same, so it’s time to move on with your life.
Stop fantasizing that one day your ex-partner will come knocking on your door begging for you to take them back. If you don’t acknowledge the fact that the relationship is over, you’ll only prolong your suffering, which may hinder you from forming a new relationship. Although accepting your circumstances can be a hard pill to swallow, as time passes, you’ll heal and be able to find happiness again.
2. Cut All Connections With Your Former Romantic Partner
If it’s easier for you to move on by cutting all ties with your ex, do so. Delete their contact details on all of your gadgets so you won’t be tempted to get in touch with them, particularly when you’re inebriated or you suddenly start missing them. Unfollow or block them on social media. Basically, do whatever it is that would bring you peace of mind.
If you hang around with the same people, avoid going to social gatherings involving that particular group, at least for the meantime. After all, you’ve broken up with your ex, not your friends. As much as possible, minimize the possibility of bumping into each other, especially when the breakup happened recently. Being with your ex in one room is bound to be awkward, and it might lead you to crying all night. You need adequate space to get back on your feet.
3. Find It in Your Heart to Forgive
The third step is forgiveness, but whom or what will you forgive? Well, that depends. If your ex cheated on you, be the bigger person and forgive what they’ve done to you. In doing so, you’ll be removing negative energy in your life.
On the other hand, if you’re the one at fault in the relationship, learn to forgive yourself. Stop blaming yourself because that’s not going to do you or your ex any good. Remember that part of being human is being imperfect, so you need to own up to and forgive your mistakes. Soon enough, you’ll be on the right track to moving on. While forgiveness isn’t always easy, it’ll allow you to release unnecessary burdens.
4. Don’t Jump Into a “Rebound” Relationship
After a messy breakup, it may be tempting to get into a rebound relationship. But do you really want to add fuel to the fire? Do you want to be with someone while you’re still hurting deep inside? How can you give yourself wholeheartedly to someone if your heart remains shattered? Before you get into a new relationship, you need to heal yourself first.
If you engage in a rebound relationship, chances are, you’ll make the same mistakes that caused your heartache in the first place and find yourself trapped in that vicious cycle. After a breakup, it’s best to stop dating for a while. This is the time for you to aim for self-love instead.
Internalize what went wrong in your previous relationship and the things you can improve in yourself in order to prepare for your next relationship. Until then, explore the many ways you can love and appreciate yourself.
5. Stop Avoiding the Pain
Here’s the thing about heartbreaks: they’re painful regardless of the reason or the duration of the relationship. As much as you want to avoid getting hurt, that’s part of the experience. Therefore, it’s futile to attempt ignoring or hiding from the pain.
If you do, you might just end up suppressing your feelings, which is an unhealthy defense mechanism. It’s similar to sweeping dirt under the rug—though you can’t see it on the surface, it’ll still be there the moment you lift up the cloth. The dirt won’t ever go away permanently. So don’t block the pain; cry your heart out and verbally express your feelings if you need to. One day, your tears will dry up and, hopefully, you’ll have enough strength to live out the rest of your wonderful life.
6. Take the Time to Heal, Take It One Day at a Time
You can’t expect to wake up the morning after the breakup already over the entire thing. The times it’ll take for you to move on would depend entirely on you. Studies say that getting over a relationship may take anywhere from 11 weeks to up to two years, and the healing process isn’t the same for everyone.
Since there’s no deadline to moving on, you should take your time to sort yourself out. You may not believe this now, but you’re tougher than you think. You’re fully capable of overcoming this hurdle in your life. The key is to be patient and let your heart and mind recover at a comfortable pace.
7. Go Out and Mingle
Once you’re done sulking in your apartment and consuming several tubs of ice cream (which is perfectly normal), it’s time to leave the house and socialize. Stop isolating yourself as this might make the situation worse. Loneliness and sadness are a combination that can lead to depression over time. You’ll only feel worse if you lose touch with the outside world.
You can opt to dine with your friends, travel abroad or to a local destination, meet new people, and create positive memories. There’s a whole world out there waiting for you. Make the most of your singlehood, and reach as many self-care goals as much as possible. This way, you’ll come to realize that the end of your relationship is a fresh beginning for you.
8. Have a Support System
No man is an island. Even the most introverted individuals need a support system to keep them grounded. So if you had your heart broken recently, reach out to your best friend, parents, siblings, or even a counselor. You can’t just bottle up your emotions by yourself—that’d be unhealthy for your emotional and mental state in the long term.
