The end of a long-term relationship is difficult to get over. Some emotions that typically go with breaking up include sadness, anger, fear and loneliness. When a long-term relationship with a girlfriend has ended, it may feel like you will never experience happiness again or you will never have another girlfriend. You must remember that these terrible feelings are temporary and that this experience is part of the normal cycle of life. You need to dust yourself off, get back out into the world and live your life to its fullest, with or without a girlfriend.
Allow yourself some time to heal. Go easy on yourself and don't expect to be as active as you usually are. It is normal to want to pull back a little from your usual activities and to not feel as social as you usually do. Be very kind to yourself during this initial stage.
Take care of yourself during this difficult time. The stress and sadness that results from a breakup will only get worse if you are not good to yourself. Get your body moving and your endorphins activated by exercising. Go outside for a long walk or go running with a friend. Get the proper amount of sleep, which for most people is about seven to eight hours each night. Eat nutritious meals instead of fast food. Do not drown your sorrows in junk food.
Talk to someone who has been through the breakup of a long-term relationship. Call a friend or family member who understands what you are going through. Go out for coffee and talk about how you are feeling. Ask for advice if you need it. Do not keep your feelings bottled up inside yourself.
Treat yourself to something special. Buy yourself that gadget or computer program or kitchen appliance you have had your eye on. Take a weekend trip with friends to a city you have always wanted to visit.
Stop ruminating about your ex-girlfriend. Do not allow yourself to get bogged down by regrets and "what if's" and "if only's." Keep mentally and physically active.
Do not contact your former girlfriend by phone, e-mail or text message. You may want to see how she is doing, meet up with her or rehash issues regarding your relationship but this will only keep you in the past and prevent you from moving on with your life and getting over your ex-girlfriend.
Find ways to get yourself out of the house and interacting with others. Contact some friends and suggest going out for dinner, drinks or a movie. Do not isolate yourself by staying at home and wallowing in sadness.
Join a group to get your mind off of your former long-term girlfriend. Use the Internet to find groups with whom you share interests and through which you can meet new people. Choose from a wide variety of groups such as running groups, kickball groups, meditation groups, singles groups, book club groups, etc. This is a great way to meet new people and perhaps even a new girlfriend.
Start dating again when you are ready. You will know when the time is right to get back into the dating scene. This is a very personal decision. The time it takes to get over a former girlfriend varies from person to person. Try online dating sites or place an ad in the "personals" section of your local alternative paper. Continue to get yourself "out there" and meet new people as much as possible. Go to coffee shops and strike up a conversation with someone. Volunteer at a charity event.
Seek therapy if you cannot get over your long-term girlfriend. Give yourself some time to experience the sadness that normally results from the breakup of a long-term relationship. This period of mourning is normal. If you are still feeling depressed and just cannot seem to get over the relationship and move on with your life, you may need to consult a professional therapist. Seeking help from a therapist after a relationship ends is very common and nothing to be ashamed of.
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- If you buy yourself something special, make sure it is within your budget. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself to something special during difficult times as long as you have the money to purchase the item. You don't need the additional stress of being responsible for a bill you cannot afford.
Polly Glodowski has been writing for educational publications since 2005. Glodowski received an award for excellence in writing from the English department at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.