It happens to everyone at some point and now it’s happened to you. You thought you’d found the one, that perfect person with whom you wanted to spend the rest of your life. Then something went wrong. Somehow it all fell apart. How do you get over the pain?
Let Yourself Grieve
To get past the pain, you need to let yourself grieve. That means allowing yourself to feel the feelings. Grief isn’t just sadness. Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, well-known for her work related to grief, identified five stages of grief: denial, bargaining, anger, depression and acceptance. You might find it hard to believe your relationship is over. You might try to bargain, promising to change if your ex-love will just give you another chance. You might feel angry. You might feel unbearably sad. You may not experience these stages in this order, and you may go through the same stage more than once. Eventually, you’ll come to accept the fact that it’s over, but let yourself shed some tears along the way.
Take Care of Yourself
HelpGuide.org, a non-profit mental health resource, points out that going through a breakup creates mental, emotional and even physical stress and suggests caring for yourself almost as you would if you were getting over the flu. Get plenty of rest, do some gentle exercise, eat healthful food, limit other sources of stress if possible and nurture yourself. Spending time in nature, engaging in activities that you love, meditating, praying, spending time with your pets, taking long bubble baths and listening to uplifting music are all ways to care for yourself during this difficult time.
If the love of your life just left, you probably feel lonely. You don’t have to go through this alone, though. Seek support. Lean on your friends, on family members, on people who love you no matter what. Go out and meet new friends, too. Consider taking up a new hobby, taking a class, joining a book club, anything that gets you out of the house and around friendly people. If you have trouble finding the support you need, consider joining a support group or seeing a professional counselor. Don’t rush into another romantic relationship, though. Give yourself time to heal first.
What Not to Do
There are a few things that won’t help you get over a soul-crushing breakup and, in fact, will probably only make matters worse. Don’t strike out at your former partner in anger, no matter what he’s done or how much he deserves it; you may end up regretting it later. Don’t turn to drugs or alcohol to drown your pain. Don’t engage in any self-destructive behavior, like spending more money than you can afford to spend, eating too much, gambling or going out with questionable characters just to avoid being alone. If you find yourself heading down the wrong road, see a professional counselor for help.