It’s nice to have someone by your side who you know will listen to and support you no matter what. Furthermore, a trusted person can give you insights and advice on how to deal with a breakup. Battling this on your own is brave, but you’ll surely benefit from holding someone’s hand as you go through tough times.
9. Keep Yourself Busy
After going through the previous steps, it’s time to find things to busy yourself with. Take note, however, that you should’ve already faced your pain before filling your day with various activities. This is so your mind won’t keep getting distracted by thoughts of your ex-partner.
How can you make yourself busy? Go on a vacation, try a new hobby, take up gardening, join a gym, spend time outdoors, finish your master’s degree, bond with a family member, and so on. There’s so much to do out there, and there’s no better time than now to have as many experiences as you can.
Set a goal to do something challenging or learn a new skill. Keeping yourself busy can make you feel great, increase your productivity, and prevent you from looking back on the breakup.
10. Love Yourself
Yes, self-love seems like a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason: it works when you’re trying to move on from hurtful or failed relationships. Start taking better care of yourself so you’ll realize your worth and know that you deserve love and happiness. If you have kids, focus on their wellness and your relationship with them as those would have an impact on you, too.
Making yourself feel good isn’t a bad thing; in fact, it’s a necessity and a healthy coping mechanism. What can you do to love yourself? Get a massage, do morning salutations, eat healthier meals, go shopping, get a tattoo, or do whatever you think will put a smile on your face.
Don’t let your past heartbreak get the best of you. Instead, use this opportunity to practice self-love and rediscover how to be happy even without a partner.
11. Don’t Resort to Bad Coping Mechanisms
What exactly are bad coping mechanisms? These are disastrous and unhealthy thought patterns or actions that may cause more harm than good. Here are several examples:
- Bad-mouthing your former partner
- Excessive smoking and drinking
- Taking drugs or abusing prescription drugs
- Either binge-eating or starving yourself
- Engaging in promiscuous behavior or sleeping around
- Avoiding the pain
Sure, it’s okay to party and drink with friends from time to time, but it has to be in moderation. Don’t use alcohol as a way to escape your feelings. If you find yourself grabbing a cold beer in the middle of the day the moment you remember your former partner, then that’s an unhealthy coping mechanism. It’s a recipe for disaster, and you may find yourself dealing with substance abuse if you don’t control yourself early on.
Instead of that, adopt positive coping skills such as exercising, engaging in hobbies, spending time with friends, and focusing on positive things. Resorting to bad coping mechanisms might only make the situation worse.
12. Go to Therapy
If you think the breakup has taken a great toll on your mental health, try going to therapy. What do you have to lose? Undergoing therapy can be a chance for you to reevaluate your situation and learn how to start fresh while dealing with the loss of the relationship. This is recommended since the process of self-love also involves taking care of your emotional and mental state.
Should you have a hard time getting over a breakup, therapy is an option for you to consider. The pain you’re experiencing can cause depression, anxiety, and panic attacks if left unaddressed. With a seasoned therapist, you can get proper guidance in mending your broken heart.
For Divorced Parents
Ending a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t the same as divorcing a spouse, especially when the two of you have kids. In such cases, you have to simultaneously start leading separate lives and adjust to co-parenting. As much as you want to avoid your ex-partner, that’s not 100% possible if you have joint custody of your children.
Your kids’ well-being should be your top priority. After dealing with your lawyer, the settlement, and all the technicalities of divorcing, figure out what arrangement would be best for your children.
If your kids are in distress, you could send them to therapy. You and your ex-partner can do the same so you’ll learn how to be civil with one another and succeed in co-parenting. A counselor can be an excellent mediator so you and your ex can communicate effectively. As a result, your children will still be able to grow up happy and healthy.
Looking for a Therapist in Ohio?
Breakups and divorces are ambiguous forms of loss, but life doesn’t end with them. In fact, a separation may open up a more beautiful chapter in your life. Though you might be incapable of seeing the possibility now because of all the hurt clouding over you, just trust the process, and it’ll reward you with a positive result in the end.
If you need someone to talk to, you can turn to one of our professional therapists here at Counseling Now. All you need to do is to book an appointment through our Direct Services and enjoy the convenience of online counseling sessions in the comfort of your own home. Start your healing process by getting in touch with us today.