Many of the feelings that come with the ending of a long-term relationship are negative, in part, because there is a fear of one’s old way of life collapsing and that things will never be the same again. It seems like a really scary thing, that life will no longer carry on as it has before, and that uncertainty will rule the day. The thing about it is, life is always changing. and people will come in and out of your life. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just the way the life of a human being is. If your an older reader of this website, I’m sure you can remember dating someone in high school or college and how when the two of you broke up it seemed like a really big deal. Nowadays, you probably don’t ever think about them and if you do it surely isn’t as emotional as it once was for you.
Younger readers, probably don’t have the same experience in dealing with break ups of relationships. This experience and flood of emotion is a new thing for you. I know how tough it can be the first time something like this happens in your life. However, billions of other people throughout time have successfully gotten through it, so you can indeed get through it also.
What Can One Do?
As I have moved my way through life and experience my own heartbreak, I have come to learn how to get over my feelings for my ex-girlfriends and keep pushing myself forward. It isn’t always an easy or even a pleasant process to have to get through but I always feel that at the end, it is a rewarding one. After all, nothing worth having, isn’t a difficult thing to attain. The highs of love wouldn’t be as high if they weren’t accompanied by the lowest of lows after a relationship has ended.
I have found out over the years that a lot of the addictive qualities of my past relationships were spurred on my a sort of co-dependency with that girl. Meaning, I was always searching for that next ‘high’ and expecting her to validate my feelings and self-worth, just as I had done for her. I have found out the hard way that if I am not happy with myself first, that, I can never be happy because of her. She CANNOT make me happy, a relationship is there to simply enhance my life experience and perhaps to grow along with one another. Searching for happiness through relationship after relationship is ultimately a pointless endeavor.
Another thing that I always like to do for some period of time following a relationship is applying the No Contact Rule. I do this, to simply give myself some breathing room without their influence over my emotions. The more I am away from them after a break up the faster I can return to my rational state of mind. No Contact forces me to be on my own and learn how to function in my life without my ex-girlfriend. I wrote about this process in detail, here.
Time is a very important factor after a break up. A break up is a loss, emotionally. It definitely takes the wind out of your sails for quite a while. What I always allow myself to do after a break up is to essentially grieve its loss for some time. I allow myself to feel these emotions and not try to cover them up or ignore it. I pull myself together in order to get through the work day or whatever else I might have going on but when I get home I can be by myself and truly let myself feel the loss. This process doesn’t go on forever, but, it is important to get emotions out in a healthy way.
How I transition out of those negative feelings, is by slowly adding more and more positive activities into my life. Exercising, reading, meditation, or whatever else that lets me have positive emotions, I will use to replace me moping around the house or crying about the break up. This reinforces good behavioral patterns and allows me to feel positive feelings so that I am not just stuck in some dark place for an extended period of time.
I also use this time post-breakup, to alter my feeling towards my now ex-girlfriend. I stop myself from idealizing the relationship and only focusing on what I thought were the good times between us. I adopt a realism, that our relationship had enough problems that it needed to end when it did and even if we were to re-kindle things, it would have to grow into a different relationship or fail again. I will eventually remind myself that, there are indeed other girls worth pursuing, and eventually start dating again in due time.
I know that I have to accept the fact that the way I may feel is not the way she might feel. Meaning, if I still want a relationship with her, I must accept the fact that she might simply just want to move on with her life without me. She may still love me but not want to be with me. I must accept that things have indeed changed to the extent that the same relationship together is no longer possible. Significant changes would have to be made for us to even think about being together in the future.
The best way to move on from an ex after a relationship is to focus on yourself and your life. Growth is an important aspect of moving on because you can’t get past your emotions if you’re constantly revisiting the past. Allow yourself to feel the negative emotions, find ways to experience positive emotions, find new ways to grow and experience life, and accept that things are no longer the same and your paths may not cross again. Here are some other helpful posts: