Getting over a guy you still love takes time. After a breakup, it’s common to experience the same five stages of grief -- denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance -- as people experience after a loved one dies. This isn’t a process that you can rush. However, you can more easily navigate the grieving process by treating yourself with kindness, finding healthy ways to express your grief and surrounding yourself with friends and family who love you.
Get support. According to Greg and Amira Behrendt, authors of “It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken,” reaching out to your close friends and family for support while you grieve is instrumental to healing. Feelings of loneliness are an inevitable part of breaking up. Regular interaction with close friends and family can help to lessen those feelings of loneliness and remind you that there are people in the world who love you.
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Avoid your ex. Delete his number from your cell phone, block his email address, and block him from any social networking sites you use. You should also avoid places that you considered “special” or “favorite spots” while you were a couple. You may believe that you want to try to be friends, but in reality continued contact with him will only prolong your pain.
Express your grief. As you heal from your breakup, it is normal to feel grief, depression and anger. Well-meaning friends or family may suggest that you stay busy, or otherwise try to ignore your feelings. But according to family and marriage therapist Judy Allen, ignoring your feelings will only cause them to last longer. Instead, find healthy ways to express them. Talking them out with nonjudgmental friends or family, writing them out, crying or even yelling—in a safe, protected space—are all healthy ways to express your pain.
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Look for the bright spots in your day. It’s easy to get stuck in feelings of depression, and to spend time obsessing about what you should or could have done differently. These types of obsessive thoughts can lead you to feeling hopeless and powerless about your life. To combat the feeling of hopelessness, try keeping a gratitude journal. Taking the time to note the positive aspects of your life can help you put the breakup in proper perspective.
Find positive activities to help you reclaim your singleness again. After being part of a couple for any length of time, it can be hard to adjust to single life. Volunteering for a nonprofit organization, taking a class, or picking up a new hobby are all positive ways to become active in the world again. These activities also provide opportunities to meet new friends.
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